Edinburgh Half Marathon: Weeks three to five

I HAVE to admit that I’ve not really been committing heart and soul to my training. I’ve been doing a five-week short story course and faffing about writing my book instead, so running has been done if and when I’ve had chance.

Some training has occurred though, just not the kind of training that gets results. The type of training I’ve been doing is called fannying about, which achieves nothing. So, it’s time to stop fannying about, get my arse in gear and get some hard work done.

But before I begin, I thought I’d better confess to what training has looked like so far. Here is my training from 22 January to 11 February.  Continue reading

Positive thinking

Positive thinking

JANUARY seemed to drag, but February is flying by. I’ve been busy with our house renovations and finishing some writing submissions, but the good thing is that I’ve still been running.

In fact, I’m feeling much more positive about training. My fitness isn’t great, but there are sixteen weeks until the Edinburgh Half Marathon. I keep telling myself not to panic because I have time.

I’ve found it difficult to Continue reading

Dewsbury 10k decisions

TO run at Dewsbury, or not to run at Dewsbury that is the question I’ve been asking myself.

The Dewsbury 10k, the first weekend in February, is where I’ve started my road racing season for the past few years. I’ve taken part five times, got a few PBs there, and always enjoyed it, even last year when it was over-distance.

It’s a good race on a flat and fast out and back course and, providing the turnaround cone is in the right place, it’s got great PB potential.

When I entered a few months ago I thought Continue reading

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

Less slapdash more structure – a new organised me for 2017

Less slapdash more structure – a new organised me for 2017

Hello! Hope you all had a very happy Christmas.

For me, it’s been a hectic one. Not least because I left my Christmas preparations until a few days before Christmas. The mile-long queues in Clinton’s Cards nearly sent me into meltdown. I decided then and there that I needed to take action.

I’m no longer going to be last-minute at everything I do. In the new year I am going to emerge as one of those super organised types who juggles a million and one things, and breezes through life without any panic or stress.

My other goals for 2017 involve running and writing. In running, I’d like to Continue reading

Parkrun, planning and procrastination

Parkrun, planning and procrastination

MY plan at Parkrun yesterday was to break 21 minutes. It seemed realistic. A few weeks ago I ran 21.07, so I was convinced it might be possible to dip under 21. The only problem really was my lack of consistent training.

I’ve had a few university assignment deadlines which have played havoc with my training. I’ve missed a few days here and a few days there, and when you add them all together they add up to quite a lot of missed training.

At the moment I seem to be bombarded with deadlines and work, so that I’m constantly firefighting. I clear one thing and immediately have to start on the next. It’s become a bit stressful and hasn’t done my fitness much good at all.

So on my way to Pontefract Parkrun yesterday I decided that Continue reading

Down with the kids

Down with the kids

FOR my first session after the Great North Run, I decided to try something different. I’ve signed up to four sessions training with a group targeting the cross-country season. And while I have no intention of setting foot on the cross-country racing circuit, I did think it would help my 10k training and my ambition of breaking 40 minutes.

So, last Saturday morning I went along to meet a different group in a different area, not really knowing what to expect. Despite taking a few wrong turns, I was the first to arrive. I sat in the car with Chris, and waited and waited, and couldn’t help but feel a bit nervous.

I stared out of the car window. A car pulled up and three children jumped out. They raced over to a big rock in the middle of the field, and immediately started climbing it, then they were off the rock and racing back to their parents. I felt exhausted just watching. They were obviously here for a morning in the park. They wouldn’t be running would they?

More people started to arrive. I say people, but they were young people, very young. Children, in fact, aged about ten, and they were all here to train for the cross-country. I remained in the car, hoping that no one spotted me. When they started running, I’d drive away.

A few more children arrived. Some of the mums were in sports gear. Perhaps they were running too? I stayed seated, keeping my fingers firmly crossed.

‘Come on!’ One of the mums was heading my way. ‘You can’t stay in the car forever.’

I’d been spotted. I stuck my head out of the window. ‘I daren’t get out!’ I said. ‘Are you running too?’

She nodded. I did a silent cheer and got out of the car.

I was hoping the coach would Continue reading

Good night, Vienna. Good morning, Newcastle

Good night, Vienna. Good morning, Newcastle

THE Great North Run is only days away. I was hoping to report that my last few weeks of training had been a great success, but I can’t. They’ve been a disaster.

I’ve been ill, not at death’s door or anything, but I’ve not been well enough to run. I tried. For a few days I went about my normal training routine, until last Friday when a tough mile rep session set me back so much I had to Continue reading

Sending out a search party

Sending out a search party

DURING dinner on Thursday my friend challenged me to take part in a duathlon.

‘Run, bike, run,’ he said. ‘You’ll love it.’

I wasn’t so sure, and certainly didn’t want to commit to anything. ‘I’ll think about it.’

‘Come on!’ Jon wouldn’t take no for an answer. ‘It’s only a 4K run, 20k bike ride, and 4k run.’


‘You could do the longer one if you wanted.’

‘No thanks,’ I said. ‘I’m fine with the short one.’

‘So it’s a yes then?’

‘No! It’s a maybe.’ I wasn’t going to be forced into anything. I promised to think about it

On Friday I did give it some thought, so much thought that I Continue reading