The runner's Christmas stocking

I'm an adamant believer that running is about the freedom of the sport, rather than just the acquisition of flouro clobber. So I've collated a shortlist of the best Christmas buys for the wannabe runner and the seasoned pro.

The pieces pictured above are some tried and tested equipment that are bound to be welcomely received.

Y-Fumble ipod/key holder: £5.99 Y-Fumble
Thorlo cushioned running socks: £9.79 Specialist Socks
E Glove touch screen efficient thermal gloves: £21.99 E Glove
Stella McCartney for adidas reflective jacket: £115.00 She Active
Sport Beans: from £4.99 Jelly Belly
Nike GPS watch: £70.99 Nike
Personalised playlist: invaluable!

Happy Christmas from run like 'elle. x

Four steps of Christmas from Lucas Hugh

I'm favouring these four steps of Christmas...

Lucas Hugh is a New Zealand born and London based sportswear label, which produces performance sportswear, with emphasis both on function and aesthetic. For more information visit www.lucashugh.com


Run Dem Christmas Crew

For our last Run Dem Crew session of 2011, we wrapped up warm and ran through London's dark streets to King's Cross St. Pancras station, where the giant Lego Christmas tree has finally been finished (I'd seen it mid-build, and was looking forward to seeing the finished piece - I have a long term love affair with Lego you see).

And it all finished with a kiss. x

The month of November

At the beginning of November I came back to London after two weeks away in California. It was a month of seeing old friends and family.

I went to see Tinie Tempah play at the Greenwich O2 Arena, as my good friend DJ Redlight was supporting him on his UK tour.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the press view of the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition at the National Gallery, where several of his drawings - and those of his apprentices, are shown alongside his few finished paintings.
I partied with my friends in Brighton
And I returned to Run Dem Crew!


Joggers by Sacha Goldberger

I spotted photographer Sacha Goldberger’s body of work Joggers a little while ago and wrote this post, which I’ve only just rediscovered! So here it is for you now…

Sacha Goldberger created the first of these diptych portraits in the Parisian park of Bois de Boulogne, where he stopped runners and asked them to sprint for him. It is in the split seconds post sprint that he takes their photograph – in an ad hoc outdoor studio, and captures the intense expressions that are shown here.

Goldberger then asked the same runners to return to his studio exactly one week later to recapture the image, using the same studio equipment and lighting, but this time in their everyday attire and without having just sprinted across the park.

Despite the matching pose, the images are entirely different, and shamed as I am to say it - I think the reason that I didn’t post this initially is because the subjects all look pretty ropey and I didn’t want to discourage people from running!

In retrospect, looking back on the images, I actually think it’s the intensity and sincerity of their expressions that makes the pictures so incredible. Instead of looking ugly, to me they look animated and interesting.

I remember one day during a hard marathon training session, I was on the running machine at the gym and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror –and I remember thinking that I looked entirely mad. My face was pretty close to puce, veins bulging, hair frizzing all around my face and I had a steady stream of sweat running down the entirety of my top. But what was interesting – to me anyway, was that in this packed out gym (full of fairly attractive men) I didn’t care how unattractive (or borderline insane) I looked, and I also didn’t have the energy to do anything about it.

I was exhausted and giving all my energy to that run, and for me it was a very liberating feeling. When you allow yourself to be overtaken like that, you show your real self. As Goldberger says, "I wanted to show the difference between our natural and brute side versus how we represent ourselves to society".

I really like these images, and I hope you do too.


A pain the knee

Last night I did my first run in an embarrassingly long time. Aside from a quick jog in Palm Springs, I haven’t run since I completed the Run to the Beat ½ marathon in September! I’m not proud of the fact, but when you’re working to deadlines and getting up at 6am then writing until midnight – or later, there’s not much time (or energy) for running.

Anyway, that was pre holiday and after two weeks of gorging US style I came back a lot less lean, and so both my body and my brain were crying out for a run.

Yesterday I returned to my beloved Run Dem Crew and was looking forward to getting back to it, even though I always seem to develop a weird fear of running when I’ve been away from it for a while. Anyway, my ever-sporty friends managed to coax me in to the Greyhounds group, which is pretty nippy, and reluctant as I was, I joined them.

We tried a new route last night, which took us out of the East End and in to the very familiar streets of North London. As we were running up Upper Street I could feel my knees aching, but I was working so hard to keep up with the group that I ignored it. We stopped at the traffic lights on Highbury Corner and my knees suddenly buckled. I’ve never had anything like that before, but I could barely bend them, and the pain was intense. Kind Ant – a fellow Run Dem-mer stayed back with me and helped me hobble down the road whilst repeatedly refusing the help of a taxi.

After a while I tried running again and it OK until we had to pause at another set of traffic lights, and then my knees did the same thing again!

I made it back to RDC HQ then hobbled on to the tube, and by the time I’d made it to the other end I was close to tears. (The journey which usually takes me 20 minutes, had taken over an hour).

I got home and by then both knees had completed ceased up. I tried showering icy water on them, but when the heating in your house is broken, the very last thing you want is further cold! So I tried a hot water bottle instead, and lay in bed like a Lego man.

Today they feel a little better, but needless to say – this time I’ve learnt my lesson. I MUST warm up properly and I MUST ease myself in to exercise, rather than running full pelt.

So, I’m back in the game – albeit with a handicapped start. More to follow folks! x

Ellesse Marathon neon collection

As you may have gathered, I'm a fan of anything with ‘marathon’ in the title, and most things ‘neon’ too – so I was pleased to see that Ellesse has rereleased its Marathon’84 trainer style in a rainbow of flouro colurways. (The Marathon '84 style is named as such, as the Ellesse team wore them during the 1984 New York marathon).

Though it may not have the technology of a contemporary running shoe, it certainly holds its own in the aesthetic stakes. In fact it’s quite nice to see a retro footwear style, when all others seem to be looking increasingly futuristic.

For more information visit www.ellesseheritage.com


Hey You - TheShining

Listening to this on repeat...

Available on iTunes from today.


The month of October

Included Paris fashion week
An old Beetle says run like 'elle
More fashion

Back to London for some art exhibitions...

Miracles & Charms at the Wellcome Collection
The Minotaur at The Old Vic Tunnels
Gerhard Richter retrospective at Tate Modern
Pipilotti Rist at the Hayward Gallery
Moniker art fair
Frieze art fair
A few more stickers
Some massive deadlines, then off to LA!
A road trip to Palm Springs
Parties at The Parker
A hot dog pit-stop while vintage hauling in Long Beach
My favourite Halloween costume (It's supposed to be Lindsey Lohan, who is currently doing community service at LA County Morgue)
Pool time & posh breakfasts at The Beverly Hills

Home away from home - Venice Beach

Oh yes, and it was my birthday too! I had a happy October. x