I’ve been to Hull and back…

I seem to be constantly playing catch up at the moment and don’t have enough time to blog. I joked with friends that Brighton will be the first marathon I’ve done without anyone to chat to on the way around and that perhaps I should use Siri with the WordPress app on my iPhone to ‘write’ my blogpost on the way around, and I’m actually starting to think that might be a good idea (although 5 hours of me rambling might mean that all of you unsubscribe/swear never to visit here again!!!)

I’ve done very little in terms of training this week. Monday was the first night when I didn’t have to Run Lead, so I planned to go to the early swimming session with the Tri Club. Unfortunately, I wasted too much time faffing around, so I knew I wouldn’t make it there on time. I then thought I would make it there in time for the 8pm session, but I was feeling tired and when it started pouring with rain, I was put off. My car was at the garage as it failed it’s MOT and I didn’t want to get my bike back out of the shed to cycle to the pool in the rain, knowing that it would be nearly 10pm by the time I got home. Thinking back, I came up with too many excuses for myself, but I just felt exhausted.

On Tuesday, I went on a day trip to Hull with a work colleague to share digital literacies ideas with colleagues there. It was a really helpful visit that I got a lot out of, but it was also exhausting. On the way, Fiona and I got to stop at Kings Cross Platform 9 3/4:


I was back at work on Wednesday and then on Thursday I worked from home as I had so much planning that I needed to do and I thought I’d get a lot more of it done if there were no-one around for me to talk to. I always used to worry that people would see working from home as an easy option, but I always end up doing far more than when I’m at work – I started at 8am and didn’t finish until 10pm, with only 40 minutes for lunch. I also remembered some things that I had forgotten this morning, so I did them before going out, even though I had booked the day off!

Anyway, today’s activity was going to Brighton Marathon Expo, to collect my race number. Stu and I had a bit of a lie in before he drove me to the Brighton Centre, where I didn’t have to queue too long to pick up my number.

Collecting my race number
Collecting my race number

The race number is one of the ones that incorporates a chip on the back, which is convenient.

Brighton Marathon number
Brighton Marathon number

We were also issued with a goodie bag that included:

  • various leaflets
  • teapigs lemon and ginger teabag
  • 2 sachets of spatone
  • 3 sachets of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 sachet of Nikwax base wash
  • 1 bottle of glaceau vitamin water i-focus kiwi strawberry
  • an issue of Outdoor Fitness
  • an Outdoor Fitness buff.

Most of that will be useful, although the Worcestershire sauce will be donated to my husband.

It was then time to browse the Expo. The first stand was by Saucony as they’re the main sponsors of the marathon. It was quite crowded, but I was disappointed by the small range of stock that was on show – I had expected there to be far more to look at and a few more bargains. We then wandered around the rest of the exhibition, but there weren’t many items that caught my eye. I managed to resist the Bondi Bands. I had hoped that there would be some lovely racer back sports bras to wear under my Team SOAS kit, but there were very few bras in that style.

We then had a look at the Nuffield Health stand where there were two smoothie bikes. Initially, Stu and I thought it might be a speed/distance challenge, but it was quite interesting as there was a computer screen with some characters on it, each one relating to one of the bikes. The aim was to keep the characters on a path by going faster or slower… whilst also blending your smoothie. I thought Stu looked like he was in the lead, but I won! My prize was a bottle, but we were both winners as we got to drink the smoothies we had made!

With our smoothies from the Nuffield Health bikes
With our smoothies from the Nuffield Health bikes
Nuffield health bottle
Nuffield health bottle

We went over to the Gatorade stand as they were offering samples of what will be out on the course. The orange drink was a little weak, so I may try another flavour during the race, although mainly I’ll stick to water (especially if it’s cold and wet).

Opposite the Gatorade stand was a map of the course. We studied it for a bit and I’m hoping that I’ll see Stu at 14, 18 and 24 miles, as the last part of the race is the toughest. I also picked up some pacing bands: 4:30, 4:45 and 5:00. All of those might be optimistic, but I’m refusing to contemplate anything over five hours, as it’ll be too painful! I’m not good at pacing, but might start out at the pace for 4:30, knowing that I’m likely to fade in the second half. Realistically, I always start too fast and have never managed a negative split, so I have no idea what will happen tomorrow!

A selection of pacing bands
A selection of pacing bands

We then had a look at some more clothes. There were some really lovely visors for sale, but none of them fitted my tiny head 🙁 So, we headed off to the Compress Sport stand as I wanted to buy some calf guards. Stuart recommends them. I’ve run three of my four marathons in Skins compression tights, but I did the New Forest Marathon in shorts as it was so hot. I’ll be wearing shorts for Brighton, but some calf guards might help with my tight calves.

Compress Sport calf guards
Compress Sport calf guards

Before we left the Brighton Centre, I had a sports massage. Fortunately I had a pair of shorts with me! The price was £15 for 20 minutes, but as it wasn’t busy, I had 35 mins 🙂 My legs had been feeling very tight, and they felt much better afterwards, so I’m glad I stopped.

Stu and I then had burritos for lunch and had a bit of time to look around the Lanes in Brighton. I would love to spend more time here – especially looking in the jewellery shops! I tried to hint that it’s about time I got an eternity ring, but I think that might take a bit more nagging! (Traditionally, they’re given after the birth of your first child OR ten years of marriage, so I’m assuming Stu is waiting for a baby!)

We had just enough time to glance at the Royal Pavilion before heading back to the car.

Royal Pavilion
Royal Pavilion

In other news this week, I’ve been looking at a few interesting running apps on my phone. I’ve installed:

  • Nudge – combines sports data with other healthy living info.
  • Localeikki – helps you to find places to run/walk/cycle… unfortunately, the nearest places are 600+ miles away at the moment!
  • Waterlogged – logs how much water you drink and send you reminders
  • Beatrun – find music on your iPhone that matches your cadence

Have you tried any of these apps? What do you think?

I’ve also splashed out and have paid for a domain name for the next five years… but don’t hold your breath as it’ll probably take me that long to work out the technical stuff! I don’t think I’m ready to move from where I am right now, but it’s nice to know that I’ve got it 🙂

Challenge Weymouth have been drip-feeding information to all of their athletes about the event. One piece of good news is that the average sea temperature in Weymouth is 17C in September. That’s not exactly tropical and there’s no risk that wetsuits will be banned, but it’s not unpleasantly cold!

Next week brings some excitement as well, as I’m going sailing. Watch out for a post where I tell you all about it 🙂

Sailing details

We’ve also received the information about the Wiggle New Forest Spring Sportive, which takes place next weekend. Unfortunately, it is on Sunday, so I won’t be able to support my friends who are running London Marathon, but I will try to keep an eye on their progress on the app.

What are you doing this weekend?

4 Responses

  1. Recovery weeks are GREAT… no running, no packing for the next workout. Glad to see that you’re enjoying your time ‘off’. This weekend is a relaxing one at home before Montreal & Texas this coming week. 🙂

    • Now it’s all over with, I’m going to have a recovery fortnight (although I’ll still be swimming and I’ve got a 60 mile bike ride coming up!) Sounds like you’re having a busy time at the moment!

  2. Sounds like a great expo, and of course resisting buying something is almost impossible! Love the calf guards and I see that brand a lot here, they seem to be really good.

    • I was really glad that I wore them yesterday. It would have been far too hot to wear full length tights, but my calves were grateful for them. My quads are aching today, but my calves feel great 🙂

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