Very close to the end of November and I’m finally back here! Sorry for the long pause in blog, though I’m sure many of you will agree I needed the break, you probably did too!
So, what’ve I been up to? No prizes for guessing I’ve been running a bit but I’ve also been trying to get back to ‘normal’ life. Three months in the fresh air, running all day really did suit me well and by the end of the trip I was loving the routine. So when it all came to an end I was a little lost, especially going back to the office and being inside all day. But getting back into work, seeing friends, attempting dating, and living back in London has gradually become ‘normal’ again. And my life is pretty good, so I’m starting to appreciate it.
Media-wise I did a 5 min spot on North-West Tonight News as ‘woman from Sale runs across the US’ (brilliantly I was on camera outside the House of Commons on the same day as the Cabinet re-shuffle so there were lots of journalists wondering who the new blonde is… not my time yet though) and a piece on My Greatest Adventure for the Daily Telegraph, but apart from that I’ve been mainly shunning the glory and glamour of celebrity. My coverage extended to a wonderful mention in what is the best political-news-commentary you can get in a running club’s website (it should be essential reading for all politics students, actually for all). I also gave a talk to my running club which was fun and brought back lots of great memories – as did receiving my award and lots of photos from Mike and Heidi, to whom I’m so grateful for an amazing summer.
The running – I kept running a fair amount after getting back home, but it was slow… really slow. Turns out 3,300 miles of slow running turns you into a… long slow runner! So I set about trying to speed up, a few speed sessions but mainly trying to run up hills as quickly as possible and getting back into cross country season.
It was hard and there was a good few weeks where I never thought I’d run a sub-8 minute mile again, especially not a 7 min mile… but hurrah I did!! 10 of them for a third place 68 mins at the Stebbing 10, and then 26.2 of them at the Valencia marathon last weekend for a new pb of 3:12.48. Valencia was great, a super marathon in lovely sunshine and a sensible temperature of 20 degrees (though I still miss the summer heat!). I felt strong (a cheeky 6:47 mile to finish with) and know I’ve got a faster marathon in me if I did the training, but for now I’m pleased with my new pb.
I’ve also been booking my challenges for next year. Despite saying I’d never run over 100 miles and how much I hate running through the night… I’ve decided to face my fears head on and signed up for 2 mega-runs: The Viking Way Ultra, 147 miles from Hull to Oakham 31st March 2013 and The Grand Union Canal Race, 145 miles from Birmingham to London, 25th May 2013. Ouch.
I’m also looking forward to another trip to the French Alps to run the Mont Blanc 80km in June, a new race for Summer 2013 – the video here looks amazing!
Then there’s the race I heard about when I was in the US and was sorely disappointed that it was full: Transe Gaulle. I was on the waiting list and really hoping to get in, hoping that incessant emails to the organiser would work… thankfully he forgave me when he returned from running Trans -Europe to an inbox full of a whining British woman begging for a place… and I had confirmation last week that I have a place!! 13th-31st August 2013 I’ll be running 1190 km across France! 19 stages ranging from 40-75kms, from Roscoff to the Mediterranean at Gruissan Plage.
It’s going to be a great experience and a tough race – three of the 2013 female entrants have personal bests over 200km for 24 hours, and the entry list is pretty daunting – 58 entrants and I’m one of 7 trans-continental runners, there are 5 previous winners of the TG and half the field have run it at least once before (2013 is the 11th year of this race). Blimey. I’m already really excited!! I’ve started brushing up on my school-level French already, I might do an evening class I’m that excited! And for 3 weeks next summer they’ll be a blog-a-day following my progress across France.
This weekend I’ve been helping out at a crazy race that James Adams created – the Piece of String fun run. 10 of the ultra-elite turned up in Streatley to start a race at midnight on Friday which they had no idea how long it was going to be. But they knew it was probably going to be long. With terrible weather conditions hampering the run the mud, cold and navigation became an issue for many. Well done to the two finishers – Wouter Hamelinck and Sam Robson who ran around 120 miles (in various loops) in 30 hours, and well done to James for engineering and executing a fiendishly cruel race. Awesome.