That time I beat Ellie Goulding at running

OK, so I didn’t technically ‘beat’ Ellie Goulding at running. But I am going to lead with that because her half marathon time is 3 minutes quicker than mine and I am jealous.

On Saturday it was early doors at NTL (Nike Town London, for those not in the acronym know) for a special Q&A with Ellie Goulding (hosted by the one and only Charlie Dark) and a 7k run around Regents Park in preparation for the 10k running extravaganza that is (hashtag) We Own the Night. I had volunteered as a pacer along with some of the other RDC ladies and so we were up and at them early to meet the other pacers and check out the route. We were given a swish pacers flash vapour vest that I was very tempted to take home, but I didn’t, because it would have been illegal. And inappropriate.

I went with the lovely Lucy, a good friend of mine and first time racer (wooo go LUCY) and we picked up our race packs, which contain a super bright rave orange t-shirt, a pretty pink bracelet with gold charm and all the race nitty gritty like your number and timing chip. We then went and snuggled on some bean bags ready for story time with Ellie and Charlie.

Ellie Goulding is a huge inspiration to lots of runners because she gets out, puts in the miles and does a pretty good job of it too, but she isn’t a professional athlete. She’s a ‘normal’ runner like the rest of us (aside from that international pop star thing) and I personally find every day heroes just as, if not more inspiring, than super fly professional athletes. She told us that to find time for her training she has to force it in to her timetable and really make the time for it, she loves running around new cities (she’s had a trainer in different cities on her recent European tour to show her top routes) and that she never, ever gets recognised when she’s out running. She ran the Nike Women’s DC half a few weeks ago and says that she found it hard and had legs of lead, missing her desired 1:38 target by 3 minutes. 1:41 is still pretty impressive to me though!

After a quick group photo we went out for a run, heading down to Regents Park to cover 7km under the leadership of Ellie and Charlie. I think we were running a little late as Ellie had to leave after about 3k to catch a train (busy lady!) but I’d like to think we burnt her off with our furious pace and she just couldn’t hack our We Own the Night energy and thus, we all beat her at running.

Photo courtesy of Elle UK! Can you spot me smiling like a goon?

The run was a lot of fun – thanks to the Nike pacers and to Charlie for his amazing energy. Another big thank you to Angel and Elles for pacing gorgeous Lucy through her run and shout out to Lucy for finishing off the 7km with a sprint finish! I know you’re going to smash 10k.

Not content with a sunrise 7km, Lucy and I also took ourselves off to Equinox Kensington that afternoon (seriously fancy pants!) with Nike Training Club for a mobility session and tread and shred class. The mobility session was really useful and we were shown exercises to activate all the little muscles in our feet and ankles, open up the hips and stretch out the calves – all key muscle groups and joints for running! We were then taken through a 30 minute tread and shred class, which involved running on a treadmill while our instructor (Rory) set incline or speed intervals with his voice over music. It was a cool format (a lot like the treadmill section of Frame Camp!) and really helped me push myself much further than I would have done alone. I got up to BLINDING speeds of 18.6 km per hour in my final sprints which I felt was pretty damn speedy indeed. Thanks to Nike for the hospitality! Can’t wait for the race next week.

Ladies in a line! Gearing up for tread and shred.