The London Marathon, 23rd April 2017!

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A minute after completing my first ever Marathon…

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 On Sunday, 23rd April I completed the London Marathon!

It’s been two weeks since I run the London Marathon and in the meantime I also completed a ‘marathon’ of exams during the first week of May. This post is my Marathon Update from the days leading to the marathon and the actual Marathon day. I would like to thank once again everyone that sponsored me and Spinal Research UK. Your warm wishes were in my mind during the toughest parts of the race and kept me going! For those of you that still wish to donate, you can find my fundraising page here.

The lead up to the Marathon Days 

Trying to carb-load the 3 days prior to the race was quite fun to start off with but turned out to be a bit challenging as I still had to study for my upcoming exams and a pasta food comma was not fit for studying…It somehow though, all worked out in the end. 

I picked up my bib on the Friday from the London Marathon expo. The expo was fairly quiet thankfully as I made sure to get there first thing in the morning. A great experience and atmosphere that made me even more excited about running the marathon! The expo had a lot of product stands and also had activities where you could win money for your chosen charity. I was very pleased that I managed to strike for Spinal Research! I left the expo with a goodie bag of several products (that I munched on the next few days…). 

The night prior to the marathon I made sure to get a good night’s rest. As most of you will know by now, I decided to run the London Marathon back in October to support Spinal Research UK. I thankfully had my amazing friend, Alice give me a rigorous training plan and I managed to run 8 long runs (>21km) prior to running the marathon. This set me in a very good mental position to run the distance without worrying whether or not I would cross the finish line but rather to enjoy it! I am not sure if it was my preparation that kept me calm or the idea that the marathon would be a fairly easy task compared to my upcoming ‘marathon’ of exams…

The Marathon Day

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Pre-race face

I headed to the starting line by 9:20 am and started the race about an hour later. It was great to chat to fellow runners and hear their reasons why they were running the marathon. There were runners in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s. It was an incredible feeling running alongside so many runners and along the way it somehow felt like a big running party! 

Running alongside over 40,000 runners it meant we started off the first few miles not having enough space to run and although this improved as we went along, in many parts, the roads were too narrow to accommodate the number of runners. This meant that when some of the runners stopped and walked instead of running there was no space to overpass them and keep a steady pace. Despite this, my marathon data analysis showed that by 35km I had passed 10,282 runners

The crowd along the way was an incredible motivator and there were numerous sites to get hold of water and Lucozade while people were offering jelly babies and orange slices!

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I was lucky to have family and friends cheering me along the way and although I didn’t manage to see them all in the crowd, I knew they were there for me and that kept me going! 

My finish time was 04:20:23! 

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Overall this was a great experience, I challenged myself though training for and running the actual race but most importantly I was able to raise awareness and money for Spinal Research, UK! With only two weeks left to meet my fundraising goal (23rd May), I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all once again for your support, it really means a lot to me! 

The question everyone asked after I completed the race was if I will be running the London Marathon next year? Well if you asked me two weeks ago, I would have probably said no, no time for marathon training on my final year of university… 

 

…But just as I said I would not be running the London Marathon next year (or any other marathon on my final year of university) my brother convinced me to enter the Ballot…So come October 2017, I will have to inform you on whether next year I will be taking up this challenge for the second time!

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Continue reading “The London Marathon, 23rd April 2017!”

30 Days to the London Marathon!

Sadly, I start this marathon update on a different tone. I was at Waterloo campus when I received a message saying there had been an incident at Westminster, my BBC app flashed up with Breaking News and seconds later I heard ambulance sirens and the helicopters over Southwark…I was about to hand in an assignment, walk home and head out on a run.

In my weekday runs I usually run past Tower Bridge, London Bridge, Waterloo Bridge, Westminster Bridge and turn around at Lambeth Bridge. I didn’t go on a run yesterday. But   today I will go on a run and my training for the Marathon will continue as planned…We are not afraid. 

My thoughts are with everyone who was affected by the Westminster attack.

Elisabeth

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ONLY A MONTH AWAY!!!

RUNNING THE LONDON MARATHON IN SUPPORT OF 

SPINAL RESEARCH UK

PLEASE SPONSOR ME via Elisabeth’s Virgin Donation Page!

Day 1. Rest Day

Day 2. 5 km  10 km

Day 3. Rest Day

Day 4. 13 km

Day 5. Rest Day  32 km

Day 6. 32 km  Rest Day

Day 7. 5km

Day 8. Stretch Day

Day 9. 13km

Day 10. Rest Day 13km

Continue reading “30 Days to the London Marathon!”

80 Days to the London Marathon!

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RUNNING THE LONDON MARATHON IN SUPPORT OF 

SPINAL RESEARCH UK

If you wish to sponsor me please visit Elisabeth’s Virgin Donation Page!

Day 1. Rest Day

Day 2. 11 km

Day 3. Rest Day

Day4. 11 km

Day 5. Rest day

Day 6. 25 km

Day 7.  Rest day

Day 8. Bikram Yoga class

Day 9. 5 k

Day 10. Bikram Yoga class

If you wish to sponsor me please visit Elisabeth’s Virgin Donation Page!

These 10 days were slightly more intense as they were packed with more university deadlines and Fight the Fads responsibilities. I am still very much enjoying training for the marathon and although sometimes I had to face the shivering cold (-1C in London on Day 4) I still have a smile on my face each time I wear my gear!

Summary in aid of photos…

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Day 4 – 11km (4.58 min/km) View of Tower Bridge
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On Day 4, I managed to run my fastest 10km run in the shivering cold (-1 C) !!!

Day 25 – Part of me choosing new routes for my long runs each week is to keep me motivated and to ensure I explore new areas of London. However, this week involved running by a familiar route and listening to old nostalgic tunes. I headed off from Southwark to Hyde park run by Warwick Avenue, Primrose Hill, Regents Park and back to Southwark…I started the run at 7 am on Saturday morning and I managed to complete it on a pace of 6:23 min/km.   

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Day 6 – 25 km run on a 6:23

With this week being busier I managed to fit in a quick 5 k run on Day 9 prior to heading to university to present a case study as part of our Diet Therapy class, then filming with Charlotte Stirling-Reed and Jenny Rosborough for the Fight the Fads petition to legally protect the title Nutritionist, followed by an amazing event organised by the Rooted Project on Gut Health. Prof Whelan as always delivered an amazing presentation and he was joined for the question panel with two of my favourite nutrition experts, Dr Megan Rossi and Dr Laura Thomas

 

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Post yoga selfie 🙂

This week I also took up two very early morning (6:45 am!!! Yay to motivation) 90 minutes hot yoga classes at Hot Yoga Society. Yoga helps me relax but also is a good way to stretch tenses muscles from long runs 🙂 I was initially worried a 90 minute class would be too much for me but I ended up enjoying it!

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TUNE OF THE 80 DAY UPDATE

Thanks a lot for taking the time to read my marathon update! As it is February 1st, I hope we all have a productive month!

Elisabeth

Continue reading “80 Days to the London Marathon!”

90 Days to the London Marathon!

 

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Training Summary

Day 1. 10 K

Day 2. Rest day

Day 3. 23 k

Day4. Define class by Ashley Yeater

Day 5. 10 k + 2.5 km @Midnight Runners

Day 6. Rest day

Day 7. 10k Run

Day 8. Rest day

Day 9. 24 km

Day 10. Bikram Yoga (60 minutes)

*Detailed update starts on Day -13, 1st January 2017…

My marathon training started on the other side of the Atlantic…all the way at Los Angeles, CA, on a visit to my best friend during the festive season! I managed to start my training with two runs, a 10k (5:30min/km) and a 12k (5:57 min/km). Running from Santa Monica to Venice Beach, apart from the beautiful view the warmer temperature made them really enjoyable!

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Somewhere between Venice and Santa Monica, CA

January 9th – 15th 

Coming back to London, I decided I would have to face the rain and frost but at least I would enjoy running in favourite city! Last week started with two 10km (5:41 min/km, 5:50 min/km) runs on Wednesday and Friday, followed by a 23 km (6:10 min/km) run on Sunday with my running buddy, Giulia!

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Giulia and I on 19 k of our 23 k Sunday run…still smiling!

Giulia, (a very soon to be Dietitian from KCL!) is running the Rotterdam Marathon on the 9th April, which is two weeks before the London Marathon. We have decided to keep each other accountable and train together! On our long run we passed through Tower Bridge, the London Eye, Westminster and headed to Battersea Park were we did two laps and then headed back. The view on the early Sunday evening was beautiful and made us feel like we were part of the La la Land crew!

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Albert Bridge, Chelsea – London

January 16th – 22nd

This week started with a DEFINE class by Ashley Yeater. DEFINE is definitely one of my favourite classes. It combines elements of dancing, ballet and strength exercise! Stay tuned as I will be posting more about this class on my next marathon update.

On Tuesday evening, I joined the Midnight Runners crew! Tuesday runs involve a 10 km run with stops every 2 km for group exercises! There were around 170 runners on Tuesday, which motivated me to keep on going! As if that was not hard enough, I decided to run to the meeting point from home to add an extra 2.5 km. I am not going to lie, the exercises were tough…but by the end I managed to log a 12.5 km (5:50 min/km) run for the week and also strengthen my muscles! 😉

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Midnight Runners – Tuesday, 17th January 2017, spot me on the right with my friend Alice!

Wednesday I took the day off from running. Did some foam rolling in the morning and then headed to uni for lectures and library studying! 

Thursday was a busy day. Started with work from home, headed to uni for a 3 hour class on the management of obesity, followed by a Nutrition and Dietetics Society event. On my way home I ran 10 km (5:49 min/km). Back home, as I was stretching and foam rolling, I tuned in to BBC2 Horizon to watch Giles Yeo talking about Clean Eating.

The final run for the week was on Saturday, a 24 km run (6:21 min/km). Giulia was away this weekend so I knew this would be a tough run, however, the sun was shining and the blue sky filled me with happiness and motivation to run! I have decided to vary the routes of my long runs so that the training is more exciting. As I had never visited Greenwich Park I decided to explore that side of London. The run there was very good, however I realised how hilly it was only when I reached the park and at that point I had run only 11 k. With  13 km left to run I slightly panicked…Reaching 20 km I thought I would pass out but thankfully with you in mind I picked myself up and completed the run! Following the run I had a lovely lunch with my father, which gave the chance to refuel! 

 

Currently, I am trying to decide on a half marathon race. If you are also a runner (cyclist, swimmer etc.) and can’t decide which race is for you, make sure to check out Racecheck, a great resource for finding races in the U.K. and abroad. On Racecheck you can read athletes reviews in order to pick the race that best suits you!

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DIET

In terms of my diet I haven’t really changed much, however, I am making sure I drink lots prior to my runs and I have noticed I have a bizarre new craving for milk post my long runs. I say bizarre, as I am the type of person who would never consider drinking milk on its own unless I was forced to…

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My brother made sure a steak with potato and sweet potato, mixed vegetables and a green salad were waiting for me when I got back from my Midnight Runners run on Tuesday! What else could one wish for?!

I am looking into protein supplements and whether protein shakes is something I want to consider, but haven’t reached any conclusions yet. As I look more into what works for me I will be updating you! I will most likely be asking the expert opinion of dietitians before making any changes.

 

 

 

 

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I would like to thank my dad- John, Vangelis, Eirini, Freya, Masha, Michael and Teresita and Takis for their generous donations!

If you wish to sponsor me please visit Elisabeth’s Virgin Donation Page!

All donations will be greatly appreciated and will contribute to the development of the research on spinal injuries.

I am hoping to complete the marathon in 4h30m! I know this training will be really hard for me and I need your help! To keep me accountable, I plan to post an update of my training every 10 days, so stay tuned for the next post on 80 Days till the London Marathon!

100 days till the London Marathon!

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It has been a while since I posted something on Research Girl Today. Last year I decided I would run my first ever marathon in 2017 and dear, oh dear how has time flown by…It’s officially 100 days till the London Marathon!

I decided to run the London Marathon in support of Spinal Research UKThe implications of injuries on the spinal cord are often severe and irreversible. You can find a summary of spinal injuries by respective sections of the spinal cord in the image below (Spinal Research, 2017).

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The effects of spinal injuries by location. (Body art by Zoe Light)
Note: The notation of the vertebra is not in the exact anatomical position.

Sadly, I have seen the impact spinal cord injuries had on a close friend, whose life is still affected everyday despite having surgery four years ago for Scoliosis (curvature of the spine).

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If you wish to sponsor me please visit Elisabeth’s Virgin Donation Page!

All donations will be greatly appreciated and will contribute to the development of the research on spinal injuries.

I was lucky to have a great superwoman friend, Alice Green, who gave me a training plan for this marathon (Big thank you Alice!). I hope to post about Alice’s inspirational story in a future post.

I know this training will be really hard for me and I need your help! To keep me accountable, I plan to post an update of my training every 10 days, so stay tuned!