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

Edinburgh Half Marathon: Training week one

Edinburgh Half Marathon: Training week one

I SHOULD be celebrating because last week I completed my first full week of training. This is very exciting stuff. I’m not fit, but at least I’m on the way to fitness. I’ve got time too, because the Edinburgh Half Marathon is not until May.

Here’s the training week: 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

A Windy Wednesday for the Winter Track League

A Windy Wednesday for the Winter Track League

I SPENT most of the day on Wednesday hoping that the 5,000m winter track race would be cancelled.

We were experiencing a spot of windy weather – 60 mile per hour gusts at least. ‘They’ll cancel,’ I told Chris confidently. ‘It’s madness running in this.’

I sat at my desk, with the wind rattling the windows, checking my phone for news that it had been aborted. The news never came. It was on!

The wind was causing chaos. Leeds had been brought to a standstill, so I was stuck in traffic. A lorry had blown over on the motorway, so Chris was stuck in traffic too. After a two-hour car journey, we arrived at the track with only a few minutes to spare.

The race was 5,000m, twelve and a half laps of the Dorothy Hyman athletics track. Normally, 5k doesn’t seem so bad, but on Wednesday it was cold. It was dark. It was January. And it was blowing a gale. I just wanted to get it over with.


Chris’ race went first. He stepped off the track looking like he’d just returned from an expedition in the Arctic. ‘Up there,’ he pointed to the far side of the track. ‘It’s like hitting a wall.’

As I made my way to the start, I formed a plan. I would Continue reading

Hoping the plan comes together

IN all my years of running I’ve never had a training schedule. I’ve always made it up as I go: hills one night, speed the next, a bit of tempo here, a threshold there. I’ve tagged onto other people’s training, joined in with club runs, but never had a plan telling me what I should be doing and when.

For a long time, my slap dash approach has worked. This is mainly because my friend Fiona is an amazing runner, so I trained with her as often as I could. Whatever she did. I did. This was great. I improved so much I even started picking up a few prizes, something I never thought would be possible. When Fiona had a good run, so did I. When Fiona was ill or injured, my fitness suffered. This didn’t bother me too much. I just carried on enjoying it all, amazed to be dong so well. With Fiona’s help, I got my 10k PB down to 40 minutes and won all of this and more.


I was even hopeful of breaking 40 minutes for 10k. I didn’t have a plan as to when and how this would happen. I just believed it would. I was really relaxed about it. I’d just continue training with my friend and it would come, no problem.

But it hasn’t come. I 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

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.


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


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

The Running Week – 1st to 7th August

I CAN’T believe it’s August already. Where’s the summer going? I’m determined to make the most of the warm weather and light evenings, so much so that I’ve spent most of the week outside. And I’m pleased to say that it’s been a good training week, but there’s still a long way to go.

Monday: Chris joined me for a steady eight-mile run. It was steady for Continue reading

Great North Run – five weeks to go

Great North Run – five weeks to go

THERE’S nothing better than getting your long run out of the way first thing on a Sunday morning.

By 11am I’d done 13.1 miles in one hour forty-eight. This was a minute and a half slower than last week’s run, but there were no Continue reading

Re-charged and ready to run

Hello! I’m back. I’ve been sunning myself on the Balearic island of Majorca. It’s been absolutely wonderful. I’ve spent my days reading and relaxing by the pool, enjoying the food, wine and a few cocktails. I’m a few pounds heavier, but fully rested and recovered and looking forward to getting back to the blog.


In fact, I’m really excited about my running, writing and blogging projects. Really excited! There are lots of things to look forward to. I’ve often heard people say a holiday has re-charged their batteries, but until now I didn’t really appreciate what they meant. But now I do. After a short break in Cala Millor on the east coast of Majorca, I feel fully re-charged, operating at maximum energy levels, and ready to throw myself back into my work and hobbies.

This is great, but I’m also going to proceed with caution. If the holiday has made me realise one thing, it’s that  Continue reading