Psychedelic Fun Run... Man... April 29 2014
Over the weekend, my bestfriend Emma and I did a fun run with a difference... It was neon lit at night! Fresh from the USA, the Electric Run has been taking the world by storm and its premiere in the UK was at London's Wembley Statium. Run it, walk it, the event was for Breast Cancer and participants were encouraged to sling on their neon outfits and have the whole world rubbing their eyes not quite believing what they were seeing.
Entry fee was £30 early bird up to £50 last minute. Also, race packets (T-Shirt, race number, some glow items) had to be picked up on the Thursday/Friday before the event or for an extra £5 on the day (which is a cheek as they don't tell you that when you're registering only about a week before the event!) And if you ordered extra merchandise, like I did (LED glasses, glow necklaces, glow ring) you are given a ticket with your order and you have to queue again to get them, although the wait wasn't that long.
It was the most fun but most surreal run I've ever done. I can only describe it as going to a rave but without the drugs!!! With pumping dance music, glow in the dark everything and a view of the Wembley Stadium arch lit up, me, Emma and about 15,000 neon snappy dressers were raring to go. The atmosphere was electric, if you pardon the pun... I felt like I wanted to high-five anyone and everyone who had made the effort to dress up!!! Woo YEAH!!
As there were so many people, the starting line was staggered to prevent a mass exodus into the neon lit wild. The run was due to start at 8pm when the sun had gone to bed and we were due to go about 8.45pm. As we waited with other excited runners, the MC was throwing neon glow sticks into the crowd for them to carry on the psychedelic wonderland. Then came our official countdown, "10, 9, 8, 7..." And we were off...!
Emma and both found that right at the very start, people were already walking which made it frustrating and slow as we wanted to run! I think the big slope just after the start line had something to do with it but then I think a lot of people were there just for the experience rather than to run which is fine because it was a fun run all for charity.
The one thing I will say is my disappointment (and Emma's too) in that I was given the impression that the whole 5k route would be lit up all the way (as I think most people were) giving a light show with music and although it was in some parts, a lot of the run was in the dark and silent... Not quite what I was expecting but it was still fun nonetheless and Emma and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
The half way line was also a watering hole with neon coloured plastic cups with water. There were psychedelic lit up trees and screen projections, there was even a UV chill out area and a big blow up Battersea Power Station to run through.
As the end of the run was nigh and the finishing line was in sight, we ran through again, I felt it was all a bit of an anti-climax. I wasn't expecting Stars and Spangles but I thought they could have lit up the last 100 yards and have bubbles blowing from a bubble machine for a more grander finish but it really was something of nothing much.
For the hardcore, there was an after party with a DJ and stage light show for those who wanted to party on. There was also a food and drink area if you were feeling peckish after burning off those calories. Emma and I were hungry and opted to stop off for a Maccy D's in Brixton, not something I usually eat but our change of clothes were in the car and it was now 10.30pm and getting cold and re were hungry. Wearing a leotard and lace leggings with a tutu isn't the warmest of clothing!
All in all, I felt the whole experience was unique and had a festival atmosphere about it... And considering the amount of participants, the whole event was well organised although a little pricey.
If you're interested in doing this next year, it's not a race or a serious run, it's just a bit of fun to do with friends or even on your own but you to get to wear the most horrendous outfit without being arrested by the Fashion Police!!!
Ladies, wear a good Sports Bra! May 16 2013
My last blog brings me on the subject of the sports bra for this week... The amount of women I saw not wearing a sports bra last week. A friend of mine used to be a Sports Instructor and she always used to say that you should invest in a good sports bra and unless you’re a man, there is no excuse for not wearing one when you are doing any form of exercise. Now every time I see a woman exercising and not wearing a supportive sports bra, I just want to stop them and say, "Look, do you realise the damage you’re doing to your breasts?" But for the fear of maybe getting a smack in the mouth and being told to mind my own business, I don’t say anything at all. Unfortunately, so many women don't seem to understand the importance of wearing a sports bra during exercise because once those ligaments around the breast stretch, that's it, nothing can be done to shorten them.
Sports bras are expensive but I think it's better to shell out a little bit more than to opt for say, a Primark or Tesco sports bra just because it’s only £6 instead of £30. Not that I'm knocking those shops in any way but you just won’t get the proper support you need with a cheap sports bra. I asked my friends what brands they wear and most of them wear Shock Absorber which ranges from about £25-£40 and Marks and Spencer ranges from about £20-25. Whereas, I wear Sportjock which is around £30-£40.
The Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra is a moulded cup but it's not padded or wired with a hook and eye fastening at the back and non slip adjustable straps. It comes in the several different colours with sizing from 30A to 38F. Most of the girls I spoke to seem to favour this one saying how comfortable and how supportive it is.
The Shock Absorber
Marks and Spencer do both an underwired and soft high impact sports bra that again has a hook and eye fastening and adjustable straps that can be crossed over at the back depending on preference. They also do crop tops. Sizes go from A-GG cups in Black, White or Grey.
The Sportjock crop top top that has no fastenings and a racer back and it literally binds your boobs, they do not move when exercising! The only thing with the Sportsjock is that it can be quite difficult to get off when you're hot and sweaty but I always manage it despite. The Action Sports Bra is for A-C cups and Super Sports Bra is for C-F cups. It comes in many different colours and can be worn on its own.
It doesn't matter if you're small or large breasted, just don't let gravity defy your lovely assets, make sure you keep your boobs as upright as possible and wear a good sports bra when exercising. Not only will it make exercise more comfortable for you but it will also stop your bubumbas falling down past your waistline and heading for your knees!
So ladies please, please get me off my soap box and wear a good sports bra!
I am not a Number... May 14 2013
No, this isn't a blog about "The Prisoner" and prisoner "Number Six" but if you add my entry number up, it comes to six! Hence the title, clever eh? No? Oh okay, I'll move swiftly on... Over the weekend, my friend Emma and I went to Hastings where Emma’s Uncle Paul and Auntie Carol live to do a 5 mile charity run along the seafront. To be honest, I thought I was going to struggle as I hadn't really prepared for it because I had forgotten all about it… until 2 weeks ago!
And up until a week ago, Emma and I found out that her Uncle Paul was one of the sponsors so no pressure there then!
As we waited near the back for the race to start, it made me nervous seeing people looking professional and polished in their running attire, swinging their legs back and forth loosening their muscles with a pair of £200 running trainers on the end of each leg.
New trainers everyone??
"Linda, it's ALL for show." said Auntie Carol trying to make me feel a bit better. "What, you mean all the gear but no idea?" I queried. "Yes, pay no attention, you'll be fine." she said reassuringly. "Just run at your own pace and enjoy it." said Uncle Paul who has run the London Marathon six, yes SIX times!!! As I said, no pressure, walking any of this was not going to be an option!
Although the wind was pushing us back and hindering that day, the sea air seemed to help with my breathing giving me more oxygen than normal but it did nothing for the dreaded stitch I keep getting when I run. "Just relax!" shouted a lady spectator at us. "That's all very well for her to say that when she's not doing the running!" a fellow lady runner said as she saddled up beside me. She had a point, it is easy to say something like that when you're not battling against the elements over a 5 mile stretch and with a stitch (irritation of the diaphragm I'm told). Anyway, I managed to run through the pain, how I don't know but I completed the 5 miles in 51 minutes and 11 seconds with which I was pleased considering the stopwatch started as soon as the gun went off and we were near the back and I got a stitch. Did I mention I got a stitch?? Emma came in just before me at 50 minutes 46 seconds. The fastest time was 28 minutes and 11 seconds, a whole 23 minutes quicker than me! Well at least I didn't come last...
Both happy with our times and feeling good about ourselves, we guzzled a cup or two of water while admiring our shiny medals and Emma’s Uncle Paul rewarded us with an ice-cream each (you're never too old for an ice-cream) before heading back for a shower and a spot of lunch of roast chicken, chips, homemade coleslaw and a rocket salad mixed with grapes and tangerine, yum, it was delicious!
Me and a Banksy getting totally windswept on Hastings seafront
PS A titbit for anyone who gets a stitch while out running... Put your hands on your head and keep on running. You might look a bit of an idiot doing it but apparently it works. Thank you Emma's Uncle Paul for telling me that...
Five go down to Devon April 12 2013
Early on a Grey cloudy Saturday morning, we set off from Bristol to Devon for a 5k Obstacle course at Escot Park in East Devon. Now had you had told me how horrendous the whole experience was going to be, I definitely wouldn't have signed up for it but the Devil came and took me on this particular day when my friend Emma asked me if I would like to do it. "Yeah, alright." I said enthusiastically, "It'll be fun...!" Famous last words...
For six months I trained, I ran 3 times a week, I worked on my upper, I was getting fit and feeling fitter too. I'd even talked the girls at work into doing it with me, that's how good at selling I am!
The big day arrived and it had been raining non-stop for 24 hours... Good start. Set in beautiful surroundings, Escot Park is a privately owned estate and Emma, Treena, Danielle, Jackie and myself were about to embark on something that I am not likely to experience ever again!
The warm up had us rolling around in mud with the Southwest Military Fitness shouting commands at us so we were covered in mud before we'd even started. After the initial shock of the warm up, we were off on our little adventure across the wet, cold, rolling muddy countryside. Are you getting the picture, I wasn't enjoying this?
Don't be fooled by the happiness on my face, behind that painted smile, I was crumbling! (And that was before the ice skip!!!)
For 1 hour and 33 minutes, I ran, swam, climbed and fully submerged myself in a skip of ice. I was literally in the skip for seconds and already my body had gone numb and because of this, I was unable to lift myself out and had to be dragged out by Emma. I was so cold I couldn't even string a sentence together, my speech was slurred. Now I know why the people on the Titanic died so quickly in the water after it went down, it was awful! I would have given up there and then if it weren't for my team giving me encouragement to carry on, I wouldn't have given up out of pride and stubbornness but I came close.
After rolling over 6ft hay bales and running over hot coals, as we were nearing the end of what I'd imagine Army Bootcamp to be, Jackie turned to me and said, "I tell you what Linda, never again." And I managed to raise a smile only to be met by an 8ft wall to climb over at the finishing line! It was one for all and all for one as we all crossed the line together, no one better, no one worse than the other. We showed strength and comradery that day, we were truly united as a team.
How many people does it take to get one person over an 8ft wall? Only one looking at him hopping over like it was easy!!