This weekend I had a fab weekend of running, eating and family time at Bedford Run Fest. I entered the race in 2020 but due to everything that was going on in the world had to wait until this weekend to run it. The festival itself consists of a 5km, 10km twilight, half marathon and 20 miler in starting and finishing at Russel Park in Bedford.
Saturday started off with a gentle 5km race to get the legs moving. Somewhat randomly, it was followed by the Spring Half Marathon (which I didn't do) as it had been delayed from earlier in the year. I took the 5km pretty slowly and just enjoyed the atmosphere and the support. Always feels odd paying for a 5km at 9am on a Saturday morning when Parkrun is just down the road but I want to support these amazing local events and I love a shiny medal!
Sunday brought the half marathon. I'll be honest, I wasn't in half marathon shape and found the race a slog. Which isn't too dissimilar to when I ran it in 2019 and also performed appallingly. Due to both years falling within a few days of returning from holidays and not having recovered from the over indulgences that often brings with it.
However, I finished the race with a smile and enjoyed by alcohol free beer and the chance to add another couple of medals to the collection. I'll definitely be back next year to do it all again! Hopefully this time I'll be able to put in the training that it deserves.
Disclaimer: I was gifted the place to this race and the top I wore to run in came from a competition win.
Yesterday I made the trip to Dorney Lake in Windsor for the Run Through UK Dorney Lake 5km. For those of you familiar with my insta running page, you'll know I love the Run Through events. They are so laid back and there is never a sense of pressure. They are all about having fun and enjoying the running.
Dorney Lake is a great venue for a 5km. It's pretty much completely flat and is a single 5km loop. I wasn't out for a spectacular time but I imagine if I was, this would be a pretty good course to try and achieve it.
I'm not convinced it would be quite as much fun for a half marathon, given it would be 4 loops of the same thing but I suppose at least you know what's coming up!
This morning was a first. Since I took up running in 2018, I've taken my running gear on every foreign holiday I've had but I've never actually made it our for a run. Today that changed and it was amazing.
I got up at 6:30am and set off on a run from my hotel, the Petit Palace Suites, to Fira for a sunrise run.
Despite the run being a pretty ordinary out and back route along a relatively busy main road, the views along the way were pretty spectacular. It's amazing to be able to see the sea on both sides of you and watch the sun rise at the same time.
My 5km route only took me to the edge of Fira but that was perfect since I didn't want to go into the centre without Alex. It only seemed fair to wait and explore it together.
I have to say, I'm a convert to holiday explorer runs. It was peaceful, not too hot and a great way to see the local area. Just need to run somewhere where it doesn't take 2.5km to get to the good stuff. I don't think I'd every run for longer than an hour on holiday, I don't cope well in the sun at the best of times but also don't want to eat into the day too much.
We've moved from our hotel in Fira to Imerovigli and are on to Oia in a few days. Our hotel is AMAZING (yes, it really justifies the capitals). I'll post a video and full honeymoon review once we're done.
Disclosure: I was gifted the Hoka Clifton 8s by Sportsshoes.com to test out. However, my opinion on the shoes is my own and in no way swayed by the partnership or promotion.
I've had the Hoka Clifton 8s for about a week now and done 3 runs of various types in them. This post if to share my first impressions and initial opinion.
The Design & Build
I love the look of the new Hoka Clifton 8s. The colour is great and they aren't too jazzy. The have a good size heal without looking ridiculous and they aren't "over branded". The certainly stand out but for me, having pretty much always run in black shoes, that's a good thing.
Initial Tests (3 runs)
I'm still getting used to the Clifton's having never worn a pair before but so far, I'm loving what I see (or more importantly, feel). They are light, springy and fit pretty well. I took them out for an easy 5km on day one to get a general overview. They felt responsive to changes in speed and hugged my foot nicely. On my second run (a 10km at MP) they felt great. My feet felt supported throughout and there was no rubbing of discomfort. Final run was a interval session, and although the session felt awful, the shoes felt great.
I plan on giving it a few weeks before updating my review and giving my final thoughts. Obviously I can't currently comment on durability or longevity but they do seem well made (as you'd expect from a pair of running shoes in the price bracket)
Yesterday I met with Steph for a 10 mile long run in Milton Keynes. It was great fun and having a running buddy made it so much easier.
I find running with someone else really helps with pace. If I'm tempted to slow down, I can't. If I want to speed up, I can't. Not only that but Steph took on route planning duties and has run in MK for years, so when we came across flooded sections of our route, she knew the perfect way round without adding anything to the distance. In fact, somehow she managed to get us back to our start point on exactly 10 miles!
Now to get sorted with next week's training. Here's my schedule:
Monday - Easy 5km
Tuesday - Swim
Wednesday - Strength & Easy 8km
Thursday - Swim & Easy 5km
Friday - Rest
Saturday - 26km
Sunday - SLEEP!