Back in the game

Morning, morning. I am pleased to say that I am back in the marathon running game!

OK to be fair (and I imagine you’re used to this now if you’re a long-time reader) I was probably being my usual paranoid runner self about my shin…which actually worked in my favour as I was very cautious and didn’t do my 16 miler long run, nor my Tuesday run. So by Thursday my shin had calmed down hugely and felt absolutely fine. I think the moral of the story for me is not to go crazy with calf raises and tighten up my calf. Oh, and rest is best!

This meant I could join in with a club-organised long run at the weekend, happy days! A few of us decided to make things interesting by doing 17 miles and then doing a parkrun to top it up to 20 miles. The appeal was a faster finish long run, a nice way to break up an otherwise laborious load of miles and also to get in some parkrun tourism. Most of us had never been to Winchester parkrun (which is about 30 minutes away) so it was quite nice to do something different.

The downside, however, was realising that to get the miles in before parkrun meant a very early start. 5.15am alarm for Saturday morning… ooof. This meant Friday night was technically a school night with sensible food and an early night. I made sure to lay my things out the night before ready to make it easy in the morning.

IMG_3910 Decided to wear my Steve Way “Don’t Be Sh*T” top to get me in the zone 😉

I slept so badly as I kept panicking about my alarm and just generally feeling nervous about the run. I woke up at 4.30am and was pleased that I had another 45 minutes to sleep. But then a while later I jolted awake thinking I’d missed my alarm. Well, my alarm was going off all right but it was on silent!! I was so lucky that it was only 5.20am. All thoughts of how tired I felt were gone as I leapt out of bed and got ready in a panic thinking I’d be late.Early morning long run I ate a Trek (Original Oat) protein bar as I walked Alfiea fter I got dressed. Probably not a great idea as it was so crumbly and it was so dark outside I was getting it everywhere. I had the world’s smallest coffee and was good to go! Despite my late getting up, I arrived at the local train station before everyone else. The plan was to leave our cars there, run to Winchester, eat something, then get the train back to our cars.

IMG_3921 The beginning crew ready to run

We were going to meet another friend, Matt, half way there as he thought it best to not run the entire 20 miles as he was recovering from the dreaded plantar fasciitis, and then we’d meet another friend, Kate, at the parkrun as she was running a half marathon the next day.Long run scenery The route was lovely! All along Itchen River and a fair bit off the main road – which is such a relief when running so many miles. Though it did rain on and off, it was a lovely temperature. I really enjoyed chatting away to the guys as we ran – the time flew by. I do like doing long runs on my own when I zone out and listen to podcasts, but there is something truly enjoyable about running with others, especially for such a long way. Long runs can get very lonely.Long run 2 We made it to Winchester parkrun with about five minutes to spare which was cutting it close. I didn’t want to have to run again after the parkrun and was about 0.5 away from 17 miles so did a lap around the course just before we started. This helped minimise the break between the two runs as well.

Winchester parkrun is very flat and is basically three laps around a field – though apparently we did a slight variation of the usual course doing a weird diagonal run across a field. My first mile was a bit panicked and rushed because after they finished the briefing I thought we’d be starting somewhere else but the guy just said “get ready, go!” and I realised I was quite far at the back and had to do a lot of over-taking and dodging around people. I did have a chuckle though when I saw a man who was running with a dog get yanked back as the dog decided to do his business there and then come what may. The guy had to stop and pick up the poo…a parkrun poo, tee hee.

The second lap was tough. My legs felt very heavy and it just felt hard. My pace dropped and I felt myself flagging. The third mile was easier because I knew it was the last, but my legs (understandably) still felt tired. I got 23:29 which I was over the moon with though. But it did make me think long and hard about what I could achieve at Bournemouth. I just don’t feel mentally ready to push the pace at that marathon and I don’t think my training as been as good as Liverpool had been. I also don’t feel the hunger to get a faster time like I did with Liverpool and I really don’t want to put pressure on myself and potentially have a horrible experience.IMG_3931

We all agreed that it was a tough parkrun because of the miles beforehand but were really proud of ourselves. And though Kate didn’t run the 20 miles, she still smashed out a great parkrun and got first lady! So we all felt pretty chuffed.

(Ave. pace 8:37min/miles)


Then it was off to Whetherspoons for breakfast. We all sort of stumbled there slowly and collapsed at a table. Most of us had a fry-up. Fry-up post long runI went for the large fry-up but subbed my hash browns for more bacon (a superior swap I think).


It was delicious! I also ordered a diet coke, a glass of water and a coffee. Hitting all bases.

We got a lift back with Kate which was great as well. I’m so pleased how well the run went. It was definitely the confident boost I needed for the marathon. Though I ran Cheddar Gorge marathon recently, it was still a good few weeks past now and having missed last week’s long run I was feeling a little worried. But during the 20 miles I felt strong and like I could have gone on and on. The pace was slower than my usual long run which is probably a good thing as 20 miles at my usual pace would probably make the next few weeks hard in terms of recovering and being fresh. Though I’m happy I got to pick the pace up at the end to push through.

After getting back I had this mad surge of energy. Instead of usually feeling exhausted I was on fire with housework, walking Alfie and getting stuff done. Though I didn’t feel hungry again until 4pm! (To be fair, that breakfast was HUGE so I’m not surprised).

The next day I decided to have a rest day. My legs felt good, no niggles or twinges, but I felt a general sense of tiredness. Remembering how injury-prone I am and that I’m not the fastest at recovering, I thought it best to forgo any exercise other than some lovely long walks with Alfie. <– Can we just marvel out how sensible that sentence is for me. I’ve come a long way!

Later on I saw Ben’s mum again this weekend for afternoon tea. We were meant to do afternoon tea last weekend but we left it too late so we decided to try again. We headed to a place I’ve been before but not for a while, Lilly’s in Wickham.

Lilly's WickhamWe both went for a slice of red velvet cake, a fruit scone with jam and cream and I had ham and onion marmalade sandwiches.


It was divine. Though I do prefer to have crusts on my sandwiches they were very dainty!

So all in all, a pretty good weekend. Cake and running – things are back to my kind of normal 😉 And now time to taper!

How was your weekend?

What’s your ideal long run? A training run at a race, running solo, running with others?

Crust or no crusts on your sandwiches?

Putting it into practice

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m trying to up the calories and fuel myself better for running (and life). This is important obviously not only to my overall health but also because I’m still marathon training and want to continue to run healthily.

** Just to add: if putting on weight fails to do anything, then I’m heading to the doctor again and making my case fully heard, and to check there isn’t anything else wrong. I also know stopping running might be the easiest way to get things going again but I really hope it doesn’t come to that 🙁 **

The thoughts from my previous post haven’t just happened, I’ve been thinking about it for a while and have already been upping my nutrition. This was really important after my latest marathon as refuelling and recovering effectively would hopefully mean I could jump ease back into marathon training for Bournemouth (October 4th) without major tiredness, issues or injuries. So far so good, finger’s crossed.

Straight after a marathon is a really tricky time because, like most people I’ve spoken to, I really don’t fancy anything to eat. You’ve just run for a ridiculously long time and your body is in a bit of shock and probably feeling a bit dodgy. But this is a critical time to refuel and maximise your recovery, and if you leave it too long you can end up doing your body no favours.

To combat not fancying food I bought a recovery shake from Tesco to drink straight afterwards. Drinking something is far easier than eating something. It’s also easier to put in your bag and carry with you.


I’d planned to take just regular chocolate milk but I liked the sound of this one with it’s added nutrients (vitamins, calcium, magnesium, etc.) and high protein (40g). Plus it was on offer in Tesco. It’s fairly low in carbs (10g) which was a bit annoying but I knew I’d get that sorted soon so I wasn’t concerned (looking at their website I probably should have chosen the Recovery version but this one wasn’t on offer…). And it tasted nice.

I’d drunk a bit more water immediately after finishing and actually wasn’t thirsty at all when my dad and me were back in the car. And I needed to pee about an hour later. Usually after a marathon it takes a fair few hours to need the loo (sorry, here I go again with my bathroom habits!). I think this is a great sign that I hydrated well, despite it being a very warm day.

We knew that we’d have trouble finding a place to eat driving back home because it would be late afternoon on a Sunday and most places would be closed. The day before when we were planning I suggested to my dad something I have never suggested before to him. How about a KFC? They’re always open!

I’m not a big fast food eater. I don’t like McDonalds or Burger Kings (why have a teeny plastic burger when you can have a delicious proper burger from a pub?) and fast food in general isn’t really my scene. However, you all know my love for a cheeky Nando’s and chicken in general and the thought of a dirty KFC after a hard run just sounded dreamy to me.

We did have to make a detour off our route home but we found one eventually. My dad was pleased to be allowed to legitimately have a KFC without me moaning at him. To be fair he hadn’t had lunch and had walked a fair distance, plus it seemed only fair considering how much of a help he was to me in supporting me.

IMG_3340 Not my finest look I must admit

I haven’t actually had a KFC since I was about 12 so I stood gawping at the menu for a bit having no idea what to choose. Eventually I went for a Mighty Bucket for One. Normally I might have been a bit dissuaded by the 1,200 calories listed next to this meal (which probably doesn’t include the fries) but hell I’d just run for 4.5 hours and needed it! I will just add, there are far better and more nutritionally sound ways to refuel after a marathon or workout – but for convenience, high calories and sheer god damn tastiness this was the ticket.


It took me a while though to actually eat the damn thing though. My stomach was cramping and I felt sick. After taking a breather I dove straight in though. I couldn’t eat it all (pretty much all the chicken disappeared but the chips were just too much for my delicate stomach – I prioritised with what I love of course!).

After arriving home and having the best shower of my life (I think I always say this after a race), I was a bit hungry again but the thought of cooking something was beyond me as I was so tired. Instead I went for the easy and tasty option of a lemon and blueberry slice of cake (thank you, Freezer Stock).


I also had some fruit and called it a night. Not a sound day of nutrition I grant you, but easy calories into the system nonetheless. The days after the marathon I made sure to keep my calories up (and of better quality). My favourite current meal is a monster salad of tinned salmon with avocado, butternut squash roasted in lots of coconut oil (heaven), and lots of veg. That might not sound that good but I made sure to have a lot of avocado in there and use a big blob of coconut oil.

And on the Tuesday after the marathon, a Nando’s before seeing Inside Out at the cinema after work worked wonders.IMG_3361I think I did pretty well last week on refuelling and I’ve continued this going forward. Some days I do feel stuffed though and that I’ve eaten loads, but at the same time I know it’s doing my body good. My mindset is that this is part of running well. It’s like my strength training. Most of the time I find it quite hard to feel the same enjoyment as I get from running when I go to the gym, but at the same time I know it’s important to do so I can run. The same goes with increasing my weight. I might not enjoy my clothes feeling tighter going forward, but I’d hate to not be able to run a whole lot more.

Going forward I’ll be posting about how things are going, what I’m eating and the changes I’m making alongside my usual mumbo jumbo!

How do you recover after a marathon/hard workout?

What do you eat immediately after you work out/race?

What’s your favourite fast food if you had to pick one?

Who I am today (part 2)

OK so part 1 was a tough post for me. Having a blog is tricky as there are some things that you don’t feel comfortable talking to the whole world about, but at the same time it’s sometimes important to discuss certain issues however uncomfortable and embarrassing, rather than create a taboo. Part 2 is equally tough but in a different way.

During university I became healthy again both in my body and with my relationship with food. Being relaxed around food makes social occasions and enjoying life in general so much easier, as you can imagine. My relationship with food hasn’t changed. I haven’t regressed to worrying about calories, weight or loss of control. Food is still my friend. Since writing my blog this has been the case. Rest assure that when I show photos of cake, meals and snacks that I’m eating those things and enjoying them.

However I have a keen interest in keeping fit and being healthy. I obviously don’t eat cake every night with abandon. I genuinely enjoy healthy food like salads, vegetables and regularly make ‘sensible’ choices on a daily basis. I choose a handful of nuts as a snack (pistachios being my favourite) rather than a bag of crisps. This is mainly because I know the nuts will be more satisfying and nutritionally sound. When I go to a restaurant and choose a salad from the menu it isn’t because it looks like it’s the lowest calorie option available, it’s because I love salads. And, if you’ve read my blog for a long time, you know I’m likely to order chips on the side or have a Caesar salad which is hardly low calories with that creamy thick dressing!Zippers mealA few years ago I fell in love with running, which wasn’t an issue until I started running a lot more (probably two years ago). I ate well and my weight didn’t change. I’m probably slightly more heavy than I was when I left university at my healthy weight.

But after a while my period stopped again. At this point I was still with Ben. I checked I wasn’t pregnant and was hugely confused. My weight hadn’t dropped – I’m healthy! What’s going on? I went to the doctor (a different one) and explained my issue. They said that as my weight seemed fine (my BMI is in the healthy range) I should go on the pill and it would regulate things back to normal. No problemo.

Long story short, it sort of did, sort of didn’t. I’m ashamed to admit I just ignored the situation. We didn’t want children anytime soon and I knew I was eating properly. I started taking a calcium/vitamin D/magnesium supplement every day just in case and just carried on my merry little way assuming things would eventually become OK.

Ben and me separated and I stopped taking the pill and, well, nothing has changed. It’s funny (well, no it’s not obviously) but when a couple of my favourite bloggers openly discussed their previous problems with this area I didn’t apply it to myself at all. My head was firmly in the sand.

As a runner, injuries are the bane of my training. I’ve somehow mastered to get over half a year with no injuries and I’m over the moon. But in the back of my mind I know I’m walking a tightrope as by not having the proper hormones going on I’m in big danger of stress fractures as my bones might be too weak. Every time someone even mentions stress fractures, or I read about them in magazines or on blogs, I feel sick. It scares the hell out of me.

Taking my head out of the sand, I know this IS NOT NORMAL. I’m pretty sure it’s because I run too much for the weight I’m at. My body was fine at this weight for living life but adding in 30 miles of running a week (and my gym visits) has clearly stressed it out. It’s too busy keeping me running than worrying about ‘pesky’ hormones.

But I can’t give up running. Not yet. It’s a lifeline for me right now. Instead, I’m going to try and put on more weight. More calories = more weight which means (hopefully) kicking my body into gear with more hormones = healthy bones. I won’t lie, it sucks. I like the way I look and no girl really wants to be told she needs to put on weight. But I love running more and knowing how good running feels without being injured only heightens my resolve.

It’s going to be tough. I already eat a lot through the day – it’s not like I miss out meals or go to bed hungry. I’m a three meals plus regular snacks kinda girl! It’s frustrating because I do feel like I eat enough and I don’t count calories or actively maintain a certain weight. That said, I do know where my problem areas are though. I struggle with eating enough on long run days, often only having two meals as I just don’t fancy more and I don’t really eat more on days I exercise compared to days I don’t. Perhaps I think I’m eating lots but in reality for the exercise I do, I’m not. But I have strategies to master this! I know I can add more calories into my diet without necessarily stuffing myself silly every day. My plan:

(I will just add that I know I could eat cake every day – and God knows I really want to – but I need to do this in a fairly healthy way that will also be beneficial to sustaining good running).

  • Switch almond milk to semi-skimmed milk (more protein, more fat)
  • Switch my daily low-fat Greek yogurt to full-fat
  • Eat more nuts
  • Eat more avocados
  • Eat more oily fish
  • Use more coconut oil
  • Face plant a cake every night

I’ve heard that increasing your fat intake helps regulate hormones which is why there’s a lot more fat there and when I looked at what I normally eat I saw, apart from meat (which I don’t eat all the time), I don’t really eat that much fat at all.

I’m not going to go crazy and I want to do this fairly slowly (otherwise I’ll probably freak out – what girl wouldn’t?). I’ll aim for 5-7 pounds at first and see where that gets me. When I told my mum she said (amongst many other helpful and supportive things), “yep, you definitely need more meat on you”. Point taken, mums know best.

So there we go. However embarrassing these two post have been, I wanted to be honest and wanted to make myself accountable. Though I’m in a great place with food, I’m not perfect and I’m certainly not immune to feeling fat and thinking I look fat at times. This is obviously only going to increase. But it’s got to be done if I want to run healthy and for years to come.

I’m by no means an expert in this area nor do I know lots about food and nutrition so this is very much my own deductions and judgements. Any advice is always welcome.

Do you struggle to refuel properly after long runs?

Have you had any experience in this area?

Cheddar Gorge Marathon

It’s long, I’m sorry, I just really had a lot to say!

This marathon was so vastly different to my previous ones. It’s off-road, technical trail, sharp inclines, long inclines, sharp declines, slow declines, jumping over rivers, stiles, rocks and logs.

image The marathon is two laps of this course

I’ve done the half marathon so knew roughly what to expect. It had taken me just under two hours so I was aiming for 4.5-5 hours, but I wanted no pressures so didn’t mind how longit took as long as I remained injury-free.

My dad and me set off at 7.30am in the morning. It takes about two hours to get there and I would need a coffee and loo stop en route. The start time was 11am (or so I thought) so we had enough contingency time. I ate my porridge in the car and felt rather relaxed.

Marathon fuel

I had a coffee and a Beet It shot. I noticed the Beet It shot went off at the end of June but it tasted fine. Bottoms up and finger’s crossed! I had planned to take four gels en route: one was a Mule Bar brand (Lemon Zinger with caffeine) and the other three were the 33Shake Chia Energy Gels (which you add coconut water/water to and I’d done the previous night). I knew for this marathon I needed to take on more fuel because I would be running at least over an hour more than a normal marathon.

We arrived at Cheddar Gorge and then did a reckie of where my dad planned on standing. We’d Google mapped it the night before and found an ideal spot between mile 11 and 12.


The course is a bit of a nightmare for spectators (there are barely any on the course) but this is a good point when the runners come near the road before heading up off the stairs of hell. In the above photo you can see where the course goes behind my dad and up that hill (which are large steps).


They go on further than you can see in the photos! We then needed to find registration. We headed off to where we thought it was and found it was just more parking. Now it was 10.30am and I started to panic (panicked so much I didn’t even wait for the ladies public toilet, I just jumped straight into the men’s).

I then found out it was at the start – which is at the top of a very steep hill. So I quickly got my gear together: hydration belt, one gel – my dad would have the rest – sun tan lotion slapped on and visor. I said a quick goodbye and headed off up. He wasn’t going to climb the massive hill because it was HUGE and, bless him, it might kill him. He went instead to find breakfast.

Cheddar Gorge hillUp and up it went

It took me about 10 minutes or so to climb that hill and I was panting by the time I got to the start. Good warm-up! It was now 10:45 and I leisurely took some photos and looked around before heading to registration.Cheddar Gorge marathon start

“Oh the marathon started at 10:40. It’s only the half that’s at 11” said the volunteer. Now I don’t really swear that much or that aggressively but my immediate reaction wasn’t PG friendly. I instantly panicked. What do I do!? They told me it was OK I could start now if I wanted. I HADN’T EVEN GOT MY BIB ON. This is my worst nightmare. I’m struggling to get the bib on as I keep swearing and my heart is going a million miles an hour. Then someone behind me, also putting their bib on, says they did the same. So the marshal said we could start together at a set time and they would adjust our times at the end according to when the marathoners started. They suggested starting at exactly 10:55 so we quickly headed over to the start line after they took our bib numbers. We had our own private start!

Needless to say my first mile was STRESSFUL. I had to keep telling myself not to try and catch up because it would ruin the race for me. My heart was still going and I tried to calm down and ease into a nice pace. I’d printed out and laminated my half marathon split times and had it with me to refer to so I could ensure each mile was slower – hopefully meaning I wouldn’t go off too quickly. Because of the crazy terrain you just couldn’t have a consistent pace, so this was a good way for me to not be stupid.

image Elevation chart of the entire marathon

Sometime towards the end of mile one the half marathoners started overtaking me. I willed myself not to go with them and keep to my own race. They only had to do the course once, whereas I was down for two laps.


The first few miles flew by. I couldn’t even tell you what was going through my head. I was probably too focused on not falling over and where to put my feet. I had my phone with me take photos and listen to a podcast and music later but I was fine just plodding along.


The scenery was beautiful but the course was unsteady under food, very technical at times, and lots of inclines and declines to negotiate with. I was happy to walk as soon as I got to a hill that required significant effort to run up. There was no point beasting it up a hill and knackering myself so early in the game.

My hydration belt contained coconut water (brilliant idea from Lauren) and I made sure to keep drinking. I got to a feed station at around mile six after a fabulous downhill stretch and the marshals wonderfully filled up my bottles while I drank the nuun that they had on the table – nuun!! They had a great spread of food and drink. I took a couple of sliced oranges (another great tip from Mary) and headed off again.


Around mile seven we hit one of the worst hills. I was fully prepared having prior course knowledge and watched as people optimistically attempted to run it and quickly stopped. I used this time wisely to have my first gel.

After that hill I knew it was relatively easy going until we got to those steps around mile 12. I was keen to get my dad and tell him about my disaster start and to make sure he wasn’t worried that I wasn’t among the marathoners. Though by this point I had caught up to the slower runners and was easing past them.

There’s an out and back section up to another feed station which is fairly narrow and a bit of a nightmare, especially with the half marathoners and marathoners there at the same time but I caught up to a girl running the half and started chatting with her. We swapped running stories and she told me her PB for a marathon was around 3:44. She (her name is Jilly) looked about my age so I told her she must be pleased with a London GFA. She had no idea what it was! I was pleased to explain it to her and she seemed quite chuffed.

I was feeling great and was enjoying myself. Talking would also help me stick to a sensible pace and Jilly was lovely to chat to. Disturbingly I started to feel my tummy doing some crazy bubbling and cramping. I continued to chat but in the back of my mind I started to panic that my stomach was getting worse. The race is fairly low key and there are very few portable loos on the course (I think there is one at the feed station around mile six) but I knew there were portable loos at the start/finish area (which would be halfway for me) so I just kept pushing on and hoping for the best…!

I saw my dad and he gave me my gels, and I ate one going up those ridiculous steps. I knew I needed to keep fuelling despite my dodgy tummy.

Jilly and I eventually parted ways as she went to finish the half and I continued on. As the marathon course does a sweep around the start/finish area I had to wait a bit longer before I could actually get to the loos. Eventually I was able to run off the course towards the loos. This has never happened to me before. It was probably the Indian food the day before (not my ‘normal’ Indian takeaway – lots of sauces I don’t normally have) or it could have been the gone-off Beet It. Either way, my body was not happy.


Annnnnnnway, I got back to the race and felt much better. The course then goes all the way to the bottom of the gorge to then climb that bastard hill we had to climb to get to the start/registration area.


This was TOUGH. No running involved (this is mile 14 which also includes my bathroom stop – I didn’t stop my watch). The half marathoners were now coming down after finishing, all wearing their medals and looking happy. They were all lovely and supportive to us though and one even gave me his water as mine had run out. There was a feed station just along from the top so I could refill again with nuun water but it was just at that point I needed water.


What was great now was that you knew it was just one more lap. Mentally this was easy in my head. I still felt good and still didn’t fancy listening to anything. I was ‘at one’ with the race if you like. I was having a great time!

Unfortunately as I got a few miles into the second lap my stomach started whirling again. I overtook a guy who was having a wee stop and started frantically looking for the ideal area to hide myself away in. I found a spot that was sort of hidden away from the course trail. I was mildly amused that I could see the man run past and if he just looked up the hill near him he’d see me nestled into a bush doing my business. THANKFULLY he didn’t. Again, I felt so much better and, I’m sure you’ll all be glad to know (as my bathroom habits are clearly a highlight of this race recap) that my stomach for the rest of the race was fine. As I saw the guy ahead he turned round and asked if I’d got lost. I had to shout across at him “no, just a call of nature!”. Mortification complete.

We ran together for quite a few miles, chatting about this and that and it was lovely. We walked the hills together and then picked up the pace again on the flats and the time flew by. I couldn’t believe it when I checked my watch to see we were at 19 miles!

We got to the flatter, downhill trail again and I broke off from him as I found a new lease of life and energy. I managed to take a more photos as well.IMG_3326

As it got to about mile 23 I decided to put some music on which was a nice change. But Apple Music kept cutting out (I’ll soon be switching back to Spotify) so it didn’t really work. I wasn’t bothered though.IMG_3330

The temperature was warm and I sweated a lot but thankfully there was no searing sunshine. I felt like I was keeping well hydrated. At each feed station I’d refill my bottles, drink a few gulps of nuun and take either an orange slice or some jelly beans.


I saw my dad at the same spot before those steps at around mile 24 and knew I just had to get up them and I was home-free. This last mile was tough as I knew I was almost there but my legs were now feeling very fatigued. Whereas for the first lap when I got to this point I still felt like I was fresh and fine to carry on, but now I was feeling the hills and was very tired. I had an agonising moment where I kicked a rock as well. I guess because my feet weren’t picking up enough and it was like a dagger in my toe. But I was almost there! Genuinely this was the only mile where I seriously thought “OK I’m ready to finish now”.

With one final little incline that I had to walk, then a sprint to the finish and I was DONE.

And now it gets a bit awkward. I saw the main race organiser and headed over to him after I finished and said to him about my start time mix-up and how I’d been reassured I would have my time readjusted. The marshal from the start was there to corroborate my story and the other late man’s wife as well. It was clear I wasn’t lying and had my watch time to prove it anyway.

The organiser looked really awkward and said it would mean I would ‘bump’ a girl to third place as her time was 4:38:33, and mine was 4:31:26 on my watch (and 10:46 marathon start and 10:55 my start difference = 9ish minutes off my gun time of 4:40:12). He said that he would sort it though and took down my details again. Reassured I headed off, grabbed my medal and then had to walk down that bastard epic hill to find my dad.


That hill…walking down it was a nightmare. Bless my dad he had made a good effort to work his way up and find me and had gotten about 1/3 of the way up. We finally got to the bottom, took the standard post-race photo and headed to the car.


Unfortunately when the results were released I saw my time hadn’t changed. It still said 4:40:12 (third female). I emailed the organiser. He came back and said in the end it was too awkward to bump the current second place female into third and that the results would remain as they were. He further added that how were we to know that if the lady knew she was third not second she wouldn’t have pushed harder (she would have needed almost seven minutes…). So I’m third female in the results. I won’t lie, I’m sad about this. I wish they had told me this at the time as they led me to believe the results would be adjusted. BUT I know this is my own fault for being late and not reading the race information properly so really I only have myself to blame.

What does make it a little bit harder to take is that the difference between our gun times was only around 1 minute 40 seconds… perhaps the equivalent to two bathroom stops. GARGHHH!!! That said, I never expected to get on the podium anyway so I’ll take it!

In the end I was 3rd female (4:40:12 official time *grumble grumble*), 2nd in my age category and 14th overall (men & women – incidentally my ‘chip’ time would have gotten me 9th overall).

Despite my idiocy and the annoyance I feel about the results, I fully enjoyed the marathon. Though it was such hard work surprisingly it felt easier than Liverpool. I guess because I knew I could walk at any time and I was just ‘taking my time’. In my heart (and on my watch) I know the time I got. But it does remind me that no matter how much pressure I take off myself from a race I still need to READ THE RACE INFORMATION PROPERLY.

Oh, and don’t eat stupid food the day before a marathon 😉

Have you ever started a race late?

What is your preferred race: road or trails? I can’t decide!

Have you ever had tummy issues during a race?

Simply Supplements – take 2

Happy Friday! This morning I have another review of some supplements from the guys at Simply Supplements. I’ve previously reviewed some of their products before (check it out HERE) and was happy to do another review for them.

Simply Supplements is an online shop selling a wide range of different supplements. I chose two different ones to try.

Alpha Lipoic Acid 250mg

When Simply Supplements asked me to take my pick of something it was perfect timing as I’d only recently heard about some of the benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid (in combination with the second supplement I chose) to runners and athletes in general. I can’t remember where exactly I read about it, but it was peaked my interest for definite.


After doing my DNAFit test I’m keenly aware that I need to ‘up’ my antioxidants that I have in order to help remove free radicals from my system to improve my recovery and stave off injuries. And this little gem apparently does just that: it helps “defend cells against oxidative damage caused by ‘free-radical’ molecules.” (Source). It’s also supposed to help build lean body mass and reduce fat.

Acetyl L-Carnitine 500mg

Acetyl L-Carnitine was the second supplement I chose and, according to evidence, works best in combination with the previous supplement Alpha Lipoic Acid.


“Acetyl L Carnitine transports important fatty acids into the mitochondria of cells to support vitality and energy” (source). Basically it helps provide the body with more energy.

Though the above two nutrients are present in some foods (e.g. spinach, broccoli, beef, and kidney), the amounts tend to be quite small. So the supplements help in that respect. I’m always more of a fan of getting my nutrients from food than tablets (far more fun that way!), but in this case this seems preferable.


Thoughts? Well, you know me, anything that keeps me from getting injured I’m all for! There appears to be a lot of evidence out there that helps back up the claim that together these supplements are a powerhouse of force against oxidative stress (thereby reducing cell damage and ageing). There’s a lot more science to this (as you can imagine) of which I won’t go into, mainly because it’s a) not particularly interesting to read and b) I’m not that intelligent to understand it 😉 but the links I’ve provided go into a bit more detail if you are interested/more intelligent than me.

Having now tried another set of their supplements, I’m confident that Simply Supplements are a great company and I highly recommend their products. The tablets are nice and small and you can take one-two a day of each with meals. I’m probably going to continue buying these supplements when I’m finished as the evidence is so strong and it’s something I think my body would benefit from with my running and high injury status.

What supplements do you use?

How do you support the weakness in your body?

What’s important to you about a supplement?

**Full Disclosure: I was sent these supplements for free to review by Simply Supplements. All opinions are my own honest ones.**