Londone – Done: 1.past participle of do 2. no longer happening or existing 3. socially acceptable

London. One of the big 5. I didn’t see any leopards or lions but Blackheath was as hot and dry as a savanna. It’s done. It is no longer happening, It has finished. As for existing, I’m only just starting to feel like I am again. Socially acceptable? The ballot has opened and it will of course be crazily oversubscribed. (Yes, of course I applied again! I feel cheated right now)

Saturday 21st April up at 4 am. Had that ‘what if I miss my alarm thing’. Jumped into the car at the back of 5, turned on the lights, turned up the tunes and off. Totally reminiscing back to my youth listening to Radio 1 dance tunes at full volume and driving about empty roads in the middle of the night. Here we go!!!!

Parked up and headed into the airport desperate for breakfast. Fired through security and went in search for the culinary delights of the airport. Decisions decisions, bacon roll or croissant. A bacon croissant would have been the preferred option but almond was all that was on offer. The breakfast of an athlete! As I stood in the queue I tuned into a couple behind me discussing how many bananas the guy had been eating recently. “In preparation for the marathon” he told his girlfriend.”And all that pasta too” she cooed.

I can’t sleep on planes. I can barely sleep in my own bed at night. We hadn’t even taken off and the guy beside me was snoring his head off. So I woke him up. Kidding, but in my head I did. The in-flight magazine had an article about Mo (seriously if you need me to put a surname in here you’re reading the wrong blog) so I had a wee perusal of that  and I think it was at about this time that I had a very weird feeling. Am I feeling a bit emotional I wondered to myself. What’s that about then?

Airport to Expo. Slick and quick at early o’clock on a Saturday morning. Wow! No queue at registration for my number. It’s real now. I wandered IMG_4196through the expo collecting freebies and tasting samples. Tasting samples as in energy gels and protein bars not what you’re thinking. At the stage I took a seat. The man announced that he’d like to welcome a professional athlete onto the stage. My heart started racing. Luckily he didn’t mean me and I carried on chewing on some energy stuff and headed off for more freebies then lunch. A slightly more nutritious lunch. I say slightly but it did include a bagel with smoked salmon and avocado.

By this time my rucksack was digging in and I’d walked about 6000 steps, it was supposed to be a rest day. Time to go! Onto the train. There’s a story to the train journey but it’s one for another time. Arrived at Canary Wharf and headed for the hotel. Dumped the bag, checked out the view of the many building sites next door which reminded me of ‘Man on Wire’ and headed out to meet husband. There he was ambling along the road.

The next main priority was working out where to go for dinner. Back near Canary Wharf Tube we chilled out outside a bar. They were offering 2 for 1 cocktails. Now any other day and I would have had both but today, alas nothing but a softie for me. That was a hard task. I think the guy took pity on us and gave us our drinks for free. ‘Spirit of London’ and all that mate!

Dinner. Pasta. Why not? It was ok. I could’ve done with another three portions but hey it’s carbs so that’ll be good for tomorrow. Build those glycogen stores. Back at the wonderful fairly new Novotel we headed to the 38th floor bar. Wow! What a view! IMG_4226Very enjoyable with a camomile tea I must say. Through the smog you could see the mast of the Cutty Sark, the Shard, Tower Bridge and even The London Eye very faintly. We mapped out the route as best we could and I headed to bed early doors. No rock n roll lifestyle for me tonight. Gutted!

Sunday 22nd April. Race day. Race, ha ha ha. I just want to finish uninjured. It’s 7 years since my last marathon. It took me 4 hours and 15 minutes. I walked, well dragged myself the last four miles as throughout the run my hips decided to come out of place and do the twist. Then there was the birth of my son. I’ll not go into that and it’s impact on my body. Would hate to be responsible for putting people off having children. In preparation for this I’ve been to physio (a lot) and Personal Training once a week to build strength.I’ve learned loads and spent…too much but has it been worth it?

Transport is free to runners. The sun was shining and it was relatively warm at 8am as I headed for the running DLR. Thanks for not striking guys. ‘See you at the letter H’ I said to my husband whose plans were to go for a swim, catch Mo at a few places and have fun in London. I wasn’t bothered about him cheering me on, I knew it would be relatively messy and I was feeling weirdly emotional. The train was crowded but there’s always room for one more. I squeezed in with my new pal from the platform. In all honesty quite a few more people could’ve got in. If this had been in Shanghai we could’ve doubled the passengers. At this point everyone smelled of suncream and deoderant so it wasn’t offensive. In the race however…

Blackheath is a massive field. How well organised was this!!! Puts Edinburgh to total shame. Dropped my bag off, grabbed some free water, stayed out of the sun in a large tent, long toilet queues but these were fast and they handed toilet roll out even though they were all well stocked ( I tried a few). The atmosphere was electric! I wasn’t prepared for this. I’m not one to get all emotional and nervous but for some reason that’s how I felt. I tried chatting to a few folk but everyone seemed to be feeling exactly the same. At this stage I’d planned on doing a Facebook Live but decided now wouldn’t be a good debut. Staying out of the shade as long as I could I headed to my pen around 10am just as the elite athletes were setting off. I’m sorry to disappoint as clearly when you realised I was at the Blue start you presumed you were reading the blog of an elite athlete. They were in pens 1 & 2. I was in 4.

We’re off. Start the watch, stop the watch, has the strava beacon worked? No. Oh well there’s the tracker. I reminded myself not to go too fast and to enjoy every single minute. Even though I knew there would be many minutes. I wasn’t prepared for this. From the word go there was not one single gap in the crowd. Everyone was shouting out my name and giving high fives. This is awesome!!!! For the first five miles I could not stop grinning. Maybe that’s where all my energy went. I passed the Grenfell Firemen and wished them well and spoke to a few other folk. I love having a wee chat to people about what they’re raising money for and giving them encouragement. I passed an older lady who was a something or other doddler…nothing doddling about you love, you’re flying! I met loads of other Scots by chance. I had a lovely chat with a man running for Prostate Scotland and a lady from Dundee who was running for a Diabetes charity. At this point I decide to keep an eye on my pace and slow it down. Note to self at this point: This is comfortable, really comfortable and there is zero hamstring twinges (which had bothered me throughout the latter stages of training). I feel really really good so I’ll not go too fast. I’ll keep it at 9:30 / 9:45 a minute until around mile 13 then I’ll slow it down to 10s even 10:30s. And so I carried on.

Now, I’d visualised the course for months so I was prepared for the other starts merging and indeed there was loads of room when the Green starts appeared. There wasn’t much to see though. As it became slightly busier some woman decided to try to barge through a tight space. Most people were very polite and gestured to let each other move forward or into spaces. Not this woman. Oh no, she was elbows out. It didn’t quite work out for her as she got caught in peoples’ legs and went down. Then someone stood on the abck of my shoe which came off. At least he was able to grunt an apology and it didn’t cost me first place in the race.

The Cutty Sark!!! First landmark!!! Yay!!!! The whole course was really busy. At mile 11 something happened. I hit the wall! At mile 11!! This was not in my game plan.  I went to pieces. In my head my thinking was outrageously ridiculous. Laughable. ‘I’m going to have to finish’ I thought. ‘But how would I get to the finish. I’m unable to get there. I’ll have to keep going. Now husband said if I hit the wall I need to pick up the pace. But I’m not even running??’ At this point I think I was walking towards leaving the course but couldn’t see a marshal and then I saw my legs totally shaking. It was all quite freaky but I realised my thinking was not quite right so I decided to walk to mile 14 to get a gel. Now I had emergy beans in my back pocket but clearly they were for later on so why take them now? Doh! Then Tower Bridge miraculously appeared.Hell yeah! I had to run. This is where there are TV cameras and interviews and stuff. And it’s pretty damn cool. I think I was probably seeing a different picture to reality at this point but I carried on regardless and somehow got to mile 14.

Mmmm yummy gel! Boak. They’re so disgusting but I had the whole thing and washed it down with some water. I’d had some Lucozade sport earlier and had totally regretted it although I’m sure it was important. Did it help? I doubt it if I hit the wall at mile 11 and considering I’d had a hydration drink on the way to the start.Doubt that helped either. These things are a sham I tell you, a sham!!!

Oooh I’m running again. My watch was showing between 9:30 and 12:30 a mile. I don’t really think  I knew what was going on apart from questioning why people were cooking spices as the smoke was going in my eyes! I think Canary Wharf was possibly downhill. I knew Mile 18 was where I’d been staying and I focused on that as well as my next planned intervention – a caffeine gel at mile 18. With memories of Edinburgh I was well looking forward to this bad boy! After mile 18 I felt like I was running round a concrete jungle. I’m not sure if it was some kind of ringroad. It was messy. By this point I was realising that people were dropping every five metres or so. It was like a cheap computer game. I remember signalling to a marshal that someone had gone down and he nodded his head as he moved towards them as if to say ‘yeah, another, this is getting boring now’. Hello mile 18, hello caffeine gel, hello why am I still returning to walking? It was ok but didn’t have quite the same impact as before. I’d realised from mile 11 that it was a case of finishing in one piece. If it meant walking then that’s how it would be. I was soaking. Blood, sweat, tears, who knows? so just as well I’d trained in the snow, rain and wind. But it dried quickly. I feel bad taking water to partially drink (as ‘too much is as dangerous’ they kept saying leaving everyone confused) and using the rest (drink, drain, drop) to drench myself and cool my wrists and head (I avoided showers so I didn’t get wet squelchy feet or get cold water shock!) but I feel bad knowing that later on they ran out of water. How could they run out of water??

Aiming for the next gel station at mile 21.5 was my next task. I usually break my run into segments and find this works. It was only 3.5 from here, a slightly long park run. I can definitely do that! Someone shouted ‘suncream’ and I thought, ‘crikey, I’ve been out in this for hours I’d better put some on’. My brain was clearly all over the place still but it was a sensible idea.The woman who’d offered the cream took one look at me and said I had loads on my face. Are you kidding me? I’ve been out in this basking sun for a good four hours, I’m fair and I sweated every millilitre of everything out of my body hours ago. Begrudgingly  she allowed me some but as I stood there I wondered what I was actually doing and why I was wasting precious time as I really needed to be at that finish line. I had a plane to catch!

21.5 and my last gel. I can’t even remember having it. By now I could see my hand trying to break through the crowds trying to grab a bottle of water. Failing and trying again. Got one! It must have been around this time that I saw the topless runner who was, well running. If that wasn’t suspicious then I don’t know what was.  The crowds were getting larger and noisier. At this point I just wanted everyone to shut up. Why did I put my name on my tshirt? I could barely lift my thumbs to give a thumbs up anymore. The reality probably was that they didn’t even move it was more in my head, willing them to go up.

I was a sight but it was only in the final few miles that I began to see the famous sights of London. The Shard and London Eye then finally Buckingham Palace and the Mall. The last few miles were truly the hardest miles I’ve ran. I had been under the impression that, ‘the crowd will carry you’. Well that didn’t happen. ‘It’s just a mile, run’ I kept repeating to myself like a broken record. Replaced by ‘it’s just 600metres, run’. Ah, there’s my husband waving. I was running but it really didn’t feel like it and the finish was not getting any closer. I knew people at home were watching so there was no way there would be tears or any of that nonsense. Luckily the guy in front did a leap and a sidekick like the guy from Mary Poppins and it made me laugh. Good timing dude! Smile, you’re on camera!

The medal. Hooray, the medal. I just wanted to take it off, it was so heavy. Loads of people were stopping for official photos. Not I. I kept walking. Luckily the baggage area didn’t take the 40 minutes it suggested. Again, no queue. Out I went and to the large letter meeting point I’d arranged to meet my husband at. He had one thing to do. Meet me there. Was he there? Of course not.

I wandered around the very large red letter saying his name to the air.Nothing. He wasn’t there. I knew I needed to rest against something so I leaned against a ledge at the Cavalry Museum. Suddenly I didn’t feel very well at all. I’m not one to be like this so I knew it wasn’t a good sign. I put my head between my legs and realised this wasn’t going to do anything. I turned to the lady on my left who was sitting on a chair sunning herself. She was at the door to the Museum and  I could see the sign saying there was a Private Function on. However, needs must. “Excuse me, may I stand inside the doorway in the shade just for a second?” I asked politely. Although in hindsight if this is how I was feeling perhaps I came across in a slur. But it was flipping obvious what I’d been doing. “It’s a Private Function” she said. A couple sitting across in the half-shade offered me a space beside them but I shook my head as it was too late. I went down onto the gravel on my knees then hands. The Lady in the chair moved her feet out of the way and just looked down her nose at me. The couple got up and came to help me and supported me to where they were sitting. Mobile connection was poor but I managed to reach my husband via text. Well kind of. He had gone to the baggage area to try to help me as I ‘looked burst’. That’s great honey but it’s not where we arranged to meet and you didn’t alert me to the change of plan! The couple proceeded to call him on their phone and after looking at a photo of my husband the man went to find him. I think my description of tall, lanky, ginger and balding was a winner as he came back with him within a few minutes.

Time to fly…. Straight to the Tube, over to Victoria, grab the bags, Gatwick express. A quick ‘Dundee shower’ and brief change (literally) then time for the quickest burger ever IMG_4236at Jamie Oliver’s. Jamie Oliver had announced that Medal holders could have free main course at his restaurant. Unfortunately this wasn’t being upheld at the airport. I think they took total pity on me though and very kindly gave us 20% off. Happy days. I ordered a pint and savoured every mouthful. It was absolutely delicious and well bloody deserved. Then we ran out of time and had to walk / run (a bit like the rest of the day) to get the plane. Gutted to be leaving half behind! Before we knew it we had touched down, were in the car and had arrived home. Time to get ready for work tomorrow. I hung my medal up beside the others. It’s much bigger than the rest. Cue size jokes.

My finish time was 4 hours 51. The highlight was finishing. The lowlight was being overtaken by an Emoji Poo. The ballot has opened and I’ve entered. I’m going to try again as I’d like to go back and do this justice. My wonderful husband suggested my next challenge to be a marathon without any walking.. The incentive of raising funds for Richmond’s Hope & Juno really helped when things got tough. I’m very very close to raising £5k…just a few £s away!

My splits worked out as (according to wonderful Strava)

Mile 1-10:30; 2 – 9:38; 3 – 9:29; 4 – 9:33; 5 – 9:56; 6 – 9:56; 7 – 9:53; 8 – 10:02; 11 – 10:18; 12 – 10:43; 13 – 11:46; 14 – 11:23; 15 – 11:07; 16 – 12:14; 17 – 10:50; 18 – 12:41; 19 – 10:53; 20 – 10:58; 21 – 12:09; 22 – 12:30; 23 – 12:22; 24 – 12:04; 25 – 12:53; 26 – 11:26

even more impressive is the amount of calories burned…








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The costs of running a marathon for charity

After deciding on taking up a challenge from the wide array of options such as Ironman, running in the North Pole, yachting round the world or even creating your own comes the first dilemma. How on earth do you choose between charities to raise money for? There are thousands of different charities. (I sometimes wonder, if charities raising funds for the same thing clubbed together would that save money by avoiding duplication of resources?) I opt for a different charity each time but this time I’ve chosen two to raise for. Whether having two charities is more or less effective I haven’t a clue. Perhaps by having two people may affiliate with one and donate which effectively helps both.

The ballot at the Virgin London Marathon is hugely oversubscribed every year. In some running forums I’m in members complain about applying 9 years in a row and not getting in. Myself and my husband applied last year. Two letters came through the door, well one letter and one parcel. “Ok” I thought, “one of us is in and one of us isn’t”. I couldn’t wait and opened mine. IN! I yelped with excitement and ran into the street to tell the neighbours. The ‘loser’ package contained a Virgin London Marathon top which was lovely but became a sore point for my husband who subsequently sold it on Ebay. As I had to defer a year anyway he reapplied to the ballot. Nothing! Choosing to donate my entry fee to charity I paid around £80 to enter as the ballot entry is almost £40. Running for a charity who has places is different and I don’t know if it’s the same amount of funds that need to be raised for each charity.

So I’ve got my place at THE London Marathon. I’ve chosen two charities: Richmond’s Hope & Juno. Now what…

It’s in London, so I have to get there right! and get somewhere to stay on one of the craziest busy weekends. Fly or train? One night or two or make a holiday out of it? Due to childcare and work it was kind of decided for me. A bit of a search for the best prices and bingo! travel booked for roughly £110 plus getting to and from both airports. Now where to stay? Out with the TESCO Clubcard points. A great way to make accommodation slightly more affordable. So we found a room, changed the clubcard points into a ‘specific hotel chain’ voucher and went to book the room. None available?? Ok, let’s call. Yes the room was available but not for TESCO clubcard vouchers even though we’d be paying the difference. After a long conversation with a rude and completely inflexible manager we had to give up. As we had other clubcard vouchers in my husband’s account we changed these to vouchers and then proceeded to purchase the same room at the same price. FFS! Thankfully TESCO were kind and honourable enough to change back the previous vouchers. Fingers crossed the service at the hotel is better than their booking system.

Over the past few years I’ve probably irked pretty much everyone I know by raising money every once in a while. Before this marathon I tried to put in a bit of distance. So many people are always looking for donations and you just can’t give to everyone all the time. I often find that folk raising money end up donating to lots of friends as they understand how challenging it can be but also how rewarding it is to raise money. Now with social media there are so many heartwrenching stories that you can’t help wanting to donate to everyone. I love the tv show “The Secret Millionaire” and would love to be that person one day but I guess this is the next best thing. Social media is recommended for helping to raise funds but at the same time I can’t help think that it’s an annoyance seeing the same thing pop up everyday on someone’s newsfeed and again there are just so many. So apologies to all my social media contacts. It will stop soon!

This time round I decided to try a few more fundraising ideas like a wee event and a raffle. Having prizes donated to the raffle has been outstanding and completely overwhelming. Peoples’ generosity and kindness has been absolutely out of this world. 30 prizes have been donated and I was  aiming for  26.2 which I thought would have been quite tricky. Initially I sent away letters that I personalised as much as possible but postage is ridiculous so I turned to email. Not very personal but it did have a fairly good result with some wee surprises. One morning over coffee I was telling a friend about the raffle when she dropped a total bomb…a licence was needed. To run a ‘small society lottery’ i.e. a raffle you must have apply to the local council for a raffle. £40. One of the charities paid for this as because it’s valid for 5 years it made more sense for them to ‘own’ it. Raffle ticket books were a bit tricky to fin and probably easiest just to order online. I think I have about 5 books on the go in different places. I’ve had a lot of amazing people be generous with their time by supporting me with this and I’m totally grateful for this!

One of the things I absolutely love at big races is reading all the charity tshirts. It’s really interesting to learn about charities you’ve never heard of before and to see what people are raising money for. In longer, slower races it can strike up conversations. It also takes your mind off the pain of running a marathon. As I’m running for two charities and want both to be represented I decided to order my own. The local company were lovely and shared their design thoughts. In my usual style I asked for a wee cheeky discount. The lady explained that they get asked all the time for discount for charity tshirts however she would print my name for free! Next week I’ll be looking forward to collecting my personalised tech tshirt in Hawaiian blue with my name and both charity logos for a mere £15.

A friend had some success with an 80s night so I thought, well why not! I’ve joined a bowling club as it wasn’t too expensive (£25) and the drinks won’t be crazily inflated city prices so the focus will just be on fun! But then there’s the ticket sales which unfortunately became a bit of a stress. The first date I opted for turned out to be the busiest date Saturday of the year.In the end I had to change the date. However, tickets have sold reasonably well although I don’t think it’ll quite be a full house. Not really a fan of fancy dress but for some unknown reason decided to make it fancy dress with the encouragement of prizes to be won for best outfits. Friends always seem to be dressing up for various functions so it was time to throw caution (and money) tot he wind and I ordered a cheeky wee number from Ebay. For some reason I put off trying it on so of course with a few days to go it turned out it didn’t fit so I’ve had to order something else at more cost. Although I’m sure both can resell via Ebay too.

Running…the cheap sport….well not really. Decent shoes and (for women) sports bra are essential and decent ones cost. Shoes need replaced after around a few hundred miles so the ones I bought for marathon training will more than likely be done after the marathon. A few changes are needed otherwise the constant washing gets out of control although to be fair, running stuff does dry quickly. Running can become quite expensive when you start looking at kit and if you’re geeky watches and more technical equipment can take over your life and your wallet.

Then there’s little extras that creep in. Ok you might get lucky and be biomechanically fine tuned but this is highly unlikely. Physio. Yes you could wait for a while for an NHS appointment or perhaps it’s worth paying a private well respected physio for their opinion. I’ve certainly learned the hard way and wouldn’t think twice about going to see a physio as a preventative measure too.

Another way to prevent regular physio trips is to really work hard on your strength. This time round I’ve included a session once a week as cross training with a Personal Trainer. The difference has been extremely noticeable in terms of fitness, strength and motivation and each session has been a school day!

Then there’s the non-financial costs of time, family and mental capacity.I was running previous to going up a gear in my training but it was not enough. Before Xmas I was running one to two times a week. After Xmas I started a 16 week marathon training guide. I opted for Hal Higdon and it’s been absolutely superb. However long runs are time consuming as is fitting in another three runs in during the week. After work and looking after a little one time is limited as is motivation. Especially training through this winter! Going to the park for a run around or to soft play is not my favourite activity after a long run! Needless to say there has been little time for a social life!

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No idea if it’s tears, sweat or rain running down my face.

My shoes are still drying out. I’m still drying out and it’s not even alcohol related.

It was only a 12 miler. It was supposed to be warmer. I like the rain. It keeps me cool. Stops my face from beaming like a search beacon. No hat or gloves today, sooooooo wrong choice.

At less than half a mile in a car went passed and soaked me. Thanks. At that point I wasn’t too bothered. A few miles in however as i squelched through the miles…

Really quickly, at about the point where I usually start to warm up the opposite seemed to happen. My hands were frozen and not getting any warmer. It’s at times like these that I wish people could see me (whispers…’I don’t really mean that). I think people think I just skip about with lots of energy loving every mile.

I was so happy to make it home but then it took probably the same length of time as the run to get in the door as my hands were so cold I could barely turn the key!



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Slippin’ and a sliding

IMG_4011I know it’s winter (well technically it’s Spring) and that’s when it’s supposed the snow. I’ve also been hoping that if it were to snow that it would ‘proper’ snow. But that doesn’t  mean I want it to be there for a 16 miler.

No bother to me I’d thought. I have the gear and I’ve ordered Yak Trax so it’ll be fine. Famous last words eh!

I had all these plans of where i would go and which roads and paths would be the best for running on. Then I left the house. ‘This is great’ I thought as I ran to the end of the road but once on the main roads and paths…different story.IMG_4010

The paving slabs in Edinburgh have been changed and they’re really slidey when wet so in parts where the paths had started turning to slush it was rank and very very slippy. This is where my plan changed…I went up and down a long snowy road a few times (maybe 6) and it was great. The snow was compact under where the cars had been driving. Brilliant to run on. A tad boring after a while. So off I went to explore….

‘Why the heck did I come this way? Why oh why oh why?’ I thought (and possibly yelled out loud) as I turned a corner onto the front beside the sea straight into an icy headwind and very very wet puddle (I know you don’t get dry puddles so don’t be smart!). The paths was mush. My feet were absolutely soaking and my body temperature plummeted instantly.IMG_4017

I ended up turning into a part of town that hadn’t been gritted and ran the rest of the first eight miles up and down and up and down on the snow packed streets. With my groove back on I headed home for a quick pit stop. Toilet, water and change of socks.

Back out and onto a different part of town. The snow had clearly drifted and had left mounds that seemed to float into the roads like giant icebergs. Now it was a mix of mounds, slush, snow and gritted paths. I’m not sure running on gritted paths in Yak Trax is a good idea. At times I wondered if I should have switched to Trail shoes. Maybe they would have been better for this ‘multi-terrain’ experience.

16 hurt. The glare from the snow. The constant change underfoot and subsequent change of running style (as in length of stride and pace rather than anything fancy or reminiscent of Monty Python).

But it was done. I can’t say I enjoyed this run and I’m not sure if it’s going to have caused any injuries.IMG_4016


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Getting to where I’m going

Some days running is just hard. Generally because you can’t be bothered, the weather’s not great, you’re tired or you’d rather be at home eating pizza and drinking wine. But let’s face it, have you ever come back feeling worse than when you went out? The answer to that is probably 99.9% no. If you dress properly according to the weather, know that you’re more likely to have a better quality sleep and more energy and can feel less guilty  indulging in a slice and a glass or two (or 3 or 4….) then surely it’s worth getting your butt out the door? Sometimes I go out before I’ve even woken up properly, although that may not be the best idea. I never said I knew anything about running, I just enjoy the buzz (which you may not feel in your first ever run but it will come).

Some days running 1 mile is a killer. Each time I start back trying to get fit after illness or an injury it’s like starting back at the beginning again. But before you know it, after a few weeks of running it starts to feel relatively ok. When I started back yet again to do this marathon there were days I could barely manage two miles. And I certainly couldn’t call the movements I was making ‘running’. Things change. It takes about 6 weeks to form a habit but once it’s there things…

When I started training I had no idea if my body would cope. I was happy to reach 5k. It wasn’t comfortable but I could do it. So my goal changed. 10k. I had different goals with this. 1. To be able to run 10k without stopping 2. To run 10k in under an hour 3. To be able to run 10k consistently

At this point I began thinking that perhaps I could aim for a half marathon. This would tell me more about whether my body would still cope with distance. I can’ t exactly do the marathon if I can’t get round a half uninjured. So in my first half marathon race in years in April 2017 I made it. However about half way through I felt a few twinges. These continued and the last two miles were not pleasant at all. ‘That’s it’ I thought. Game over. However a quick trip back to physio and it was more about understanding that this was the longest and fastest run my body had been put through. Time to reel it back a little and not run before I could walk.

In October I completed another half. In Aviemore. I’ll be back to tackle that one again!!! A time I was happy with but more importantly, no injury. This sealed the deal. London was definitely on. The aim is to finish it without injury. At the back of my head is that niggling question – will my body get me through an ultra?

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Behind the scenes

Oooh ooh behind the scenes….

‘What’s occurring?’

Well me lovelies, as part of my fundraising efforts I’ve opted to run a few little events in addition. One being a raffle. I started with old fashioned letters and moved on to emails. I’m shameless. I’ve approached friends and people I just happen to be in conversation with but mainly local businesses. There have been a few knock backs, some which were surprising, others not and a number have been ignored. Who cares about that as I have been absolutely overwhelmed by peoples’ generosity and kindness. From ice-cream to PT sessions, massages to whisky and champagne brunch to trampolining the prizes are truly awesome. I am absolutely gutted that I can’t buy a ticket for this raffle! I’m aiming for a ‘marathon’ raffle with 26.2 prizes. ‘.2′ I hear you ask…’.2′ I nod.

My intention is to announce the winners after the marathon if I can still communicate…


Then there’s the 80s night with DJ Elbow (that’s a whole other80s-night-optimised story about where that name came from!). It’s gonna be hilarious especially if folks dare to get right in the spirit and get out their lycra and legwarmers….and no doubt drink a lot of spirits too. Can’t wait to see the dancefloor filled with 80s moves…

‘Doing 5k your way on the same day’ was a wee idea I had to try to get people more involved so they feel part of my journey to London. The idea here is to get people I know from around the World, home & away to do 5k within a 24 hour period which allows it to take place on either Saturday or Sunday and allows for time differences. I’m asking the ‘Away’ troops to gather pals and walk, run, cycle, swim, scoot or whatever and to collect loose change and donate along with a selfie if they are willing! For those who live nearby they can do this with me and a few others (it’ll be more a leisurely chat and cake)  or with their own pals. Someone is going to get their hockey team involved as they knock out way more than 5k per game! How cool is that!

Fundraising isn’t fundraising without a ‘guess the …’ so of course it’s gonna be ‘guess the time!’. How long is it going to take me to complete the London Marathon? Good question and one I don’t even know the answer to! Do you?

Choosing a charity is impossible. There are so many I’d love to raise funds for. As I couldn’t decide between charities I’ve opted for two Edinburgh organisations. Richmond’s Hope & Juno who are lesser known than many of the big organisations who have more publicity.




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Dancing on ice

The plan says 10. My head says 0. Why on earth am I going out today? Why oh why oh why? The roads and pavements are covered in ice. I skidded along to a few roads to try to get to the cycle path which has been gritted. It was ok for a bit but I find it ridiculously boring. Because it had been ok on the cycle path and park I decided in my head that the pavements would be fine. And they were in one or two places. I spent most of the runs up against walls as most ice had melted where the walls met the pavements but I must have looked like a right numpty at times. To be fair, I’d have laughed at me if I’d seen me trying to stay on my feet and run at the same time.

I prefer running on long paths as I check my watch less and can just go and go. But with running in figures of eight past amazing aromas from loads of packed cafes I seemed to check my watch a fair bit which made the run feel even longer. My body felt so tense I knew I’d be sore after but the aim was to do the miles at whatever speed but return injury free.

I ran through part of Stockbridge. It was fairly busy with cars and people. Then I turned a corner and all is can say is…black ice! Arms and legs in all directions. So proud of myself for staying on my feet. That could have resulted in an extra red face. Enough was enough though, I had to run on the road beside the cars.

I was glad to get home in one piece. I didn’t enjoy the run but the thought of pizza and a night out with friends kept me going. And yes, I really should invest in some ice grips to go over my runners.

Posted in Edinburgh, health and fitness, inspiration, marathon, motivation, running, Uncategorized, weight management | Leave a comment