Run like 'elle in Grazia

This summer I was asked to appear in a feature on sports womens' wardrobes in Grazia magazine.

The piece came out today, and here's me attempting to brighten up a dreary London day by sporting some day-glow runing wear.
Thanks to the lovely Grazia team. x

Run To The Beat - the best bits

Sometime during my post marathon delirium I decided I needed I sign to up for another race straight away, so I applied to be a part of Team Bangs On The Run 2- a group of 13 women, selected to train for the Nike Run To The Beat ½ marathon, all under the watchful eye of Bangs and a Bun, the team’s leader. 
Team Bangs On The Run 2 at the start line
 Over the past few months this group of young women have undergone changes a-plenty, both physical and emotional, and though I’ve been away for a lot of it, I’ve watched them every step of the way via blogs, Twitter and email. Being part of a running team is a completely new experience for me, and having the support and un-failing encouragement of 13 other runners has been immense.
They trained hard to make the miles, and though I put in the hours, the demands of work meant that I’ve (ashamedly) missed many a training session, and so I was crossing my fingers and hoping that my muscles would memorise the feeling of 13 miles.
And so, after a week at Milan fashion week with blisters already on the soles of my feet (the perils of two fashion weeks spent in platforms) I made my way back to London on a journey that involved almost missing flights, extortionate taxi charges, delayed flights, lost Oyster cards, a few tears  and not a lot of sleep. I got home at 2am and by 6am I was up and getting ready to race. In fact I wasn’t actually ready to race, instead I was desperately seeking any clean running kit (another peril of living out of a suitcase – you NEVER have clean clothes)
Sunday was a freakishly hot day in London -much like marathon day actually, and the soundsystems were blaring beats and supporters were screaming encouragement. Here I must express my thanks to the lovely Sammi, a Team Bangs On The Run 2 member, who was injured and unable to run, but came all the way down from Leeds to cheer us on – complete with pom poms, pig tails and Team Bangs t-shirt. What a heroine!
We set off out in to Greenwich, an area I’ve only been to twice – once running through it during the marathon and secondly running through it during Run To The Beat. The sun shone and as ever, I couldn’t hep but be amazed, grateful and fascinated by the people who came out to support.  For me running is all about finding head space and having time to think and see, and on this run you definitely did that. I was listening to a really good playlist that a DJ friend had made for me, and at one point I passed a Born Again Christian preaching from the Bible to passing runners whilst I was listening The Newham Generals and couldn’t help but chuckle at the contrast, but the perfectly ‘London’ scene.

Breakage, Newham Generals, David Rodigan - Hard

I also passed the mid-construction Olympic archery stadium and a few other ‘sites of special interest’ – though don’t ask what any of them were!
All I’d heard about the course was this dreaded hill, but actually I didn’t even notice it (perhaps due to the fact that I was listening to brain wobbling Grime – a recommendation if you’re running). That said, I did notice the downhill slope and used the advantage of gravity to pelt myself down hill as fast as I could. Needless to say, I’m paying for it now with painful creaky knees. 
   It was hard work, but I’ve missed running and this was an opportunity to let go and get back in to it. I wasn’t worried about a time and so by half way I was enjoying it. By mile 10, not so much. I didn’t have a watch or any way of knowing the time, other than asking people as I passed them.
I didn’t pass anyone I knew – neither team mates or spectators, though I did see a friend from Paul Smith (where I used to work) who I didn’t even know was going to be there, but who I also spotted in the crowd during the London Marathon, and so have now branded her my lucky marathon mascot! I saw a guy face-plant the tarmac, which was awful, but fortunately there were paramedics there to help him.
Other than that, I didn’t see much – other than the finish line in my mind, and by the time I saw the 500 metre mark I was ready to sprint. It was the weirdest feeling as I dodged other runners, it was like my legs were carrying me but my brain couldn’t feel it – I’d left that a few metres behind me.
I crossed the line, stopped dead in my tracks and felt like fainting, but my momentary weakness was washed away when I saw my team captain Bangs & friend Rhalou as they crossed the finish line. We got our medals, posed for a pic then headed to meet the other runners. 
 The afternoon was spent hugging my Team Bangs On The Run girls, eating chicken with the Run Dem Crew, drinking cider and playing boards games with my friends and fellow runners Marcus, Lulu and their little boy Oscar – who can be seen modelling a run like ‘elle sticker, below. 
I got my time, 1 hour 58 minutes and 7 seconds and I couldn’t be happier.

Here are the official highlights (though I don't remember much of this)

Thanks to Bangs and the wonderful team of girls for the past few months of inspiration and many many laughs. You’ve been great. Xx


The month of August

Went a bit like this...

Marvelled the beauty of the Mediterranean
Chopped my hair off and dyed it dark brown

Lived big at Le Bristol, Paris
Saw the most spectacular sweets in the world. This is the season of spring interpreted in sculpted sugar
Saw thousands of nuns, priests and pilgrims congregate in Madrid for the Pope's visit
Donned some lycra and did a little running, whilst in Madrid

The sun came out over London Town after riots caused chaos earlier in the month

Hit Carnival hard

Told myself what I already knew.

I can't believe summer's over and that in two weeks I'm going to run a 1/2 marathon as part of Team Bangs on the Run 2. Aaaaaaagh!!

More running related gibberish coming soon. x