Chicks Chase #2 – my review

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I ran in my first 10k race the other week.  You may recall that I had mentioned the race in a previous post.

Organised by FQEvents and supported by ResultsBase they bill themselves as below

The Chicks Chase Series of runs is ‘just for the girls’ and provides a stress-free 5k and 10k run at various venues around Milton Keynes.

It is a 5k loop that you either do once or twice – so you can all run off together and then sigh loudly and wish you’d signed up for the 5k as you run past the finish line and all the lucky girls who don’t have to run the loop again!

It was my first ever 10k race and I went over on my own.  It was a pretty friendly atmosphere and I’d timed it just right so that I was there in time to get my number and have wee #468 but not too early that I got too nervous.

The marshalls were very friendly although some of them mysteriously disappeared on the second loop but the ones that remained were very encouraging.   You will get a 5k time on your 10k too which is pretty cool if you like your stats.  The course was undulating and we ran through some nice parky bits and a little woodland type path too, we also trotted past lots of houses.  There were plenty of arrows and km markers too so you knew where you were at.   The lovely people handing out cups of water at the start of the second loop and at the end were appreciated and the medal was quite weighty and a nice design.   Plenty of good snacks to help yourself to at the end too.  As it was timed by ResultsBase, there was a laptop and machine to get your little printout of your time – just enter your bib no and voila!

Things I learnt on this race …

  • Running 2 loops can get in your head if you’re not careful
  • It’s nice to stay on for a bit and clap runners in – it’s a lonely finish if no-one really notices
  • Milton Keynes IS NOT FLAT.
  • Attempting to run 10k at around your 5k pace will only get you so far – about 7k as it turned out…

At the time of writing, there will just about be enough time to enter the 3rd and final race which is over at Willen (but it’s not the park run route I’ve been informed).  You can enter here if you’re a lady.

There is also another race in June that you can do if you’re not a girl (and if you are one too) – you can enter here

Good luck if you’re running these and we’d love to hear how you got on!

This is not a sponsored post – just me proffering my opinion.

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Why we like…Compression

 

We quite like compression not least for the fact that it makes your legs look amazing. The first time I took some compression tights off though I did have a flashback to an incident at a wedding several years ago involving a pair of spanx – we’ve all been there right?

Back to the point though…although it may not make you a faster, better or stronger runner, the increased blood flow to your hard working muscles will aid recovery and you’ll feel so much better the second day if you’re a back-to-back kind of a gal.

You can of course go the whole hog and dress head to toe in compression but we think that having it on your legs is a good place to start.  This means leggings, shorts or socks, but you’d figured that out right?

We are fans of Skins and 2XU for leg coverage and I also like to rock a compression sock – my current favourites being these by Compressport.  If we’re talking wish lists here, I’d like one of these skorts too…

So, over to you.  Do you subscribe to the school of compression?  What are your favourites? Let us know!

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You can even wear them on rest days – sexy eh?

 

Please note that we are not being sponsored and are only mentioning these products/brands because we like them.

How to win a rock

Yes, an actual rock, but not the sparkly kind that might come in a blue box tied with a white ribbon…

During the summer of 2015, I entered my first (and so far last) obstacle race.  Nothing as exciting as your Tough Mudder or Spartan type races though – I’m far too much of a wimp for those and hats off to those of you who have done or will do them… This race is called the Boulder Dash and is held locally to us every 2 years.  With a 4 or 8 mile option (I chose the 4 obvs!) you scamper around beautiful Buckinghamshire farmland and woodland and try and make the best job of the natural obstacles in your way.  What this actually entails is wading through thigh-high streams dodging branches, scrambling up and down piles of boulders, running up and down huge ruts in the fields, wading chest deep through ponds (oh the stench of that water), running through cornfields into the woods and then you’re faced with a tunnel where it all became a bit of a blur I’ll be honest, then there was a bit more running and finally, as the finish line appears in front of you (hurrah!) you’re directed by a very lovely marshall to a MASSIVE ROCK PILE which you had to (yep, you’ve guessed it) run up and then down to finish.

I won’t lie, I was flagging somewhat at the end which probably wasn’t helped by quite a few 8 milers speeding past me but the tunnel had been on my mind.  I knew that I’d be able to stay on my feet and crouch through it but I wasn’t prepared for quite how dark it would be in the middle, absolute pitch black.  It was lucky that the lady in front of me had a slight panic attack and was threatening to stop as I was able to gently place my hand on her back and talk her through it.  She’ll never know that she helped me as much as I hope I helped her.  I had to get her through it as if she’d stopped then I would have had to spend so much longer in the dark!

As with any event, it’s the supporters and marshalls that make all the difference.  Having to hide the doubts that might be creeping in behind a smile, wave and a cheery “thank you” is actually more useful to me than they probably realise.  Also, being a local event, having most people know you and be ready to hurl a bit of friendly abuse at you is always appreciated!  As is the official photographer howling with laughter as you heave yourself out of a cowpat filled cesspool…

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There are no actual words for the smell of that mud…no words…

Friday Finds 13/05

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Someone has that Friday feeling…

Some things we’ve found on the internet this week that we think you might like…

Ginger Runner has another album out – do you like to run with music – you might like to run to this… oh and if you’ve watched Ninja Warrior on TV you might recognise this guy…

It was Summer and then it wasn’t this week here in UK – we’ve been wearing shorts and long-sleeve tops

I’m taking part in this race next week – if you’re local to Milton Keynes maybe you are too or maybe one of the others..?

It was Transvulcania last weekend in Palma – where did you run?

How not to run your first Parkrun

I knew that when I signed up for the Couch to 5k that there would be a 5k run at the end of it, of course I did and having the focus of a local parkrun was brilliant.

So, it was the first time I’d run 5k without stopping and there was a real feeling of nervous excitement – this was our graduation after all.

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It honestly felt like we were preparing for a marathon, (I imagine anyway, having never actually prepared for a marathon!) I lay my kit out the night before, made sure my little laminated barcode was safely tucked away, had pasta for my supper and porridge for breakfast.  I made sure I had the obligatory 457 toilet stops and got there on time.  So far so good…

There were approximately 983 of us (60 I think) and we made quite an entrance.  Now all we had to do was run…  5k… Ideally without stopping.

The start was great, then my watch ran out of battery – this freaked me out a bit as how was I going to know if I was going too fast, or too slow or just the right speed for my target time?  I didn’t have the confidence to trust myself that I’d just know so, obviously, I panicked and ran too fast.  Then I panicked some more and ran too slow.  Then I ran in my comfort zone for a bit then panicked again right near the end and went to stop and walk (I know right?!)  Luckily one of the marvellous volunteers from my running club spotted me, grabbed my hand (yes really!) and quite literally dragged me to the finish line.

I then proceeded to have ALL the feelings.  I was incredibly proud of myself for doing it and also had that feeling that I could have done better, then felt that if I had been able to do it better on the day I would have done right?  Then I had a celebratory glass of fizz and some cake (elite athlete recovery fuel obvs) and we all congratulated each other again – we’d only gone and blimmin’ done it!

Now, a year on (which has been the shortest and longest year of running all at the same time), I’m helping out with the latest batch of C25K runners as they are about to embark on their graduation.  Going from no running (as in my case) to doing 5k is a massive achievement and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

Why we like… Shorts

During 2015 we wore running shorts every month from April onwards, through the winter and into January.  This year we have donned shorts in March and intend to continue wearing them for as long as possible.  We’ve even created a hashtag #shortsclub (maybe someone coined that before us but we have adopted it with gusto)

Shorts are the best bit of running kit you can own, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of the warm breeze on bare skin and even when it’s not that warm, once you get moving you’re fine.  Plus there’s the vitamin D that you’re producing by exposing more skin to the sunlight.  Make sure that they have some inner shorts though.  Please. No, SERIOUSLY.      I had the misfortune of witnessing something that I will never be able to un-see at a cross country event (man, sat on floor, lacing up shoe, no inner short…I’ll leave that with you)

Yes it can be a little alarming at first seeing your legs au naturel and not encased in lycra but do give it a go… If you want… No pressure…

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We like standing out from the crowd too

Shorts we are loving at the moment include these ones from Salomon, or how about these from Pearl Izumi.  If you’re not ready to go short short then these are more of an entry level short from Brooks

If you’ve got any good shorts, we’d love to hear from you.

By the way, we have not been sponsored by any of the above companies – we just love them…

The art of shedding the cross-country demons

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You don’t get views like this on the A509…

If I say the words Cross Country, what does that mean to you?  Does it fill you with enthusiasm for getting outdoors and onto the trails with adventures and stories to tell or does it bring back memories that make you shudder, of freezing cold, grey afternoons at school, often dressed inappropriately in a boxy t-shirt and nylon shorts (or in my case an airtex shirt, games skirt and MASSIVE P.E knickers – just me?)

I have recently moved from the latter to the former and actually now much prefer off-road to on.  Yes, there’s all the research that shows that running on trails is better on the body but for me I think it’s better for my mind.  Given the choice of fields, hills, I mean undulations, ever-changing views and fresh country-side air over pavements, dodging pedestrians and exhaust fumes filling my lungs…Not to mention the benefits to your core and general fitness and strength in your legs, feet ankles…plus the chance to run through muddy puddles with pure childlike abandon… Can you tell which one I prefer?!

So at the end of last year, I gamely put my name forward for the 3-counties cross-country league with my running club.  I managed 4 out of the 5 races and wore shorts for 2 of them, because #shortsclub

I have since categorized them thus…

The Hilly One with the Brook

The Freezing Cold, Sideways Rain and Windy Hilly One

The One That Was Actually OK (although we nearly got caught in some clay pigeon shooting crossfire, at least that’s what I think it was, that or some major event going down)

The Muddy One, actually, make that the MUDDY one, so muddy that all other mud is compared to it – genuinely.

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This is not even close to how muddy it was…

None of them were easy but actually, that was the point.  I won’t bore you with a blow by blow account of each one – the title kinda says it how it was.  Suffice to say I was challenged in each and every one of them but the feeling of finally crossing the finish line and the slight air of smugness that you earn for the rest of the day made each and every one of them worth it.   As with any of these events, if you ask me during them if I’m doing any more then it’s a definite no, but as soon as I’m finished then you *might* get me signing up for another, and another…

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There’s a path and everything…

Friday Finds 22/04

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Always be ready with a high-five, good advice in every-day life too…

I’ve decided to make this the Marathon edition

If you are an armchair marathon viewer – you might want to do what this guy did – I’m going to say that perhaps you won’t though…

This dog can run further than I can…

If you’re running – here are a few tips

As a final thought, no matter how hard you have trained and how good you think you are, there is a strong possibility that you will be overtaken by someone dressed as a superhero and that’s ok…

 

 

Friday Finds 15/04

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We’ve had a look on the internet this week so you don’t have to

Not sure if this is real or not but certainly puts us being chased by cows to shame…

A couple of weeks old now but inspiring all the same – especially if you are a dog person and maybe even if you’re not…

If anyone is heading state-side, I’d love some of these

Stuck for something to do on Sunday? How’s this for a hill session?

 

Have a good weekend – share your adventures with us on Instagram or Facebook, tag us in – we don’t like missing out!