Me & Mummy Running's men at the London Marathon 2012

Yesterday was some of the most fun I've had for ages. I was down at the strategically placed Run Dem Crew cheering point at mile 21 of the London Marathon, with the rest of the Run Dem rabble.

We got there early to see the elites pass. It was incredible – such speed, even that late on in the race.
Then the ‘real people’ started to pass through. Some looked strong, others didn’t. That was me last year, and I could totally relate to their pained expressions. It made me remember the reality of marathon running – a shed load of pain until you reach the elation at the end. So I cheered doubly hard.

As well as the RDC runers, the person I was really looking out for was my friend Lucy aka Mummy Running, who was running her first marathon (Read my pre marathon interview with her here

I was joined by an excellent cheerleading squad including 9 year old Oscar and Mummy Running’s men – James, Rufus 2 /12 and Hudson 8 months.

Oz and Rufus were absolutely amazing. Rufus was on rave whistle duty and Oz was on poster waving – at one point becoming a human sandwich board!
We all cheered loudly and watched intently waiting for Lucy to pass through. The she did and it was incredible! I felt so proud of my friend, and was even more pleased when I heard she’d finished in the amazing time of 4 hours 30 minutes. Read her marathon memoirs here

Lucy later told me she thinks you need the same mental strength to get through a marathon, as you do to get through child labour. Yikes!

run like 'elle. x


London Marathon 2012

Well done to anyone who ran in today's London Marathon. I had the best time cheering you all on.

Wear that gold well. You've earnt it.

run - but first rest, like 'elle

Running in Brazil

I never knew it before, but Brazilians love to run!

It’s so hot in Fortaleza during the day, that as soon as the sun starts setting, the people come out to walk, run or play football on the beach front.

With my personal pact of running in every country I visit, I donned some very short shorts and a crop top and headed out. When in Brazil and all that... (Lucky for you – no pics!)

Sunset appears to be the time to see and be seen, with men and women of all ages and body types proudly parading the promenade in Lycra. (The general rule of thumb in Brazil seems to be ‘the tighter the better’)

As I was working in the evenings covering Dragao Fashion Week, I ran on Saturday morning instead. It was a race against the sun, as the heat rises so rapidly.

An aerial view of where I ran
I started off running along the beach front promenade. This is it looking weirdly quiet - it's not
This is a little of what I saw... I loved this brightly coloured building 
And the tropical flowers
Then I cut on to the beach!
I would really recommend running barefoot on the beach when you can. Sand running's tough, but it's definitely strengthening. 
Eyes up!
Quenching your thirst with fresh coconut water is the best! It's credited for...
  • Coconut juice is packed with simple sugar, electrolytes, and minerals to replenish hydration levels in the body Research studies suggest that cytokinins (e.g., kinetin and trans-zeatin) in coconut water showed significant anti-ageing, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic effects 
  • Coconut water has been generally offered to patients with diarrhea in many tropic regions to replace fluid loss from the gastrointestinal tract and reduce the need for intravenous therapy 
  • Coconut water is composed of many naturally occurring bioactive enzymes which aid in digestion and metabolism 
  • Despite very light consistency, its water has much better composition of minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc than some of fruits like oranges 
  • Its water is also a very good source of B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates 
  • Coconut water contains a very good amount of electrolyte potassium - excellent for rehydration
  •  In addition, fresh coconut water has small amounts of vitamin-C (ascorbic acid); provides about 2.4 mcg or 4% of RDA. Vitamin C is a water-soluble ant-oxidant
Adapted from www.nutrition-and-you.com
I sweated slurped and smiled all the way to the pool...
One gratuitous body shot. I’m not overly proud of it, but at least it’s all mine ☺

Obrigada Brasil. run like ‘elle. x


Professor Lento featuring Speedy

This video is like watching a telenovela - amazing!  

run like 'elle


Jai Paul - Jasmine

Listening to...

Just heard this record played on fellow Run Dem Crew member and singer/producer/DJ Ghostpoet’s NTS Radio show.


run like 'elle


Run like ‘elle’s Idiots Guide to Running a Marathon

It’s just four days to go until the London Marathon 2012 (seriously - where’s the time gone?) and last night was the last Run Dem session pre-race, and though I missed the run, I did manage to pop down to catch my friend Lucy aka Mummy Running for a glass of wine - Paula drinks a glass of red before a race, chicken fajitas - protein?! and fries - ummmmmm let’s skim over that bit.

Chat was obviously running oriented and included discussion of some of its less glamorous perils - piss, poo and puke were included in the coversation (you can always rely on Josey Rebelle to lower the tone!)

In addition to the horror stories (none of mine involved piss, poo or puke I hasten to add), I did manage to recall a couple of practical tips. So below is my reflective stream of consciousness. Things I wished I’d realised BEFORE running the marathon.

Me and Mummy Running

Run like ‘elle’s Idiots Guide to Running a Marathon
1) Know your route. I’d glanced at the map, but only to see what tourist sites we’d pass! In retrospect I think I’d have run a better race if I’d known where the hills, crowds, skinny roads etc were going to be.

That said, there is something to be said for surprise – it does liven things up and perhaps makes you less conscious of the miles you’ve yet to run.
2) Arrive in plenty of time. It sounds obvious, but due to transport panics (long story) I managed to miss the start of the marathon by 50 minutes!!! By the time I got there, the last people (those in fancy dress) were crossing the start line.

I was flustered, didn’t get a chance to warm up and was running at the pace of man with a fridge on his back, a rhinoceros, and a pair of bumble bees. Needless to say, any sense of pacing was straight out of the window, and from then on my fate was in the hands of the gods.
3) Streamline your technology. If you’re aiming for a certain time then wear a watch or pace band – but you only need one. I didn’t have anything to set my time and pace against, so had to rely on the staggered clocks along the route. Less than ideal.

4) Wear clothes you’re comfortable in. I love an excuse for new clothes, but this is not the time to experiment or get creative. If you’ve been training in leggings, stick with them etc. And DEFINITELY do not choose today to test a new sports bra!

5) Get your name printed on your running vest. It’s a popular piece of advice for a reason, the support of strangers screaming your name and cheering you on does wonders when the going gets tough.
6) Pack flip flops. This sounds silly, but after 26 + miles your feet are very ready to be released from your trainers, and they’re probably double the size they were before the race – so pack a pair of flip flops in your kit bag and get ‘em on!

(I was so nervous pre-race that I hadn't thought beyond the finish line. I went to my aunty's house straight from the race with no spare clothes, so ended up padding round Primrose Hill that night in a pair of old track pants, my uncle's huge wooly jumper and hotel slippers - because my feet we too fat to put shoes on & I didn't know the flip flops rule. It was a strong look?!)

7) Pack a really warm hoody and put it on as soon as you finish. My marathon day was freakishly hot, but as son as I finished running I was freeeeeeezing. Wrap yourself up warm.
8) Enjoy every minute! What you’re doing is an INCREDIBLE thing, and hopefully one of your most memorable life experiences. No one can take it away from you once you’ve got that gold around your neck, but do keep it in perspective. It’s supposed to be fun.

Wishing all my love and luck to all those running on Sunday. I’m filled with envy and awe, and I’ll be there with my rave whistle to cheer you all on.

run like ‘elle. x

Pointer Sisters - Dare Me

Wish this had been on my marathon playlist

run like 'elle


He's saying it...

run like 'elle - straight into his arms?!

Brazil says run like 'elle

The beach is saying it...

This coconut king is saying it...

These Brazilian beauties are saying it...

run like 'elle

Berlin says run like 'elle 2

run like 'elle