#FridayTruths

Hello people !!! And happy -almost- weekend 🙂

I hope everyone (who celebrates) had an amazing time yesterday ❤ Our Thanksgiving dinner will take place on Sunday since yesterday was a working day for us here in the UK.

So, a few #FridayTruths to share with you today!

1.Got an awesome email yesterday telling me that @taleoftworuns‘s comment on “The science museum” was featured on TIME OUT London!!!! OMG yes! I was ecstatic!! I mean occupational hazard right??? Also do have a look at the article I think it is pretty cool if you are planning to visit/move to London.

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2.I order my planner for 2017. Anyone who knows me, knows my absolute ❤ for stationary AND notebooks/planners. I was looking for something VERY specific since I got tired of carrying around 2 different ones – one for science work and one for blog stuff – and I didnt find anything to suit my needs. So after reading quite a few reviews I ended up in this website and made my own planner. It looks pretty amazing – on the screen – and I ordered it today. You get to personalize EVERYTHING! From the covers, to the layouts and to what you ‘d like it to include – to do lists, weekly meal plan etc – and it was ONLY £22 ($27)!! Can’t wait for it to arrive next week. Here is a little preview 😉

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3.My eating has been completely off the rails… but oh well…. I mean why can’t I have two donuts or cupcakes after dinner right ?!?!? Just kidding… Marathon is over so after Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday i am pulling myself together and getting both my eating and sleeping back on track!

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4.And… I miss this girl (and NYC). Hopefully I’ll get to feel the way I felt back then again soon… Step number one, get my body back to how it used to be 😉

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5. Post-marathon thoughts and plans… Well I am still working on that. I feel a little “purposeless” but i think giving myself a few weeks of running/exercising was much needed! Promise I’ll put all my thoughts here and share soon…

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Athens Marathon 2016…(part 2)!

(Very long post alert)

So where were we?

Oh right! I lost my phone (again…) While I was on the bus I looked EVERYWHERE for it! But no luck… and that was the moment when I had to accept the fact that I’ll be running my first full marathon WITHOUT my music 😛 … Epic fail I say… So for a while I focus looking out the window. The bus route was on the marathon route and I managed to get a full view of all the uphills to come. Yeah, that didn’t really help with my anxiety and nerves…

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Remember Maria, the girl I mentioned @mymamus and I met at the meeting point? Well she was being an angel and she was talking to me, and introduced to me to another woman Vassiliki. Both of them were so nice to me, telling me how it’ll be OK and that it ‘ll be an amazing experience! And it was right then and there that Maria totally saved the day!!

“WHAT? No phone? No music?? Don’t worry girl I got two MP3s on me, and you can totally have my back up one!!!”

Jaw dropped! This awesome lady that didn’t know me offered me her music! Thank you SO MUCH Maria you are a rockstar…. And we have very similar taste in music! – save #1!

After this was settled we started to get ready on the bus – taking off extra clothes, putting on shoes etc – and this is where Vassiliki saw me putting on my long sleeve yellow t-shirt.

“Are you out of your mind???” I heard… “You will melt!! It’ ll be so hot!!! Don’t even think of wearing it! Keep only your tank top! And (thankfully) I listened … – save #2!

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The bag drop and walk to the blocks was a blur… I ‘ve never seen so many people gathered in one place! It was like a party! Everyone was smiling and it didn’t matter who you know and who you don’t, you ‘d get a supportive look or a thumbs up a pat on the back anyway…Both Vassiliki and myself were on block 7, so we decided to stick together. We both hugged Maria (she was at a faster block), wished her good luck and went our way. We were pretty much in one of the first rows of our block. I was looking around totally amazed, thinking to myself –this is it… You made it! You are here!! Vassiliki looked at me, we high fived and held hands for a second and smiled to each other!

And then the gun went off and we were running….

I WAS RUNNING MY FIRST MARATHON! I WAS RUNNING THE AUTHENTIC ROUTE!

I felt so full inside those first minutes! Pride, honour, happiness…!

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We passed by the tomb of Marathon (5-6km) where the 300 brave soldiers were laid to rest and I could barely hold back the tears – and trust me I wasn’t the only one… You could feel that the atmosphere was a little heavier there… the crowd was thick there and they were handing out olive branches. I grabbed one and it was like I felt the history and the essence of the place running along with me.

And I kept running. The first 11-12km passed like a blur and I kept a steady pace. But at around 14km the heat started getting to me… It was HOT! It was around 10:30am and the temperature had already climbed up to 25C…. November in Greece hmmm….I told Vassiliki, I’d walk for a bit, take a gel and some water, so she gave me smile and run off… (Thank you Vassiliki! For pacing me for the first 12km, you were awesome!)

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And this is when the struggle started… From 14km till 29km there is a slow, steady, painful 3% incline. The fact that I had only trained for hills (aka steep hills) along with the heat totally killed me… My quads locked and I was in pain from 17km onwards.

I run, I walked, I cried, I hurt… At about 26km I knew I had to let got of any time goals I ‘ve had in mind. I cried a little… but I knew this wasn’t going to happen… So I focused on putting one foot in front of the other and my head down so I wouldn’t have to face the uphill. At 28km I heard my name – someone I didn’t know was telling me to keep going and have faith… Thank you!

And then after a while we made it to 30km where FINALLY the downhill started! Still in a lot of pain but it felt so refreshing on my tired quads. But I knew that from this point onwards I’d see my people and my pace started to pick up again.

The first person I saw was my friend George at about 32km!! You can not imagine the joy!!! I screamed (poor EMTs thought something happened to me!) and run towards him and gave him a tight sweaty hug!! He told me I am doing great and I run off. Thank you for my awesome gift George 😉 I ❤ it!!

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Next stop… 36km… my family was there! – they were expecting me in a yellow shirt so my mum was so surprised when I run to her and hugged her 😉

I hugged my mum and started crying… I remember telling her that it is so hard and that the heat was killing me! She looked at me and said “You are doing great! We are all here, you can do this!” My dad hugged me as well and said he was very proud of me – I think we were both teary at that point!

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Everyone was there, my grandma, my aunt and uncle! And they were cheering for me! After all the hugs and cheers, I run off feeling like a different person! I knew I could do this, and it didn’t matter how long it ‘d take me.

37km. @mymamus and his mum were there waiting for me. I hugged them both and @mymamus gave me a kiss and said “you got this babygirl, I believe in you! You are almost there! Go get it!!”

By that time, I was telling myself that I only had 4 miles to go… Trying to forget the pain and just run! Everything was a blur – and quite – from that point till 41km, where the crowd had thickened again and everyone was screaming and cheering for us!

My other aunt, her son and grandkid where there cheering for me and took this awesome video 😉 It was the last 250m… I couldn’t believe it! I turn the corner and there it was! The stadium… KALIMARMARO (it means beautiful marble) and it was, it was so beautiful! I felt Goosebumps on my skin and tears on my face… I was finishing my first marathon! The AUTHENTIC route, the path that changed the world and helped in upkeeping the values of democracy!!

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And before I knew it I was crossing the line… my watched said 05:07:23. But I DIDN’T care, I had made it!

– I have to admit I felt a pinch of disappointment for the next few days…having to let go of your time goal isn’t an easy thing.. especially when you ‘ve put it out there! But then I read this post by one of my favourite bloggers, Charlie from the runner beans, and my perspective totally changed! Thank you Charlie and congrats on running NYC!! –

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I stood for a second and took it all in – even writing about it brings tears to my eyes! I feel grateful that I had the opportunity to make my first marathon so special! Thank you Greece!

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All the finishers had to walk for about 10’ out of the stadium and into a small side street to pick up their stuff. After I was done with my stuff and having no clue where I was and no phone I was a little lost… – surprise there LOL! So I asked a nice person if I could use their phone (Thank you nice stranger!) and called my mum. I told them where I was – or more specifically where I thought I was hahahaha! And sat there waiting – evidently munching on a banana 😉 !

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Before I knew it I had family and friends coming to me from every direction!! Every single person I ‘d consider close to me was there! I couldn’t believe how many people came to cheer for me!! I felt so loved and cherished at that moment!! And then photos, hugs, laughs, tears!! What a blur!

My family ❤ !

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All the amazing women in the family!!

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Thank you love, I couldn’t have gone through with it without you!

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One of my favourite people.. my grandma!

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THANK YOU THANK YOU EVERYONE! The people who cheered from me from afar, the people who came to see me, everyone for their wishes and messages! THANK YOU! I couldn’t have done it without you!! So…this was it! An experience I will never forget! It wasn’t just about running a a marathon…it was about ideals, faith, support, love, family and friends! I learnt a lot running this race, about myself and about my people!

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Again… THANK YOU!

PS: Aftermath…

For anyone who wonders THIS –> is how bad the heat was. I got some nasty sunburns everywhere apart from my face – thank you mum for giving me this awesome sunblock!

After marathon dinner with the parents! Yup, both sets! First official meeting for @mymamus’s and @taleoftworuns‘s parents 😉 It was brilliant! And yes, i did NOT take off my medal for the rest of the day!

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And last but not least… I FOUND MY PHONE! About an hour before I left for the airport the person who found it on the street called my brother! Apparently i had dropped it when I was getting on the car on my way to the bus meet up point…

OMG what an eventful few days! Well, now I am back to London and to the lab, being buried under tons of work for the next few days 🙂 But it was totally worth it!

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Virtual 5km Race – Put your back into it!

Hello everyone!!

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As you have probably seen in my SM by now, my blogger friend Andreea from Penny Plain Fit and I are organizing a donation based virtual 5km race and 100% of the profits will go to Spinal Research. Yes, you ‘ve heard them before, these are the nice people who fund my dreams … erm I meant my PhD 😉

SO, off the couch we go and let’s all run together and raise some money for all the good scientists to fight back and win against paralysis!

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How does it work?

Register today and we’ll send you your race pack. Then all you have to do is run (walk or jog  or crawl 😉 ) the 5k (or any other distance really!) anytime you want during the whole month of October. We will also send you an email with a few training tips.

We encourage you to make it a fun day out with family or friends and take lots of pictures. And then share them with all of us 🙂

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How much does it cost?

It’s donation based and we recommend a minimum of £8, but it’s really up to you. For donations under £20, the race pack will contain a t-shirt and your medal. For donations over £20, we will also send you a water bottle.

Get social

If you want to share your training or your run with us, please do. If you’re posting on Instagram, tag us (@pennyplainfit, @taleoftworuns, @spinalresearch) and use #teamSpinal and #LTR4Spinal as hashtags. We’re also on Twitter with the same names and we encourage you to join our Facebook event to see how others are doing too! And please tell your friends about the run. We would also appreciate any mentions in a blog post if you’re a blogger too.

For anyone who isn’t familiar with the work of Spinal research 😉

We’re supporting Spinal Research, the UK’s leading charity funding medical research around the world to develop effective treatments for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury. Every year 1,000 people in the UK and Ireland are paralyzed following an injury to their spinal cord. Spinal Research raises money to fund research into clinical treatments as well as vital scientific research such as clinical tools to better understand the injury caused, and for the devastating effects on daily living such as breathing, hand movement, and bladder and bowel control. Thanks to the innovative research we have funded, many experimental treatments, including those to restore movement and feeling, have had positive effects on spinal cord injury in the research laboratory. This medical research will not only benefit people with a spinal cord injury but also advance treatments for multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, stroke, dementia and motor neurone disease. Read more at http://www.spinal-research.org/.

 

LEARN MORE & REGISTER

Trust me when I tell you this is worth it! I am one of those people who their work benefits from people’s donations! We really do try our best to work hard and really beat paralysis!!

I can not wait to “run along” all of you next month!

THANK YOU! 😀

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Random Wednesday thoughts & Shout outs!…

And just like that it is already Wednesday?!?!?!

It seems to me like yesterday when I was sitting here typing up my weekly High Five Friday to share with you guys… Time flies so fast and I just wish there were a few more hours in the day!!

Well, I was told this is ain’t gonna happen so 24 would have to do 😉

These a few random things that I really want to share with guys today…

  • My new running buddy Sabine !! I have to give this lady a shout out ❤ cause since we met a few weeks ago she ‘s been awesome! She can drug my sleepy butt out of bed at 8am on a Saturday for a park run with incredible ease (I am sure @mama_taleoftworuns would be envious LOL)!   We ‘ve run together several times, always grabbing a coffee afterwards of course 😉 I am so lucky I’ve met her and even luckier since she also happens to be my neighbour !! She is also a blogger over at Life is a challenge  🙂

 

  • I have to admit that since we moved to London things have been a little lonely… Both @my mamus and I were too busy getting settled into work, new apartment etc that there was virtually no time to meet new people and connect with anyone…

That all change when a few weeks back I joined an awesome Facebook group called UK fitness bloggers and London bloggers!! A huge thank you to all the incredible ladies I’ve met through these two groups! You have all made me feel a little more at home here in London and you  have all been so amazing and friendly 😀

  • Another shout out for Michelle 😀 It’s been a  while since a trainer motivated me (in the fitness world I guess this is a synonym to torture) that much! My abs still hurt miss, and for that I thank you  LOL!

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  • Oh, in other news, did you guys see @taleoftworuns‘s new logo?!?!? I was so excited (a little too much LOL) when i realised it also appears at your browser tab!!! So, here we are, my little baby @taleoftworuns has officially become #ToTRuns 😀

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  • Discovered a new cute park to run in by my house 🙂 It even has 2 littles ponds – oh and ducks!! For some silly reason I get overly excited whenever I see ducks 🙂
  • I am -finally – getting a Garmin! not a very new model but I thought it ‘ll be nice to try out first before I spent about $250 on a new fancy one! So a good FB friend of mine is selling hers and I am getting this beauty for now 🙂 Can’t wait for it to get here !!

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So more or less, apart from a lot of running and working out, work has been crazy busy these days… This is why you guys haven’t heard from me since Friday! I really don’t like it when that happens! 😦

Stay tuned for my very first product review tomorrow!! I think all of my runner friends will be pretty interested in this one 🙂 oh what is it?!?! Well, you ‘ll see it tomorrow LOL 😛

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