London Winter Run Series

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So, today I completed the London Winter Run Series – 10K.

I have run many 10k races in the last few years, all of which were more challenging than this. However, as many people will know, no matter how many races you have run If you wake up knowing you are “not feeling it” the chances are you will have a bad run.

Today that was exactly what happened to me.

After one month of a chronic cough (which I have chosen to ignore) and restless sleep I woke up this morning over tired and in panic.

All runners, no matter how experienced, will want to constantly beat their best time and have a good race.

From the get go, I was trying to open my stride and make my legs move. No matter how much my mind tried to talk to them, they were having none of it. My legs were dead weights. Heavy and unwilling to move out of the snail pace they were moving at.

The atmosphere around me didn’t help. It was a typical cold, rainy afternoon in London – not that the cold bothered me. My main problem was the number of people at the event. 15,000 runners according to Cancer research.

I had never competed in an event as large as this, mainly sticking to local 10k running events where you have the community spirit and cheer.

The first 15 minutes was full of people barging past; the “competitive runners” trying to get past the steady runner (like myself) knocking into me or running through puddles, regardless of who they were effecting behind.

It didn’t improve much on the way round. My head was constantly arguing with my legs. And i kept thinking “I have run a half marathon – why am I finding this so hard?”

The moral of the story is, no matter how hard you train you DO NOT know how you are going to feel on race day.

All I can advise is don’t let you legs stop, keep going (no matter how fast/slow). You will get the the finish line and there will be someone waiting for you.

Today, as I approached the finish line I spotted one of my Bestie’s Jo, Sarah and Richard waiting for me. I got through the course breathing fine but as soon as I saw them – became a complete wreck. The course was tough for me, but seeing them was a lot tougher.

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People often say to me, you are so fit, you are tough. NO! This is not the case! As today has shown, I have weak moments as everyone else. I am human, I sometimes find the simplest race challenging. The difference is, I pick myself up (drink several bottles of Prosecco) and I look towards the next race.

DO THE SAME!

https://www.justgiving.com/Gemma-Crozier3

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Let us begin!

So where do I begin?

I suppose I should start with the small decision that changed my life nearly two years ago.

At the beginning of 2014 I was the regular gym goer. Always at the gym, doing the same thing, always bored. Even though I had been a member of Virgin Active for many many years I had never got to know anyone there, so it was a very lonely place.

I discovered Regiment Fitness by accident. Due to the nature of my job at Red Letter Days I am signed up for numerous “deals” and voucher code newsletters. On one occasion in particular I was browsing Amazon Local (who since late 2015 stopped selling deals) and saw a “Boot Camp” offer. So I had a read to discover that Regiment Fitness ran outdoor boot camps in my local area. I signed up for the deal.

That Sunday, the most depressing rainy Sunday ever, I rocked up at the Town Park with my voucher and had my first taster session, which was taken by Steve Nodwell – one of Regiment Fitness’s owners.

My mind was blown! I worked so damn hard, in the rain, but I came away smiling. The next day I cancelled my membership with Virgin Active and became a proud member of Regiment Fitness.

Nothing has stopped me since.

Before joining I didn’t really know anyone in the local area, only people I knew through my Boyfriend Ross. Becoming a member to Regiment Fitness opened up a whole new world.

Within a month I had a whole new circle of friends who were up for new challenges like me. No doubt in blogs to come you will hear all about my new found FitFam, who are equally crazy when it comes to fitness and training as me.

So my fitness journey had a new lease of life!

However, it wasn’t until the beginning of 2015 that it really started to crank up a gear. Having a new group of friends with the same interests means that you often spur each other on, take on new challenges and generally find you cannot say no.

The worst for this are a few members of the Reg Fit family, and two of the many friends who mean the world to me, Jo and Richard. The three of us are such bad influence on each other, all one has to do is send a link to a race or adrenaline challenge. Guaranteed within five minutes the other two will have signed up without a second thought.

Which brings me to the crazy year I had in 2015 and the reason as to why I was encouraged to start my own blog. Once I finished one challenge I had to do more.

The first challenge was WAR Adrenaline race. A 10k obstacle race that’s run by Regiment Fitness. I didn’t know what to expect. I had run a couple of 10k races before and hated them. I got swept into the excitement and signed up anyway. It was a challenge after all and I needed to push myself. As a team we threw ourselves at obstacles with gusto. There was mud, water, blood, sweat and I think maybe a few tears.

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As soon as I finished I said “never again” – until later that day. When I had finally warmed up and was admiring my collection of bruises (later to be known as OCR kisses) Jo sent me a link for another obstacle race, Nuclear Fallout. High on adrenaline I signed up and the rest they say is history.

I signed up to many events following this one. Which prompted me to send Regiment Fitness my “Members Story” which got published on their own Blog http://www.regimentfitness.co.uk/member-story/gemma-crozier/

The Hatfield Broad Oak 10k Road Race followed WAR in May, mild in comparison but still equally as challenging.

Merely a few weeks later I was off again. This time Climbing Snowdon with Vickie, Aimee and Natalie. It was a challenge that was harder than you would expect, especially at the summit.

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After the dizzy heights of Snowdon I went on to complete the Willow Warrior Run with colleagues from Red Letter Days, Pretty Muddy 5K, Epping 10K, a 10 Mile Bergen Run, GR8 10K and Essex Colour Run.

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Willow Warrior 10k

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By this point I only had Nuclear Fallout scheduled for November. Not satisfied with the number of challenges I had already completed and wondering what I was going to do with my spare time, I signed up for more.

I joined a team of 3 men from our local Regiment Fitness area to take part in a 24 hour boot camp, which deserves a Blog post on its own.

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But I didn’t stop there. I decided this would be a great time to sign up for my first ever Half Marathon.

After hours and miles of training, I completed the 13.1 miles in 2 hours 18 minutes on 4th October 2015. My good friend and training buddy, Jo, beside me the whole time.

 

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Finally just over a month later I ended my adrenaline year with the very wet and muddy challenge of Nuclear Fallout. OCR kisses galore. It was a muddy end to what had been a fantastic adrenaline fuelled year.

 

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So that was that. Early on in the year I decided to raise as much as I possibly could for the Willow Foundation. At the end of all the challenges I had raised £330.50 which I was extremely proud of. A hell of a lot of training had gone into this so I was very happy that I had managed to raise some money in doing so.

Another amazing highlight was being nominated for “Most Enthusiastic Member” at the Regiment Fitness Christmas party. Sadly, I didn’t win. But it meant a lot to be nominated.

People ask me constantly, how do you do it? Do you not get tired? You must be crazy.

The answer is I just keep going, even when I get tired. Am I crazy to do something I enjoy so much….. Hell no!

Hopefully starting this blog, after colleagues suggested it to me, will help others get moving and be inspired.

I am definitely not a professional. I most definitely get things wrong. I definitely do too much at times, but I cannot say no.

My motto is “don’t think, just do!” If you think about something too much you will talk yourself out of it!

So I am hoping people will follow my progress, failures and frustrations into 2016.

It is already set to be a big one, with the following events already signed up:

  • Winter Run Series London 10K – 31st January
  • Olympic Park 10K – 13th February
  • The Gauntlet Games 10k – 16th April
  • WAR Adrenaline Race – 20k 23rd April
  • Hackney Half Marathon – 8th May
  • Hatfield Broad Oak 10k -3oth May
  • Regiment Fitness Adventure Weekend 3-5th June
  • Mission 24 (24 hour Boot Camp) – 2-3rd July
  • Bear Grylls 1ok – 20th August
  • Commando Series at Hever Castle – 12th November

I would love for people to join me, cheer me on or simply read my stories. I hope to keep them coming.

https://www.justgiving.com/Gemma-Crozier3/