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

Winning tickets to the world athletics championships

Winning tickets to the world athletics championships

GIVING up chocolate to fit into my wedding dress was quite possibly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Not only did I manage to fit into the dress, but I also won tickets to the world athletics championships.

This happened because I replaced my usual daily chocolate fix with yoghurt, and not just any old yoghurt but a Muller yoghurt, and Muller had a competition to win tickets to the championships.

Every time I had a yoghurt, I entered the competition. Never in a million years did I think I would win, but you had to be in it to win it. The more I entered, the more I really wanted to be part of the championships, so I decided to buy tickets as a surprise for Chris.

‘That’s fantastic,’ Chris said when I presented him with the tickets. ‘Watch us win tickets with Muller now. We bought enough yoghurt.’

At the time, I’d laughed, thinking it would be impossible. The thought of winning had never entered my mind.

Our wedding came and went, our honeymoon came and went. A few days after we returned home Continue reading