Great Eastern Run 2017

Great Eastern Run 2017

WHEN I signed up for the Great Eastern Half Marathon earlier this year I had one goal in mind – to break one hour thirty. I was full of good intentions, had a great training plan and was determined to do it.

But then life got in the way. Degree finals, a postgraduate diploma submission, wedding planning and honeymooning all put an end to my sub-one-thirty hopes. Regular readers of my blog might have noticed that I did two weeks of training updates and then stopped. There was no time to train, let alone write about training.

I did what I could, a few track sessions here, a few long runs there, but it was difficult and my heart wasn’t really in it. Rather than pull out of the race, I decided to do it anyway.

Before Chris and I started training a bit more seriously, we were fun runners. We would happily turn up at a half marathon having not done much training, and get round in whatever time we could. One year we rocked up to the Blackpool Half after a particularly boozy holiday in Portugal. We’d done hardly any training but got round in two hours and fifteen minutes. It was fun and just completing the race was an achievement.

So, rather than pull out of the Great Eastern Half, we decided we would return to our carefree days of running. I was definitely not going to break one hour thirty. I was definitely not going to be anywhere near my one hour thirty-four personal best, but I was going to enjoy it.

The aim was to finish with a smile on my face.

‘Is that possible?’ Chris asked. ‘It’s a Continue reading

Finding time to lunch and run

Finding time to lunch and run

MY mum’s birthday was on Thursday last week. With it being a school night we celebrated with a few cakes and a cup or two of tea. It was during the cake and tea celebrations that I suggested a meal out.

Always up for a celebration, the family whipped out their diaries. “No to Sunday,” my sister said. “I’m at a wedding.”

“No to Sunday,” Mum said. “I’m Continue reading

How to read food labels

How to read food labels

IMAGINE the scene. It’s after lunch and I’m at my desk, busy with the day job, when I get that familiar hunger craving.

I head down to the university dining room, and stand in front of the counter surveying my options. There’s a Twix, a Twirl, a Snickers, and even a Mars Bar, but I resist. Eating chocolate is only something I tend to do in an evening, never during the day. It’s just a little rule I’ve set myself. By day, I always try to go for healthier options. By night, I’m a chocolate fiend (some of the time).

Anyway, back to the scene, I’m in front of the counter. Chocolate is a no. That limits my options. I can have an apple, a pear or a flapjack. I don’t want fruit so I reach for the flapjack. There’s a choice of plain flapjack, chocolate chip flapjack or fruit flapjack. I pick up Continue reading

Finding the motivation to train

FINDING the motivation to train is not something I usually struggle with, but after our wedding and honeymoon I am really struggling.

The week before last I trained only three times. Last week, only twice. I took a rest day on Thursday which ended up lasting all week. I even sat and watched the Great North Run on TV but didn’t feel at all inspired to run. I felt tired, fed up and had no enthusiasm for running whatsoever. I couldn’t bear the thought of doing a session and having to work really hard.

This isn’t like me at all. And it’s strange because Continue reading

Good luck for the Great North Run

THIS time last year I was in Newcastle ready to take part in the Great North Run.

I was running and raising money for Action for Children, a charity doing some amazing work for young people. It had been a last-minute decision because Chris and I had just returned from Vienna where we’d been celebrating his fortieth birthday. We went from Vienna to Newcastle only stopping at home briefly to pick up my kit-bag.

We’d consumed a fair bit of cake in Vienna, so I wasn’t sure how well I would run, but on the day, the atmosphere carried me round. I ran a perfect race (if I do say so myself), recording 22-minute 5km splits all the way, setting a personal best of one hour 34. Friends and family came to cheer me on, and I even got on telly twice. My mum spotted me coming over the bridge because of my ‘dodgy arm’. It really was a great day.

This morning, I can’t help feeling a Continue reading

I’m not perfect – thanks for the reminder

I’m not perfect – thanks for the reminder

WHETHER I am running or studying or writing, I always try to give my best. I work as hard as I possibly can so that I can hopefully achieve my goals, or if I don’t achieve them I can at least say I’ve tried my best.

I am definitely a Trier.

I am trying to get back into shape after a few months off. I am trying to break the 40-minute 10k barrier. I am trying to finish writing my running book. I am trying to break the 90-minute half marathon barrier. I am trying to finish my MA in writing. I am trying my best at everything I do. At work, my colleagues laugh at me because whenever I’m working on a project, I always say, ‘It’s got to be right’. And it has. If something is worth doing, it is worth doing right.

But sometimes, striving for perfection and trying to be the best you can be is hard work. There are always Continue reading

Great Eastern Half Marathon training: Week two

Great Eastern Half Marathon training: Week two

ATTENDING the IAAF World Championships in London was an amazing experience, but it caused havoc with my own training. For the ten days of the championship I did very little running. I was too busy enjoying chips, ice cream, popcorn and minstrels whilst cheering on the GB team.

I decided that a home championships was a once in a lifetime opportunity and it really didn’t matter if I missed training and ate a few treats. This is, of course, after already taking weeks off training to enjoy our wedding and honeymoon. ‘We might as well keep in holiday mode,’ I told Chris.  ‘Just keep going and pick up the pieces when we get back.’

Chris didn’t take much persuading.

The main thing is that I did complete some training, enough to burn off the extra calories (well some of them anyway).


You can read week one’s training here.

Week two (31st July to 6th August)

Monday. I was ready to run, but had Continue reading