Running with an Olympian

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Hello hello!

What would you say if I told you that I spent yesterday morning running across the embankment dodging commuters with an Olympic athlete?! Confused?

Well, don’t worry, I haven’t ditched my day job in hopes of Rio glory. I’m still very much a novice when it comes to all things fitness, which is why I’m constantly surprised that writing about it on the internet can bring about these sort of random-but-amazing opportunities.

I’ve been running 5k about once or twice a week since January, which I like to do to clear my head and get away from the constant screen time. It definitely improves my mood. And energy. But I’m still quite a lazy person in many ways, so refuse to push myself any further and just stick with what I’m comfortable with.

However, I’ve agreed once more to our annual work 10k. We’ve signed up to the Great Newham London Run on 17th July at the Olympic Park, which finishes with a lap of the Olympic stadium. Yes, the Olympic stadium which Usain Bolt and Jess Ennis and Mo Farrah all graced in 2012. I may not be snagging any gold medals, but I’ll still be singing along to Chariots of Fire in my head. Come on, like you wouldn’t?!

This year my workmates and I are raising money for Restart Africa, an incredible home for over 100 vulnerable young people in Gilgil, Kenya who have nowhere else to go. You can find out more about the charity and donate here.

Now, I bet you’re still wondering what the hell that Olympian reference at the beginning was (or not cause if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you’ll have seen this all anyway – I should’ve planned this better!)

Basically, the people from the Vitality British 10k got in touch to ask me if I wanted to do the race this year. It didn’t take me too long to reply with a big fat YES. I’m mega excited as it goes right through central London and passes lots of famous landmarks. I think it will be pretty epic, AND it’s a week before the Newham race so will be a good practice run if nothing else (always preparing myself for failure… it’s the British way).

The London 10k people were announcing their official race starter this week, and I got to go along and run with her – her being the incredible 400m sprinter Perri Shakes-Drayton!

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I’m still super new to this world of “blogger events” and tbh found it slightly surreal – as in, I wasn’t very prepared for the amount of social media opps that broke up our run with Perri before we headed to our breakfast spot, Rawligion. Safe to say, I won’t be attending another one with no make-up on. A little short-sighted on my part, but oh well!

I know I like, live here and everything, but it’s easy to forget just how many cool sights are in this city sometimes. The 10k route will go past St James’ Palace, Trafalgar Square, the London Eye, Big Ben…. with “tens of thousands” of people cheering me on. Knowing me I will trip on someone’s fancy dress costume and fall flat on my face – so feel free to come down and watch that, and y’know, take me for a consolatory pint afterwards or whatever.

London Run map

I’m trying to imagine the next few weeks as jam-packed full with long weekend trainings, early morning sprints and lots of gentle physio exercises to get me race-ready. In reality, this doesn’t seem completely likely given that I’ve got a week’s holiday coming up and a potential house move and a parental visit, wedding party and all the other things.

Still, it’s good to have goals, right?!?!?


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