Sunday, 26 February 2017

Headcorn Half Marathon

Today I ran my first 'official' half marathon. Despite having run the exact route last weekend, I still had a sleepless night and ended up feeling really nervous! I met up with the rest of the Beginners2Runners crew who had entered, and also with Sarah Burden who I ran the Great South with and who is also training for the London Marathon for Prostate UK.

It was great to be our running with lots of people we knew, and the race conditions were pretty good - cool, breezy (OK sometimes too windy but better than being warm!) and a bit of steady drizzle to cool us all off. The whole route is very rural as we found last week, but there were water stations and a few hardy residents/ spectators with tubs of jelly babies to hand out! The base was at the primary school so there were also plenty of decent facilities; bag drop, refreshments and the all important loos!

It went well - Sarah and I ran together all the way, and we saw my other B2R friends off and on throughout. We also had some extra encouragement from Dean who tweaked his cycle training route so that he could ride down and cycle alongside for a chat and general coaxing along, which was lovely! I took a few minutes off my time from last week, and Sarah beat her previous half PB by almost 10 minutes which is amazing!

We still have a way to go before the marathon, but each of us has a motivation, and being able to enter local races and train together gives us a chance to say 'Yeah it IS a long way... Yeah today was bloody hard work..... but WE CAN DO IT!!!!!' And we WILL do it, for these superb charities:

Emma: Children with Cancer UK:

Sarah: Prostate Cancer UK:


Sarah and me
Yes we were knackered, but seeing your mate crouched in the hedge waiting to take a photo makes you smile
Sprint-Finish Sarah

Yvette, Danny and Carolyn, fellow Early Birds
Nick and Danny

Chip times

I'll go with my Garmin time I think!

Gotta love some runners bling!
And as always, my lovely husband arrived home from damp rugby training and set about cooking a much needed very tasty Sunday roast!

Inhaled it in about 3 minutes flat

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Only two months to go...

23rd of February..... so now only two months to go until the London Marathon. That is quiet a scary thought, so I won't think about it too much. I need to run as much as I can as per my plan, I need to eat better, I need to raise more funds.

This week I hosted a charity Film Club, screening Girl on the Train.  I run the Film Club for work anyway, so it was no big deal to ask attendees to make a donation to my charity this time, which they seemed more than happy to do. I also extended invites to some local friends (the auditorium sits about 120 and given that I generally have 20 people tops, it seemed do-able!!!). We probably had about 25/30 attendees in the end (so I will invite even more along to the next one!!!) and raised £179 which I was really pleased with - a glass of wine, a few bags of popcorn and nibbles, and an evening spent watching a very good film. What's not to love! I will definitely be running some more; watch this space.....

Yep. Not me (sadly); even when you think you are having a rest day, you will see a character in the film you are watching go for a run. Just to remind you that you are not running. 

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Pre-Headcorn Half and a Microlite

Today I headed out for my long run with Nick and Yvette again, who I've not managed to run with for weeks, We ran the Headcorn Half Marathon route, ahead of the Headcorn Half Marathon next week!

It was a stunning day and a stunning route. We started off too cold at 9am but soon warmed up as the sun rose higher, The route was fairly rural and took us past an assortment of beautiful houses, past cyclists, dog-walkers and other runners. We also watched a microlite take off from a tiny private airstrip at the top of a lane somewhere (a good excuse to stop for a few minutes, that's for sure!!

I was more than ready to finish by the end, but that is the furthest I have ever run (13.1 miles, so half marathon distance now ticked off) and it felt good to have completed it after a month of up and down training runs feeling rough with colds and bugs. It felt hard - but now I am sat here on Sunday night and skimming back through my blog, so did the 10 and 12K runs we were doing previously, so I guess I am getting there.

Don't forget that I am doing this for Children with Cancer UK and you can sponsor me here:

My running mate Nick is also keen to see the back end of cancer in young people and is raising money for his step-son Liam, and for The Teenage Cancer Trust. You can read about it here:

Hot, sweaty, tired at the end - shall we do it again next week.? Oh ok then...

I'm off out on my microlite

Taking off over our heads

The proof

Friday, 17 February 2017

Looking for Dawn

A regular 5k/ 3 mile run out with the Early Birds today. We spent much of the route looking for Dawn. We found it (her?!) somewhere around Linton Park.... just the glow of the 'Civic Dawn' that officially reaches us at about 6:36, bathing us in enough light to make torches redundant and to pick out the early morning mist across the fields. It meant that we felt brave enough to cut in behind the church and pick up the footpath along the driveway for Linton Park; we could see the muddy bits, horse pooh, sticking out roots and low branches. So nice to get off road a bit!

The Early Bird crew (thanks to Danny for taking the photos today)

At Linton Park - it's getting light!

Running towards the dawn

Lovely photo Danny!

Linton Park - shame it is private, would be interesting to take a look!

Thursday, 16 February 2017


Ok, so it is half term so I was under less pressure to be out of the door by 6 on the dot, but today by the time I got half way round my 7.5 mile run, it was definitely almost light. By the time I hit the last mile, it WAS light! It felt good.... roll on the Spring, I think we may almost be through these dark winter training months. Yahoo!!!!

A bit gloomy still

Light! I could see sheep!

This is my 'fast' pace. No really.....

As always, if you can spare some sponsorship, here is the link:

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Treadmill miles

We decided to take a few days away this half term and booked a few days in Dublin. I knew that with only 10 weeks to go, I really needed to get some running in while we were away so dutifully packed the trainers. It was tricky to decided whether to attempt to run a route outside or give in a use the treadmill which I don't really enjoy, but in the end the treadmill won. Fuelled mainly by Guinness and Irish Stew, I plodded away for an hour in a deserted hotel gym. It wasn't too bad, I watched some TV and could see the family in the pool spurring me on.

Don't forget to sponsor me - I missed hotel breakfast to do this, such is the measure of my dedication!

All hot and sweaty!

Nice and cool

Sunday, 5 February 2017

11 weeks and counting

It is now only 11 weeks to go until the London Marathon. I am doing my best to stick to my training plan, so this week consisted of a slow 3 miles, fast 7.5 miles, slow 3 miles and then 11 miles at race pace today. I am definitely feeling fitter, but those long 11 mile runs are still hard and vague panic at the size of the challenge is setting in.

I'm trying to pay more attention to nutrition, and also trying gel sachets on the go which are ok. It is still cold and mostly dark when I run, but my 7.5 miles on Thursday had me almost home as the sun was coming up, and that was pretty lovely. Feels like a while now since the early runs have been in daylight.

Today I plotted a route that kept me fairly local. It was a lot colder out that I was expecting and I was cold through by the time I got back. Still, another one under the belt. Next weekend I need to do between 13.1 and 15 miles. Yikes!!!

Sunrise spotted through the orchards at about 7am

Down in the Loose Valley today
I am about half way to my fundraising goal - please do sponsor me if you can - the link is on the right hand side of the page. Thank you!!