Marshaling at the Bright10 with the BOSH crew!

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The Sector D marshals, ready for duty! (Taken from the Facebook page).

On Sunday, I was up and on the road by 5h13 (yep, such a traumatic experience that I remember the exact time on the clock!) to make my way down to Brighton for the Bright10 road race. But instead of running, this time I donned my BOSH top and a bright pink high vis jacket and experienced things from the other side of the cones – or in this case, in between them!

If you’re going to volunteer at a road race, BOSH are a fab group to do it with. They’re a hugely friendly and supportive bunch, and welcomed me into the fold from the moment I arrived (in the cold and the dark, pre-7am!)

The marshaling itself was fairly straight forward; we were assigned a junction each along the Marine Parade and were instructed to manage the road blocks that were in place. There were a few notable moments – the biggest of which being when the lead runners were almost taken out by a bus! (I can confirm the crisis was narrowly avoided, and the winner finished in an amazing 47:04). There were also a couple of sumo wrestlers, a running minion and an elderly guy in teeny tiny Union Jack shorts and a bright purple wig… Rather you than me, guys!

Whilst we were spaced too far apart to talk to each other, we managed to create a Mexican wave of cheering and support for the runners as they passed, and the atmosphere was brilliant (despite being freezing cold – after 2 hours of standing still, I definitely envied the runners!)

Marshaling at the Bright10 with Bosh

Once we got the nod to leave our posts, we crossed the road and cheered the runners on from above. (We might also have heckled a man who took a not-so-sneaky bathroom break at the side of the course…) 😉 I think we managed to spot almost every Bosher on the course!

I then headed back to the race village, where all of the marshals were given a free cake (sooo good) and I got to have a bit of a chat with some of the other Boshers – in the daylight, this time 🙂

Bosh thank you for marshaling at the Bright10

My thank you note and epic Bosh bag. What a lovely gift!

The marshals were each given a very thoughtful thank you gift – a BOSH bag, which I will definitely be taking to ALL of my races from now on to show it off!

If you want to join a fantastic group of runners of all abilities, ages, backgrounds and from all over the UK, I encourage you to go and join the Facebook page!

Brighton beach after the Bright10

Failed selfie that makes me smile so up it goes!

I spent the afternoon with James (yep, I totally made him get the train down to meet me. But I let him have a lie in, and drove him home, so I feel completely justified!), eating my body weight in sausage and chips and trying to keep myself awake with coffee.

Brighton was stunning, even with the clouds – and sitting on the beach listening to the waves was a perfect end to a brilliant day!

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Brighton, you beaut.

Did you run this weekend? How did it go? 🙂

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A lovely Sunday run at Virginia Water lake

Virginia Water Lake

So recently I’ve managed to rope my boyfriend into a weekly 5k run. Mainly because he’s naturally a lot faster than me, so he can drag me along at paces that I wouldn’t normally hit my myself! (And I guess he’s decent company, too…) 😉

Up until a couple of months ago, my 5k PB was 29:59 (I was aiming for sub-30. Pacing win!), and hadn’t changed in nearly 2 years. But this summer I decided that enough was enough, and with James’ help I’ve now whittled it down to 29:11, which I ran last week. Yay!

But I’ve started to realise that improving your time over shorter distances is really flipping uncomfortable, and the better your time, the harder it is to take even a few seconds off. As a long distance runner, this really sucks. But today I decided that I wanted to at least try and keep up a pace that would get me into the 28s (because 28 something definitely sounds way faster than 29, right?)

We headed down to Virginia Water this morning for a change of scenery, and were treated to glorious sunshine, cool temperatures and a light breeze. Absolutely perfect running conditions (with the exception of the small people and dogs underfoot) and the views were stunning!

Unfortunately, I’d completely forgotten that there were quite a few short but very sharp hills (enough to warrant warning signs!) and they really made it difficult to get into a steady rhythm:

Virginia Water Run

We hit mile 1 at 9:28, which felt pretty comfortable. It’s crazy to think that a couple of months ago I went out and ran a mile as fast as I could, managing 9:37 and being so nackered that I had to then walk the mile home! Pushing myself hurts, but it’s definitely working! 😀

We had to weave around people quite a bit for the first couple of miles, but as it was fairly flat we were able to make up the time. The only problem with that was that we kept ending up at a sub-9:00 pace, and my body’s response was to completely freak out and send my heart rate through the roof and then my legs cramped up. A sprinter, I am not.

Virginia Water Views

I took a quick break at about 2 miles to stretch out my calves, and a couple more after that to catch my breath after the hills. (They were nasty!) But although this meant my overall time was much higher than planned, it allowed me to keep my moving pace exactly where I wanted it – sub 9:30, and getting faster every mile. *Happy dance*

My final splits according to my watch were 9:28, 9:20, 9:10 and 9:01, which meant that I hit 5k in 28:52! (The Garmin Connect stats are slightly different).

Coffee at Virginia Water

So obviously, I rewarded myself with a lovely big coffee (well actually, James did. Good looking, great pacer and buys me coffee – what more could a girl want?!) and a cookie the size of my head. And then a lovely lady complimented my tights as she ran past. Sunday, you’ve been pretty wonderful.

Virginia Water 5k Splits

Given that I cheated and paused my Garmin for the breaks, I’m not going to count this as a PB – but it’s most definitely a sign of the progress I’ve made in the past couple of months, and I couldn’t be happier. The fact that I can run 9:10 after 2 fast miles, when back in August I struggled with 1 mile at 9:37, is awesome.

So awesome, in fact, that I’m officially throwing down the gauntlet: next Saturday, I’m going to run a sub-29 parkrun 😀

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Did you run this weekend? What’s your favourite distance?