All the running and all the food

Two things in life make me very happy (amongst other things of course, but in general these two rank pretty high). Food and running. And these things have been going nicely hand in hand over the last few days.

So you know I said I love my new job? Well I REALLY love my new job. On the last Friday of the month Wiggle organise a run and a cycle for everyone to join in with, if they want. For the last couple of months I haven’t been able to join in, either due to coming back from injury or just not fitting in with my running schedule. But this month I was good to go finally!

They had a few different events you could sign up to: a speedy cycle, a mountain bike session in Queen Elizabeth Country Park, a gentle 5k, a trail 7k I’m QECP or a scavenger hunt walk. So it’s very inclusive. You didn’t have to do any but it was all free and started at 2.30pm Friday. I signed up to the trail run and was feeling excited. I had actually won an internal competition as well so had some brand new season dhb gear to test out too.Friday was also the national Macmillan bake sale so there was a ridiculous number of cakes floating about the office too. Happiness all round! I’d already come pre-prepared with cash ready to donate and invest in some solid pre-run fuel. I actually wolfed down my porridge at double speed when I saw them putting the cakes out as I didn’t want to miss any of the good stuff (I have s genuine fear of food running out. It’s a symptom of being the greedy person I am).So before 9.30am I’d already eaten my porridge, a peanut butter brownie, a questionable vegan brownie, a sausage roll and a GIANT scotch egg (with bacon in it). It was incredible.My work colleagues laughed at me in wonder. I like food, what can I say! 

By 2.30pm everyone who wanted to get involved was changed and ready to share lifts to their destination. We arrived in short time to QECP and got going. The group was a nice mixed bunch of men and women, some super speedy and some less so. The pace was nice and easy though the hills were sharp and frequent. We actually followed some of the parkrun route. We’d stop and walk for a but so people could catch up or catch their breath and it was a lovely amble through the beautiful countryside. The trail was a bit muddy and slippy with some tree roots and rocks about but nothing too technical. I got to know a few more of my work buddies better and chat to people I didn’t know, which was just great. Some were avid ultra marathoners, some occasional parkrunners so it was a nice mix. I find it so easy to chat to people who I already have the common ground of running with.The 7k flew by and I felt great. A few of the guys suggested another 7k loop and after a moment’s deliberation (and a quick calculation of mileage) I decided to join. I think there were about seven of us in total that did the second loop. I was a bit worried that they’d shoot off as they were all quite speedy but hey promised not to leave me behind. And asides from the first 1km straight up a giant hill, it was fine and I felt quite comfortable running.We didn’t push the pace to any extremes but we didn’t stop this time. I actually felt really good. I forget how much I love running off-road and should really do it more.At the end we grabbed a quick drink in the cafe and then one of the guys drove me back to the office to collect my car. It was a lovely way to end the week!

I got back to my parent’s house (which is now where I live) and had a lovely hot shower and a light dinner. I say a light dinner only because my lovely mum and brought me back a few pieces of cake from her bake sale at the hospital where she works. A scone, a slice of Victoria sponge, a slice of lemon drizzle cake and a chocolate crispy cake…well I was done!The next morning I was up early to catch the train to Reading to meet up with my friend, George, who I used to work with at my old job (I also did the Tough Mudder event with him a while ago) and his fiancée. He’s such a nice guy (and his partner is lovely too!) and we’re very likeminded in our love of food. In fact they have a blog which they’ve recently just started (check out their CookNoBook Instagram). The plan was to do the Reading parkrun and then go for lunch. They’ve never done a parkrun before so I was more than happy to introduce them to it.Amazingly I got to theirs without a hitch and we headed to Thames Valley Park where the parkrun was held. It was super busy and cars were parked all along the road. We parked a little walk away and got there just before the first timer’s brief.The course is nice and flat and relatively simple. A straight run out over a small bridge and then two laps around the country park bit. It goes alongside the Thames and the rather was thankfully just a little chilly but the sky was blue.

Ala, George’s partner, isn’t a regular runner so was a little nervous but we were all looking forward to it. George is like a Duracell bunny and has tons of energy. He’s in good shape from lots of martial arts. I wedged myself towards the front so I wouldn’t get too crushed or held back and George and Ala headed further back. I wasn’t sure how my legs would feel after the run the day before by as soon as we got going I felt good and decided just to see what I could do.

The first km or so is on grass and it was a little slippy but then you get onto more compact trail and it was fine, although with a few muddy patches and puddles to jump over.  As we got through the first loop I worked out what kind of speed I could hold onto and planned when to push the pace a bit more. It’s nice having two laps because you can be a bit more strategic about how you can pace without rinsing yourself too soon.As we came over the bridge again and headed on the finishing straight back to the beginning it did seem to go on forever however and it took a lot of effort to keep pushing. I managed to overtake a couple of people at the end and finished in 21:46 with a negative split. Very happy indeed. George, who I thought would overtake me at some point, was just behind in 22:01. Damn those two seconds! For his first parkrun and his first crack at running in a while that’s insane!! Nicely done indeed. Ala came in not too long behind us around 28 minutes. Again, this is amazing for her first parkrun and her not being a regular runner! I’m so happy for them! And they enjoyed it too 🙂 they said they felt very accomplished.From there we headed back to theirs to shower and get sorted. Then we headed out for some coffee, followed by lunch. The lunch spot, Bluegrass BBQ, was everything and more that I could have dreamed for. BBQ fodder at its best.We were eager beavers and actually had to walk round the block before the breakfast menu turned over to the lunch menu at 11:45. When it came to ordering, I went for the Boss Pit Platter with a side of frickles (fried pickles).My god it was good. I was glad I ventured away from my usual safe bet of just having ribs and having a platter of different things to try. There were baby back ribs, brisket, pulled pork, burnt ends, 1/4 chicken, cobs and a mountain of chips. I traded George some brisket for one of his St. Louis ribs and I was all set!
I couldn’t manage all the chips or frickles but everything else was hoovered up. God it was good. No room for pudding though for once! We did a little bit of walking after lunch (an absolute necessity to help digestion…) and headed to a lovely local event called Reading Town Meal. It’s a great event supporting the local community and fresh produce. It had chefs in training from the Reading University cooking a two course meal FOR FREE for people to munch on. It was first come first serve. Obviously we didn’t need a meal by we did get a fruit crumble to share between us…though I could only a mange a couple of bites!
There was lots going on, like face painting, free cake decorating for kids, vegetable stands, bread and things like that. It was great! But I couldn’t even think to have any more cake sadly…as good as it looked! In fact, on my way back to the station I couldn’t even manage a free Hotel Chocolat chocolate! Who even am I?? I was a very full and happy bunny in my train back home (and for once, the right train!).

The next morning I met up with fellow Bournemouth Marathon trainees, Mike, Matt and Joe, and we headed out for a 10 mile run. It was quite humid and warm but otherwise good weather to run in. We all agreed that it might be nice to have a day like that for the marathon next week… But who knows eh!

We kept the pace conversational and it flew by. When we finished the 10 I wanted to carry on and do two to three more miles afterwards so waved goodbye to everyone.I just like to do 13 miles the week before a marathon, it just works for me doing half the distance. I also wanted to see how my legs felt running solo after a long run. I really don’t know where I am with my pace for this marathon so it was nice to see what my legs naturally felt like doing. I don’t think I’ll be running near the 8 mins though! But I’m just going to see how I feel on the day. If anything at the beginning feels too hard, I’ll slow it down. I’m not aiming for a PB (that would be foolish considering I’m not in that sort of shape!) but equally I think I can do a bit faster than a four hour marathon. We shall see.

How was your weekend?

Have you been to Reading recently? It’s got quite a nice selection of coffee shops and restaurants.

Do you enjoy a platter at a restaurant? I quite like a meze board for the variation.

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?

What a difference preparation makes

Hello, here we are at another Monday. I’d like people to stop talking about autumn please, we’re still in summer! But depressingly when my alarm for the gym goes off in the morning at 5am it’s now dark. It’s so much harder to get up…I might have to get my special alarm clock working (the one that lights up gradually to help you ‘naturally’ wake up).

Saturday was a lovely hot sunny morning, not especially great for running but it’s always a bit more jolly. Nobody is stood shivering dreading the start where they have to take off their nine million layers. I’ve recently been sent some lovely ASICS gear from The Running Bug for their #PoundTheRoad campaign with ASICS and Intersport. The trainers they sent are the new Gel-Glorify, which are perfect for long distance running as they have the gel cushioning in the front and back with a springy midsole.


Along with the trainers I was sent a technical technical T-shirt , shorts and socks all by ASICS. My friend joked at parkrun that it was like I was sponsored by ASICS! I’ll do a full review on the products later on but it was all good quality and the shoes felt lovely and springy, a bit like Adidas Boosts. Not necessarily as light as Boosts but more ideal for long distance running.

I realised when I got to the parkrun (my local one is Netley Abbey) I’d forgotten my Garmin. Whoops! I don’t think I’ve done that in ages. I wasn’t hugely bothered as it’s quite nice to run without a watch once in a while (very freeing) but at the same time, I’m a stats lover. In the end I decided to use the Strava app on my phone to record the run, but hold it with the screen off as I ran.

It was a tough hot run but I managed to maintain consistent 7min/miles without looking at my time. Normally I do spectacular negative splits at parkrun so I’m quite chuffed. I got 21:27 and second female so not too shabby! It was very hot though. I suppose that’s a good thing as it’s good training for next weekend’s marathon – which doesn’t start until 11am!

The rest of the day was spent seeing my parents and my sister, Rachel. This involved building a Wendy house for my nieces, Meg and Ellie. It was quite amusing as no one in our family, my father especially, is blessed with DIY skills. But it was a success in the end. And obviously I had to see what it was like inside.

Wendy house

My dad snapped a photo and joked that this was my new home. Well, it had a cooker and a fireplace in there (albeit fake ones…) 😉 I’d have loved this as a kid!

Family photo 2015

It was nice to see Rach as we don’t meet up that often (she works different days to me). We’re so different it’s unreal but we always have a laugh when we catch up.

That evening I went out for dinner at a family friend’s house with my parents. My parents were chuffed as it meant they had a designated driver (though I think they somewhat regretted that the next day when they were both feeling slightly fragile).

The host, Sue, asked  me about my running and asked when my next race was. I said it was a marathon next weekend and she asked “how long was that one?”. I laughed because I thought she was joking, but she wasn’t. She genuinely hadn’t a clue. I felt mean having laughed and explained it was 26.2miles. I forget that not everyone is as obsessed and wrapped up in running as me and need to remember not to be quite so quick to judge. There are so many other sports (and things in general) that I haven’t a clue about that other people are passionate about and the marathon really isn’t that mainstream (apart from London perhaps).

Sunday morning I wanted a bit of a lie-in after the late night but woke up at 7.40am. This was probably a good thing as I had planned to run 10-14 miles in Queen Elizabeth Country Park and it was already feeling warm. QECP is very hilly, off-road and beautiful. After some sound advice from my friend, Mark, I decided to run a set time rather than distance because my pace would be all over the place with the hills and there was no point saying I’d run 14 miles if it took me forever (not ideal a week before!).

Hydration preparation

And unlike last weekend’s disastrous run, I wore my hydration belt, a running visor and took water with me in the car. Not going to be dehydrated this time! I also took a little carton of chocolate milk with me to refuel quickly after running. I don’t think my nutritional strategies for refuelling has been that great recently so need to get on top of that if I don’t want to wake up exhausted and drained the next day. Mary always talks about how good chocolate milk is post-run so I decided to give it a go. I find that I never really eat enough the day of a long run as my meals are so pushed back because of my later morning. Chocolate milk would be an easy way to get in those lost calories quickly (and hello, it’s tasty).

I had no real route but new I wanted to start by going up Butser Hill which is a fairly nasty hill.

IMG_0303 This is an old photo but you can see Butser Hill in the distance

Honestly as I got to the actual hill my pace slowed right down. Though I don’t intend on running the hills at Cheddar Gorge, I did want to run the hills here. My intention was to find as many hills as I could to make it a horrifically hard and hilly run so next week’s race won’t be quite such a shock. At the steepest parts my pace was around 14 minute miles. I was barely running faster than people walking up the hill. But I pushed through.

You get to a gate and think you’ve made it but it just keeps going up and up. Eventually I got to the top and continued on. I ran different trail routes randomly and was really enjoying myself. Such a free feeling and beautiful views. I then ran down the other side of the hill which was ridiculously steep. That route headed off further from Butser Hill but I wanted to keep within QECP so when I got to somewhere near the bottom I turned around and went back up. SO hard.


Because I was running quite slowly (if you can even call it that!) I managed to snap a photo of how steep it was. As hard as it was though I really enjoyed it and every straight section felt like a dream. The miles flew by!


I was running around with a smile on my face as the views were just incredible. Taking photos while running is tricky business though…


Not sure what was going on there! ^^

Running selfie

I then headed back down Butser Hill to the other side of QECP to go around the trails there. It was still very undulating and tough going but cooler under some trees and shade.

CaptureI aimed for around two hours worth of running (a nice round number and around the time it would take me to run 14 miles on the flat). I also managed to fill my water bottles up again at the tap near the cafe which was just such a luxury! I plan on doing this at the water stations during the marathon and my dad is planning on giving me some more water at some point as well (bless him).


I had one mile to go when I got back to the car park and decided to finish by running up Butser Hill again. I didn’t go past the gate this time as that was already half a mile and then ran back down – a great way to finish the run! What was fantastic was I felt I could carry on at the end of the run. It was exactly what I needed in order to boost my confidence for the Cheddar Gorge marathon. I’m under no illusions that it’s going to be unbelievably tough though – who knows if I’ll even complete it, and I’m honestly not just saying that or sand bagging! Nothing is a given in marathons. Especially not hilly, off-road and potentially very hot ones.

Anyway I felt really good for the rest of the day. Tired, obviously, but not drained and no headache in sight. I felt like I had hydrated perfectly and this really reflected in my energy levels for the rest of the day. No nap required! Just got to replicate this next week…

How was your weekend?

What toys do you wish you had when you were younger that are around now?

Do you have any siblings – are they similar to you?

Distorted thinking

Hi guys. So the snow is melting but apparently a cold spell is going to hit the UK this week. I’m sorry, isn’t it cold enough as it is?? Hope everyone is coping well and the snow didn’t cause too many issues.

I mentioned in my last post that I was really fed up because not only did our trip to Wales get cancelled due to the weather but I also missed my 5.5 mile run. I know missing this run isn’t a big deal in the great scheme of things. I know it isn’t going to affect the half marathon. I honestly know this. But it still worried me. How ridiculous is that?

Anyway, so I was determined to run on Saturday as I didn’t want to miss another run, and especially the longer run of the week: 7 miles (not hugely long to all you running pros out there but long for me).


So I put my trail shoes on as they have the best grips and set off to our little local country park: Manor Farm.IMG_3508

I decided to go with a trail run because honestly the pavements were a nightmare. Seriously icy and slippery. So I figured that more fresh snow was needed to help keep me balanced. The scenery was beautiful but it was a hard run. Like running on sand. My pace was forced to slow down to around 9 minutes/mile. But I enjoyed it immensely.


The beautiful scenery helped clear my mind and let me just run without focus.


And without so much as one falling over incident (which is good for me considering how clumsy I am) I got my 7 mile run in.


Though I loved it and felt so good afterwards I still felt angry I’d missed the other run – like I hadn’t done enough for my training. I realise this is absolutely ridiculous thinking. After feeling down about it while I was getting showered and sorted for the day I realised how stupid this thinking was. I should be proud of the run I just did! And in snow no less! I don’t know why I had that ridiculous mind-set about the ‘lost run’. I think I’ve just become so focused on running and hitting certain targets I’ve missed the bigger picture. Why do I run? Not just to hit PBs and feel a sense of achievement. No. I run because first and foremost I love it. And I loved that 7 mile run. I need to focus on the achievements not the failures.

And I need to know that every run doesn’t have to be amazing. I need to slow down on my longer runs. Take it easy or I will injure myself. 9 minutes/mile is the perfect pace for me to run longer miles.

I’m sorry if this post has made you want to shake me – I want to shake myself!! If anyone else gets like this, please tell me! I can’t be the only one out there who sets themselves such high standards and gets angry when they don’t reach them – even when it’s due to logical and rational reasons!

What high standards do you set yourself?

Do you have a routine you always follow and hate it when it gets messed up?