Throwback Thursday # 2

While I build up the level of girl balls required to publish my most embarrassing running experiences blog, I have decided to share my favourite running photos.

In my last blog I was brave daft enough to share my crappy running photos, so as it is Thursday I decided it is time to share some better photos. Sometimes official race photographers manage to get a photo of me (a) running and (b) looking ‘normal’ and not like I am about to pass out.

Although 99% of the time as Billy No (Running) Mates I travel to races and run alone, a few years ago my younger sister caught the running bug. This photo taken before the Santa Run always makes me smile.

Santa has got a hangoverOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe both learnt that running while dressed as Santa is pretty challenging. Unfortunately unless you were a 9ft tall giant, the one-size fits all Santa outfit did not fit. After less than 100m we realised that running while holding up your trousers, holding on to your hat and trying not to inhale a fake beard is a nightmare.  My sister also learnt that running wearing an oversized Santa outfit with a major hangover is a recipe for disaster. We narrowly avoided Broad Street chundergate number two.

Shit! I am a marathoner!

In 2005 I was lucky enough to get a place in the 2006 London Marathon the first time I applied in the ballot. Back then entering the ballot involved slightly more effort. A few months after the marathon runners had to track down a copy of the entry magazine (a challenge in itself), complete the application form inside the magazine (there were millions of questions), stick the entry form + payment in the post and hope for the best.

Although online entry was still a distant dream, I think it was probably easier to get a place. I would love to see how many people applied then vs. now.

London 2006

I love this photo. I love the look of determination on my face. I love the fact that I was so focused I didn’t notice the photographer. I love the fact that I have a traffic light growing out the top of my head. At this point I knew that I was going to complete my first marathon and it felt bloody amazing. You will only ever run one first marathon so try to enjoy the experience!

From a running perspective 2006 was an amazing year. For most of the year I managed to remain injury free and I found myself taking part in an event in Sutton Park every weekend. In 2006 it was all about the medals! Running was so simple back then. I would get up, eat breakfast, run, download my Garmin stats and that was it. The online running community was limited to sites like Fetcheveryone and Runners World, unfortunately there was no @UKRunChat hour on a Sunday evening.

At times I wish that I was just starting out on my running journey. The online running community is now generally pretty amazing. I love all the twitter and Facebook competitions. Running gear has also improved beyond recognition as in 2005/6 the options were either black or blue.

Effortless RunningFradley 10K 2006This is probably my favourite running photo. During the Fradley 10k in 2006 I got into the ‘zone’ and felt like I could run forever. On the morning of the race it was snowing and felt bitterly cold. I love running in the cold. Give me freezing conditions and I am a happy runner. I seem to recall that I was one of the few runners wearing shorts. Although I set a 10k time that I will probably never beat, the memory of how amazing I felt during this race gives me something to train and aim towards.

At some point in the future I want to experience the feeling that I could carry on running forever. I want to feel like Sutton Coldfield’s version of Forrest Gump.

Back to the Capital

2010 saw the start of the love-hate relationship I have developed with the Bupa London 10,000. The event has so many positives; the crowds, the route, the absence of any major hills, the water stations, the race officials…  In 2010 although the official race photographers managed to capture some pretty shocking snaps, they also captured this: Bupa London 2010 1I was actually running and I look like I am grimacing smiling, just! A winning combination! I just need to work on my sprinting technique.

So… you will be pleased to know that this will be the end of my ‘Throwback Thursday’ series of blogs. It is time for me to stop living in the past. I need to enjoy the present and look forward to the future. There will be more races, more crappy race photos and hopefully more respectable race photos.

Yesterday I was given the all clear to start running again. For the remainder of 2014 slow and steady will be the aim of the game. My return to running will be a gradual process. I need to build a decent mileage base.

I am going to follow Couch to 5k running plan for beginners. Although I am pretty confident that I could run two miles tomorrow if I wanted to, I do not want to risk another stress fracture. If my foot hurts while I am out running then I will stop and hobble home.

Although I have had fun looking through my old running photographs and sharing my experiences, I cannot wait to create some new running related experiences. Hopefully I will get the opportunity to make some running buddies in the process.

2015 is going to be Larry the Lobster’s Year!

 

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