Category Archives: Running

Ah running, I forgot about you.

I’m a seasonal runner, I accept that, I prefer to lace up and get out for a run for two thirds of the year and I tend to take the rest off.

This year has been a weird one, a year ago I was talking about how I managed to get a place in the London Marathon, the fear about training and how my knees were going to hold up. I knuckled down and got on with my training, it was hard, but fun and I finished my first Mararthon.

Then came the summer months, I don’t like running in the heat, I also didn’t like running at that point. I had run more than I ever had and was a bit burnt out. I finished the British 10k and then barely ran again.

I’d completely forgotten about the London Marathon ballot until a few days before the results were due, I was excited and nervous. I really wanted another go at it but it wasn’t to be. I had also forgotten that I had won a place in the Oxford Half Marathon. I had really done any training but it was a chance to represent Special Effect (they had just made me an Ambassador, but that’s another story).

Despite only reaching 6 miles in training I managed to finish in 2:20, I set a target of 2:10 so I was quite pleased with that. A few days later, I secured a place in the Brighton Marathon. So the training begins again soon.

Hello running, I’m back.

British 10k 2015 – Not my favourite

I really hadn’t run very much after the London Marathon, partly because I was so busy, but also because I just wasn’t that bothered. I needed to get another event under belt but wasn’t sure what to do next. Luckily a chance came up o repreent the RAF Benevolent Fund through work, so I jumped at the chance.

I trained, but I didn’t do too much, for some reason I still couldn’t get going with my running and before I knew it I was only two weeks away from the run. Sweatshop had a sale on and the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante’s were part of it so I picked a pair in the hope it would give me  yet another excuse to get going, and it sort of helped, I got some miles under my belt and I felt a bit more confident about the event.

It felt really good laying out my kit for an event and I went to bed on the Saturday night quite excited about the next day.

As I arrived at Embankment station I was actually looking forward to catching up with the rest of the team and getting to the start line. The trouble with the previous British 10k’s was that you were left waiting around for ages and desperately needing the loo minutes before the race with nowhere to go!

Thankfully the event was organised much better this year giving runners a final chance to go just near the start.

The run started quite well, I wanted a sub hour, and I was feeling confident two kilometres in. As I got closer to the first water station disaster struck, I managed to stand on a full water bottle and twisted my ankle, I managed to keep going but I was in a fair bit of discomfort for the rest of the race.

I was really disappointed to finish in 1:01:43 but it was a British 10k PB for me and completed my hat trick for the event. The route wasn’t great, there was too much turning back on yourself and having to run past the finish with 2km to go isn’t the most motivating!

The 82 runners for the RAFBF raised nearly £19,000 which is awesome and I was glad I could do something to help. I’ll probably be back running for Special Effect again next year, but a huge thanks to Laura for all of her brilliant efforts to get everyone together!

Next up: British 10k

As May comes to end it will have been a month since the Marathon. I have run very much to be honest and haven’t really felt like it. I’ve been keeping my eye on all sorts of events and settled on the British 10k.

Special Effect didn’t have any places yet but my RAF colleagues did, so this year I’ll be running for the RAF Benevolent Fund. It’s nice to have a new challenge and I have set myself a target of finishing in under 50 mins. In reality it might not happen, the route isn’t very good and it’s normally quite busy. According to my Garmin my fastest 10k is 55:03 so if I can beat that I’ll be happy.

Keep an eye on the blog as I have a rather cool competition coming up next week…

London Marathon 2015 – done!

After what felt like forever the big day had come. With the best intentions I got my head down at 9 the night before, but I couldn’t sleep, I came back downstairs after an hour of trying for some cereal and then headed back. I was just dropping of before our youngest boy Sam work complaining of an ear ache, we spent the next 3-4 hours trying to get him comfortable. I eventually fell asleep on the bottom of the boys bunk bed at about 3am!

Both Sam and I woke at 6 and his earache had “totally gone daddy!” – I had breakfast, and got kitted up ready to leave. The train journey was quick and I was in the Blue Start zone and met up with Clare and eventually Nick.

It still hadn’t quite sunk in to be honest, I was getting cold and wanted to get on with things. After going to the loo we headed to our start pen, we were right at the back but that was fine by me. All of a sudden I was running the London Marathon, a few years may have escaped as I started, it had been a long journey.

The first few miles went fairly quickly, there wasn’t much room to get around people but I kept to my 10 min/mile pace. I saw my first friend at 3 miles which gave me a welcome boost. It wasn’t long before we were all running round the Cutty Sark!

The next seven miles went fairly well, I was running through the area that I grew up in which made it a little more difficult because I knew it so well so it felt longer to run through, I found another friend who had bought me some sweets that were much needed as I was getting hungry, then came Tower Bridge.

It awesome running over that bridge, the atmosphere is electric and it’s not something I’ll forget in a hurry, as I reach halfway I was starting to hurt. I spent some time walking to gather my thoughts, before slowly finding my way again, my half marathon pace was a bit slower than I liked, but it wasn’t by much.

I ran/walked most of the Isle of Dogs, the atmosphere again at Canary Wharf was brilliant and as I finally headed back towards Limehouse I was really beginning to hurt. It’s at this point I should mention the crowds, people had told me how much of a lift they gave you but until you are there you really cannot appreciate it. I took music with me to listen to but I barely used it as it was just brilliant listening to the crowds. Everyone was supporting you, there people giving out fruit, sweets and the were loads of people to High-Five on the way, there was rarely a place on the route where there wasn’t someone cheering you on, incredible.

I soon realised that a time of 4:45 was slipping away but I wasn’t too bothered by mile 24, I was worried that I would come on over 5 hours but I managed to find some energy in my legs and as I reached Big Ben I knew that wasn’t going to happen, 800 meters to go, 600 then 385 yards, somehow I managed a sprint finish and all of a sudden I had done it! I was given my medal and I just started crying, a year ago I could barely run 10k without my knee giving me grief, a marathon wasn’t on the cards, yet here I was.


I got my bag really quickly, the organisation of the event was incredible, as were the volunteers. I then hobbled back to the station, I got to see a few messages on my phone but only had a few percent on my battery.

When I got home I was greeted to hugs and kisses, and Pizza Hut! Nick, who just managed to beat a giant testicle over the finish line (just!) rang me a few hours later to thank me and let me know that between the SpecialEffect team we had raised over £10k, so thank you to everyone who had sponsored me, I still have money to come in so I’m hoping to reach close to £1500!

As you can imagine, as I sit here writing this my legs have completely seized up! It doesn’t feel great, but the achievement does, hopefully I’ll back to do it again next year, and I have at least one more half marathon to run this year. For the next few weeks though, I’ll enjoy not running!


The Final Countdown

It’s hard to believe that six months ago the London Marathon magazine arrived at my house telling me I had got a place. I was thrilled, and very lucky, getting in at the second time of asking.

I hadn’t fully recovered from my ACL injury and wasn’t actually running cry much, not that I was going to let that stop me. My training started well, I was conscious that I need to keep to what they plan was telling me, it was hard at the start, I weighed 12 stone and was struggling with 10 minute miles. The running kept giving me niggling injuries, but I rested at the right times. The winter training was tough, I kept getting ill, but again the enforced rest seemed to help. Even at the beginning of this year I found the running a struggle, but I was still getting the miles in and slowly getting fitter.

Since October I had been running around 30 miles a month, but in February things began to feel like they were falling into place, I ran 53 miles including my first half marathon for over 10 years, I then managed 15 miles. March saw me hit 80 miles, including a 20 miler into London, I’m not going to lie, it really hurt and I have had seven days off after it, partly to recover and partly because I’ve just moved house.

My final run should have been 22 miles, it only ended up being 8 – despite preparing well I just lost all energy and knew there was no way back, if I hadn’t had managed the 20 miles I’d have been more worried, but knowing I had done a big distance meant I didn’t feel too bad.

I’ve been writing this blog post for so long that I have had to add extra sections to it, today saw me run 10 miles instead of 13, again a little disappointing but not the end of the world – with only 13 days to go I just want them to go as quickly as possible so I can enjoy the day!

I’m still going!

Despite not having time to write about it, I am still training, it’s not all been plain sailing, I’ve had a chest infection to overcome which has really knocked my ability to get my breathing right but it is getting better at least.

I’ve stuck to my plan like I promised myself, this weekend is a big milestone for me, double figure mileage, my Long Slow Run (#LSR) is 10 miles, if all goes to plan that’s about 100 mins of running. The most I will run as part of my training is 22 miles, so I’m not even at the halfway stage, but I’m taking things one step at a time.

My weekend training takes place in Kent which is nice as I have lots of different parks to go to, the only trouble is the amount of steep hills, I just can’t escape them! I know it makes a difference once I hit the flat streets in London, but it’s tough going when you are trying to build up your mileage.

Anyway, fingers crossed for the weekend!