Beating the blues in January

Beating the blues in January

For some reason this January I have been feeling down. I’m not sure why. It could be the cold weather, the darkness, the comedown after Christmas, the comedown after our wedding, or possibly a combination of everything, but I’ve just not felt my usual energetic self. I’ve been keeping myself busy with work and writing projects, but even that has done little to alleviate my low mood.

This year, I’ve noticed the cold weather more than ever before and I’m Continue reading

Training update week one

Training update week one

WITH the arrival of the new year I was excited and looking forward to getting stuck into some serious training so that I could achieve all my running ambitions. Everything was going well, until I fell over, injured my foot, and then developed a severe case of man flu.

Here’s my training week:

I got off to a good start with Continue reading

Ditching the diet in January

Ditching the diet in January

ON the first day of my Christmas holiday the battery in my bathroom scales died. I had two choices, I could pop to the shops to buy a new battery and brave the Christmas stampede, or I could stay at home and not bother.

It didn’t take long to make up my mind. I put the scales away. This may not seem a very remarkable thing to do, but to me it is. I use the scales to control my weight. I hop on every few days or so, just to monitor weight loss or gain. Left to my own devices, without the trusted scales, there’s a real danger I could end up the size of a house.

I decided to throw caution to the wind and go without. ‘It’s only a few days,’ I reasoned. ‘I’d manage without them. It would all be fine.’ And it was. It was actually quite liberating. Unfortunately, just the thought of not having to get weighed had me reaching for the chocolates.

After being Continue reading

Back to work and training

Back to work and training

AS I write this it’s 5.30am and my alarm clock has just gone off. I’ll have another 10 minutes then drag myself out of bed. After 10 days of eating, drinking, and siting on the sofa watching Back to the Future it’s time to go back to work.


Photo courtesy of Benjamin Voros on Unsplash

It’s been a fantastic holiday. I definitely needed the rest and relaxation. I had a complete break from work and writing, and it was great. I’ve not had much time off the day job since August, and have also spent every spare minute bashing out my novel, so Christmas couldn’t come soon enough. I was exhausted.

I’m feeling much better now and looking forward to getting back into it, but it’s going to be hard to get up and face the cold, dark January morning.  I love my job and have lots of writing and running goals for 2018, so that’ll help. And after the long, lazy days of Christmas, I’m ready to start working hard again so that I can (fingers crossed) achieve my ambitions.

For 2018 here’s what I want to achieve.

By February Continue reading

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.


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

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.


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.


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.


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