…Aside from the 3 runs I did and the bike-ride yesterday I didn’t treat my body well at all. Too much eating out and not enough water. I had a lot of birthdays to attend this month and I “indulged” a bit too much for my friends. I let the fat kid out! He’ll be locked up now until my Birthday, I promise!
The key thing is that I don’t let that get me down and just keep on truckin’. Yesterday I didn’t eat too bad and had plenty of water, which is the only thing I plan on drinking this week, my body is crying for some fruit and vegetables so that’s what I’m going to be giving it this week, I will rebuild it!
But as we all know, eating is only half of the task, I’ve got a RDC run tonight, ‘nuff said! It should be a great run too, my first visit to 1948 and season 6 kicks off.
Tuesday marked our last day at the Mile End Stadium and we return to 1948 next week so we had an epic run planned. It was a liesurely 13k from the Stadium to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich Park! Easy right?!
So we set off, the Run Dem Crew all as one! Taking up a ridiculous amount of canal space for half a mile or so to Limehouse and then we split up into our respective groups. Some of the RDC Youngers went in each group and I think we were all happy with that, the Elites were pressuring Jamie and Hilary to go with them but they stood their ground and hung back with the greyhounds!
We run through Limehouse, pass Canary Wharf and go gently along Millwall Park. Then we stop, why?! Because we’re at Greenwich Foot Tunnel of course! We go down the spiral staircase and through the tunnel at lightening pace! Some nutters were shouting as they ran down the tunnel too…*wasn’t me* we clocked up some serious speed in that foot tunnel, it was so awesome. After the little downhill sprint I’m starting to feel it though, you can only forget and fly for so long! Glad to see the end we go up the spiral again and arrive in South East London with Greenwich Park in our sights.
That particular park has a lot of hills too! Runkeeper has me being at a near 150ft height…scary stuff! But it all paid off for this view below…
We stopped and stared, caught our breathe, took some pictures and then were off again! Upped the pace slightly for the way back and rejoined the rest of the crew, it was a good run and a good day!
Simple question, right? Why do we do what we do? Why do I wake up in the morning and go for a run, bike ride or swim later on that day? It’s a question that I’ve been asking myself a lot lately.
When I started the blog last year I wanted to help people, particularly people like me, overweight and out and of shape. I set myself a goal. That goal was to lose weight and get fit. I’ve lost the weight and i’ve got fit, job done! Right?
This is only the beginning of this journey and I don’t intend on stopping any time soon. I’ve learnt a hell of a lot about myself in these last 2 years and I know there’s still a lot more to learn.
I have a vision of who I want to become and am working towards making that vision a reality in the near future. I want to able to wake up one day and say I’m a seasoned marathoner, a successful businessman and a good person. Nothing in this world comes easy but I’m here giving my all to reach my goals. And that’s why I do it.
It started off with about 7 or 8 of us in the group with Mark (of 2nd Drop Records) leading it, the Elite nutter! In the first few minutes I remember turning to Atticus and saying, “Why do I get the feeling that I’m going to regret this soon?!”. Mark said it was alright for us to slow down and join another group if the pace was too fast and we did that in due time.
I was running, focusing on the task at hand you know…running at a fast pace and in the zone with Mark, Shameek and Mike in my sights, determined to catch them! What followed were some of the fastest splits I’ve ever done, from 2.5mi to 3.5mi in the run I was averaging a 6:30/mi pace and from 3.5mi onwards it was at a sub 7 minute pace, very pleased with that!
The large group that kicked the second half off was now a lot smaller. What was 15 was now 8. What was 8 quickly changed to 3’s. What were 3’s changed to a 3 and a 2 with 1 dropping off. And towards the very end what was a pair was now a sole runner.
For a brief moment I caught up to Mark and Co. and they quickly left me! My breathing was heavy but I needed to push on, how else was I going to get home?! Hilary then caught pace with me and set the standards for the rest of the run! It’s a lot better running alongside someone then when by yourself, you can motivate and push each other on. For the last half-mile of the race I was in la-la land, there were endless canal tunnels that confused me, I forgot where I was and Mark and Co. were. They were so far in front of me and Hilary we couldn’t see them, so we just ran on. Passing all the strangers I had waved too before but I was serious now! No talking! No faffing! No waving! I don’t know why I was so serious, I just was, I was pushing myself.
…Remember how I said there were endless canal tunnels? Well guess what, I was at the last one now! Huzzah! I can see Mark, Mike and Shameek there waiting for us, I was so happy at that moment, it was Forrest Gump time. Time to forget and fly! I upped the speed for a sprint finish just so the whole run could be over that little bit quicker! Slapped / shook hands with the Elites and cheered on Hilary for the final stretch! (She was only about 2.5 seconds behind).
Wow, it was over. What a run that turned out to be. I was dedicated to the cause and put in some good mileage and some record splits for myself! After that we moved on to mingle and have Tom take photo’s of us! I think after each session we’re all going to get a little closer, know more about each other. We cheered each other on at the beginning and at the end.
And there you have it, my first RDC Youngers experience.
So the other groups set off whilst us and our mentors which bridgetminamore so perfectly summed up introduced themselves as we lined up on a wall outside Mile End’s running track. They’re a great group of people and it’s nice to talk to people when you can genuinely sense that they actually want to help you. It’s a fantastic feeling knowing that someone is really on your side!
We were all geared up, running shoes, shorts and t-shirts (some sports bra’s I guess too for the ladies) all round, ready for what was approaching. A run from Mile End running track to the Olympic stadium and back! It took us along the canal, next to the park and finally in sight of Londons main attraction for next year.
My RunKeeper has the run coming in at 4.6 miles. All of our brilliant gps gadgets at the crew gave us a range of either over or under 5 miles. So for my sake I’ll just stick to my skewed tracking!
So we set off…running the canals to our destination, around 18 of us in total I think. Sticking together at a reasonable distance and having small conversations as well as shouting, “BIKE” when necessary! That was fun…me being me I was waving to strangers and saying hello, trust me it makes it a lot easier to do that when people are staring at you when you run! And running with RDC that’s happened each time, it’s not everyday you see a big group of runners like that. As we ran I wanted give Bridget advice when we were running because I wish I had some sort of advice when I started this journey. She’s starting out now but she’ll have finished a half-marathon a few months, ah I’m so excited about it all!
Nearly half way now and some interesting conversations have cropped up. Ruth and Linda are getting to know us all whilst Mark is telling a few of us about why we ‘made the cut’ and something all of us share, he so eloquently put that something as us having, “get off your arse-ness" which is always good to know!
We eventually turn off the canals and hit the bridges to the Olympic Stadium Site! The area is agonisingly close to my house, I won’t lie I was thinking about how easy it would be to go home from where we were! But I knew that was never going to happen, we were only half way of course. I was good spirits, still breathing well and I had plenty in the tank, I wasn’t quite ready for what was to follow though. We split into 3 different groups for the run back, i’ll say the groups were Greyhounds, Hares and Tortoises. I went with the Greyhounds, because I was in good spirits of course…
It was a great 2 hours. I saw the same faces around me, the same ones sitting with me last Thursday at Nike’s HQ…But this time, we were all dressed very different because we were here to RUN!
We all met up by the conventional means. Some people rode in, others walked / ran, me and my friend hidden-agenda’s drove in. I think most of the RDC Youngers actually got train, met there and walked up, so when I saw Charlie in the car park I think he was ever so slightly annoyed with me! “We were waiting for you” he says…So here we all are, RDC Youngers, Run Dem Crew regulars and some new faces, we all introduced ourselves in due time.
On to the warm up, 98 seconds of running on the spot, a RDC record thanks to Shameek and then the shaking of arms and legs, getting lose and getting ready. Finishing up with claps all round and group forming!
Tortoises, Hares, Greyhounds, Cheetahs and Elites all grouped up and got ready to run off! But wait! The RDC Youngers stayed behind…
Yesterday I went for my first run with Run Dem Crew.
…it was amazing.
I actually don’t think I can describe how much I enjoyed myself. I really did! Who knew? Running with a crew is definitley the way forward. I know it’s very, very early days yet, but I feel a bit like these people & this…
Introducing Bridget Minamore, new to tumblr and a part of the RDC Youngers! Here’s one of her posts reflecting on our first RDC Y experience, it’s a great read!
So the near 5 hour day at Nike with me and the rest of the RDC Youngers consisted of many things and by the end of the day we knew a lot more about each other than we did at 12:30 that day anyway.
We introduced ourselves, names and area’s were exchanged across the room whilst we ate small sandwiches and drank water…(we moved onto the fizzy drinks later in the day). Most of us were from East and South London I would say, some other areas too. Charlie Dark told us about his back story and what he’s doing now, how RDC was created and what the RDC Youngers are about.
After that we kicked off with some “Hey you” exercises with up and down emotions…where were laughs all round! Of all those exercises we did, there was one that really stood out to me. We had to answer these questions that Charlie got from a magazine! The questions were quite odd to say the least…”If you could bring something back that wasn’t here anymore, what would it be?” “What’s the worst thing anyone’s ever said to you?” “If you had a super power, what would it be?” It was a strange variety of questions and answers but after that Q&A I felt like it brought the room a little closer together.
So yeah, it’s only just the beginning but we’re working with RDC and Nike to do something special, I can’t wait until the project is in full swing! My task for next Tuesday was to take a photo every hour from when I woke up to when I went to sleep, I did that on Friday, hope they like it.
Shout outs to the rest of the RDC Youngers too, I can’t remember everyone’s names but I can remember the first letters of their names! HAMFDRDSFTBJPN You can make your own words out of that >_>
So, Run Dem Crew or RDC…First and foremost, it’s not a running club! Charlie Dark would kill me if I said it was surely!
Anyway, RDC is a crew! A group of creative and inspirational individuals that come together every Tuesday to hit the streets of London the only way they know how, by running! Fellow fitblr CANDICE is a part of the crew and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her last Tuesday.
So now that we’ve established just what RDC is, lets talk about my involvement in one of their projects and the journey me and 14 other young Londoners are about to embark upon.
Nike are having their Run to the Beat Half Marathon in September and Run Dem Crew and RDC Youngers will be running in that race. From now until then we’ll be training for that day on the 25th of September whilst gaining skills that will equip us for the life that awaits us after that very day through sport and creativity!
So, how did I make the cut?
Well, I applied of course! I had to send an e-mail in answering questions regarding success, leadership and the impact that this project will have on my life. Being perfectly honest, I never expected to get through but I got a call last Wednesday from Charlie Dark telling me the exact opposite of that! I was so happy because Nathaniel Cole rarely wins…
I soon received an e-mail telling me about a meeting I was going to be attending at Nike’s HQ just off Oxford Street (wow is all I could say when looking at that e-mail).
That’s the end of part 1 of this post…part 2 up later on tonight! Have a nice day fitblr’s
Well I did my 10k on Sunday, it went great! I knocked 4 seconds off my old PB so I’m really happy with that, I no longer have that thought of not being as, “fit” as I used to be.
The official race times had me coming in a minute quicker than what I noted on my stopwatch but I know there was no way I started my stopwatch that late. Out of all the 187 runners I came 55th! I was nearly 54th but I couldn’t catch the guy in front of me at the finish line in time, I beat my old time and did the distance, that’s what matters :).
For those of you asking, yes all two of you, here’s my time on my watch:
On to the race though…
It started off well enough, some guys shot off through victoria park and were nowhere to be seen afterwards (the guy that finished first did it in 33 mins!). I tried to keep it fast but steady and focused on running freely.
For the first half of the race I did ok, the weather wasn’t too bad and my hayfever hadn’t really started to get to me yet, my breathing was controlled and I was keeping pace with 3 guys next to me. So here we are, just past the 5k mark, past the point of no return so what does that mean? We up the pace!
The pack of four split up into duo’s and me and a man probably 20 years my senior ran together for the next 2k. He then pulled ahead of me until about 1.5k later where I managed to catch up to him, he looked at me and said, “now it’s your turn to help me!” we both laughed.
This was it, we were coming up to crunch time now, the 9k marker was in my sights, I knew I only had a few minutes to run it to come within touching distance of my PB. So I just went all out, trying to remember the track from memory so I could anticipate all the turns and straights. Most of the volunteers and family / friends of others had left their posts and made their way home now, guessing a lot of them were there for the 5k that kicked off before the 10k! I just kept on sprinting and making sure I was breathing properly…I say properly but towards the end I just had my mouth wide open trying my best to take in air! haha.
Before I knew it I could see the finish line, I kept on saying to myself, “don’t worry about the pain now, that’s all for tomorrow” and just trying to beat that pesky PB I set last year! Each step knocked air out of me but I didn’t care and I sprinted past that finish line with a smile on my face knowing I did myself some good.
My official time has me at 46:44 (it’s the 44 secs that’s important there) so I gathered that their times must’ve been a minute faster than ours, I can believe I lost 2 seconds starting and stopping my watch, but not a whole minute! So that’s it, another race and another PB, oh and lots of sweat!
I’ll be honest, I’m nervous and excited at the same time. I know I can run the distance well but will I hit my PB? If the experience from last year is anything to go by then I know I’ll be running on willpower and adrenaline too! I’m fit and ready for this so I guess it’s normal to be worried before any sort of event right?
On another note, I cleared out my wardrobe today, had to say goodbye to a lot of clothes that simply don’t fit me anymore. More on that later though, check the blog out tomorrow and I’ll talk about how the 10k went :).
I’m £20 off my target for fundraising too, if I could reach my target that would be awesome too!
Thanks so much for the "My iPod died" support. I think you're hugely brave to run without the tunes... I don't know if I could do it... but you've inspired me - I'll give it a go the next time I put my shoes on for a local dash about the forest. Cheers! :)
No worries :) I just ran without them one day and haven’t looked back I guess :D. Thanks SO much for the donation too! halfway there now! x
Wow, what a journey that was! I clocked up 42.9 miles in May 2011, can’t say I thought that would happen at all. Especially considering the fact that I was running from May 9th onwards too.
May is a very important month to me as well, it’s when I decided to start running again, properly. I ran more than 2 miles everyday from May 25th to June 10th in an attempt to get into better shape. It should also be noted that May 2010 still holds my record for most miles ran in a week too (19.1 miles from May 30th to June 5th oddly enough) I don’t know what it was but I had finally cracked I guess and had to change my lifestyle, without that 17 day stint of runs I don’t know where I would be today.
There were some great runs last month, I ran with my friend Mario when I had exams to clear my head a bit, once I finished University I ran to my secondary school for the first time, it’s good to go back to where it all began! I started to run to the gym and run at the gym if I didn’t run there. This month I basically tried to live as if I didn’t have a car and I think it went down quite well!
It’s important to take note of the progress you’ve made and you can set new standards for yourself, I’ve come a long way and I don’t intend on stopping anytime soon, you can do it too :)