Edinburgh Half Marathon – ten weeks to go

Edinburgh Half Marathon – ten weeks to go

Panic stations. It’s less than 10 weeks until the Edinburgh Half Marathon, and I’ve not really done much training. I’ve done a lot of spinning and written a book, but running has not been happening.

So this morning, I went onto the Edinburgh website and changed my predicted race time. When I entered, I was determined to break one hour 30, but that was last year when I was still running. There’s no way I can do that in 10 weeks, and I didn’t fancy lining up on the start next to all the super speedy runners. Instead, Continue reading

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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

Going into meltdown after the GNR

AFTER the Great North Run, my body has gone into meltdown. During the race, I developed a blood blister on my foot, which is still throbbing eight days later.

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Then the day after the race, I developed a huge cold sore on my face. To anyone lucky enough to have escaped life without a cold sore, let me explain how truly horrible they are. Cold sores are small blisters that appear around the mouth or lips. They start with a tingling sensation and then start itching and burning. Little blisters form then crust over, so that when you smile, they crack and bleed. I told you! Nasty things!

Whenever I get a cold sore, my mum always responds the same way. ‘You’re run down.’ She’ll say. ‘You’re doing too much.’

She has a point. I usually get a cold sore when I’m not feeling one hundred percent well. I have never had one as a result of running a half marathon, but when you Continue reading

A great weekend at the Great North Run, even if the pacing wasn’t quite perfect

I did it! I took part in the world’s biggest half marathon, raising money for Action for Children.

It was a fantastic day. The atmosphere was amazing, with thousands of people running for charity or in memory of loved ones. I couldn’t help but be inspired.

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Our Great North Run weekend started on Saturday afternoon. We 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

Great North Run – three weeks to go

THE Great North Run is only three weeks away, so now’s the time to start thinking of my race day plans.

I have a running vest, kindly supplied by Action for Children. I need to start wearing this for some of my runs.

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I have a race number and race day information, which I need to read.

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I have several pairs of trainers so need to decide whether I’m racing in my Adidas Boost or On Cloud. If it’s the Clouds, I’ll need to buy a new pair.

I also need to decide what my target pace will be. If my current training’s anything to go by this could be anything from 6.40 to 9 minute mile pace.

I’m starting to get a bit nervous. It’s a long time since I last raced the half marathon distance. Training has been difficult. For the past few weeks I’ve been Continue reading

Thinking of a marathon

AFTER months of training in the cold and dark winter months, spring could finally have arrived.

The sun is shining, the sky a brilliant blue, and although there is still a chill in the air it is much warmer than it has been.

My run today was an off-road 12 miler in the Yorkshire countryside. Most of my winter training is done in the dark, which means I stay on the road. It was fantastic to be out running in daylight and off-road. For me, this really does mark the end of winter and the start of spring.

This is one of my favourite times of year. The extra daylight makes so much difference to training, to everything really. I always feel more positive in spring. I get a feeling that anything is possible. I really got that feeling today. In fact, a few miles into the run when I was relaxing and letting my mind drift, well, I started thinking about marathons.

This rarely happens. I’m not a marathon runner. This is what I tell myself. This is what I tell other people. Say NO to marathons should be my mantra.

I’ve done two marathons in my life. One in 2006. One in 2009. I survived both, but it was messy, very messy. The training was all wrong.  I didn’t really know what I was doing. The first one took six hours (45 minutes queuing for the loo), the second five hours 19 minutes.

Since then, I’ve focused on getting faster, and decided to avoid marathons. When anyone mentions the M word,  the barrier goes up. Say No to marathons. It’s a long way. It involves doing a lot of long runs, and long runs aren’t really my thing.

But today, as I was running through the woods and enjoying myself in the sunshine, I actually thought that maybe I could run another marathon, and run it well. Anything’s possible.

I could learn to love my long run. I could get into the right mindset. I might even enjoy it. If I did an autumn marathon it would be lovely to train through the summer months.

‘When’s the New York marathon?’ I asked Chris.

‘It’s late on. November. It’s always cold.’

I pictured myself running through Manhattan, over the bridges, through Central Park. If someone had given me an entry form today, I would have signed up, no messing.

But could I run a marathon?

‘You could do it.’ It was as though Chris was reading my mind. ‘You could.’

He’s right. I could. With spring here, and a long summer to come, maybe it’s time to put the doubts to one side, to believe in myself.

‘Do you want to run a marathon?’ Chris asked.

‘I’ll think about it.’

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I took this photo late afternoon, when it was just starting to cloud over and get dark.