I started off my weekend with a little 3.5 mile run with my friend Adam on Friday night. I really do prefer running with other people than on my own it makes it so much more enjoyable – did I just use the word enjoyable to describe running? Shocking!
Saturday morning my alarm sounded and I got ready to head to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for a 10km run with my friend Priya. This is, as I have mentioned before, my nemesis run. It is often referred to as fast and flat. I find that runners often have a difference in opinion of what constitutes flat. It is the same as cycling. Until you have run or cycled a route what can appear to be flat can be deceiving! I find this run tough hence why I refer to it as my nemesis run. Don’t get me wrong it is organised brilliantly by The Race Organiser and the marshalls are great, photographers on course, goody bag and medal for such a reasonable price but the course itself I always find tough. It’s laps and each lap seems much longer, to me, than it actually is. Priya agreed. We decided we would take this run slow and steady and that we did.
After we finished and headed back to the car a very nice man stopped us to tell us that he had been pacing himself by us the whole way round and that although he couldn’t catch us by sticking with us he managed a PB for the course and distance by over 6 minutes! That was amazing!
It’s funny I always check my race photos and always hate them! The link to the photo page was added and the cover photo had me in the background looking like I was mid stroke face – pretty much sums up how most of my event photos turn out!
My alarm went off even earlier on Sunday (one day I will get a lay in) and after I picked up Helen and Laura we headed to Colchester to take part in the UK Cycling Events Essex Equalizer event, a cycling sportive heading out from Colchester stadium. We rode with the lovely Lucy from Lucy Lunges also (Lucy’s husband also rode this ride but is super speedy so he headed off solo and smashed it may I add). Helen and I had completed a similar ride heading out from here last year, organised by the same company, with Lucy so had an idea as to what we should expect.
It was tough! Cold and windy. Very windy. Very very windy! The sort of wind where you brace the hoods and wonder at what point you may come off from the sidewind that seems to hate you!
The wind was ridiculous and in some places it felt like a battle and like we were barely moving!
There were a lot of hills too, nothing that would have you getting off the bike but just a lot of up and downs in quick succession – what goes up must come down and although I love a descent they were somewhat overshadowed by the fact that I learned pretty quickly on this ride that every time we went down a hill there was going to be a bigger ascent.
Lucy, despite what she thinks, is good on hills! Really consistent and attacks them head on. Laura is a beast! She is such a strong cyclist and scared the life out of me when she came up behind me screaming go go go mid hill! She made me try and attack every hill as best I could. BUT I am not the best at hills! I gave it a good shot though. More for fear she would come up behind me again and start shouting at me. And by shouting I mean she was helping and Helen described it as gentle encouragement – hmmmmm what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and all that though after a lot of these hills I did wonder if they would kill me.
This was Helens first bike ride since an operation on her hip and she did amazing! Was lovely to have her back on the bike and be able to ride with her again. Could ride with these ladies anytime!
As the wind was so strong and we would not be getting any personal bests on this ride we decided we would use it for quality rather than quantity and took the chance to ride as a group taking turns every 6 minutes on the front and sticking together. Laura, Helen and I will be taking on a 24 hour endurance ride in August from Newcastle to London, which is 311 miles in total (gulp). We will be riding a lot together over the coming months and so this was a great start.
We were also spotted in our Romford CC kit. Our kit is bright yellow and pink and love it or hate it, because it is a bit like marmite I admit though I do love it, it gets us noticed as it did yesterday when we were tweeted by the lovely photographers from the event, Sportive Photo.
Quality riding, great training, loads of laughs and a medal too – what more can you ask for?!