The Great Manchester Run

My first professional run was the 28th of May. I felt more excited for this than you could imagine! I have always been heavily into sport and living a healthy lifestyle but I’ve found it hard to express that whilst at University and College.  I think you usually put fitness into the corner and decide to purposely party or reluctantly revise! However, I enjoy running, cycling and horse-riding so much more than being stuck in a stuffy lecture theatre all day. I know it is hard to pursue you passions when you are constantly pestered by other aspects of modern life but you just need to take the first step. Plan those piano lessons, apply for that marathon, join that jujitsu class. There is nothing to lose! I know it sounds cheesy but you only live once so why not broaden your horizons! I want to make sure I do something worthwhile whilst I’m young and for me, running is the answer. The beginning is always the hardest. When I really thought about it, I couldn’t remember the last run I had been on! It was a massive shock when I could only run about 20 seconds before I was dying to stop. However, I realised you need to forget about the results and enjoy the journey (even if that journey means using my inhaler every 5 minutes). I praised myself for the gradual differences I saw.

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I find mixing up my workouts helps for stamina, endurance and strength for running. People have the false perception that the only way to be good at running is to run every day. However, in reality, that can harm your joints and can make it more painful to run and let’s face it …who wants to get up at 6 am every day and go running. That is just tedious and bloody boring! I tried spinning classes at a local gym which really helped to build up the strength in my legs. I would also go for little sprints with my dogs but he would beat me every time!  This meant I was working out but never felt the pure dread of it and also had my doggies for company! Little did he know he was doing interval training.  He’s a difficult one to beat, even at 84 years old in dog years!  Harry is fit as a fiddle.

The morning of the run! The sunburn was hurting so bad on my chest, luckily in this picture you can’t really see it.

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My food regime

The night before the run, for my evening meal, I had quinoa, spinach, courgette (using a spiralizer) with a vegetable tomato sauce and homemade hummus (tahini and drained chick peas).

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That next morning at 6am I had my “oat slabs” with peanut butter, chopped banana and grape with a cacao hot chocolate. Then on the bus to Manchester, at about 8:30am, I had a tub of plain quinoa. I didn’t want to eat any vegetables to upset my stomach. That never ends well! I forgot to take the picture and only remembered once I had eaten it but I will insert it here.

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Then I collected my Manchester Metropolitan University running shirt  from the students union and headed to the Café Nero on Oxford Road near where the start line to the race was. I had a cup of tea in hopes that the caffeine would help me perform better and had another banana around 10:15am.  I stopped eating after this to ensure my stomach had nothing to digest during the run.  My ran began at 1:30pm so I had a while to wait. The waiting was making me feel more nervous but when I stood with everyone to start the race, my nerves vanished. The love and support from the crowd around us made me feel a great sense of unity. Now, I just couldn’t wait to get going!

The time was here. I started running at a steady pace.  One word of advice, don’t overdress.  I felt cold initially but that soon changes once the Adrenalin kicks in and you pick up speed. It was exhilarating, hearing all the people cheering us on.  I was doing fine until I reached 3k when I started thinking about the 7k I still had to do.  I had to stop myself from overthinking it! I just powered through and before I knew it I’d completed 5k.  I was determined and I wanted to finish it in 50 minutes. Everyone was so supportive and cheering us on. I heard voices shouting individual names and giving us water as we passed by.  I could finally see the finish line.  I gave one last push to speed up and I completed it in 51 minutes.  Not bad for my first long run. The feeling was indescribable when I finish that race! I loved it and I can honestly say it wont be my last one.  I’ve already booked a half marathon in September this year.

If I can do it, so can you!

Madeleine x

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