This year has seen a return to running.  Not to anything that can be construed as fast, or even ‘faster than before’, but still, I’ve been getting out there a lot more than last year.  Disappointingly however, last weekend saw my first DNS of the year, after waking at 6am with a bit of a dodgy stomach, I reckoned a 90 min drive to do a planned 10k race might be daft, so went back to sleep.  Thankfully the bug went after about 24 hours, but I’m now chock full of snot and to make the picture even nicer, I’ve been hacking up all sorts of crap since the start of the week.  Fabulous!  Thankfully I’m starting to feel better which is good because I signed up for a 100 mile running challenge this month, and I’m getting behind already, argg!!  Anyway, still time to recover and reach the target, with a bit of planning and some extras runs!.

I’ve still got a few more planned events this year – Bright10 next Sunday (a 10 mile’er in, guess where, Brighton!), A Day at the Movies in November where I can choose how far I run, and the Christmas Pudding 10k in December.  I’m looking forward to each of those.

However, my main focus is ultimately the Brighton Marathon next April.  The return to running this year is in effect the long-slow build up to Brighton.  Whilst in Mallorca last week I had a chat to my running mentor Nicky, and my plan for Oct/Nov. is as follows:

  • 3 runs a week
  • Run 1: get to the point where I’m running for 30 mins non-stop (currently i’m run/walking)
  • Run 2: tempo runs.  Essentially 30 mins with 5 mins w/u and 5 mins c/d and 20 mins of Fartlek or intervals in the middle.  I NEVER do tempo anything, so this will be fun!
  • Run 3: LSR.  Build by 5 mins a week, with the ultimate aim to be able to comfortably run 10 miles by year-end.

So while I’ve got a 10 mile event next weekend, I’ll be run walking and essentially ‘just getting round.’  The plan for year-end is to be able to knock out a 10 mile’er in the knowledge that I could manage a bit more without expiring*.

Of course I may have forgotten to mention to my lovely mentor my aim to run 100 miles in Oct when we were discussing the current 8-week plan (I’m a crap mentee – it was more through sieve memory than consciously not mentioning it!), so I might add in the odd recovery run here and there!  (There’s a pirate-esque medal involved, so I couldn’t resist….).  Anyway, my main focus is building consistency for the next 8 weeks and focusing on the three run targets above.  I’m actually quite excited about this!  It’s good to feel happy about running again 🙂

So that’s this year.  What about next year?  Well, as I said my main focus is Brighton marathon, my ‘A’ race if you will.  I also committed to doing the Outlaw marathon in a relay team, so this is effectively my ‘B’ race.  No less important, but if I don’t nail the A race, the Outlaw will suffer.  I’ve really enjoyed marrying up various events with my running training targets this year, so I’ve been signing up for the odd race here and there in 2017, to tie in with the training plan (I’ve already got it sussed for Brighton; marathon training officially starts on the 5th December!).  I thought I’d just write them up in my new diary, and jeezo, there’s more there than I thought!!  😀


Jan – Denbie’s 10

Feb – Lanza training week (cocktail training); Dirty Running (I choose the distance, 5K min.); Brighton Half Marathon

Mar – Larmer Tree Half Marathon

Apr – Brighton Marathon – the A race!

May – The Ox Half Marathon

June – The Thames Path Potter (I choose the distance, 5K min.)

July – Outlaw relay marathon  – the B race

Sept – Bacchus Half; Equinox 24 (target 50k min.)

Oct – have a lie down.

So, I think that ought to do for now!

Thanks for reading 🙂

*After I started writing this post, I may have been having a little search about online for late December races, and lo-and-behold I found a 10 mile race on the 31st December in Berkshire, so only and hour or so away.  It fits in perfectly with my end of year goal 🙂  So that will be my last race of the year – The Gut Buster!  Hoping it’s so named because it’s aim is to help get rid of the post-Crimbo excesses, and not because it takes you up the face of a mountain, but only time will tell…


I was just having a mooch through some photos and found the quote above, that I screenshoted (new word!) some time ago. It was quite apt that I found this this evening, because when I woke up this morning, nice and cosy in my lovely bed, I really COULD NOT BE ARSED to go for a run. Caps intended, I was very ambivalent. In the last two weeks I’ve missed 3 out of 6 runs due to a colicky stomach. No idea why it has been bothering me, and it’s still not 100%, but I’m getting bored and annoyed that it’s getting in the way of training. So I heaved myself out of bed, got into running gear and left. Thankfully I took a couple of quid with me, which I never do, because it was bloody hot, even that early, and I died on my arse after 4 miles. Thankfully a wee shop was enroute so I bought a drink and guzzled half of it on the way to the till. It gave me a wee boost and got me home.

On a fairly regular basis I’ve been known to sign up to some event or other in order to give me a reason to train, then done precisely fuck all training and let the event pass unmarked. This time I’m actually looking forward to the various races I’ve signed up for, but sometimes I still need to force myself to get out the door. I’m not the same person I was last year, and this time actually achieving some goals feels more important to me than it has in the past.  So here’s to commitment and consistency; let’s hope they both stay around for a bit longer than they have before! 🙂



I have to be honest and say the last month or so hasn’t been the best ever.  Life has been a bit up and down for one reason or another.  For a couple of months I wasn’t feeling particularly tip-top, but a discovery of anaemia and lots of iron tablets to take has started to reverse that tide.  Sometimes things you really hope will work out a certain way don’t, and can leave you feeling a bit crushed and lost, angry at the loss of what might have been, uncertain about the future.  But that’s just life, isn’t it? On balance, compared to so many others, a lot of whom I know are going through really tough times, my life is good.  Great even.  The last month has been a bit of a blip, and it was really getting me down, but it’s time to move on and look towards the future in a more positive light.

We always have choices in life.  Even if that choice is between one shitty situation and another shitty situation.  Choices don’t always need to be between good and bad, which is of course why they’re so difficult to make.  One thing that defines us is how we act, and the choices we make.  I don’t always do the right thing, and I make mistakes, but hopefully on balance I make the right choice more often than not.  I do my best to support people, though I can’t always be there for people when I want to be.  I’ll put others first when I can, when help is needed, and I’m always more than grateful to have a whole bunch of pals that would do the same for me.  I’m very lucky, and never forget that.

So rather than get stuck down in the dumps, I choose to leave the past where it belongs, and just get on with living for the future.  There’s a lot to be excited about.  I’ve started eating a low carb, high fat diet, and bar a few blips here and there, I’ve been on it over 3 weeks, and I feel much better.  Since my return from holiday in May, I’ve lost 1st 1lb.  I’ve also started training for a half marathon and I’ve really been enjoying getting back running.  I missed a couple of runs this weekend due to a random stomach bug, but I’m feeling better now so can get back to it next week.  After an absolutely fabulous holiday to Lanza in May with my pirate pals I’m off to Mallorca with them in September, and cannot wait for that!  Oh and I’ve got a weekend in the Lake District and a week camping in Scotland before that too, so far more to be happy about than not.

They (whoever the fuck they are) say that happiness is a choice.  I’ve made that choice before, and it worked out well.  So that’s the choice I’m making again.




Time for some goals

As is often the case, I have some grand plan for an event that doesn’t always come to fruition. This year’s grand plan was supposed to be Chicago marathon, after deferring from 2015. However, money was the issue, and for once I’m trying to be sensible and pay off debt instead of accrue more, so my Stateside trip was kiboshed.

The desire to complete a marathon in a time I can be proud of is still there though. I’ve completed two (London in 2009 and the Outlaw triathlon marathon in 2013), and although I did train for both, and crossed the finish line, I know I’m capable of doing a lot better than the results from each demonstrated.

Tracking some friends who ran Brighton just over a week ago provided the inspiration I needed, so I’ve signed my name on the dotted line for the 2017 race. It looks like a great event, is close to home, and it’s a full 12 months away, so ample time to put a plan in place. Well, when I say ample, I need to start now. I’m still far too heavy and not running-fit. I’m looking forward to the challenge though.

Already I’ve been given very helpful advice from my friend Nicky. She owns a running shop, has a variety of marathons/Ironman medals on the wall and basically knows a damn sight more than I do about training for this. Needless to say I’m starting this week, under her advisement 😀

I’m still putting together a full plan with interim goals, so will post about that when it’s complete.

Have a good week folks.

Mission accomplished


I love the beach.  Despite having lived on the south coast for three years now, a veritable stones-throw from the water, I don’t visit as often as I should.  I’ve never actually lived by the sea, but one day I’d like to.  There’s something about the coast that just excites me.  The raw power of nature is something to behold, and even on a bright and calm day, you can’t help but be drawn in by the sea, knowing that it won’t take much to turn the gently lapping waves into a force to be reckoned with.  So today I took myself down to the beach as a bit of a treat, for having completed the challenge I set myself at the start of the month.  The minimalism challenge, which I’ve previously written about ends today, culminating in the disposal of 31 items, bringing the grand total to 496.  I thought this challenge would be difficult, and come half way, i’d maybe give up, being fearful of throwing out too much of my life.  Surprisingly the opposite is true.  Although I had a sticky moment one day when it came to deciding whether or not to keep my old flying notes, overall the challenge has been easy.  While this particular game ends today, I’m not finished.  I haven’t even touched my clothes (bar a few random tops), so I’ve that still to do.

My original intention in taking this week off work was to have a clear out using the Konmari technique, where you tidy your home category by category, keeping only the items that spark joy, and with what’s left, you’re shown how to put it away in the most efficient manner.  So of course I’ve completely being doing the very opposite of what is recommended, by randomly picking items every day to make up the total.  However I have used the ‘does it spark joy?’ question often, and for those items that meant a lot, and were more difficult to part with (read: flying stuff), I said a gentle ‘thank-you’ to each item, in acknowledgement of the important place it has held in my life.  That might sound a bit daft (it did to me when I first read about it), but it works.  I’m not the same person I was 10 or 20 years ago, so the items that have defined my life during these years no longer have the same resonance, or indeed importance in my life.  Holding on to so many possessions has acted like a physical weight around my neck, as though I’ve constantly been dragging a sled behind me with everything I own piled on top.  The sled is now a lot lighter, and over the coming weeks I’ll lighten it further still.  I finally feel as though I can leave the old me behind and carry on into the future a lot less burdened. It’s a great place to be.

Minimalist Life/Dear Body

Dear Body

I have two posts in my head, and I wasn’t sure which to post first.  So I’m posting both.  Two for the price of one.  You’re welcome.

Minimalist Life

In my head, I imagine living in a home that is sparse yet cosy, uncluttered yet full of character.  Unfortunately though I live in a home which a friend once jovially referred to as a bric-a-brac shop (you know who you are!).  I can’t really disagree.  So as I mentioned in my last post, I’ve decided to get shot of lots and lots of stuff.  I’m now 18 days into a month-long minimalism game, and today hoofed 18 items out of the flat.  Altogether i’ve managed to get rid of 171 items.  Only 325 to go by the end of March!  All the way through the month so far i’ve felt like choosing what to get rid of has been quite easy.  Even when I was clearing out a set of drawers and came across a pile of 21st birthday cards (quite recent cards then *cough*).  I looked through them all, saw a lot of names I didn’t even recognise, saw a lot more I did.  I had a bit of a cry at some of them, kept maybe 5 for sentimental reasons and chucked the rest.  I did the same with cards I found from my 30th.  I have the memories, I don’t need the cards anymore.

Yesterday though, I felt for the first time that I was struggling to pick things to add to the daily chuck-a-thon.  Not because I’m running out of items to choose from (if only), but because actually it hit home again that I’m slowly throwing away my past.  Thinking about doing so is refreshing; the reality is more sobering.  I think the reluctance is stemming from the acknowledgement that if I keep what is really important to me, I’ll not have a lot left.  It’s like holding a mirror up to my life and seeing nothing much in the reflection.  An empty life.  In actual fact though, I know my life isn’t empty.  I could feel in my gut this fleeting tension, a tiny signal prompting me to keep my life as it is.  Don’t change, just stay here where it is safe and comfortable and familiar.  But i’ve have 40 years of that.  Or at least 27 where I lived away from home, an adult making my way in the world.  All these things I have are not the past, they are not the memories, they are just space-sucking entities that no longer bring so much joy, but just feel like a weight around my neck, dragging me back to a past that I need to move on from.  Not because it is an unhappy past, but because the present and the future are even brighter, so now it is time to focus on them.


Dear Body

Dear Body,

Despite the fact we’ve been together for 40 and a bit years now, I’ve never written you a letter. Never called you. Not even a casual text. I can only apologise. I thought it was about time I remedied that. Mainly because there is something I need to say….

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry I’ve taken you for granted all these years.

I’m sorry I’ve been ashamed of you for many of those years.

I’m sorry I’ve said nasty things to you, belittled you and told you that you were no good.

I’m hoping in writing this that you can forgive me.  Although, you know what, I know you will.  You always have.  No matter the mountains of crap food I’ve shovelled into you, you’ve kept going.  All the nights I didn’t get enough sleep, you’ve gotten up in the morning and gone about your day.  All the days and nights i’ve taken you on a bit of a booze-fest, you’ve complained a bit the next day, but still you forgive me eventually and we crack on together, ready to fight another day.

I’ve always tried to make out that I was giving you an easy life by parking us on the couch, saving you from a beasting in the gym.  Yet when I do take you, you do a pretty great job considering the extra weight I’ve made you carry around all these years.  In fact the more we go, the better you seem to be, but then I go a fuck it all up by sitting on that couch again.

In my heart of hearts (okay, your heart), I knew I was doing you a disservice, but I’m afraid I just was too chicken to admit it to you.  But I can’t pretend any longer.  I know I’ve put you through a lot, but it’s time to take care of you.  Time to reward you for all the hard work you’ve done for me, day in, day out.

If I promise to treat you properly, the way you ought to be treated, will you just keep on going, as you have been?

Don’t give up on me.  I promise I’ve stopped giving up on you.

I know I don’t always act like it, but I do love you.

From Me xxx


Empty beach

When I was really young, there was nothing I loved more than secluding myself away in the large walk-in cupboard (bizarrely) located behind our little downstairs toilet.  I’d sit up on the top on my Dad’s paint-encrusted wooden ladder that leaned against the wall, and pick one of the many books on the shelf to have a browse through.  The room was crammed full, but in an organised fashion.  I’d always discover something new when I went in for a look.

I’ve always just loved stuff.  Being surrounded by bits and bobs, books, ornaments, stuff.  As a result i’ve always kind of hoarded things I like (mainly books!), but in general I just seem to have multiple everything.  Bikes, books, kitchen stuff, toiletries, knick-knacks.  You name it, i’m likely to have more than one of anything that a regular household contains.  One of each is never quite satisfactory.  For a long time, it felt as though all these things, these tangible objects were what construed a life.  To have a fulfilling life, you need to have things in it.  Except actually that’s bullshit.  When I lived in Australia for a year, I ended up living in Perth for almost twelve months.  Initially I didn’t intend to stay there that long, so I didn’t accrue much.  I lived in a little A-frame cabin at Jandakot Airport, totally open plan (except the bathroom.  No cupboards behind it either!), with a couple of chairs to sit on, a large table, a small TV and a small kitchen with a hob and an oven.  I bought a DVD player and some films to watch, and of course accumulated a few books, but even then i’d take what i’d read to the charity shop.  When I left, I gave away the DVD player & films to a friend, took the remaining books to the charity shop (there were about 20 I think?  Bugger all for me!) and that was it.  I’d lived a year without anything else (just stuff for flying which I was doing out there), and survived.

So why is it now I feel as though I can’t survive without a fat crammed to the brim?  I think for me if I ever felt lonely or maybe a bit bored and I wasn’t sure what to do, i’d buy something to make myself feel better.  I’ve not really done that for a while now – most of money goes on holidays these days – but i’m still overwhelmed with everything that surrounds me.  I’ve held on to it for so long because it felt like such a waste to get rid of it.  A waste of all the money spent on it.  A waste of time spent clearing everything out.  But most of all what’s a bit scary about getting rid of stuff is a realisation that you’re not the same person you once were, and that everything you thought defined you somehow doesn’t have the same influence over your life.  If I get rid of a lot of what has defined me, then who will I be??  Actually that’s the exciting bit – I get to be whoever I want to be, and I don’t need to define my future by the past i’ve been living.  More to the point, how can I live the life I want to when I feel dragged back by the past?

So now it’s time to get rid of the past and look towards a clutter-free future.  I recently read a fantastic book by Marie Kondo called Spark Joy.  Marie is somewhat of a tidying guru, and essentially her idea is that you only surround yourself by the possessions that really spark joy in your life, the stuff that makes you truly happy.  As I read the book I realised I could get rid of nearly everything I own and be okay.  Obviously i’m not going to go quite that far, but i’ve booked some time off after Easter to really de-clutter my life.  I’ve already started doing a challenge in March where you get rid of one thing on the 1st, two things on the 2nd, and so on, finally purging 31 items on the last day of the month.  In the end i’ll have recycled/charity shopped 496 items!  Insane.  I’ve already gotten rid of 21 items, and i’ve barely made a dent.  Day 7 & 8’s rejects are already lined up to go too.  It’s so cathartic.  The scary thing is, the thought of being able to identify 496 things in my flat to throw out is actually quite easy.  More frightening is the fact there will still be a lot to sort.

I’ve taken photos of my flat as it is now, and i’ll do the same in a month so I can appreciate the difference.

Watch this (soon to be much more empty) space.


Progress comes in many guises


I started this blog a couple of years ago with a view that by writing down what I was doing, making it public and essentially making myself accountable, it would help me to reach my goals.  What goals?  Well the only goal that’s ever mattered to me, if i’m brutally honest, is  to lose weight and get thinner.  Not to be thin – i’ll never be thin – but just less fat.  Years and years and years and a few more years have gone by since I first decided I wanted to be slimmer, and yet here I am, as big as i’ve ever been.  “JFDI” is what many people will shout at the computer screen as they read this, and trust me, I’ve said that to myself maaaaaaany times.  Yet here I am.  I’ve never really shied away from anything in life that i’ve wanted to achieve, and i’ve given some things a go even when I knew I was liable to fail (see IM Regensburg attempt 2011!).  The whole weight thing is such a mind-fuck though, and to those who have never struggled with weight, well this post might make you really angry, so feel free not to read it.

If it was as simple as eat less, move more, then I wouldn’t have started this blog.  Though to be fair, even I thought that was all that was needed, and used to get really annoyed at myself for not just getting a grip and sorting it out.  I still have moments like that, but more out of habit than anything else.  Anyway, last year I got to the point where I felt like i’d let go of a lot of negative thought processes, and reached a place where I felt really happy with myself.  While that’s still true, I can see now that there were a lot of little mindset changes that I still needed to make to get to where I am now.  I decided last October to sign up with a nutritionist as a last-gasp attempt to sort myself out.  I thought that if I’ve not managed to do it on my own, then I needed to ask for help.  It was definitely one of the best decisions i’ve made.  I’m not very good at asking for help, and for some stupid reason have always thought I needed to do things on my own, with no support.  When you’re on your own for so long, it feel like admitting defeat to ask for help, as if you’re not good enough, and someone needs to come in and rescue you.  Ironically, i’d be the first person to advise others to seek help, but of course taking one’s own advice is never quite so easy!

Anyway, my progress (weight-wise) since working with the nutritionist has been minimal (actually i’m heavier now!).  This is SOLELY down to me.  I’ve got a good plan, and funnily enough when I follow it, I feel better, sleep better, and my health improves, oh and weight goes down.  When I don’t follow it, my weight goes up, health gets worse  etc. etc.  A couple of weeks ago, on a call with the nutritionist I had a total meltdown.  Life was just getting to me.  My lack of ability to JFDI, my constant lack of consistency, my fears (read total terror) that if I couldn’t get this to work my options were over and I was resigning myself to being fat and unhealthy for the rest of my life.  These were the thoughts that were whirring round my head for days before the call, on top of just being generally a bit hacked off with life.  I have a tendancy to let little things build up until I can’t take it anymore and I have a meltdown.  Luckily they don’t last long, but wouldn’t it be good if I could stop doing this? Yes!  I got a lot of support on that call, and it’s really turned things around for me.  I’ve spent the last two weeks really looking at why I get to this place, and keep cycling back to it.  Effectively I had been trying to do everything right all at once, which I couldn’t do, so as a result I did nothing. What that has taught me is just to chill the fuck out.  Generally i’m pretty chilled about a lot of stuff, but i’ve always put soooo much pressure on myself to be this wonderwoman which I am NOT, and finally i’m giving myself permission not to be.  What I need to do is take one thing at time, nail it, then add something else.  I had this idea that I needed to plan a week ahead, but you know what?  I can’t.  I’ve tried, I hate doing it and it doesn’t work for me.  So my goal was to prep food for brekkie and lunch a day ahead, because if they’re sorted then everything else will be easier to manage.  So i’ve done that and it has helped a lot.  Admitting I was struggling saved me.  I have a real built-in habit of hiding stuff when it comes to food, so i made my MFP diary open for people to see – I was only hiding from myself.  The thought of doing that actually terrified me, but hey, we all have our weird fears!  I think for me it was borne out of years of negativity towards myself that became so habitual, I didn’t even realise it was abnormal, or infact that I even felt that way.  I don’t feel like that at all now, but hadn’t recognised the habit I needed to kick.

The biggest win i’ve had is mindset.  I’ve been quite stressed lately about a lot of things which I felt were not under my control.  Instead I took each situation that was stressing me out and thought about where my control of the situation started and ended.  If something is not under my control, and I can have no effect on the outcome, well i’ve stopped worrying about it.  For things that are under my control, but maybe i’ve been attributing to others as a way of not dealing with stuff, well i’m taking responsibility for what I can control and either doing something about it or letting it go.  All simple stuff really, but I think sometimes when things get on top of you it’s easy to get angry at others or absolve yourself of responsibilty as a way of not having to deal with things.  I think that also drives a culture of expectation, where we expect people to do what we want them to, even when they’ve no reason to do what we want.  Even just going through that though process has left me feeling like a weight is off my shoulders.  It’s helped in other unexpected ways too.  I gave blood this week and in the past year doing so has left me stressed to the hilt, crying and angry and basically a huge mess.  It’s something I hated doing but felt I needed to, and I was really making a bloody meal of it.  Anyway, I just told myself to stop stressing, and it was fine, despite the fact it took an age because they couldn’t find a vein and I needed an extra iron test.  I’m just glad i’ve gotten past the crazy fears I had so I can do it without stressing.  That said i’ve been wiped out all week since, and it’s buggered up my training somewhat, but i’m feeling better tonight so will smash the training this weekend.

So now I can look forward with a bit more perspective: I am in complete control of what I do, and if I want to succeed, I’m the only one that can make that happen.  I’ve asked for help, i’m getting it, but i need to action it.  I’m happy with that.  I don’t need to do everything right all at once.  It’s taken 40 years to get to this point, and while I want change NOW, I can take it one step at a time and make actual progress, even if it takes longer to get to where I want to be.  I’m also happy that I can let go of the stuff I don’t control.  It’s amazing how much time we can waste worrying about what others do when we can’t do a thing about it.  I think we all do that to an extent, but maybe it’s time we all just started looking after ourselves first.  As they say, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

Here’s to a happy weekend.  Make it a good one 🙂


Love is in the air


Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

My life feels so empty,

‘Cos I can’t have you.

Gin.  I can’t have any gin.  For some foolish reason I decided to partake of Dry February, and i’m slightly wishing I hadn’t.  Cunningly I picked the shortest month of the year to go booze-free, but still, I could murder a wee Jaggers and Taggers right now (and the 29th doesn’t count btw.  If it thinks it can swan in once every four years and bugger up my boozing, it can think again).  Truth be told, i’m not one for regularly having a drink during the week, so I don’t really need to do a ‘dry month’, but hey ho, in a moment of madness I thought it would be a good idea, and I feel I need to see it through now, come hell or high water.  Sometimes I annoy myself greatly.

So, Valentine’s Day.  A day where the lovers of the earth get to stare into each other’s eyes and proclaim just how much they love each other, because obviously you can’t do that any other day of the year, for free.  Nothing says “I love you sooooooooo much!” like a hastily grabbed bunch of overpriced flowers and  a box of chocolates that would only otherwise sell at Christmas.   So obviously I woke up crying and flower-free this morning, berating the love Gods above for their cruelty.  Okay, not really.  I already have a nice bunch of flowers (see pic above) that I bought the other day because, well, I like flowers.  Honestly, there are some years that i’ve really felt a bit lonely on Valentine’s day, because there’s nothing like social media for shoving it all in your face and making you feel bad, even though on the 13th of Feb., you didn’t even give it a second thought.  This last week has felt like a really long one for some reason.  I wasn’t in the happiest of moods for half of it, quite possibly because my legs were (to be medically accurate) totally fucked after last weekend’s 10K.  I actually thought i’d strained my calves, as they’ve never been so sore after a race.  Anyway, by Thursday I could walk down the stairs without holding on to the rail, so things were looking up.  I don’t really like being in a grump, so I had a word with myself and all was good by Friday.  I went shopping yesterday, forgetting it was Valentine’s Day, and was soon surrounded by shop assistants trying to get me to try heart-shaped marshmallows (because obviously the shape is integral to the taste, and i’ve never tasted marshmallow! Fannies) and lots of men (and women) grabbing heart-shaped boxes of biscuits from the cleverly placed stands.  For the first time I actually realised I was quite happy not to be caught up in it all, or rather I wasn’t unhappy to be missing out.  When you hit 40 and you’re single, you do start to wonder whether you’re going to end up being gnawed to death by cats many years hence, when you fall and break a hip and struggle to reach the phone in time to call for help.  God help any singletons with Micro Pigs.  Those bad boys can chew through bone, so their owners will NEVER be found!!  Anyway, i’m cat-free for now, so hopefully the decomp smell will alert the neighbours instead.  Seriously though, I can truly say I’m pretty happy right now, and don’t need to be part of a twosome to enjoy my life.  In fact, being able to do what I want whenever I want is a pretty big plus.  Especially since i’m currently listening to  Mr Bieber album on Napster and quite enjoying it.  What self-respecting man would put up with that?  (I know Bieber’s a twat, but his songs are quite catchy.  Bite me). In that spirit, on Wednesday I decided to book a wee trip to Majorca later in the year to go and support a lot of my pals who are partaking of an Ironman triathlon.  I’m looking forward to supporting from the inside of a bar.  Or three.  See, life isn’t so bad on your own 🙂

That said, i’m off to get hot and sweaty with a long, hard ride.

Well, I do have new bike shoes to try out.

Lots of love and kisses, Pea xxx

Race Report: Longleat 10k 2016


When I woke up this morning, (at 6:18) I must admit I wasn’t sure whether i’d have much to report on.  It’s fair to say I was slightly dreading this race.  I’ve been doing a few runs in the last few weeks, but it feels as though running is actually getting more difficult, not easier.  Last Friday’s run was such a disaster that I didn’t even go out for a run this week (partially because I had a sore knee).  Anyway, I couldn’t back out as I was running with a friend.  Well, he shot off into the distance, but we started together 😉

I ran the Longleaf 10k in 2014, and due to flooding which had occurred at the time, they’d re-routed the race, so there was only one really evil hill in it.  Sadly this year the course was back to normal.  Cue one bastarding hill that you run twice.  Twice!! (I use the term ‘run’ in it’s loosest sense). Then one other hill which is equally as, well, hellishly hilly.  I had planned to run/walk on a 4:1 ratio, and knowing how unfit I am at the moment, i’d set my watch to help keep me within a minimum and maximum pace, such that it beeped every time I either ran too slowly (i.e. 90% of the time), or too quickly (5% of the time).  Needless to say my watch was beeping like a clock on speed (oh the irony).  I shouldn’t have bothered really.  It soon became apparent that I had to walk all the uphills, and I ran (shuffled) the flats and downhills.  The thought of downhills always lures me into a false sense of security, as I imagine flying down them in record time, making up for the lack of uphill speed on the other side.  The reality is more of a cautious wee jog, trying not to rip my quads asunder, nor fall on my face and skin half of it, à la Harvey Dent in Batman.  Okay so his was burned off, but I imagine the outcome would have been similar.

The only thing that save me from giving up too early was, in fact, my own muppetry.  I’d told myself that I would see how I felt when I did the first loop (i.e. 5k), and if I was reeeeeally struggling, I could give up.  Except actually, while you do the first hill twice, that’s the only bit you do twice.  The bit in between, yep you guessed it, you only do it once, so there was no half way point to quit at.  Half way was at the top of a fecking hell, so by then the only option was to carry on.  Thankfully I wasn’t feeling like quitting  at that point anyway!  When I got to 6k, I met a lovely woman called a Sandra, a PT with a dodgy hip (i.e. she’s likely to need a hip replacement sometime soon).  We ran together for a wee bit, then walked a couple of up-flats, then ran a bit.  Sandra was my saviour.  “C’mon Lee, keep going!” she’d shout, promising we’d just need to run to the bottom of the last hill.  When we got there though, traffic was starting to come through, and I was slowing down so she grabbed my hand and we ran together for a wee bit, just to get up and over the next little incline.  We did this a few times, but I was no match for her hill march, and eventually had to let her carry on ahead.  It was so nice having that support for a wee while, and it came just at the right time.  Happily I saw her at the end too, so I could say thanks.

Finally, the peak of the last hill was in sight, then it was downhill to the finish.  My quads and calves were somewhat bolloxed by this point, so again a gentle downhill pace was required.  The finish appeared to have moved about 1 km further away (just wishful thinking), but after looming in the distance for what felt like aaages, finally it was there, and I crossed the line in a personal worst of 1:27:51.  When I did it 2 years ago it was in 1:15 and change, so it just shows you what an extra couple of stone does to your time (decimates it!!).  They’d run out of goodie bags at this point, and as i’ve just discovered upon hanging my medal on my bookcase, the ribbon is from the 2015 race, so slightly disappointing on that front.  However, the day was great, the weather better than expected (dry and even sunny in the end), the running company was ace (I chatted to a few others along the way too), so all in all, no complaints.  Oh and a hot chocolate at the end was like manna from heaven (thanks Andy!).

Of course next year i’m going to need to run it again, so I can get the right medal, and get a much better time.  Damn it!!! Next time I might even train properly….