Fun Questions – The Liebster Award 2016

A few weeks ago I was been nominated for The Liebster Award by runner extraordinaire Lucy from EuroGirlRunning and thought I’d get involved. I’ve been nominated a couple of times before (check out THIS ancient post; my love for ribs has been going on for some time!) and it’s always fun because it’s proves for generally quite random post.


The Liebster Award is just a nice blogging thing where you shout out to some blogs you’re enjoying currently. You get some questions to answer from the person who nominated you, then you pass on some of your own questions to other bloggers you nominate. Nice little chain. Now onto the questions!

1. Is there a sport you’d love to try, but haven’t yet? What is it and why?

Generally at school I did loads of sports. I was kind of a Jack of all trades and a master of none. For example, I was part of the basketball team. I’m 5ft4. I also did cricket, hockey, gymnastics and trampolining. I’d love to get into mountaineering and rock climbing though. My granddad was and still is an amazing mountain trekker and climber and has been all over the world scaling dizzy heights and teaching others. It’s just a bit expensive sadly (with all the gear and me having no idea) and the fact that the South Coast is generally quite flat.

2. Where did you go on your last holiday?

Boston…I won’t harp on about it again!

3. Who inspires you the most?

As cheesy as it sounds, my parents. They’re such hardworking and giving people. They also know not to take life too seriously. IMG_7184

Growing up our house was always full of laughter. Granted, things were often disorganised and a bit chaotic (and I blame them entirely for my poor time-keeping skills Winking smile) but they showed me that life is not a rehearsal. I have a fantastic relationship with them today and without them last year would have been really hard. And they have such a strong, loving relationship. Of course they argue, but they are the definition of soul mates. They don’t compute without each other. Unfortunately this instilled in me that love was everlasting and sadly I found out this wasn’t entirely true for everyone.

4. Why do you blog?

First and foremost because it’s a nice cathartic process and I love keeping a record of how races went (not just split times), how my training was and just things in general happening in my life. I enjoy the process of writing it, taking photos and just recapping things of significance. If no one read my blog, I’d still write it.

Secondly, I love the blogging/running community. If my blog is helpful to just one person then that makes me happy. I love reading people’s comments and I also enjoy reading other people’s blogs and commenting on the things they’re getting up to. I’ve made some good friends through blogging Smile

5. What’s number 1 on your bucket list?

Currently it’s doing all the Marathon Majors. So far I’ve done Berlin and Boston. Next up is Tokyo, then London, New York and Chicago. Then you get a HUGE medal to say you’ve done them all. Other than that, I’m not sure. There’s nothing I’m absolutely dying to do or go.

6. What’s your happiest memory?

I have several really good memories. One of them was finishing my last exam at university. My friend Charlotte, who was on the same course, and me arranged a day of fun straight afterwards…silly things that we loved like getting a Starbucks, eating sushi, going to the cinema and eating lots of sweets. The sensed of relief we felt finishing that exam and essentially our entire degree was AMAZING. We’d done this each year after finishing our last exam. Hilariously we managed to recreate the first year’s post-exam photo at the cinema each time.

End of exams

We had good fun doing this! (Let’s not talk about my hair in the first photo, clearly the first year exam’s were quite stressful for me…).

Another good memory was picking up Alfie and driving him home. He was such a tubby little puppy. I remember feeding him a bit of apple (the only other being I’d voluntarily share my apple with, true story) and he then threw it up on my lap. Ahh good times.

7. If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be?

Hmmm. This sounds weird, but maybe the queen? I find it bizarre to imagine her getting up in a morning, eating breakfast and that sort of thing. What’s her life on a daily basis like?? We only ever see this perfect, austere women in the public eye. It’d just be a great insight, not that I particularly fancy being an old lady for a day.

8. Road or trail?

I like road for properly racing and trail for taking my time and enjoying the scenery. Either are good. I just love running Winking smile


Cheddar Gorge MarathonCheddar Gorge Marathon

9. What’s your dream job?

I’d love to work for parkrun. Sounds weird but I just love parkrun and I love what they’re doing for running and the community. Whether I’d be any good is another story though and I’m sure it’s not “all the feels” that running is in reality. As a fun job though probably something involving eating cake. Like a cake taster. I don’t care that that might not be a real job. I’d make it a job.

10. What was your favourite race/event?

The Cakeathon was pretty damn good last year and I’m SUPER excited to do it again this year (in less than two weeks). So relaxed, so much fun, lovely people, LOTS OF CAKE and the best medal of my life.


And for the past three years I’ve done the Romsey Beer and Cake 5 mile race. It’s a tough course but I just love it. It’s the only short distance race I genuinely enjoy. Nothing about the cake at the end obviously… Winking smile

Romsey Beer Race

There were obviously loads of blogs to nominate to answer my questions, but here are a selection of good’uns ]who I thought might be tempted to get involved…

Maria @ RunningCupcake // Mary @ AHealthierMoo // Jane @ ExtremeKnitting // Steph @ BeyondTheSofa // Jemma @ CeleryAndCupcakes // Kat @ KatalystHealth //Staci @ TheGirlRuns

And here are my questions:

1. If you could have only one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?

2. On a similar note, what would be your last meal on Earth?

3. If you could have a superpower what would it be?

4. What annoys you the most in life that other people do/don’t do?

5. What’s your favourite movie?

6. If you had to dress up in fancy dress, who/what would you be?

7. What’s your biggest weakness?

8. Favourite exercise and why?

9. If you could go back in time and tell yourself something when you were at school, what would it be?

10. If you could only RACE one distance ever again, what distance would it be?

But feel free to answer these questions in the comments – I’d love to hear your answers!

Running Survey

As I can’t blog about any current running, I can do a running survey instead! This is stolen from Mary’s blog and I love the questions so thought I’d steal it…

Would you rather run along a beach path or on a mountain trail? I’d much prefer a mountain trail. This is probably because I live by the sea at the moment so I’m quite used to running along beach paths. Also I detest running against wind and it can get very windy along the coast. It just feels so demoralising to be putting in so much effort and not getting anywhere fast. You could argue that mountains are, well, hilly but at least you can get to the top and feel like superman/woman. And the views are amazing.

Cheddar Gorge marathon


If you could choose the flavour of Gatorade at your next race’s aid stations, what would it be? I’ve never had Gatorade. I’m really not a fan of the sugary sports drinks. I know they work for some people, especially for those who don’t want to take gels, but they make me feel a bit sick and I don’t feel they quench my thirst. I love plain water or nuun/High5 water.

If I gave you a £100 gift card to a running store, what would be the first thing that you would purchase with it? Where do I start?? I could be sensible like Mary and say trainers…but I just love fitness clothes. For running I tend to go with more sensible gear in terms of fabric, technical spec, fit and survival in different weathers.

When it comes to the gym I like to spruce things up a bit with colours and style as I have a bit more freedom as weather doesn’t matter. But back to running, I would probably buy a couple of Nike or Adidas items as they’re such good quality and last forever. Though you wouldn’t get much from the price! Ka-ching!


Do you prefer to follow a training plan or wake up and decide then how far and how fast you want to run? I don’t follow a strict plan per se, but I do plan out the weeks in terms of what I want to achieve. It depends if I have a marathon coming up or a race of course but I will never go out on a run without knowing how far I’m going to go. But if the run goes awfully (niggles, illness, tiredness) I’ll cut it short, I’ll never force myself to finish a set of miles purely for the sake of ticking a box. Though I’m quite neurotic and like to plan ahead. I use a spreadsheet to track things. When it comes to marathons I tend to look at online plans and see where the long runs fall and then do my own thing for the other runs.

Would you rather start your run with the uphill and end on the downhill or start your run with the downhill and end with the uphill? Definitely get the uphill done and dusted first. That way I can run it when I’m fresh and then focus on the rest of the course afterwards without dreading the oncoming hill. That said, I don’t really mind as long as I know where the hill is so at least I’m mentally prepared. For Bournemouth I was well aware of two significant hills (miles 12 & 18) so IN THEORY I could have adjusted my strategy accordingly. Well, we all know how that turned out in reality.

When you can’t run, what type of cross-training do you choose to do? I like Mary’s answer of sulking. I’m getting an A* for that at the moment 😉 But, like I said in my previous post, I’m focused on building strength at the gym. I had previously been following the New Rules of Lifting For Women but I’ve put it on hold at the moment as Stage 2 requires a lot of lunges which I’m avoiding for the moment as I want to give my knee some TLC.


Cardio-wise…*sighs* I suppose spinning and rowing. Boring and purely for the purpose of keeping fit.

What is your preference—> Out and back, point to point or loop runs? Oooh I’m just not sure. I like an out and back because you get to know the course and nothing’s a surprise in the second half of the race. I also like that you can think you’re running back to the finish. But I like loops as well (Cheddar Gorge marathon was great for this, mentally I could segment the two halves). Again, the course is no surprise in the second loop. I’m not a big fan of point to points as it feels like one big trek to the finish. Mentally I find that a lot harder. Hello, Boston 😉

If you could recommend ANY running related item to a new runner, it would be a—> BodyGlide. Chafing is a bitch. It takes two seconds to put on but days of pain if forgotten. It’s small to pack in your pre-race bag and I personally find it lasts a bit longer than good old Vaseline. That said, it’s better than nothing!

Do you ever see any wild animals while out on your runs? I love how random this question is. Not really as I tend to run around residential areas. This is such a boring answer sorry!

Ever gotten lost while out on a run? Surprisingly not as much as I probably should do considering how little of a sense of direction I have. I’ve run in quite a few places that I’ve never run before and just made the route up as I went, but most of the time when I do that I play it safe and do an out and back. It also helps doing that when I have a set distance I want to hit. I hate having to think too much about my route when running which is why, unless I’m running with others, I’ll always do the same routes.

If you could have one meal waiting and ready for you each time you got home from a run for the next 30 days… what would that meal be? As much as I love planning what to have when I’ve finished a race or a long run, the reality is it takes me quite a while before I actually fancy eating anything. I have got better though with protein shakes to make sure I’m not a quivering wreck later in the day. My KFC after Cheddar Gorge marathon was pretty damn tasty but I wouldn’t want that all the time. Dream world it’d be ribs (like I did after the Southampton half marathon that I made into 18 miles), but reality porridge is one of my standards. Then cake.


Capris or shorts… what do you run in most often? Shorts. My lower body doesn’t tend to get that cold when I run. It’s more my hands and arms. I much prefer the freedom of shorts and during a marathon I like to wear compression socks and capris and compression socks aren’t a great combo (weird naked knee syndrome).


At what mile (or how many minutes) into your run does your body start to feel like it is warming up and ready to go? Probably 5 miles in, which is why 5ks royally suck for me. I think my perfect distance is 10 miles (which ironically is my worst race distance so far). I absolutely don’t understand how people can do races less than one mile. We’re all different though and I have a huge amount of respect for short distance runners. My body doesn’t just doesn’t like short speedy stuff.

What do you do with your key when you run? This is terrible but when I’m at the club I used to put it on the wheel of my car…until I realised you could leave it in a locked room. If I run from home I take the key off the keyring and then pop it down my sports bra if I don’t have any pockets.

If you could relive any race that you have done in the past, which one what it be? Like Mary said, I’m not sure I’d want to relive any races. Races are hard and generally if you got a PB it was really hard so I wouldn’t want to go back there. After getting my 10k PB in the summer I swore I’d only run one 10k a year!

If I could re-do a race to improve on it then I would definitely re-do Bournemouth.

Bournemouth marathon 5

Or at least the weeks leading up to it. I don’t want to live in regret but I can’t help feel so bitter about a marathon that was supposed to be run just for fun. As many people have said though, I was pushing it with two marathons so close to each other (and three marathons in less than 6 months) and not really recovering properly between them. I don’t regret doing Cheddar Gorge as I loved it so much…but if I hadn’t have done it and Bournemouth went well? I don’t know if I could choose between them. I do wish now that I hadn’t forced myself to finish Bournemouth. Initially I said I didn’t regret it, but now I realise that one race isn’t worth so much time off for an injury. No medal is that good. But lessons have been learnt.

What has been your biggest motivation lately to get out the door to get your run on? Generally that it will mean I have to rearrange my week’s plan if I miss a run! I’m that anal about these things. If I say I’m going to do something I will do it unless something legitimate stops me. Even if I feel really demotivated about a run I know as soon as I start going I’ll be fine. I’d rather push myself to go then spend the rest of the day annoyed that I didn’t.

When you go for a run, do you leave right from your front door or do you drive somewhere to start? Either I’ll run straight from my office, straight from my front door, or I’ll run from my club or parkrun. Depends what day it is!

When running in daylight—> are sunglasses a must or an annoyance? I have a really good pair of (cheap) sunglasses that just sit really nicely when I run. I hate getting blinded by the sun.


When you get tired, what keeps you from quitting? Fear of failure! If I have a goal in mind I will really push myself to reach it. If I don’t hit it it’s because the goal was unrealistic (I’ve set myself stupid goals many a time!) or something out of my control happened (illness, injury, weather, etc.). I’m a very driven person. Of course I have demons in my head and self-doubt but if the goal is achievable from the training I’ve put it then I will do everything I can to get there. A killer playlist as well is a great motivator for me, or crowds. Something like that can suddenly flick a switch inside me to GO GO GO despite how I might have felt 30 seconds before.

Pick a few questions and answer – I’d love to know your responses!