Whitby wanderings 

A little while ago I was in Whitby for a weekend. I had to complete 2 runs over a long weekend so got the chance to try out some routes that I have done before, but not for a couple of years!

If you haven’t been to Whitby, you should go! It’s a beautiful seaside town with stunning views even on a grey day. It’s famous for its Abbey and the 199 steps you have to walk up to get there as well as inspiring Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Whenever I visit, I usually fit it around food and find time for fish & chips or some sausage rolls from Botham’s.


The first run I did was a misty morning with the tide in. I wanted to run down along the beach and then back through the town. I forgot how steep the cliffs are! The only people out were dog walkers braving the wind. The summer chalets were all closed up waiting for the better weather and the floods of tourists.


Walking up the cliffs allowed for a breather and once away from the sea breeze I got running again. Through town I went exploring the streets and stumbling across new cafes and shops. It wasn’t the fastest run, but it still classes as miles under my belt.

Found my diner

 


On Sunday I planned a 16 mile route – at this stage in my training I only had 3 long runs left before the taper begins. North Yorkshire is considerably more hilly than Cambridgeshire and so I only managed 14 miles of it which wasn’t too bad going! Instead of writing about it, I’ll leave you with the photos below.

To get to the cinder track, I had to climb these steps. Also had to walk down them on the return!
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Sheltered in places. This is the old train line that ran from Whitby to Scarborough. It closed in 1965.

Spectators along the route.

 

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Overcast, the sun did come out in places.

 

Robin Hood’s Bay

 

Still plodding

Holiday homes with a view! 


Stunning sea view 


I’m running the Virgin Money London Marathon on 23 April to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK and if you’ve been inspired by my post or touched by this devastating disease, please sponsor me and help fund vital research. Click here to donate.

 

Thank you!

Find out more about Whitby, here.

The cinder track runs from Whitby to Scarborough. You can see the route here: https://www.scarborough.gov.uk/sites/default/files/files/The-Cinder-Track-Scarborough-Whitby.pdf  

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Milton Keynes Half Marathon

Race day arrived today. I signed up to the Milton Keynes half marathon way back in October when I knew I had the London Marathon to train for. It is an easy place to get to from mine and a course I have run before. A few weeks ago, when I was feeling a little too cocky, I thought I might get a new PB today. However, a cold struck last week and I didn’t run at all. So I was just pleased to feel well enough to get up early, lace up my trainers and get out of the door.

The weather forecast was awful for today as were the driving conditions but as I stood on the start line, the rain vanished. It was still overcast, but at least it wasn’t raining. I really did feel for the 20 milers who must have set off in the rain! The announcer did let us all know that one of the underpasses was flooded and that we would get wet feet – before we’d even covered 2 miles!


I set off and streams of people ran past me, but I didn’t want to go off too quickly as I wouldn’t make it round the course. I had been quite near the front of the race, so the 1.45 hr pacer went past me and I thought I’d best slow down a bit. The route is mostly along dual carriageways but also goes through parkland and some scenic villages. The sun came out about 3 miles in, which was a nice boost.

Pacing wasn’t my strongest suit today. You can see my mile splits below.

Mile 1: 10:35 Mile 8: 10:43
Mile 2: 10:16 Mile 9: 11:46
Mile 3: 11:00 Mile 10: 11:07
Mile 4: 10:59 Mile 11: 11:46
Mile 5: 11:13 Mile 12: 12:22
Mile 6: 10:56 Mile 13: 12:48
Mile 7: 11:36  

Despite people overtaking me along the way, I had some people in my sights who I tried to maintain pace with. I ended up sprinting over the line with 2 guys who’d been leapfrogging me constantly along the route. I think they were faster than me due to the chip time, but happy that I pipped them on the finish line! 


I finished in 2 hrs 35 mins, about 15 mins off my PB. While walking to the car, there was a torrential downpour – I really felt for those still out on the course, but also happy to have finished in the nick of time.

Drove home and stopped at a pub for a cheeky Sunday lunch. I also broke my no drinking rule (it’s not been a good week for not drinking but will be back on track tomorrow) and had a cheeky pint. I’m still enjoying the training and looking forward to my next race…twice the distance on London Marathon day. I’m running to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK. It turns out we lost my Grandad 8 years ago today to Alzheimer’s disease. Let’s find a cure; please visit my fundraising page

Thanks for reading.

February round up

So I’ve neglected to write a post for a few weeks. It’s been a tad busy at work and I’ve been doing some stuff other than running, having a life outside of the lycra and trainers! It is no surprise that at the start of March I finally caught the cold that has been threatening for a month or so!

February was another month of training where I stuck to the plan. The plan had me out 4 days a week and here are some stats:

  • 82 miles covered – that’s 7 more than last month!
  • 911 minutes or 15 hours
  • 15 sessions running
  • 1 posh dinner with my buddy
  • 1 secret cinema outing
  • 1 glass of red wine drunk (oops)

I’m looking forward to what the rest of March will bring, especially running in new locations and new routes. Thank you to everyone who has sponsored me so far.

January round up

Things I have learnt since embarking on my running plan on 3rd January 2017:

I love the feeling I get when I run, yes, sometimes it is hard work, but the endorphin rush post-run is great. I have the chance to get faster and stronger and I’m going to work my hardest to be in the best shape possible. Alcohol really does make a difference – and not in a good way (sorry for anyone hoping it was the fuel we need for a run!)

Now for some figures:

  • 75 miles covered
  • 771 minutes on my feet (that’s only running, not including any walking!)
  • 5 runs saw me go over the 5 mile mark
  • 3 weeks of 4 sessions, 1 week with 3 sessions
  • 3 hours of pilates
  • 1 photo per day
  • 1 video clip per run
  • 1 indoor treadmill session (didn’t go so well, so outdoor is best)
  • 1 new head torch purchased
  • 1 pair of winter running tights purchased (Ronhill winter leggings)

To commemorate my January training runs, varying in temperature, pace, time of day and distance, I have made a video. I would add it here, but I can’t, so you’ll have to look at my Facebook page.

I know that marathon training takes time and I am prepared for this to take over my life for the next couple of months. Both distance and time on my feet will increase. I hope to bring you a round up at the end of each month.

Please visit my fundraising page and give me some extra motivation for February running!

A splash of colour in January

My husband has recently bought a fish tank. In it, we have 8 small brightly coloured tetras and a Japanese fighting fish that dart around and then without warning slow down or rest on a log. I sometimes feel like one of them, pedalling to get everything achieved and then sitting on the sofa to relax!

They are a welcome pop of colour in the tank and provide a nice distraction after a day sat in front of a computer. I also find that I need some colour to break up the horizon or the monotony that sometimes sets in from pounding the pavements. 

Inspired to get off my bum and go for a run, today was my long run day and I wanted to test a new route. It was raining and all together miserable for a 1 and a half hour jog. I kept stopping to check my route which meant that I paid more attention that usual to the countryside around me. Running through fields and along muddy footpaths I found my way into a birch forest. Forest sounds a bit grand, let’s call it a wood. In the wood the leaves had made a carpet underfoot hiding the tree roots and providing a soft landing. I was concentrating on foot placement and didn’t realise where I was until I stumbled across a road which Iwasn’t  expecting – I was lost. 

What does this have to do with a splash of colour? Well, it turned out I had ended up at a golf course where, despite the cloudy relentless grey sky above me, I saw manicured lawns vibrant and green and umbrellas of every shade moving around the course. This was a nice break from the mud that caked my trainers and had been underfoot for most of the run. The colour didn’t last long as I had to make my way out of the golf course but it gave me a boost. 

At home I have some colourful touches, a vase of flowers, a yellow sofa, vibrant elephant ornaments. January can often be so grey with dark evenings and it always cheers me up to see a bit of colour. 

I have one more run in January and then onwards to February running and here’s hoping for some bright sunny days. 

Balancing act 


Running a marathon takes some planning. There are the running sessions to fit in, 4 a week in my case as well as strength training and general life!

I’m not gonna lie, I’ve had to work hard to create my plan and get into my routine and I’m having to be really disciplined. Even on days where it’s been -3 outside, I’ve had to pull on my running gear and get out the door.

How do people stick to their goals? Why do so many New Years resolutions fall by the wayside?

I read somewhere that it takes 6 weeks to get into a habit. I’m currently on week 4 and to make myself stick to my training plan I have made a chart showing each session. I can move these sessions around if necessary but I’ve tried to accommodate weekend plans and other drop in activities. I don’t know about you, but I like to have a reward. If I complete all my sessions in a week I am rewarding myself with a trip to the cinema or a takeaway for dinner or seeing friends! I also seem to be rewarding myself with biscuits at work whenever I can – so I should probably try and break that habit.

This week has been particularly difficult to balance running, the gym and having a life. I’ve been doing long hours in the office but I did get out for a run after my gym session last night. It was the last thing I wanted to do but I forced myself and ran for an hour in the freezing cold. It’s days like this that make me really motivated to get out there are smash it because I want to improve my fitness and more importantly because I want to raise as much money as I can for Alzheimer’s Research UK so that they can invest in finding treatments.

No one said running a marathon is easy (me included) but with a lot of planning and determination, I will get there!

Donate now

 

Dark frosty evening run

 

 

Head torch running

 

Just keep running

I’m mid way through week 3 of my training plan this week. I have stuck to my schedule which is a 16 week plan to get me race ready. It involves running 4 times a week and strength training 2-3 times a week. I’ve never been so disciplined!

Even though I have run a marathon before, my fitness level has dropped massively since then due to not walking as much as part of my daily commute and not exercising as much (and eating crap). It’s amazing how quickly your fitness level drops, but today I have seen a real improvement and am feeling much better about being race ready.

So, I was meant to go for a 50 min tempo run which involved running 40 minutes at marathon pace with a 5 min warm up and cool down either side. I think I went a little faster than my actual marathon pace (my average pace in 2015 was 12 min 20 per mile on race day). Below is the snapshot of my run from Strava. If I can maintain that speed, it would be amazing, but I know that I can’t – so I will take all the benefit this run has given me and the boost and use it in my strength training tomorrow.

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I also saw the picture below which is very apt – my life revolves around training, sleeping, eating and washing! Housework is suffering, but it’s all for a good cause. I can hear the washing machine whirring as I type.

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Wish me luck for the rest of this week. It’s a busy one with a full day at work on Saturday so I’m hoping that I am still motivated come Sunday for my long run (80 mins).

A new year, a new blog, a new me

I know, I know, we’re already a couple of weeks into 2017, but I’ve finally gotten around to creating a blog to talk about my adventures this year. I have a lot to train for and I’m going to keep myself accountable by using this blog. Hopefully I’ll be able to share some of my tips along the way and perhaps some of my fails! Here’s to an exciting year, with more hours than ever spent outdoors.

The biggest challenge for me this year is going to be walking 270 miles across the backbone of England with my Dad, as we embark on the Pennine Way this summer. It’s one of the toughest long distance walks in the UK from all that I’ve read, and we are planning on completing it in just under 3 weeks.

Prior to that though, it’s all about the London Marathon. I received a ballot place and will be running for the second time on 23 April 2017. I have a target time in mind and want to beat my previous time of course, so I am already 2 weeks into my training plan.

Wish me luck – I need it!