30.5.14

BUPA Race Weekend #MyMoments (25.5.14)

I finished work at 9:30pm on Saturday night. I headed straight home and put my feet up. Lights out, with compression socks on, at 11.15pm. Alarm set for 8am. Race start at 10am.

BUPA 10,000 25.5.14


08:00
I woke up refreshed and surprisingly my legs felt good! The sun was shining in through my window whilst I chose my outfit for the run. Then the clouds rolled in and I was doubtful it would be a dry run. To be on the safe side, I chucked on a pair of lululemon run inspire crops, a Nike running t shirt and my adidas (bright orange) run jacket. All this was teamed with my Adidas Energy Boost II trainers - my favourite running shoes since they graced my feet earlier this year.

I had a small bowl of granola with almond milk for breakfast which came in my finishers bag the day before. I grabbed a banana, carton of chocolate coconut milk and some belvita biscuits for the journey...

09:10 
A short bus ride to the tube station and a ten minute tube ride and I was at Green Park.

09:40 
Out the station and straight into the race village. I heard an announcement saying the yellow wave had plenty of time...we would probably be setting off about 10:30am so I has time to chill, soak up some atmosphere and sunshine! I also ate my banana, drank a bit more of the milk and stashed my biscuits in my waist belt for post race.

10:00
Time to make my way to the start line along with the hundreds, thousands of other runners in my wave. The very same start line as the day before.



10:30 
3...2...1...GO! We started somewhere around the 10:30am mark! I was of course busy setting up my Nike+ to record my run. This was also the point where I set my intention for the run. I decided to run hard. No pictures, no chilling...just enjoy the run, stay positive, keep running and see what I could pull out of the bag.

With feedback from Nike+ every 0.5km, the first update told me I was running under 6 minutes per km. At first I wasn't too happy then I remembered this pace would bring me in under an hour. I was happy (and only 5% into the distance though). I carried on none the less and seemed to be in my stride already - the mile the day before seemed to have counted towards this!

At the 3km water station, I saw a girl running a place I liked so I decided to stick behind her and not let her get away from me. Having something, or someone to focus on seemed to do the trick. Until we got to the point that I decided I was selling myself short and could, possibly, run a little faster. I think I overtook her at the 5km mark and never saw her again.

The sun was out in force with short areas of shade. The route was similar to the British 10km which I ran a couple of years ago in the most unbearable heat. At the right time, there was a station of cool water mist, then the water station just before 7km. The course was a mostly flat course - just a couple of hills - which I utilised to run as fast as possible downhill.

By this point, my legs were a little heavy but I only had 3km to go with a pace that would definitely bring me in under an hour. At the 8km I heard someone shout my name - Venetia. She put a smile on my face and a spring in my step. I was missing the encouragement from Nike+ cheers as it wouldn't connect to Facebook.


1km to go. 800m to go...this was familiar. The same final straight as the Westminster Mile felt a little like home. I stopped momentarily to walk at this point and realised that walking was more more uncomfortable than running so I got straight back to running. I started to day dream and slow down as I approached the finish line then gave myself a mind push and sprinted (erm, maybe!) to the finish line!

11:30 
...somewhere around this time. This time the finish was a lot busier. It took longer than the day before to get our timing chips removed but nothing to complain about. I grabbed my finishers bag with small tshirt and headed to the exit. Again, I didn't have a bag to collect so I headed straight for the tube station after a stop by the adidas tent to tell them how much I loved running in my shoes!

My time?! 

Officially... 57:48 ...which is a Personal Best! Beating my time of 58:18 at the Energizer Night Run in April of 2013!


My Nike+ time?! 





Well, that was a PB in itself too! 55:02 (which then got changed to 55:14 when my run was deleted and manually added again on Nike+). My Nike+ running app recorded the distance at 10.5km rather than 10km and I wasn't the only one this happened to. For me, which ever result is accurate means a PB for me so I cannot help but be happy! I trained 3 months solid for my 2013 PB and this shows me that I can still run a PB without dedicating all my training to running. I must be doing something right; maybe I can run, and have it all!

Here are some pretty interesting stats from the run by RunPix:


12:15
Refuelling with my leftover belvita biscuits and every other morsel of food in sight...I headed home, with my legs still feeling decent and feeling pleased with my effort! Overall, it was a little lonely running by myself but it was what I needed to be able to push outside of my comfort zone. The race was as anticipated...well organised, beautiful route and another stunning medal to add to my 2014 collection...to the weekend's collection!


Thanks again to Beki (of Miss Wheezy blog) for hooking me up with the place to run! Thanks to everyone that would've cheered for me had my run synced with Facebook! No pictures, but full of victory!

Elle :) 

29.5.14

Spring / Summer Beauty Tips For Fitness Enthusiasts

Just this week, this nugget of info dropped into my inbox! At first I was apprehensive...not another post about how exercise makes you "look bad"...how it's "so bad for your skin"...and all the rest that we are fed daily by beauty editors! So when I had a read, and realised they were products that would actually be helpful, I decided to share this with you! 

...

Keeping fit while trying to maintain healthy skin can prove tricky; battling dehydration, dryness and even wrinkles caused by sun damage, simply from taking part in our favourite fitness activities.

Team GB duathlon silver medallist and 2014 London Duathlon ambassador, Charlotte Harris, is here to offer budding duathletes and general fitness aficionados a way around these beauty crises.

Charlotte completed her first ever marathon in 2006, but her bug for multi-sport events only really kicked in two years ago. In October 2012, she entered into her first duathlon and quickly qualified for the GB duathlon team in 2013. Competing in the sprint distance event at the European championships in Holland, Charlotte came home with a silver medal. With padded shorts and lycra suits as her new favourite accessories, she had to find other ways to get her girly kicks.

We asked Charlotte for her beauty secrets and, luckily for us, she has shared with us her top five for exercise enthusiasts:


Charlotte Harris’ top 5 beauty tips: 



1. No matter what your sport, be it the gym, running or cycling, always remember to hydrate with plenty of water to replenish lost fluids. Not only will this aid recovery, but also ensure your skin stays looking fresh and banishes fine lines caused by dehydration. I always use Nuun hydration tablets (£6.00) in my water - they contain electrolytes but very few calories and to top them off, come in loads of nice flavours. 



p.s You can get a 25% discount if you use the code 'keepitsimpelle' ;) 

2. Look after your feet they are vitally important for your running and deserve to be looked after. Blisters, black toe nails, hard dry skin, we’ve all had it; to keep on top of your foot health, make sure you have your trainers professionally fitted – this is vital. You can then keep those feet looking smooth and soft witFlexitol Heel Balm £4.95.



3. Invest in a really good lip balm with SPF if possible. When you are out running or cycling in the summer sun, it’s easy to forget about your lips, as unlike winter you don’t run this risk of chapping. The sun, however, can dry lips out and even burn them during longer training stints, so make sure you invest in a good lipbalm. I would recommend Clarins moisture replenishing lip balm £19.00 with essential rose wax, well worth the money or Elizabeth Arden eight hour nourishing lip balm with SPF 20 £20.00.

4. If you use running gloves, invest in an intensive moisturising hand cream and apply as a treatment before adding your gloves for silky smooth hands. Even if it’s summer this works a treat, so you can combine your beauty regime with your workout without trying. I use Udderly smooth hand cream £5.00 – it’s even good for those cycling sore bits.



5. Even if you are in a rush after your training, it’s important to use a good conditioner as working out regularly can mean you are washing your hair more than usual. To avoid dry, frizzy hair, I carry with me Moroccan oil £13.45. Wet or dry hair, it's amazing!



With charity places still available for the Super Sprint (5K run, 11K cycle and 5K run), Sprint – (10K run, 22K cycle and 5K run), Classic (10K run, 44K cycle and 5K and, Ultra (20K run, 77K cycle, 10k run), join Charlotte on Sunday 14 September and take part in London Duathlon held in the lush surroundings of Richmond Park on closed roads.

Duathletes, along with friends and family, can soak up the atmosphere and savour their achievements with organic food and drink stalls, the best in family entertainment as well as the opportunity to pick up the latest in sporting equipment and apparel.

To enter London Duathlon or for further information regarding the event please visit: http://www.londonduathlon.com 

Join the #LD14 community now and follow London Duathlon on Facebook and Twitter.


I am looking forward to getting my training started this summer and taking part in my first multisport event! 



If you have any favourite products you would like to share, please leave them below in the comments, on Facebook or via Twitter


Elle :) x

28.5.14

BRITA Pour O'Clock & Giveaway

We are all familiar with that point in the day where we just crave something sweet. That something sweet usually equates to something unhealthy, leading to the intake of extra, unnecessary calories for the day.

BRITA conducted some research and found that it's 4pm when people need that extra energy boost to help them get through the day. So they are launching their Pour O'Clock campaign to get us to ditch our sugary snacks and substitute them for water at 4pm.

This is because as well as giving you an energy boost, staying hydrated aids concentration levels. Renowned London dietician and nutritionist, Jo Travers commented, "People spend a large amount of time at work so integrating healthy habits into their day is crucial.  Hydration is important as it has an impact on our productivity and concentration."

Win this! 

To help you get started, our friends at BRITA are offering one of you the chance to win your very own BRITA Fill&Go bottle! Mine has been a firm sidekick since the start of 2014 as part of the BRITA Boost Challenge. Please read the T&C's before entering then tweet / like / comment away! The competition closes next week Tuesday at which point a winner will be chosen at random!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Look out for the 'pour at four' conversation on Twitter too with the hashtag #PourOClock

I'm going to give this a go and see how I feel! Let me know if you take on the challenge and if it works for you! 

Elle :) 

27.5.14

BUPA Race Weekend #MyMoments (24.5.14)

How much can one pack into a single weekend?! Somehow, I managed to plan myself a jam packed weekend. Teaching on Saturday morning, followed by the BUPA Westminster Mile before I headed into work for 6.5 hours on my feet! ...then Beki (of Miss Wheezy blog) sorted me out a place on the BUPA 10,000 the following Sunday morning!

BUPA Westminster Mile 24.5.14



I had no idea how to pace a mile; I barely knew how far it was in kilometres. I got to the start line for my start time along with Kiera and just felt grateful the rain had stopped and the sun was out! Being in the local CSPAN (Community Sport and Physical Activity Network) meant we were in the last group to run which was nice and small. We set off at 12.50pm on the dot. It was a great feeling to be right at the start for more than a millisecond.


Kiera and I set off together - my intention for the run was to enjoy it, take my time, take pictures and have fun! I certainly did that! I think I fell behind Kiera at about 0.5km after stopping to take a couple of pictures. Our wave was full of families, walkers, sprinters...everyone! We ran up The Mall which in itself is amazing with Buckingham Palace creeping away from us. A right turn into Horse Guards Parade, another right and we were on the home straight. There was a '800m to go sign'! It felt so strange to be so close to the finish line, so soon! 400m, 300m...the palace comes back into sight along with the finish line.






I mustered up the last of my energy to come through the finish line at (official time of) 9 minutes 3 seconds. With so few of us running I found Kiera and the end waiting for me. We got our timing chips removed in a heartbeat and picked up our finishers bag with (HUGE) medal! It felt like a lot of bling for not a lot of work! ...but I am NOT complaining!





The finishers bag was great...packed with snacks which would be useful for me pre 10km the next morning! It was nice to see some non dairy chocolate milk in there too for those of us intolerant to dairy / lactose.

I ran with my bag on (my lululemon run from work backpack) so didn't need to stop at bag collection after running. It was a breeze anyway as we were the very last runners of the day!

This race was sooooo well organised it gave me a lot of hope for the following morning! I did however wonder if I would be physically / mentally able to run run 10km the next day but whatever was going to happen, I was gonna be there...

Elle :) 

26.5.14

Living the simpElle life: Tatyana

After a weekend packed with running, I think I am in need of a yoga class or two! 

Perfect timing for us all then! Some yoga inspiration...in the form of this mini series - Living the simpElle life - where  I share the story of someone that I think we all need to hear.

I heard a great phrase last year -

"The Universe is made up of stories, not of atoms"

 - so that is what I want to share with you, stories, to open up the Universe to us all!

Each individual we meet embodies what this blog is about. They have dug deep to find motivation, they have sought inspiration and in doing so become inspirational to others. They have been empowered with knowledge to change and that is what their story will do for the rest of us...

Meet: Tatyana Mateva 


I first met Tatyana at the Yoga Show in London in October 2013. From the moment I met Tatyana, I warmed to her. Since then I've been lucky enough to cross paths with Tatyana often through the lululemon london community, of which she has been an integral part! Tatyana is my little yoga butterfly and I'm sharing her sparkle with you all, here...
- {THEN} - 

Elle: What made you decide to start yoga? ...What was your plan / goals?

Tatyana: I have been very active all my life. I’ve tried pretty much every sport you can think of, well apart from rugby! I used to run competitively when I was a student and now I run in Hyde Park every week day when the weather allows it. I was also part of my school volleyball team. I love playing tennis when the sun is shining. I cycle everywhere in London and rarely take public transport. I just came back from a kite surfing holiday. 

I used to change the discipline I was addicted to every year until I found yoga. It was my Bulgarian friend here in London who took me to my first yoga class 6 years ago. Back then I used to smoke and party often. I was amazed. I remember telling her “Wow, I feel so liberated after this class”. It almost felt like after having an orgasm and I am not joking. I used to go back to the mat every now and then and always felt so great afterwards. 

Two years ago I set a goal for myself to lose a lot of weight because I booked to go sailing in Croatia with a big group of friends. I trained every single day for 10 months. I must admit I was really fit and the more you see results the more addicted you get. However, I knew back then that this was not a sustainable strategy long term. It was then that I went back to yoga. 

I started doing cardio sessions before work and yoga after work. Yoga cleared my mind immediately from all the stress created during the work day. It didn’t take long until I was completely hooked. I couldn’t have a day without it, even if it meant stretching on the airplane and mediating on a flight for a business trip. I had to have it in my life every day. This made the transition for me from using yoga just as a physical exercise to living and breathing yoga everywhere. In terms of plans and goals, yoga, balance and present living is teaching me every day that goals/plans/dreams are there to create structure and take me from point A to B but the more I ‘let go', the more I just float with the stream of life, the more things come to me easily and without any force. And it is amazing. So no, no specific yoga goals, well apart from maybe learning to do a handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana) and a split (hanumanasana) one day when my body (and mind) are ready for it.



 - {HOW} - 
Elle: What's your favourite style of yoga? favourite yoga pose?
Tatyana: Happy baby (Ananda Balasana) at the end of my practice and sticking my tongue out in lion’s breath. I also love pigeon pose (Eka pada rajakapotasana) as it helps me open up my hips and release any unnecessary emotion from my body. In general you can see that I am sort of a ‘soft’ yogi. I like challenging myself in yoga but to be honest with you I have had so many challenges and competitions in my life that I use yoga really to get balanced and soft and not to add any more stress by forcing my body with too much muscular effort.
Elle: What's your typical weekly schedule?
Tatyana: Well, it actually changed recently as I have started teaching yoga a lot. So for the last year and a bit it has been, EVERY week day I got up at 6:30am, went to the gym for 30 minutes to do a cross trainer session and maybe some abs work and then I always did yoga in the evening. On the weekends, I used to do mainly yoga; 2-3 classes and I managed to squeeze in some running around Hyde park too if the weather was good. I think that was a bit too much. Oh and I literary cycle everywhere. Work, classes, meetings…everywhere. 

Since this April, I decided to change things around. I cancelled my gym membership and now I try to go every week morning for a half hour run in the park. Most evenings I teach yoga so I don’t have so much time for my own regular practice. But one thing I do more and more these days is meditate 15 minutes a day. It's a really positive change to my life. 
Elle: What / who has been your inspiration?
Tatyana: There are so many people around me who are so persistent and positive and inspire me constantly. I really do love the lululemon london team as they are always so honest and smiley. I also ADORE the Yoga_Girl, Rachel Brathen. If you don’t know her, check her out on instragram. I check her posts every morning, sometimes before I even get out of bed
Elle: What was the first big difference in you, that made you feel proud and excited?
Tatyana: Well, the best thing about yoga is definitely not the physical successes for me. No matter how rewarding it feels to hold crow for 15 seconds, what amazes me these days is how I react differently in familiar situations. I think ‘quieting ‘down the monkey in our heads is the only way to change anything in your life. 
Elle: Did you make any changes to your diet once you started training?
Tatyana: Not immediately, but yes I gradually became vegetarian. And more importantly I don’t drink. Things just fall into place when it is the right time. My mantra is always to feel your body and what sits well within it. I do love ice cream and carrot cakes though so everyone has a sin ;). In terms of coffee, I go through periods when I don’t need it and periods when I am dying for one. One of the principals in yoga is recognising and more importantly accepting that your body changes every day.
- {NOW} -

Elle: How do you track your progress?

Tatyana: I don’t really. I don’t even weigh myself regularly. I just know when I’ve been good.

Elle: Have your goals changed since you started your journey?

Tatyana: Totally! I used to be focused way too much on how things looked rather than how they feeled. I am learning to feel the world these days. And it is not easy. It is not easy even feeling your belly and knowing when you are full! haha! I hope I make sense?!



Elle: How do you keep yourself motivated?
Tatyana: By going to nature, taking breaks and travelling as much as I can. I love discovery and adventures. I also go to inspirational workshops and classes all the time. The last amazing class I went to was a Kundalini yoga class; ‘Expand your access to the inner creative spirit with Gurmukh'.  It was incredible. What a teacher.
Elle: If you could go back and give advice to the "before" you...or any other person contemplating changing their lifestyle...what would you say?!
Tatyana: It’s simple. Just keep moving. Don’t contemplate. Move and break things if they are meant to break. The only way to start is, to start. You can create your perfect you. But love every phase of your life. You’ve are where you are for a reason. Open your eyes, breathe deeply and live NOW. Namaste. 



hear hear! ...Namaste. ...so what d'ya think?! 

If you'd like to leave Tatyana a comment below please do so or you can connect with her via... 

Instagram: instagram.com/yogisart
Facebook: facebook.com/Yogisart
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Yogisart_London

...and if you would like to share your story please get in touch with me here: {Contact Elle}

Until then, keep living that simpElle life ;) 

Elle :) 

23.5.14

Full Circle: Cycle to Richmond Park

Everyone has their "thing" when it comes to working out! I summarised my "things" in a cute diagram for my PR page: 


The diagram is in no particular order by the way! As you know, the top two, cycling and running will be combined for me soon in the form of the London Duathlon. I will be running 10km, cycling 22km and then running 5km. Soon after I signed up, I started to freak out about whether I could actually cycle 22km but soon realised that a bike ride I did in November last year totalled 17km and it wasn't too bad! 

Last week when one of my colleagues Anneleen cycled up to Richmond Park, I invited myself along for the next time as it would be a great opportunity to cycle in the very location my Duathlon will be taking place! So we arranged a date, a time and a place! 

In between that, I spoke to Tiffany, one of Team Specialized - lululemon who is a professional cyclist. On her advice, I decided to bite the bullet and get some cleats and cycling shoes. I got them fitted just this week and had a little practice clipping in and out without falling off. That, and pumping up my tyres to the correct pressure made a huge difference to my cycling. A huge shout out to Robin at the Specialized Concept Store in Covent Garden for helping me with everything! 

new shoes! 

So bike ride day came. We set off and within seconds I knew something wasn't right. I looked down and realised I had a flat back tyre! We hadn't even reached the end of the road! As I stood mesmerised, Anneleen realised that her cleats had broken! So we set off on foot instead to Cycle Surgery. 

Anneleen with her new cleats :) 

The guys at Cycle Surgery Waterloo Bridge were amazing (as always!). This cost Anneleen new cleats; for me it was a new inner tube AND tyre as the perpetrating piece of glass went all the way through :( We were soon back on the road though albeit one hour behind schedule. With London traffic it took us an hour to reach the park having made a friend on the way so chatting away about my Duathlon in September and Anneleen's Prudential 100 mile ride in August! We didn't have time to do a lap of the park this time, but we had time for lunch in the (temperamental) sunshine before we had to head back. We got caught in a cold rain shower on the way back but luckily the sun came out again and dried us off within minutes (that and our beautiful technical gear!). 

it was rammed when we arrived...quiet when we left...

our bikes

While in Cycle Surgery, I picked up a flyer for their women's cycle maintenance events coming up! I've already booked myself on June 10th at Waterloo Bridge as I know there is still a lot for me to learn and it's great having someone ready and willing to answer my questions!



Here are the details:
"We’re pleased to announce, that our much loved in-store women only evenings are on again this year.
Taking place in a friendly environment, these free events are aimed at women who want to get more out of their cycling and are designed to inspire and encourage regardless of ability.
Spaces are limited so don’t delay and reserve your place now at: www.cyclesurgery.com/womens-events



About 15km each way to Rickmond park made for a total of 42km (including cycling to and from our meeting point!) today! I feel confident now that I will be able to cycle the 22km just need to find out how it feels to do it after running 10km and before running 5km! But I still have some time to practice! 

What's your "thing" at the moment?! 

Elle :) x

22.5.14

Guest Post: Raw Choccy Mousse

Kaitlin emailed me this yummy recipe to share with y'all and as I was typing it up quickly ready to be published before I hit my first ever Crossfit class I decided I would make it right there and then! I hoped it would keep me going through class, energise me and be a treat all at the same time! That it definitely was! (The two bottom pictures are my attempt / contribution!)


Kaitlin says:- This would have to be one of my fave quick and easy go to treats! Its filling, healthy, and takes literally just minutes to make.

Ingredients

2 ripe bananas
1/2 avocado 
2 tbsp raw cacao powder 
1 tbsp maple syrup or alternative liquid sweetener

All you have to do is blend it all together and eat! I set mine in the fridge for an hour or so and top with shaved dark chocolate for extra yumminess. Add more cacao for a darker, rich flavour.





Raw cacao powder is a nutrient dense superfood, full of antioxidants and is unprocessed unlike cocoa. The avocado is full of healthy fats and omega 3s for glowing skin and brain function, and bananas contain potassium and a load of other great minerals plus boost energy levels!

This is the perfect snack pre or post workout, delish!




Kaitlin 

If you try the recipe, let us know what you think via the comments section below, Twitter / Facebook and share with your friends! 


Elle :) x

20.5.14

Living A Healthier Life #healthyageing

A short while ago, I was approached about a project called 'A Healthier Life'. The background on the project came from some research completed by simplyhealth which found that most of British over 45s soon develop diseases such as coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and arthritis – all of which can be prevented by leading a more active life. It’s never too late to try to improve fitness levels and even just getting out of the house rather than watching TV is a start towards a healthier life. 

It's like they connected to one of my aims in life - to get my mum to be more active to live long and healthy! We had the choice of going for a dance lesson, to see the cricket or visit botanical gardens. My mum and I came to the conclusion together that we would go to Kew Garden for the day!


picture credit: simply health


Really, only pictures can do this day justice so here are a select few I took before my camera decided to stop working that afternoon!

new friends 

mumsy

wheels 

garden 

Here is what my mum had to say: 
I had to endure many years of commuting into and around London until I retired in 2008; since then I have avoided the underground unless absolutely necessary! I had mixed feelings when Elle asked about choosing an activity that the two of us could do; to be truthful, it didn't fill me with glee! I thought of many reasons why I would not be able to go out: my hay fever was in full swing, I hadn't budgeted for any extra outings, it would be crowded  and much more, anyway I bit the bullet and we decided on a day out to Kew Gardens. 

Well, the day arrived and I made the journey, by now I was looking forward to our day out! We explored the gardens on foot and on the Kew Explorer; I enjoyed the trip! On a serious note, it is sometimes difficult for older people to sustain social activity for a number of reasons such as ill health, financial difficulties or just the fact that some people tend to disengage socially when they retire. It is however crucial that they remain active and participate in social activities as this contributes to their overall well being. I have been motivated to increase my activity level and I am looking around for a beginner level Zumba class to attend!

Check out the infographic published by simplyhealth and their article 'Are You Ageing Healthily?'. The statistics are very positive and all point to the fact that it is never too late to start being active!

benefits 

no excuses! 

As long as I have been exercising, the main reason has been to invest in my health! ...I know I share that with many of you out there, but maybe, just maybe we can take along some of our family members for the ride?! Time spent with parents and grandparents is precious, why not make it an active enjoyable time!


ageing healthy

What do you do to keep healthy as you age?! Join the conversation - comment below, via Facebook or Twitter! #healthyageing 

Elle :) 

15.5.14

Elle About Town, Geneva Runcation (May 2014)

So what exactly does a 'runcation' entail outside of the actual running?! This is (a version) of the answer.

Our flight to Geneva from London was pretty early on the Friday morning. We got the 'regular' train to the airport which took just 30 minutes. A flight of just over an hour, for which I slept, and we were 500 miles (is that right?!) away ready to start our weekend.

We were lucky enough to have someone in Geneva already who helped to inform us of various bits and bobs. This started with the fact that in the baggage collection area of the airport you can grab a free ticket to travel into the city!

I wasn't as organised as I know I can be before leaving for Geneva so I had no idea how to get to the hotel. That's one great thing about travelling in a group...someone is bound to have worked it all out!

I followed everyone else and ran for a train which by the time we found a seat in, we had to get off! A 5 minute walk from the station and we were at our hotel bright and early. We checked in and headed to find some lunch while our rooms were prepared. I'm a bit skeptical about eating in places I don't know so we found a place filled with people and a menu we could decipher! First meal in Geneva?! Pasta with vegetables! We were carb loading right?!

The hotel was lovely. Clean and modern. A ten minute walk to the race village. We headed up there that evening to pick up Alicia's 10km race pack which she needed for the next day. An early night was on the cards too after such an early wake up call and the travelling.

our room, post weekend :)

Sightseeing didn't really happen on this trip but we were a) staying by the lake b) running 10km / half marathon around the city and c) in need of some rest and recuperation now that we were away from london, work and all the stresses it brings with it!

flag on the lake 

flower clock in Jardin Anglais

cakes and sweets

On the Saturday, we hit up the supermarket to buy supplies for breakfast, pre race on Sunday morning as all the shops close early (for us Londoners) on a Saturday evening and don't open on Sundays. I bought some pastries, flavoured soya milk and bananas as my race morning fuel. I had my bottles of SQUASH'D handy in the room to jazz up our tap water (you can drink their amazingly tasty tap water in Switzerland!) and to keep me hydrated while out and about in town! We got given some handy water bottles in our race packs which served me well for the weekend! The Robinson's SQUASH'D comes in a handy 66ml bottle which is even flight friendly (no liquids over 100ml allowed, remember?!). You then only need a little squeeze to make your drink!

SQUASH'D

We also found the most amazing food court to eat in, which we dined in for a ma-husive lunch one day and then breakfast on our final morning. We treated ourselves to ice cream by the lake as we sat in the sunshine and people watched. Oh and cheese...we had plenty of cheese on the evening we arrived when Ashley hosted us for a cheese and wine party! Everyone pitched in CHF5 (swiss francs) and Ashley and her hubby collected all we needed for the evening from the supermarket! I think that evening was the only time we were all together in one place.

cheese

the view from Ashley's apartment 

sorbet for me 

final day breakfast

by the lake...people and flower watching

the lake 
in the sunshine

What clothes did I take?! Well, you had the down low on my race outfit in my Geneva Marathon Weekend Rundown post last week. The rest of the time was spent still in stretchy clothes and trainers! All packed into the most epic lululemon weekend bag which you couldn't miss from a mile off!

my bag for the weekend
posing in the hotel corridor 

travelling outfit 

So that is our runcation rounded up short and sweet! Geneva was an amazing city and wonderful race weekend host! The weekend even inspired me to learn to speak French again! I would definitely go back to see some of the sights that I missed such as the UN building and the chocolate factory! 

Have you been to Geneva before?! ...what's your favourite city to run / vacation / runcation in?! 

Elle :) x
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