New Year’s Day Parkrun at Nostell Priory

New Year’s Day Parkrun at Nostell Priory

Happy New Year! Hope you’ve all had a great start to 2018.

More than 700 runners turned up to the New Year’s Day parkrun at Nostell Priory this morning. Many of them had already taken part in another parkrun before heading to Nostell for the 10.30am start. For us, one was enough, especially after a curry and drinks to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

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The run was a new off-road, twisty-turny and muddy route, which was great fun. Feeling a bit fat and unfit from the festivities, my plan Continue reading

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Review of 2017

Review of 2017

AT this time of year it’s good to look back on the last twelve months, celebrating the highs and reflecting on the lows.

2017 has been a fantastic and very busy year for me and Chris. We got married, went on honeymoon, both started new jobs, and have now started renovating the house.

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I graduated with a first class degree in English Literature, and continued working towards my Master’s degree in Writing, completing the postgraduate diploma in May. I edited a writing anthology which included an extract from my novel, continued working on my creative non-fiction book and set up a writing group in Sheffield. And, did I mention our wedding, because organising that has to be one of the greatest achievements of my year, if not, my life. Who knew organising a wedding would be quite so challenging?

With so much going on, it was impossible to keep running as a priority, but I still managed to train and race, although not quite as much as in previous years. The highlights included a Parkrun PB of 20.09, a 40 minute 10k, and with my team (Barnsley AC) a fourth place finish at the British Masters Road Relay Championships.

The year started with a change Continue reading

What are your running goals for 2018?

What are your running goals for 2018?

Goal setting is an important part of running. Whether it’s targeting a particular race, aiming to run a personal best, or taking part in your first ever race, it’s important to identify what you’d like to achieve.

It’s also important to make sure your goals are realistic and achievable. I mean, I’d love to run a sub 34-minute 10km, but it’s not going to happen. Think about your current level of fitness and then set goals around that.

Try to have short and long-term goals. Maybe, like me, you’d like to run a sub-1.30 half marathon eventually, but based on your current fitness you need to focus on breaking 1.34 first. If you set smaller goals that are achievable you’ll feel so much better when you start to tick them off, especially knowing you’re getting closer to achieving your long term ambitions.

Break your goals down into Continue reading

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas

IT’S been a festive few days at work. First it was the Santa Dash and then, yesterday, the Secret Santa.

notebookMy secret Santa discovered I like running and writing, so bought a notebook and, using calligraphy, wrote the name of my blog on the front. I think it looks great. I love a good notebook so I was very happy. In the office, the Quality Streets are in full flow too – the purple, chocolate toffee, and round penny are my favourites, but I’ll not say no to any of them.

The Santa Dash 5km was good fun. I’ve not been doing much training so wanted to use the Dash to assess my current fitness or lack of it. I finished Continue reading

Training update

Training update

I’M very excited because last week I managed to complete a full week of training! This is very exciting stuff indeed because for a while I’ve not been doing much in the way of consistent training. Last week I got my act together, which means I now have something to write about. So without further ado, here is my training week.

Monday

I was late home from work so it was 8pm before I headed out into the cold and dark night for a run. I did three miles, which were more to clear my head after a hectic day than for any training benefit. It would have been too easy to stay in the warm with a hot chocolate so I was proud of myself for getting out. I had the hot chocolate when I returned from the run.

Tuesday

I’d arranged to meet a friend so finding the motivation to actually get out of the door wasn’t a problem. The plan was Continue reading

Florence Marathon – a year on

IT’S a year since Chris and a few of my friends ran the Florence Marathon. A year! I can’t believe it.

I should have been running too, especially as I was the one who suggested it in the first place. I encouraged everyone to sign up. ‘It’ll be brilliant,’ I said. ‘Let’s do it!’ I was well up for it. A marathon in one of the finest cities in the world, who wouldn’t want to do it.

Florence with Rolf and Chris

With Rolf and Chris

My enthusiasm lasted about a month, if that. The doubts soon set in. ‘It’s a long way,’ I told Chris. ‘I don’t think I’m up to it.’ My knees started hurting just thinking about it. A few weeks later I got injured (the knee) and decided that I wasn’t strong enough to run 26.2 miles.

Instead I Continue reading

Finding the time and motivation to train

Finding the time and motivation to train

TO reach your running potential you have to train hard, keep motivated and prioritise running. Unfortunately since returning from honeymoon in July I’ve struggled to find the time or motivation necessary to do well. I’ve really not been bothered.

You could say I’ve been coasting, happy to run when I feel like it, happy to have days off. It’s been a choice I’ve made because other things in my life have taken priority including starting a new job, launching a creative writing group, and doing a master’s degree in writing. As well as this I commute for at least ten hours a week (AT LEAST!), have three horses, two dogs and a rabbit to look after, not forgetting the husband, who I’d love to spend more time with if only there were more hours in the day.

Running has plummeted to the bottom of my list of priorities. I’ve still trained, but not in the consistent or hard way that’s necessary to make progress. I knew I’d lost fitness, so I decided to do a few parkruns and a 10k race to assess the damage. I completed a hilly parkrun in 21.44 minutes and a flat 10k in 42.16, both are a long way from my best but I was pleased with them.

That said, I know I can do better. I know that Continue reading