Monday, 18 June 2012

Another gorgeous evening

Really lovely out there tonight, if a little heavy going after yesterday's outing....

Start time: 18:46
Route: Prom
Training type: Jog
Weather: Gorgeous!!

Distance: 2.76 miles
Time: 30:20
Pace: 10'57" 
with: 'Now That's What I Call Running' 

Felt: tough but steady

Today's supporters:  Amanda (twice), the neighbours (out for a walk) 

Best bit: finishing halfway back the prom, so I could walk back through town after my 30 mins jog

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Longest yet...

Well, today was my first run since Wednesday.

I did run on Wednesday, but I can't even remember now why I didn't get round to doing my blog log (!). Possibly something to do with making an excuse to go to the shops in our new car....

Anyway, here's Wednesday's story....

Start time: 19:29
Route: Prom
Training type: Interval
Weather: Fine (from what I can remember) - people were out and about in shorts

Distance: 2.89 miles
Time: 30:08
Pace: 10'24" 
with: 'Now That's What I Call Running' 

Felt: tough

Today's supporters:  Pete (and Ollie), Luke (twice), James and Dai

I didn't run on Thursday as I worked late and couldn't be arsed...

I didn't run on Friday because a) it was Friday, b) the sofa, Stella, kettle chips and the footy were more appealing and c) I couldn't be arsed!!!

I didn't run on Saturday as the rain was torrential - last time I ran in rain like that it took 3 days for my running shoes to dry and that smelled so bad when they did dry I had to wash them. I don't think they could handle the washing machine again (even on the special  'sports footwear' programme) and I can't afford another pair just yet!!

So, today is Father's Day, and since I'm fundraising for the Epilepsy Society in memory of my dad, it's pretty apt that today I pulled off my longest run yet. 

It also helps that it's a gorgeous evening, dinner was already prepared (with help from my 7 yr old sous-chef Jack) and I'd actually found the bottom of the ironing pile!

Here's how tonight went:

Start time: 18:28
Route: Bridge, down the trail to the rock on the corner past Arthog, and back
Training type: Jog/Run (still not sure what to call it, but definitely a run on the way back anyway)
Weather: Clear and bright

Distance: 5.49 miles
Time: 1:00:09
Pace: 10'56" 
with: 'Now That's What I Call Running' 

Felt: pretty good

Best Bit(s): a message from Paula Radcliffe, stating the blindingly obvious - 'Hi I'm Paula Radcliffe (yes, I know). You've just completed your longest run yet (yes, thank you, I'm well aware of that but so nice of you to say so...)

Worst bit: oncoming runner (middle-aged bloke in a rugby shirt) wearing cycling shorts. Not leaving a lot to the imagination - I will never ever complain about camel's toe again, nowhere near as unattractive as what I saw tonight!!

Running a bit too fast on the way back and realising that I may actually have to run up the steep bit back to the road before I'd done my 60 minutes - luckily, got to the end just before the path started to slope upwards!!

Today's supporters:  a few guys fishing on the bridge (although not sure they were too chuffed with me running noisily past), a cyclist, a couple of dog-walkers and of course, the cycling shorts guy (who I'm sure is lovely really).

This is the bridge across the beautiful Mawddach Estuary. Many of my runs are over this bridge and up the Mawddach Trail that runs along the south side of the estuary. During the day there is a toll to cross the bridge, and although I rarely run during toll times, I've been putting my toll money into a tin. This will go towards my fundraising totals - along with a couple of quid each time I run which I would probably be otherwise paying in gym fees.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Finally dried out!

I did run on Friday, but it was raining so hard I rushed to set my Nike + and didn't set it up properly - so no stats. Luckily I didn't realise until I'd finished, but I ran down the prom and back in the pouring rain. Soaked to the skin, especially as I had only grabbed a pair of cotton gym pants as the rest of my lycra/dri fit stuff was hanging up drying after a wash.  Those pants were pretty heavy when wet!

I need to remember to wear a cap when it's raining because the hood on my rain jacket just don't stay up (or falls over my eyes so I can only see my feet and not where I'm going!!!)
I also need an arm strap or something for my ipod, as it's getting annoying either holding it or putting it in my pocket.

Saturday was a rest day, and went out for the day anyway. 

I should have run on Sunday but my running shoes were still damp and smelly from the soaking they got on Friday, so they were treated to a wash, and I was treated to another rest day!!! I missed a shot with washing them - our latest washing machine (we go through them at an alarming rate in this house) has a 'sports footwear' programme, but I forgot and just stuck them on a normal wash with a load of towels. Shoes and machine all survived anyway...

As for Monday, simply too much to do - bought another car on the way home from work so spent a large chunk of the evening on the phone getting the insurance sorted!

Back on it today though - it's these rest days, I can't handle them!!!

Stats for today:

Start time: 17:39
Route: Bridge, over the stile, Mawddach Crescent, footpath to Arthog, back down the trail
Training type: Jog
Weather: Clear and bright

Distance: 4.25 miles
Time: 46:24
Pace: 10'55" 
with: 'Now That's What I Call Running' 

Felt: pretty good

Best Bit(s): the view!!!

Worst bit: very muddy bit in the middle (clean running shoes didn't last long)!!

Today's supporters:  very quiet and peaceful (much as I love beeps and waves, I also relish the runs where   I barely see another human being for almost the whole run)

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Early start

Stats for today:

Start time: 07:06 (kids hair appt at 9 - what was I thinking???!!!)
Route: Bridge and trail to 2nd black bridge
Training type: Fartlek
Weather: 'Light rain' apparently - didn't seem particularly 'light'!!!

Distance: 4.06 miles
Time: 44:16
Pace: 10'53" 
with: 'Now That's What I Call Running' 

Felt: tough at first, but then got into it and it felt pretty good

Best Bit(s): a long hot bath at the end

Worst bit: light rain!!!

Today's supporters:  a couple of dog-walkers, lots of sheep, slugs and snails

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Bye bye bank holidays

Stats for today:

Start time: 08:15
Route: Prom, steep hill and back through town
Training type: Jog
Weather: Cool and cloudy

Distance: 3.40 miles
Time: 37:42
Pace: 11'04" 
with: 'Now That's What I Call Running' 

Felt: good

Best Bit(s): OWNING the steep hill (aka 'The hill can't handle me right now'!) Nailed the whole thing today (thanks to Mr Flo and Mr Guetta!)

Worst bit: dodging the seaspray at the end of the prom (hardly a worst bit, really!)

Today's supporters: Mel, Tracey, Mim, Bobby, Yvonne, Laura and lots of other locals on their way to work :-s

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Double post

I did run yesterday - I just never got around to updating my blog - so two runs to track today.

Stats for today:

Start time: 09:00
Route: Bridge (to first side path and back)
Training type: Fartlek
Weather: Cool with the odd spot of rain

Distance: 3.02 miles
Time: 33:00
Pace: 10'54" 
with: 'Now That's What I Call Running' 

Felt: good

Best Bit(s): passing 50 miles total, and running back to this...

Worst bit: Avicii playing during a 'slow' bit - turned into a fast run!!!

Today's supporters: the lovely old guy from down the lane (I'm not sure of his name but he always brings our bins in), two herons, sheep (of course) and a few geese (did I mention I love living here???) 

Yesterday's stats: 

Start time: 08:29
Route: Prom, steep hill, back down road into town
Training type: Jog
Weather: Clear, calm and cool

Distance: 3.51 miles
Time: 39:45
Pace: 11'18" 
with: 'Now That's What I Call Running' 

Felt: good

Best Bit(s): being out on such a lovely morning (don't think it's going to last), amazing views

Worst bit: N/A!!

Today's supporters: very few (one of the slight drawbacks of running at this time of day)

Sunday, 3 June 2012


It's been 10 days (at least) since my last blog, and therefore my last run.

I don't have any excuses. Except work (too much), weather (too warm), motivation (none) and of course, the real reason...too lazy!!!

Thanks to those of you who have asked - either 'How's the running going?' or 'What's happened to your blog?' (Bo, Nigel, Will, Tracey etc.)

Normal service has been resumed.

This morning I decided on a 30 mins run (note that says run, not jog) across the bridge. Well, I didn't decide to run rather than jog, that just kind of happened as I found my comfort zone. I felt like a had a free choice of what to do, as it's Sunday and my training schedule week starts on Mondays. I'll start week 2 over again tomorrow (for the third time lol) as I still haven't completed it yet!!

When I left the house, it was drizzling. Raincoat on, happy with that. By the way back across the bridge it was full-on pouring!!! I don't mind when I'm running though - going to the shop later with Harry was a lot worse!!!

Anyway, here's the important stuff:

Start time: 08:28
Route: Bridge
Training type: Run!!!
Weather: Wet and wild :-) 

Distance: 2.83 miles
Time: 32:01
Pace: 11'17" (seems slow but I walked back down the hill for the extra 2 mins but couldn't turn off because it was soooo wet!)
with: 'Now That's What I Call Running' (loving this - thanks Nicci!)

Felt: fab!

Best Bit(s): walking into the bathroom to find my bath already ready (thanks Ol!)

Worst bit: the overall pace reading (not a genuine reflection of how hard I worked)

Today's supporters: fellow runner

Catch you tomorrow - I promise!!!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Better, faster, stronger

Stats for today:

Start time: 18:10
Route: Prom and (round and round) town
Training type: Fartlek
Weather: Clear, calm and a lot cooler than Newtown was today (thank goodness)!!

Distance: 3.79 miles
Time: 40:17
Pace: 10'36" 
with: 'Now That's What I Call Running'

Felt: awkward to start, but once I got going it felt fab!!!

Best Bit(s): pushing it harder

Worst bit: being overtaken by the ice-cream van (soooo wanted to chase it!!!)

Today's supporters: Jenny and Megan, Julie, Gaz :-) 

Need a new plan for my 40 min fartlek - round and round is crazy!! It feels good because I know I'm running faster as I need to go further to run for long enough. Feeling another trip over the bridge is in order, and even the hills up the back are looking tempting. I might make the Dol 5 mile road race after all :-).

Monday, 21 May 2012

Back on it!

Yay!!!!! I'm back - did ya miss me?
I've been having a knee-induced rest. 

I did run on Wednesday, but only managed to get about 10 mins through before my knees gave up. I was gutted, it was a lovely evening and I was really up for a good run. I walked for a bit, but didn't feel I could track anything.

Thursday was rest day anyway, because I knew I wouldn't want to run after a long day at work. My knees still hurt on Friday and Saturday, so just to be sure, I gave Sunday a miss too, deciding instead to start Week 2 over again today.

It was such a lovely evening, it was great to be out making the most of it. There were lots of people out and about, even got to run behind Dan's legs for a while as they overtook me lol!

It wasn't the most comfortable run ever, but it got better. And I'm pleased I'm back on it. Roll on tomorrow. Woo hoo!

Stats for today:

Start time: 18:56
Route: Prom, steep hill and back down through town
Training type: Jog
Weather: Gorgeous!!!

Distance: 3.37 miles
Time: 38:16
Pace: 11'21" 
with: 'Now That's What I Call Running'

Felt: ok, good to be back

Best Bit(s): running all the way (apart from the steep bit at the top of the hill - I'll beat it one day!!)

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Beautiful evening

Stats for today:

Start time: 17:56
Route: Harbour, Island, Prom and back
Training type: Fartlek
Weather: Sunny and sandy

Distance: 3.77 miles
Time: 40:07
Pace: 10'37" 
with: 'Now That's What I Call Running'

Felt: better than I thought

Best Bit(s): being outside on such a beautiful evening in such a beautiful place :-)

Monday, 14 May 2012

Tough going tonight

Today's stats:

Start time: 17:57
Route: Down the prom, up the hill, down the road back into town
Training type: Jog 
Weather: Windy but dry

Distance: 3.45 miles
Time: 39:24
Pace: 11'24" 
with: new toons (thanks for the recommendation Nicci, loving 'Now That's What I Call Running'!)

Felt: tough and slow 

Best Bit(s): seeing so many people  I know (Debbie, Mito, Jancis, Lynn, Antony , one of Caroline's girls - not sure which one!, Bobit - driving!, Ann to name the ones I can remember!) waving and giving supportive comments - I LOVE living here!!!

Worst Bit(s): aching, heavy legs nearly all the way (that slog around the field yesterday has made my lower legs sore in places I don't usually ache!) and having to walk up the whole of the hill!!!!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Race for Life

Today marked my first 'event' of my running journey - Race for Life in Aberystwyth with some work friends, girls from our school, plus staff and more girls from the high school in the next town to our school.

A lovely day, sunny, not too warm, with a nice breeze. Loads of ladies and LOTS of pink. Got a lump in my throat reading some of the back signs out's a big thing.

After a fab zumba-style mass warm up on the prom (led by the amazing Laura), we ambitiously stood about halfway between the 'runners' and 'joggers' flags at the start - thinking we'd just get overtaken by the 'proper' runners.

Lana and I had decided that we were going to try to stick together, and to try to give it a bit of effort. She didn't have a choice, she had my phone and my lunch money in her sexy bum bag!! Surprisingly, we found ourselves running past people, and it continued to go well.

The fourth kilometre was pretty hard - round the field, but the 4km marker gave us the boost we needed. Coming up towards the finish, I said to Lana that I didn't think I'd be able to manage a 'sprint' finish because I didn't have anything left - but as soon as the finish line came in to view, we both belted it!!!

Thanks Lana for being my running partner (and Kate, Fi, Ceri, Kerrie, Shan, Kylie and Luc)

Here's us at the finish...

...and facebook friends can see a proper minging one of me at the finish in my mobile uploads!

Race for Life Stats:

Start time: 11.00 (ish)
Route: All around Aberystwyth
Training type: 'Race' (!)
Weather: Sunny with a breeze

Distance: 5km
Time: 32 something

with: Lana, mainly

Felt: great (except for the grassy bit, that was tough!)

Best Bit(s): all the spectator support, 'Pink Elvis', almost getting sub 30 mins

Good fun, great atmosphere. I wholly recommend it.

Thanks Kate for organising it all  xxx

Saturday, 12 May 2012


Firstly, I'd just like to point out that the title of this post refers to this morning's weather and views, not me (I'm not that deluded - yet!)

Today's stats:

Start time: 09:26
Route: Prom and Island
Training type: Fartlek
Weather: Lovely

Distance: 3.38 miles
Time: 35:09
Pace: 10'23" per mile

with: Monsieur Guetta

Felt: AMAZING! I got this running thing now :-)

Best Bit(s): seeing two pairs of milky-white Skoey legs playing footy on the beach, the unexpected message from Paula Radcliffe, congratulating me on setting a new mile PB!

Looking forward to thousands of running companions tomorrow....

Thursday, 10 May 2012

A nice surprise...

I think my leg muscles have decided that I have finally gone mental and have disowned me.

 I was walking funny until about 2pm, due to a combination of lazy muscles not knowing what had hit them and my poorly blister foot! 

 I could have done with a rest day today but I know I'm not likely to get the chance to get out tomorrow (our eldest is having 3 friends round to watch Harry Potter DVDs, think hubby might divorce me if I leave him on his own with 6 kids!!!)

My finish line today....

And the stats for today are:

Start time: 19:35
Route: Prom - to pipes and back
Training type: Jog 
Weather: A bit blowy, but dry 

Distance: 1.84 miles
Time: 20:08
Pace: 10'53" per mile

with: Running Trax Gold (oh so cheesy, but oh so good)

Felt: good

Best Bit(s): realising I only had to do 20 mins and not the 40 that I thought, and running to Basshunter for my last 2 mins!!!!

Looking forward to a day of rest tomorrow (although I'm half thinking about a little 5k on the track if I get a chance....)

Wednesday, 9 May 2012


Here's today's stats:

Start time: 18:04
Route: Prom - out and back
Training type: Fartlek
Weather: Light rain, bit of a breeze on the way back

Distance: 3.21 miles
Time: 35:40
Pace: 11'06" per mile

with: David Guetta :-) 

Felt: good(ish)

Best Bit(s): meeting fellow runners Jackie and Tracey running the other way, Hannah C looking totally bemused (in her nice warm car) that I was running in the rain

Worst Bit: tearing off half of the skin on my foot when my blister plaster got stuck to my sock :-( ouch!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Achy bum

Haha! Day 2 is here and my legs and bum haven't felt quite right all day. Good 'not quite right', not bad 'not quite right' though.

The training plan says 'jog 30 mins', so I did my normal route of down the prom, up the steep path at the end and back down the road into town.

Here's the stats:

Start time: 17:28
Weather: Sunny

Distance: 3.36 miles
Time: 37:44
Pace: 11'13" per mile

with: Annie Mac Presents 2011

Felt: awkward at first, then good (especially on the way home)

Best Bit(s): lots of smiles, waves and hoots when passing people I know: Rob and Jayne, Nina (twice), Damian, Kyran on his bike and a few others. Oh and running further up the steep path than I usually do.

Rain stops play?

Week 1 Monday (that's today) on the training plan says 'Jog for 10 mins, run for 10mins'.

First problem is to work out the difference between 'jog' and 'run'. I generally have two paces: a comfortable pace, where I can keep on jogging/running for as long as I need to and the slightly more energetic one that might appear later in the run when I haven't pushed myself too hard (usually down the hill on the way home).

I don't think I'm going to be able to keep up the more energetic pace for ten whole minutes. We'll see how it goes.

A bit of research leads me to some running forums to see what the word on the street is. Apparently, mine is a common question, so I don't actually need to ask it, just search the comments on other people's threads.

There doesn't seem to be a straight answer. Of course, it's different for everyone, because everyone's different. It's a question of effort. I always say 'I'm going for a run'. I don't take it easy, but I don't kill myself either. I want to feel like I've done something - otherwise what's the point?

So I've decided (for now, anyway. I'm a woman so I can change my mind anytime I like, can't I?) that what usually do is more than a jog. Today's jog is going to be a comfortable pace. Ten minutes is about what it takes down to the end of the prom, I reckon. I'll run back. Faster. I've got to drop something off on my way, so that'll make up for the difference in speed. Very rough estimates, I know, but I don't want to be farting about with exact timings at this stage. That'll be a treat I'll leave until I've got into the training.

So, I cook dinner for the kids. Their dad has agreed to bath them whilst I go for a run. Fab. Except this is what happens whilst I'm cooking...

The rain we were promised has pretty much held off all day, apart from the odd shower this afternoon. Now, as I pull on my running gear, the heaven's open. Great.

I decide to brave it anyway. I have a raincoat and I'm going to have to run in worse in the winter. Plus I'd rather run in the rain than when it's really hot (I know, fat chance of that living here).

I did my errand (notice I didn't 'run' the errand) and jogged to the end on the prom. In the rain. At least there was nobody about, I suppose. I put up the effort on the way back, and of course, so did the wind!

I only managed 5 minutes (half way back) at a good, hard pace. I'm disappointed with myself that I then had to walk for a minute before running another 2 minutes. I did manage 10 minutes running in total, but broken down into 3 parts. Maybe I need to run slower? I'm sure I'll settle into the right pace for me once I've done a bit more.

I know I worked hard, I felt it when I got back. I'll see how it feels in the morning. Tomorrow is a 30 minute jog. I'm more than happy with that.

And I've begun. I'm on my way.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Getting Serious

I like running. I don't do it enough, because I'm always too busy (lazy).
I probably shouldn't call what I do 'running'. I'm not sure if there's a particular point where 'jogging' becomes 'running', but I'm probably quite a way off. I'm a plodder - I can keep going for ages, but at no great speed.
Anyway, since I was a lot younger (and a lot more ambitious) I have wanted to do something 'big', like swim the Channel or run a marathon. Again, I've always been too busy (lazy).
However, quite a few people I know ran the London Marathon this year (or last year) and I really admire them for getting off their backsides and actually doing it. I know it wasn't easy, but they all seemed to talk about their training and the marathon itself in such an inspiring way, I really felt I wanted to get off my backside too and get serious!
So here I am - and hoping that by the time I turn 40, I will have run a marathon.
I've entered the ballot and signed up with my chosen charities (more about those in a minute). I won't know until October whether I've got a place in the 2013 Virgin London Marathon, but I'm starting now. I'm hoping to run a half marathon in September or October (Lake Vrynwy and/or Cardiff), so that's what I'm working towards first.
I'll be blogging along the way too, mainly to help motivate myself and track my progress, but also in case anyone else out there might actually be interested in my tales...
I've chosen to raise funds for two charities, I couldn't decide between the two.
Firstly, The Epilepsy Society. My amazing dad passed away nearly 5 years ago, following a seizure at home. He'd have laughed his head off if I'd have told him I was planning to run the marathon, wound me up and thought that'd I'd never have the commitment to see it through. He'd have been there though, cheering me on  (hoping to see a proper runner like Paula Radcliffe or just having an excuse to go to London for the weekend and take mum to see Mama Mia again!!!)
I've also chosen to raise funds for the RNLI. Dad was always a big supporter of the RNLI, it's a big thing here in Barmouth where I live now, as it is in Jersey, where I grew up. I have close friends (including my husband) who have been, or are, crew members and these guys deserve the utmost respect for what they do.
I'm not sure how much I'll be able to raise, but I will do my best.
Tomorrow, the official training starts. I'm going to follow the Intermediate training programme from the London Marathon website. It looks manageable, but we shall see how it fits into my life (well, our lives, I suppose - it'll need to fit in with the rest of the family too).
I did a 'tester' run yesterday morning - further than I'd usually run, but it felt good. I ached a little this morning and I wore stupid socks so got a bit of a blister. However, I have sorted both the blister and the sock situation, and I'm not aching anymore so there are no excuses (yet!)
Wish me luck....