running blog



My new sandals have passed the holiday test. I have just walked 2 miles home and got no blisters, rubs or hot spots. In fact they felt so good I really felt like running (it was part of one of my regular running loops) and would have done if it hadn’t been for my handbag, lack of sports bra and a belly full of pasta and wine.

Today I also went to BMF again where we ran and ran and ran. I cycled there in a bit of a hurry because I was late again. Now I am completely cream crackered so don’t expect much from me tomorrow!

Juneathon day (what day is it?)
BMF class, we ran lots (over 4 miles) plus 5 and a bit miles cycled and a fast 2 mile walk home tonight.

Night all. Zzzz



More BMF and cycling today. I know it’s boring but it seems to be working. Working in that I’m really enjoying it and I’m keeping up exercising every day, working to get me running short blasts faster so eventually I will want to race again and working because I am noticing a difference (not on the scales) but my clothes are fitting better.

Today at Ravenscourt Park we flipped these lovelies!


My single speed is still out of action with a puncture so I’ve been using my new road bike to get around. It has been useful because the regular short rides have helped me get really comfortable and confident on it. Especially after some great online advice from Evans Cycles to rotate my handle bars to improve my reach on the brakes.

Tonight I mended the inner tube for my single speed but the patch failed and I ended up replacing it with a new one. All this putting tyres back on and off was a workout in itself and took ages. I can see why people pay a tenner for their LBS to do it for them!

Juneathon day 17.
1 BMF class (3 miles running), 1 tyre flipped a bit (took 2 of us), 4.3 miles cycled, 1 flat tyre mended, eventually.

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Benches and lampposts.

There are plenty of benches in Hyde Park when you have to do a burpee at each one as you run along the Serpentine. There appear to be fewer when you have to sprint to the third one down. There are also too many lampposts when you have to do three star jumps at each as you run laps of the bandstand.

That just about sums up my BMF class today. One of those classes where I started out regretting being in the faster group for the first half, but finding I was ok and enjoying it for the second.

It’s not as if I didn’t get a warm up on the way. I set out only to find I had a puncture (lend my bike to my son and this happens!) Fortunately I now have another bike so a rush back home to change bikes and I was on my way again but rather late. I flew there in a record 12 minutes, fastest time yet!

Juneathon day 16.
5 and a bit miles cycling and yet another BMF class (at least 3 miles running)


Another hot one

I could just copy my last blog post because todays exercise was the same as yesterday. A BMF class plus some cycling to get there and back and collect a parcel from the post office.

Except that, apart from the hot weather, it was very different in many ways. For a start the parcel I went to collect was actually there to be collected today!

I only just made it to Ravenscourt Park in time for BMF.  We had gone out early on spec to see if my new bike was ready for collection a day early.  It wasn’t because they are flat-out in the work shop. I reverted to plan a and BMF when I got home and realised that I would be only 10 mins or so later than normal leaving and could still make it.  This  focused my mind so I took the direct route down the bigger road that I normally avoid (and meander round the back streets). I discovered that the direct road route was not any more scary than the back streets and was significantly shorter and quicker!

Ravenscourt Park is much smaller than Hyde but it didn’t stop us running lots!  I suffered in the heat today which really slowed me down.  We did explore new bits of the park, finding logs to lift for Sumo squats and a nature park round a pond for a useful lap or two between sit-ups where it was essential to keep your mouth closed because of all the insects!

Juneathon day 12.

1 hour BMF class (3 miles running) plus 7 miles cycling.


A hot one.

It was a warm one this morning for BMF. Our instructor acknowledged it and said he’d try and keep us in the shade. Great I thought, more strength work and less running. I can cope with that in the heat.

Alas our instructors idea of keeping in the shade meant all out runs to the next shady spot (less time in the sun) where we bashed out sets of squats, press-ups, squat thrusts and burpees before he was off again at full pelt across the park to another shady spot.  I do like BMF in Hyde Park because there is lots of space for running and variety but I could have done with a smaller park today!  We were getting further and further away from the van which can only mean one thing.  A long hot fast run back at the end of the class

Juneathon day 11.

I hour BMF class (3 miles running) plus just under 6 miles cycling.



Thank goodness for routines that have me getting on my bike and going to BMF on Monday mornings before my brain registers too much and thinks a day off might be a good idea or I should maybe do some work or chores (which I never do when I miss exercise ) because once I decide I’m feeling sluggish I definitely am.

So I cycled and got rather warm, got to BMF where I got very warm and then sat in the sun with a coffee afterwards to recover before cycling home adding an errand along the way.  No aches and pains nor weary legs so not much to moan about other than the humidity.

Exercise done for the day


Juneathon day 9 (or is it 8 because I started a day late?)

1 hour BMF class (about 3 miles running) plus 5 miles cycling.



Fell off the wagon

Yes I went to BMF everyday for 5 days as planned last week (and cycled there and back!) But no I didn’t blog every day.

My aching arms (and legs) got used to the extra exercises (many tricep dips and squats) and by the end of 5 days I was quite enjoying it. But it did take up a lot of time and left me a little knackered! So the blogging suffered.

Thursday’s BMF class, my second at the new Ravenscourt Park venue, was fun.  We had the distraction of three French women who turned up for a free trial.  Complete with video camera which they tried to use while participating!  Our instructor was the picture of patience and ended up filming everyone to try and get them to co-operate.  It all certainly made the rest of us work hard.  I really can’t not sprint my hardest to get back first when two people are walking and taking a massive short cut!  Thank you Ladies, we did think you were rather rude half participating and then giving up but you did get the best out of the rest of us!

At least it was sunny after Tuesday’s wash out.  I am finding the novelty of BMF in a new environment and in a smaller group very motivating.  I plan to go there regularly, although Hyde Park will always be my home!  Adding the extra sessions last week was exhausting but they made quite a difference in my quest to lose a bit of fat.  I’ve obviously been ticking along on a plateau so adding 2 more sessions have given me the training boost I needed to make a real difference.   I might not continue to make 5 classes a week but will certainly try and make at least 4 if I can pre holiday.

Friday I was back at Hyde Park for my 5th BMF of the week and  a well-earned coffee in the sunshine afterwards.  Saturday although a rest day (nothing logged) I did run several errands (of under a mile) on my bike and hoovered the stairs which is as good a work out as many!

Today I went out on my own for a fantastc sunny  Sunday ride in London.  It was very busy with lots going on and roads closed around Buckingham Palace.  A wonderful hour out pottering on my bike, dodging tourists and realising what a wonderful city I live in.

Juneathon week 1.

5, 1 hour BMF classes, (about 15 miles running) and  37 miles cycled.

Plan for week 2 … More of the same plus I will go out for a proper RUN!






I’m so glad I ‘only’ committed to go to BMF classes 5 days in a row and not something daft like the whole of Juneathon!

I woke up his morning with rather achy shoulders and upper arms.  Bits of my legs were feeling a bit sorry for themselves too.  Yesterday I was fine, as I  normally am after BMF, unless I’ve had a week off, it was a particularly hard class or if (more rarely) I really pushed myself. Going on alternate days appears to work, allowing my poor body to recover but two days in a row and I was feeling it.  But I said I’d go to 5 this week so I topped myself up with coffee, had a chunk of flapjack for good measure and wound myself up for some more.

Why was it that all the exercises this morning worked the already poor old achy bits?  If I do any more tricep dips or press ups I will be unable to lift a cup of tea by Friday!

However I survived, (even enjoyed it in the end). I didn’t get rained on, and cleverly managed to wear the correct gear for the weather. I even managed to set a couple of PBs over segments of my cycle commute! Anybody else getting addicted to Strava segments?


Day three. (Juneathon day 4).

Another 1 hour BMF class and 5 and a bit more miles cycling.

Variety (exercise and blogging) coming soon, promise.



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For someone who’s ‘not running’

I’ve done rather a lot of sprint intervals and best effort laps over the past few days!

This is a good thing because it’s giving me a taste for running fast again and has got me wondering if I’m getting back on form and should get out and test myself over a parkrun. Mojo is on it’s way back!

I was ‘wiser’ today after overheating yesterday. Today I left in shorts and vest! Thank goodness I didn’t ditch the waterproof because as I cycled down the road it started to rain. It rained all the way to BMF, through most of the class and all the way home. Oh well maybe I’ll get it right tomorrow.

I needn’t have worried about a new BMF location because out of the 9 of us who turned out in the rain for the third class at Ravenscourt Park I knew 4 others from Hyde Park. I also didn’t have to worry about the smaller park either. There weren’t big distances to cover but we explored the whole park which kept it interesting and we found plenty of room for sprints and circular paths for best effort laps. Plus all the usual press ups, dips, squats and lunges, of course

Day two. (Juneathon day 3)
1 hour BMF class (3 miles run) plus just under 5 miles cycling (multi-tasked with a shower on way home)


“If it’s not raining it’s not training”
(Photo from BMF Ravenscourt Park Facebook page)


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‘…changing lives one mile at a time…’

Three weeks to go before I run the London marathon! I’ve run my 20 mile long runs and am into the taper to the big day. I’m also fundraising.

I’ve not sought sponsorship for any races since I ran my very first 10K back in 2006. But London is special. For me it is the marathon and it’s my home patch. I was lucky to get a ballot place so have no obligations but wanted to celebrate by raising some money for a good cause. I wanted to choose a relevant, small local charity, one without charity marathon places.

I chose Home Straight because it feels right to plod mile after mile around London to help others change their lives for the better through exercise, one mile at a time.

I’m writing about it now, not just to drum up donations (please feel free!) but also to help spread the word/raise awareness about Home Straight to the running community, who follow my blog or me on twitter, who will appreciate how the benefits we get from our passion for running can also help people who are homeless, marginalised or suffering from substance abuse improve their lives by getting them into running.

This testimonial sums up what Home Straight is and does. It makes me feel that every hard mile of my long training runs was worth it…

“I was first introduced to Homestraight running club around November 2011. I was then 43-years-old and had just got out of a treatment centre.

I had been drinking alcoholically and taking drugs regularly since being a teenager. During the final ten years of my using I was a full time heroin addict, who was unable to hold down a job or even form relationships with people. I’d come precariously close to being homeless, and was living temporarily in a spare room in the house of my sister’s family when I first attended Homestraight.

Despite the severity of my situation, I had still relapsed and continued taking drugs after leaving the treatment centre. However, I decided to throw myself into a fitness regime proposed to me by the club. After a gentle start I was training four times a week: a combination of running, circuit training, stretching and some strength work.

I cannot stress enough how much this helped me turn a corner in my recovery. I want to make it clear that attending AA and NA meetings, often two or three times a day, plus having a sponsor, was not sufficient to keep me clean. That didn’t work for me the way it does for some people.

What did work was having a dedicated fitness program. I trusted my trainers, goals were set for me, and my commitment to the club grew over time. Before too long I wouldn’t have missed it for anything. Not only did it enable me to abstain from all drugs and alcohol, within a year I had given up smoking. I never planned or expected to give that up. But after a while I wanted to see how much my running would improve so I did.

I am completely clean today, have a home, girlfriend and a job. I still attend classes twice a week. My experience tells me that beating addiction requires everything you can throw at it. Having a fitness regime administered to you by fitness trainers who know what they’re doing is an essential factor in this mix. I cannot thank everyone at Homestraight club enough.”

‘I wouldn’t have missed it for anything” reflects how I also feel about BMF classes (similar to sessions attended by Home Sraight members.) It is BMF that I have stuck at and attended regularly for 9 years and got me into running. Both have also changed my life in many ways too.  Not least finding a great community and many good friends.

Many thanks to those of you who have sponsored me. It means a lot to Home Straight and has really helped give me the grit I’ve needed at times to get on with my training when I’ve found it tough.

You can sponsor me at virginmoneygiving/Rachel Bedford17 or find out more about Home Straight here..

Thank you.