Monthly Archives: July 2010

I ran the Race for Life…

On 18th July 2010, I ran 5km non-stop in the Race for Life! It was an amazing experience to be part of such a great atmosphere, with thousands of excited and inspiring women all around me.

Waiting for the race to start

Waiting for the race to start...

At the start of the race, we split ourselves into running, jogging and walking groups and I optimistically plumped for jogging. Plugging into my iPod and GetRunning app, I quickly realised that many others in this group jogged for the first 300m or so and then started to walk, so it was a case of weaving in and out to keep up my own constant pace. The first kilometre felt good and I started to feel confident that I could comfortably run the whole way, that was until I encountered the first set of hills. It’s true to say that during my last few successful 5km runs in the gym, the treadmill gradient started at 1, but I kept wimping out part-way as I got tired and was lowering it back to the flat. I regretted this previous laziness every time I encountered another steep part of the course, but the few downhills section were a welcome relief!

Running with a smile...

Running with a smile...

I had wonderful support from Other Half and the in-laws, they were there at the start line and to my surprise, popped up in 3 different places along the way to cheer me on. They also documented the changing colour of my progressively rosy cheeks through the medium of photography!

Still running but the smile is waning a little...

Still running but the smile is waning a little...

Despite all of the pre-race training, I still found the distance tough. There was no miraculous floaty feeling to get me round the course however, the thought of having to tell people that I didn’t run all the way was a constant mental boost to keep my legs moving!

At 4km I was feeling really tired and the next 500m seemed to take forever. I was jogging really slowly when suddenly, I turned the corner to see the finish line up ahead. From nowhere, a burst of energy appeared and I sprinted all the way to the finish line. My time was 41 minutes 52 seconds, no record breaker I know, but actually quicker than my best ever time in the gym, despite all the hills and lack of air conditioning!!

I completed the Race for life!

I completed the Race for life with rosy cheeks and a jubilant smile!

I collected my medal, goodie bag and hugs and kisses from Other Half and the in-laws. It was a great feeling to have run the whole way, as well as raising close to £100 for Cancer Research.

Would I do it again? Absolutely!

Is it the first step towards running a marathon? Absolutely not! 😮

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Race for Life is coming…

I haven’t blogged for a few weeks about my 5k training as I’ve encountered a few interruptions! During the month of the house move, training was cut down from four times to twice a week and, one week was missed altogether. The Race for Life is less than a week away and I’m feeling nervous that I wont be able to run non stop the whole way because;  

  • I can consistently run for 30-35 mins at 8km an hour in the air-conditioned gym but this only equates to about 3 1\2k
  • I consistently run at a slower speed than 8km an hour outside!
  • The weather is currently lovely and I’ve never run in 11am strong sunshine
  • I still manage to get the DREADED STITCH or a sugar crash during random runs, and I never know why as I eat pretty much the same every week!

If I’m honest, a big part of me hopes to find some sort of inner strength to overcome any of these niggles on race day. In reality, when I run out of energy by 3km at the gym, I stop running and start walking..!

A night with Derren Brown…

Other Half had given me an amazing surprise Christmas present of tickets to see Derren Brown, and it had been a long six months waiting to see the show. Derren has been touring with his Enigma show for two years and was near to the end of his run when he was playing Milton Keynes. We arrived an hour before doors opened and, were greeted by one of Derren’s assistants who asked to take a photo of each of us for involvement in the show later on. Nervously we both agreed and proceeded to let our imaginations run wild about what it might involve!

We were in our seats just after seven and it never ceases to amaze me how many people turn up last-minute – personally, I like to soak in the pre-show atmosphere as it builds!

Derren Brown's stage set

Derren's stage set - it's designed that way for a special reason..!

Just before Derren arrived, 60 members of the audience were invited to the side of the stage to list their 3 favourite things – I would have gladly joined in but we were in the upper circle so there was never a chance of beating the stampede below!

An invitation to participate in Derren's show

An invitation to participate...

Derren came on stage at 7.35pm and proceeded to entertain and wow us all in equal measures – he has an amazing gift of interacting easily with the audience, making on stage volunteers feel at ease while sometimes making gentle fun at their expense. Frisbees were randomly thrown out to the audience throughout the night to pick volunteers (though Derren says that there is nothing truly random!)

Our moment of fame arrived in the form of human ‘Guess Who’. Much like the children’s original board game, 30 of us had had a close up photo taken and we were paraded on the big screen on stage. Volunteers mentally picked a face and put one hand on Derren’s shoulder. He asked them questions which they answered in their head, and then used ‘the force’ to identify the face and name they were thinking of. The last volunteer chose a lady and all girls photographed had to stand up in the audience. Derren slowly swung his arm round and we each had to shout our name out when he pointed to the area we were standing in. Just from this, he was able to work out which one of us she had picked (sadly, not me!)

There was a 20 minute interval and Derren came back to entertain until 10.30pm – it was a truly amazing show. As an avid follower on Twitter, I knew he regularly comes to the stage door for a meet ‘n’ greet after the show, so we went straight there after exiting the theatre. We waited for an hour and at last, with many apologies for keeping us so long, we got to meet Derren in the flesh.

Me and Derren

"Derren, you were brilliant tonight..."

I hung around ’til most of the crowd had dispersed and he signed my ticket and programme. I reminded him I was in ‘Guess Who’ and also mentioned the telephone/sausage/monkey list (to anyone that doesn’t understand, read Derren’s brilliant book Tricks of the Mind). He said every time he manages to forget about that list, someone always reminds him! 

Me and Derren hanging out!

"No Charlotte, I thought you were brilliant in Guess Who..."

With lots of photos under our belt, we left for home having had a thoroughly fantastic night!