running blog


Sulking.  Janathon day 1. 

Happy New Year!

Hello Janathon, here we go again…

I didn’t set my alarm and lay out my kit for parkrun this morning because there wasn’t one. 

Not that setting my alarm and laying out my kit always results in me making the start of a parkrun, but today I really wanted to. I’d been excited when the Christmas and New Year parkrun events were posted and was planning all sorts of potential doubles for New Years day. But then Christmas plans got made and I realised we would be on the Isle of Wight over New Year and worse still the local parkrun were unable to hold an extra New Years Day event. 

I had a few fantasies about making the trip to some on the south coast but a 30 minute drive just to get to the hovercraft  (if it was running in the high winds) or to an overpriced car ferry before I even made it to Portsmouth made it unrealistic.  

So this morning I slept in. At some stage I had a peek at my Strava time line and there were already a few parkruns posted. I dived back under the duvet to sulk a bit more. By 10.30 another peek showed more and Facebook was full of parkrun double talk. Agghhhhh!  I finally figured I could sulk in bed all day (not very Janathon like) or get up and do some bloody exercise. 

An ‘any one fancy a bike ride’ got no response (yesterday was probably windy enough) so a run it would be.   I grabbed a map to find a suitably parkrun sized section of  off road cycle path to run and then procured a lift to the start point and pick up at the end so I could run point to point. 

My route planning was pretty spot on although I did stop my Garmin at 5K  a little short of the end of the path.  My own personal New Year ‘parkrun’ done.  (Maybe I should have planned to run back to complete the double…)

Janathon day one,  3.1 miles run. 


Dymchurch Marathon

I won!

Well not as in came first but I did…

  • acheive my aim of finishing my 3rd marathon happy!
  • beat my previous best time by 20 minutes.
  • enjoy (most of) it and feel good.
  • run (practically) all the way. I hope to be excused a brief  section in the middle of the last mile in the face of a (by that stage) 40mph headwind when it really was quicker to march/stagger.
  • have a great day running with some lovely people.*
  • question that maybe I’m not such a  fairweatherrunner.**
  • discover that Oreos are the perfect marathon fuel at 21 miles.
  • decide I definitely  want to run another one…
  • Oh, and I was first lady home!***

So I reckon that does make me a winner.

*The benefit of multiple laps is the support of other runners.  Lots of thumbs ups, well dones and waves as we passed each other and the front runner lapping me on his way to finsh telling me well done, keep it up.  There was definitely a pattern to it on Sunday.  Happy and encouraging others on the way out with the tail wind and then battling back into the wind with a grimace receiving encouragement.  It was great to run the first few laps with Louise who I ran my first marathon with, see Cassie smiling through a tough first marathon, exchange ‘ looking good’ and ‘we can do this’ with Helen  and get a big hug on the last stretch home from Cathy who came to support.

**It started windy and got very very windy.  The adverse weather conditions actually  gave me something real to moan about rather than worrying about imaginary niggles and made me bloody minded and even more determined to be strong and tough it out.  

***It was a small field and many runners were on their second, third, fourth or fifth marathon in as many days, but shh… we won’t tell anybody that  –  I’m making the most of  it because it won’t happen again!

Many thanks to Saxon-Shore for a brilliant, friendly low key marathon. It was perfectly flat, mud free and uncrowded.   I liked the laps, although after a few I was questioning  whether I had passed a very large rock in the middle of the sea wall ot not.



I’m Back

Really back this time.

I’m running a marathon tomorrow.

Yes I know I should have blogged about it earlier.  I did get a nag from Cathy for not updating my marathon training and mentions from Sharon and Alma which nudged me back to my blog but I felt a bit of a fraud having a running blog when I wasn’t really running.

I have dabbled during Juneathon and Janathon, writing  a bit about my excuses for not running and the odd BMF class, parkrun or classy plank.

I’ve had false starts, comebacks and ‘return’ races.  I managed a 2 week run streak during Juneathon this year and a comeback 10K at the end of Janathon but I have not seriously run or trained for any event since the London Marathon in 2014.

Then two things happened.  I stood on the scales at Easter to weigh my son’s suitcase and I went to cheer this years London Marathon.  The mean old scales told me the truth I didn’t want to hear and watching the marathon made me think that maybe it wasn’t as bad as my memories were telling me.  I set about losing some blubber and my subconscious started thinking about running another marathon.

Facebook and wine don’t mix.  On May Bank Holiday Sunday evening I found myself entering a marathon with Cathy, Helen and Cassie.  It’s a flat one and the medal and goodie bag (beer and cake) are fantastic. (We’ll worry about the strong winds on the Kent coastal sea wall tomorrow!)

Fast forward to this Autumn and after a slow start I finally got into my marathon training.  I said I would run it –  so I had to grit my teeth and get on with it.   But I started to enjoy myself.  Regular running and being 12 pounds lighter have done wonders for my pace and stamina.  In October I ran a good HM at the Exeter Great West Run and felt really strong on a hilly course.  If I hadn’t had to make an unplanned loo stop I would have pipped my HM PB by a few seconds.  Mojo returned.

My previous attempts at marathon training have felt like a chore, hating the really long, long runs.  I can’t say I love them now,  and I could do with running a few more of them, but for the last weeks of my training I have had a new business like attitude to training and focus on my plan.

The icing on the cake was running a 10K PB of 49.06 two weeks ago.  I ran 50.38 in 2010 and have been trying to get back there, or under 50 minutes ever since but 52  is the closest I’ve managed.

Marathon training rocks!

We’ll see what tomorrow brings!


First world problems

Juneathon ends with all the problems of being a Juneathoner, BMFer, runner and some time cyclist. 

(Blog for previous days 27 and 28 etc etc on the way, honest). 

Anyway, this evening I had to get scrubbed up and appear, albeit brefly, in a respectable state for a reception at school before the sixth form leavers ball (schools way of reducing pre-loading by including the parents at the start) Just for an hour. 

So while my son got suited and booted, I  just had to be clean and shiny and respectable (help) in a suitable dress without trying too hard. 

No problem. I grabbed my go to dress for more formal occasions when it’s hot.  

Problem 1.   Dress might have been bought 20 years ago  but it’s now a little bit too big. Yay, silly dance around the bedroom!  (Exercise and careful eating work). It could do with  taking in a bit, however it had to do tonight because the alternatives were just too warm. 

Problem 2. More make up was required on my legs than my face to cover up all my  bruises and horse fly bites from BMF and tan lines from cycle socks. (Attractive – not). Soon sorted with plenty of concealer and bronzer. 

I tried to get @juneathon to accept walking home in 3inch heels as my exercise for today. My feet did ache. That was not good enough. Instead I had to do a wine and Italian filled plank.  


 Blogs from last weekend and Juneathon round up to follow…

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A mile with Ed

A mile with my 16 year old son was all it took to get me motivated to run this evening.  

I admitted around 5pm that a cold glass of wine was far preferable to a run around  the block and  I was thinking about wimping out.  

He didn’t accept that,  and for some reason (a post GCSE need for a little exercise, or a must get out the house today feeling?) or other he told me if we got going before 6pm he would run for 10 minutes with me.  I was changed in a flash (he stuck to T shirt and chinos) and we set off. I told him we’d manage at least a mile in 10 minutes so  he re-negotiated a mile or 10 minutes whichever came first. 

To start with he mocked the easy pace I started us at. He could walk as fast as that.   I pushed the pace to show him what I might normally run at.  He was happy with that and we ran along together for the first half mile, Ed asking if we’d been 5 minutes yet so we could turn home. (He’s definitely more of a sprinter than endurance runner. But maybe with a little training?)

Towards a mile he said his legs were aching (I think his footwear was too minimalist for pavement pounding) and we eased off and stopped at one mile a tad short of the 10 minutes. We walked the last bit home. 

Having run one mile I was out the door, warmed up and well set up for my loop around the block only slowed by the 50% of pedestrians who are texting and not looking where they are going and bumping into two friends along the way. 

A good evenings running.  Thanks Ed. 

Juneathon day 25

1 mile with Ed plus 

3.1 miles around the block. 



Last week I was a Juneathon slacker. I only exercised on two days, going to BMF by bicycle on Wednesday and Friday. I also failed to blog. This week I promised on twitter I would slack no more and run or cycle everyday.  

I have still been slacking on the blogging front but am doing a little better with exercise. On Monday I cycled  to BMF and on Tuesday I got myself out  the door for a 3.7 mile evening run. I was going to do the same this evening but after an afternoon out shopping to get my son suited and booted for his sixth form leavers ball I changed mind. The shopping was successful but my legs ached and because I have a busy weekend of exercise planned I decided to rest and save my legs  until tomorrow morning. 

Wednesday’s exercise will therefore have to be the few miles of walking I did around the shops, a foam rolling session and a few squats/press ups and a plank or two to relieve my guilty conscience. 



#Juneathon days 15 and 16 I have had to take a Sabbatical.   

My eldest’s A’levels have reached the final peak week and for the first time in his academic life he’s a bit stressed. I’m anxious for him too.  An exam didn’t go well on Monday and he’s feeling he’s cocked up all his A’levels and should have done more work earlier. 

Mothers are not allowed to say ‘I told you so’. 

Instead I am available. At home. Helping him stay positive for the last 2 exams at the end of this week. Encouraging at half hour intervals and listening to  him to talk out answers for potential questions.   

Running has had to take a back seat even though it  might do me good, but wine works well.   I do have a much tider and cleaner house. (#juneathon activity?  I’ve not sat still!)

But I have a plan.

Yes, we’re back there again.  I will make it to BMF tomorrow for a bit of therapy from my fab friends which will put me straight. Then hopefully after a two day rest  I can carry on a second two week run streak to the end of the month.