Heavier is harder



So my previous post I was just heading out the door to do the 3rd event in the Kindlington Mota-vation series!! A 4 mile run which I was supposed to be missing due to work! I was bloated, gained a few pounds with not a lot of training going on … but I SMASHED it …. Well as my standards allow!! I ran an average of 8:49 ….. Considering last year I struggled to do 1 mile in under 9 miles …. To now do 4 is pretty impressive!! I’m not saying I enjoyed it …. I could feel bits of me wobbling that have never wobbled before!! I was huffing and puffing (and maybe swearing) getting up the final hill (which felt like Everest) and I collapsed face down into the grass to try and cool myself down at the end ….. But I did it! It was hard …. But it was a job well done!!



I felt a bit blah!!! Ever since completing the marathon my training has just been ….. blah!!! I’ve done a few races here and there, dabbled in off road, flirted with the thought of a triathlon and added spinning to my weekly routine! But I’ve lacked motivation and drive that I had before! It just crept up on my and I realised I was missing my routine of training! I missed my long slow Sunday runs! So I decided on Saturday night ….. I was entering on the day to do the NSPCC half marathon in MILTON KEYNES on Sunday!!

Well after I made the decision I out it on Facebook and Twitter and told hubby! Great!! ….. No not great! I came across all doubtful that I could make it round 13.1 miles …. Blimey 5 miles in Thursday were hard and as the world knew …. There was no way of dropping out!!

but ….

It turns out! Running a marathon in May, doing an off road half in June followed by an off road 8 miles the week after …. Means that your legs still remember how to run!! It wasn’t a PB …. Heck I didn’t want a PB …. I just wanted to run!!

REVIEW … what a fantastic race! The organisation was exceptional, the marshals were great, the course was good (except for the bloody down and up of all the underpasses) and I even beat the camel that was going for a Guinness world record!




I’ve proved to myself that I don’t need to be “scared” about going the distance or getting the speed!! I’m a runner …. I run! however …..

My fridge looks kind of bare without a training plan and my mind is kind of bored without a goal to aim for!!

SO … the new plan is this …. I am going to do a sub 2 hour half at BOURNMOUTH!!! I am gonna get my programme up and smash my PB!!!

Standby for some hard core training updates!!!


Sandie xxxxx

Not running = pounds added



so the photo looks a little different from the ones I usually post! Normally me in my club running vest, whatever shiny bright running capris I’ve bought this week with one hand on my hip sporting what ever medal I’ve added to the collection! This week I donned my uniform and went on the exercise with the army – us civilised RAF usually prefer hotels but I was up for it! I’m not going to bore you with tents etc etc but what you do need to know is about my determination to run while I was away!!!

Well …. The camp was 1k in circumference ….. And we were not allowed off site!! Great I can just do laps and to make it worse The food was fried stuff with fried stuff!! I had no ear phones, my phone wouldn’t get internet to download marathon talk ….. AAASRRRGGHHH!

determination fail!!!

I did one 5k in loops (soul
Destroying)! My determination turned to “it’s only a week so sod it!” Now feeling guilty and don’t know why I did it!! Lesson learned …. Just run …. You know you’ll regret it otherwise!

So I’m back …. And I have a race tonight!!! Eeeeek …. I shall race report and let you know how much harder and slower I got with a week of gaining a few pounds xxx


Well ….. Maybe not super star like celebrity famous …. BUT I’m in this months womens running magazine!!!


I replied to a tweet a few months ago looking for people to take part in the great debate and was asked to go to London to talk about “wacky races”! I’ll let you but a copy to see what we discussed in full but basically …..

There are loads of races to chose from …. And if wacky races get people running then I’m all for it!!! However soon after this was printed I did a half marathon where I got overtaken by a man dressed in air ambulance clothing (including helmet) ….. juggling …. He actually JUGGLES the whole way!! He broke my heart!!


I had a great morning in London and met some great people …. Girls which I now keep in contact with and have even seen at races!! I loved meeting everyone at womens running …. It’s my favourite running magazine!! When I first started running I didn’t understand all the running jargon …. Pace, threshold, fartlek, blah blah blah …. Womens running is brilliant at explaining all those things!!

Anyway …. Just a short post to tell you all about my fame …. Now go buy a copy and read all about my experience with scooby doo xxx



Well what can I say …. this race was in our running club champs so I signed up! I obviously didn’t take note of the name …. Otmoor CHALLENGE!! A off road half marathon …. what could be so bad!! Its always hot they said …. it was forecast torrential rain!! Its a hilly course they said ….. its a local race and I know of no hills!!


Yes it was forecast rain … in the morning. By the time 2pm came I had to borrow sun cream and I was sweating before I even started. No hills near me … yeah right … I had a heart attack just looking at the gradient spike in my garmin when I uploaded it!!


So it was hot … That hill killed me … the torrential down pour in the morning made the route ankle deep in mud and I found myself muttering along the whole 13.1 miles that I was never running off road again!!  So lets review …

Organisation …..

The race is brilliantly planned.  It is in a local village and has a real community feel to it!  There is a fete, BBQ, beer tent … and people can do the walk or the run.  It was well signposted, great parking (Army cadets marshalling the car park) and it was easy to pick up race numbers.  You could also register on the day which a few friends did.

The route …

Although i state this was my first “off road” race … I have to say that around 50% is actually on the road.  I wore trail shoes which I was thank for in the muddy parts but the mud then made them really heavy for the road parts.  I would probably opt for trail shoes again though!

The route was beautiful …. mixture of fields, villages, trails, lanes … it was stunning.

Support ….

Although not many marshals on route … it was extremely well sign posted and all the villages had great support out.  Plenty of water stations … my favourite of which was Halfway up that stupid hill where a man asked if I was OK to continue as I grabbed 2 cups of squash out his hand and downed them before desperately scrambling to the hose pipe to be sprayed down.

My time ….

I finished in 2;18;10 …. a time I was extremely pleased with.  I went in with aspirations of sub 2.30 as I knew the new terrain would be tough.  Considering I walked through drinks station (and maybe walked a little bit of the hill) I was pleased with my overall pace …. AND …. I got some bling at the end.

Did I enjoy it???

The answer … NO I HATED EVERY STEP!!!  But this week I learnt my own lesson.  My sister JaIme has started couch to 5k … and I am extremely proud of her for doing so!  She asked me this week …. when does it get easier and my answer was …. “it never gets easier …. you get better … but always push harder”.  So what i am trying to say is that I hated every step of the way but the sense of achievement when I finished was amazing.  Later as I posted on Facebook that I was never running off road again ….. I was reminded “until next week” when I have a 7.9 mile leg of an off road relay to run!!!

I think my off road adventures have just begun.

HIGHLIGHT of the race …….



Love Sandie xx

Kindlington Mota-vation …… Number 2



So what is it??? This is a series of 5 races organised by one of the local running clubs ran on the first thurs of the month during summer months!! So basically we get to compete (I say that like I’m an athlete ….. To me it means I get to pin on a number and pretend I’m Paula Radcliffe for an hour)!!

How far …. The races are 4.1 (ish) miles and are at different locations each month! I’m only 9 months into my running club life so this is the first time I’ve run in them!

So this was race number 2 …. Bletchingdon!!!


So I have learned that hubby had no concept of night shift! I love him dearly …. But man he’s noisey!! Then it didn’t help that I needed to take him to the airport on Wednesday then work another shift ….. Then on Thursday EVERYONE called me …. Literally everyone!

So I got up and considered not running ….. But as it’s in club champs I went along just a to get a few points at least!!


As always was in a field ….. FULL OF COW PAT! And when I say full …. I literally felt like if raced before I started dodging them all!


As always …. A million women trying to nervous wee!! And with only one cubicle working …. I only just made it to the start!!!

These are the only 2 negatives ….. The race was FANTASTIC!!

ROUTE ….. I had been warned was hilly!! I would say it was up and down but nothing too drastic!

RESULT …. I started off with my friend Joely ….. She’s AWESOME!! so was pretty impressed that I was keeping a half decent pace with her! We overtook lots which makes me a little bit more determined!! We did giggle going up a hill that one women said “wow …. Good effort” …. Think the sound of my puffing/panting and general wheeze like sound made her think I was trying to give myself a heart attack more than finish the run!!

But I kept going …. And SMASHED my 5k PB and did the race with average pace of 8:40!!

I was bouncing off the walls with excitement!! And the best bit ….. I had the best nights sleep in 4 days …. I got 9 whole hours!!

I wouldn’t recommend a sleep deprived run fuelled with coffee and crisps ….. Bit I’m glad I got up and went!!

LESSON ….. get up and do it ….. You might surprise yourself!!!!!

Ps. Thanks to Kindlington running club for the race …. Well organised, fab marshalls and support with awesome turnout! Can’t wait for next month!!


Sandie xx


I’m Back!!!



Well it’s been too long! I don’t even know where to start!

I started this blog at the beginning of my 18 week marathon programme and managed to keep it up for a while! BUT … life got in the way! My parents always said I like a challenge and it’s taken my 30 years to admit ….. They were right!!

Training for a marathon, doing a post graduate course at university and being a full time mum and wife started to take it’s toll! It was RUN or BLOG ….. Hence why we are playing catch up!


White horse half…


So post silverstone where I managed an amazing PB …. The next race was the white horse half marathon!!! As usual I discussed tactics with my marathon guru and his advice ….. marathon pace ….. This is not the race …… The marathon is the race!!! DO NOT PUSH IT!!!

So of I go ….. Not going to push it! TOP TIP 1. when your not planning on pushing it ….. Don’t get chatting to two lovely girls from other running clubs! Felt great, plodding around, chatting away ….. Even got overtaken my a juggling paramedic!! Finished in ……. 2:02:40 ….. I was so angry with myself ….. If I pushed a little bit I could of gone sub 2!!!

Great race, good course, well organised and PB potential …. Will def be doing again next year!!


5k ….. 3 person relay!! …. IT HURT that’s all I have to say on that!! My running club came out on top …. But it hurt! Not a lover of 5k …. So think I need to practice them!







Pre race photos!

I was up (was more proud that the seventeen year old son of mine was up with no complaints to come support), porridged, packed AND NERVOUS !!!

I had been so calm in the lead up but all of a sudden it dawned on my it was the day!

My friends drove us …. Lee was running his second marathon in a month and my amazing friend Kirsty was coming to support us!!

The sun was out, the stadium was starting to fill up with runners and I have to say …… it was a terrific well organised race!

There was no starting waves and half marathon and full marathoners started together! I met a runner from my club who was running the half and we decided to run the first 10 miles together! I’m glad I did ….. Good company made the first hour or so fly by (although I probably went a little bit too fast to start off)!!

One complaint …… It was not the flat route I had been promised!! It was by no mean undulating but there was definately hills!

BUT ….. 27 minute PB …… I did it in 4:37! It wasn’t quite the 4:30 …. And it was hot ….. But I loved it. My mind was strong, I felt physically good (although knackered) and I loved it! Simple! The stadium finish was amazing …. Even better that my son and friends and half my running club were the first thing I seen when entering the stadium! SPRINT FINISH …. But have to say a didn’t realise that after 26.2 miles ….. A lap of a football pitch is a LONG way!!!

Negatives …

Only 1 ….. The goodie bag was awful! A mini mars and a banana with a few leaflets thrown in! And no t-shirt!!



One of my favourites!!!


So now it’s finished ….. I’ve already got more races in sights and will be doing a third ….. I need to chase that 4:30!!!

My uni course is over too …. Which means more blog time!!!



Derwent Reservoir Long Run



Well the photo above was took by hubby at mile 7ish!!! I think I look pretty good! My runners high from silverstone lasted all Sunday into my rest day in Monday and then …. crash!!!! Sandie was TIRED! I had given silverstone all my effort I forgot I had to train for the rest of the week! Family and things got on top on Tuesday so I decided to give myself an extra day off before doing 10 miles on Wednesday before seeing another PB of the week in Thursday when I ran by usual club 6 miles at 9:10 pace (I’m normally no faster than 9:40)! This was followed by another PB at Sheffield Hallam parkrun (fantastic parkrun to do)! So pretty good week running!

Sunday run!!!

Now my problem for the weekend was we were visiting family in sheffield – I had – 18 miles to do and didn’t know where to go!! So hubby decided to take me to derwent reservoir – I could run and him and his brother could do some fitness of their own! Perfect!

Woke up …. A perfect day for running! Sun was out and lovely and fresh! I even run in a t-shirt!!

As we arrived I was worried about getting lost, collapsing , not being able to finish!! So hubby asked a man out walking how far the run was! His reply was “run round derwent it’s 10 miles, run round derwent AND ladybower and it’s 15 ish”.


SO because I felt nervous about my new run I decided to leave my water with the lads and run the 10 mile route …. Twice (but meeting at the car which would make 18 miles)! So off I went!

Lost …..

Well the plan went wrong! I ended up running both reservoirs ….. With no water! It’s sheffield area so bloody hilly (I live in Oxfordshire – hills are non existent)! The only thing that kept me going …. The views …..


I actually think this was my favourite run EVER!!!

It was beautiful, everyone was friendly and said Hi … I was more impressed that I passed a man on mile 3 running the other way that I then passed again near the end …. And he looked how I felt!! As we passed a smile and a few … “Good effort” comments I lifted my chest high determined to finish the last few miles!!!

By the time I met Tim … He said “where have you been … Do you still need to do another lap” – I could kill him! But instead I gasped for water! Thank goodness I had taken my gels with me!

I had managed to RUN the full 18 without stopping at pace I was very very happy with!! Training for bournmouth last year I struggled with these long runs and never completed anything over 15 miles without walking for a while!

Happy with training …

So I’m still happy with how training is going! Only 8 weeks to go …. The next 6 weeks being the toughest on my programme!! I just keep thinking of the feeling of crossing that line …. And all this tiredness, effort, dedication and commitment will be worth it!

This weeks lessons ..

1. Yorkshire is beautiful to run in …. Highly recommend this run!!

2. Don’t leave your water behind …. It’s important!

3. Love SiS gels …. Can really feel them work!


Where is your favourite run??

Love Sandie xx

Curse of the Shoes



This was the title of a post I wrote several weeks back! Based on lots of advice out there that says its beneficial when putting in lots of weekly miles to have 2 pairs of trainers! I personally didn’t know if I believed this or not …. But I decided to give it a go and buy a second pair!!

2 pairs – 1 pair

Regular readers of my blog will
Know I kept my promise! I went off to my local running store to buy my second pair! I was told by the nice salesman “the shoes your in are already in need replaced” they were so worn down on one side – it explained my recent hip pain which I get when I don’t have enough support!

So I upgraded my old faithfuls mizuno nirvana 8’s to a beautiful new pair of mizuno nirvana 9’s. because it was the same shoe just a new model … I decided to save some pennies and search for the cheapest option online!

The curse begins ….

They arrived .. So pretty and I was so excitedto get out in them! As soon as I laced them up I just didn’t feel right! I felt like I could move my foot a bit much, to secure them I had to tie them a bit tight, I felt “clunky running in them! I came to the conclusion that I just needed to run them in! I was just missing my old comfies!!

The long run ….

This theory went out the window when I went for a 13 miler in them! Big blister on the inside of my foot! I made the final decision …. They were too big!

Change brand???

So my darling husband who supports my running massively said “I want you to smash this marathon – just buy another pair”

So off to the shop I went!!! Gait analysed, several pairs later, a wee run on the treadmill I settled on a pair of asics! The were comfy, pink laces, comfy …. But I did feel guilty for cheating on my mizunos that have been so faithful to my feet for years!!


Run 1 …. felt bouncy but sore toes!

Run 2 …. balls of my feet Hurt

Run 3 …. all of the above plus blisters on my toes!

Silverstone half … I actually thought I was about to get a stress fracture in my foot!

It took me all my courage to tell hubby that I didn’t like these ones either!! But there was no way on earth I could run a marathon in them!

Saving the day ….

I don’t know why but I contacted the up and running store I bought them from and explained the situation! They offered to change them …. No questions asked!



I am finally happy with mizuno! These gorgeous Inspire 10’s fit perfectly! They have even seen me round an epic 18 mile, Yorkshire style undulating run at the weekend and my feet are finally happy!


1. I think one of the biggest mistake I made was to jump in with the upgrade online! I hadn’t tried on the nirvana 9 …. I just expected it to be the same! I am not saying online is bad but I think in future I would wither get the exact same model OR Try them on in store first! I think the design may have changed ever so slightly which meant the 4.5 I had been running in was so a bit big!

2. I always hear people say … Don’t change brand! And I don’t think I ever will again! Mizuno Fit my weird shaped feet perfectly and I know I can trust them! I know people who swear by all the other brands …. They probably would never dream of changing to mizuno just because they love their own brand! So here’s hoping mizuno keep making awesome shoes …. Ill be lost if they stop!!!

How many pairs …

Despite owning 4 different pairs in the last 3 months …. I still only have one pair!!!

Silverstone Half




I didn’t chose to run silverstone half – I promised I would run it with a friend who later dropped out! But I have to say that on race day I was glad I had! Some of my friends were up at the crack of dawn to get to reading but the late start (midday) and the fact that Silverstone is 15 minutes from my house meant I could have half of a lie in! Plenty of time to get up, porridged up, dressed and ready to rock!



When I woke up the day looked promising! I swear the birds were singing and it seemed the sun had its hat on!! Well…. as you can see from the photo above …. It all disappeared! It was FREEZING!! After this pic was taken I run off to get ready and hated taking my warm layer off! It was windy cold and threatening to rain! I then said to hubby “well the weather ain’t too great for a PB day but if I can get 2:05 ill be happy”!

The startline ….

I am a HUGE motorbike fan and couldn’t wait to get onto the track! I was a bit late getting ready so started a bit further back than I wanted … But I was right on the grid and felt excited. There was a great atmosphere and buzz – got chatting to a few people and my nerves started to disappear.



I can only really tolerate SiS gels (I will review them properly later) but I do t normally start my nutrition until about 60 minutes into a race! BUT …. in a recent runners world article I read about a nutrition strategy! So I decided to start with a gel at the start …. And then every 40 minutes! Im no expert but it worked a treat! I had the caffeine one at mile 10 and really felt the lift it gave me!


Many people told me “be prepared to be bored” …. but … I have to say bored was not an emotion I felt during the race! Like I said …. Big bike fan … Loved running through the pits, starting on the grid, blah blah blah I loved it!! Spectators were at approx miles 3, 7 and 11 … And I easily identified my gang cheering me on! When no spectators were around … The marshals stayed encouraging and kept my spirits up calling out my running club printed on my vest!

It includes 3 water stops and 2 lucazade stops (I didn’t have lucazade) which were perfectly placed! The bottles were small enough that I Could easily carry it on the go too!

Now one thing I have to say that chuckled me was ….. the racing line! this was the only down fall … Everyone followed the racing line … Which meant bunching up in the bends which meant slowing down a bit! It couldn’t be helped but when I tell you my finish time you can see where I could of made up those pesky few seconds!

Silverstone IS NOT FLAT!!! I agree it’s not undulating … But there are a couple of “steady inclines” ….. I wasn’t expecting them …. And coupled with the wind …. Another few seconds could of been Gained!!



Well at that finish line I actually felt like Mo Farah or Paula Radcliffe! I sprint like I’d never sprint before ….. Just hoping I had scraped a PB! I was not expecting what I saw on the garmin!! 2:01:20 ….. 9.5 minutes off my PB! I was jumping for joy … I wanted to cry … Couldn’t believe I’d just run 13.1 miles at an average pace just over 9 min miles!! I am now planning my next strategy though to get that peaky 1:20 off the end!!! I still can’t believe a sub 2 hour half marathon is within reach when 3.5 years ago I did 10 miles in 1:55 at the great south run! I still amaze myself with how far I’ve come!!!

I found the family just as it started bucketing down!



My runners high lasted all day! It lasted even longer when I clicked on the marathon photo link and noticed that I actually look half decent in my photos …. I didn’t look dead, old, in pain or wobbly!!! I might even buy one!!!


The goody bag was just as good as the race!! It included An energy breakfast bar, peppermint tea pig tea bags which I’m now addicted to) an AWESOME medal shaped like a tyre and a cool t-shirt!!


In summary …. a great race! Well organised, good fun, great atmosphere, great marshals, all in all … A great day!!

Happy running xxxx

Park run PB



So the inlaws are moving house and hubby and I said we would help them out! So this weekend we found ourselves in Sheffield and I insisted that we HAD to do parkrun ….. It’s on the marathon training programme after all!!

So up we got and toddled down to Endcliffe Park!


Wow …. This is the busiest I’ve ever seen a parkrun! I estimated nearly 500 people but what was more inspiring was all the kids! They all seemed to be part of a running club … All looked the part, and all desperate to get going!

As usual there was a great community feel around and there was even a wee cake stall selling goodies ….. Once again I had no money on me so missed out in said goodies!


Endcliffe park is not very big! But out of the 4 parkrun courses I have down it is definatley one of the prettiest! It’s two laps around the park but there is a stream that runs through it …. It was just beautiful!

Me and the hub a dub started nearer to the back than we normally do (nice to be polite when visiting new locations I think)! But this was a negative point to start with because the start is quite narrow and with all the people around it got quite bunched up and I found myself struggling to gain momentum and get going! So in my head I settled for “your racing a half marathon tomorrow so just treat this is a nice gentle pleasant 3 mile run” well…… once I got into the open my legs just went on “go go gadget legs” mode!


I made the mistake of turning left back towards the finish thinking I was almost there and I could start my sprint home! WRONG!! you head towards the finish then turn right again to do a 200 metre (ish) loop that brings you round! My legs felt like they were about to buckle beneath me!

So I had started slow, settling for a nice easy run, legs picked up followed by an early sprint that left me almost blowing up before I could finish!

So … I crossed the line …. Turned the garmin off ….. 26:32!!!!! WOW WOW WOW Ive been trying to get that sub 27 minute since August last year when my 2nd ever parkrun set my PB! I’ve been up in 29 minute marks, back down to the 28 minute mark … Followed by back at 27:30 something! But never been to come close to even 27:00!


The scanner won’t scan my barcode …. ARGGGGGGHHHHH! But a nice man took my number and position and wrote it down … I begged him to make sure it went on …. I needed to see it on the results page!

My “official” park run time was 26:57! My garmin was out because of the slow start …. I started it once I got moving! So in happy both ways …. I know my garmin is my run time and the web page is my “gun time” either way I RUN SUB 27 MINUTES! I even had a wee dance when I met up with Tim at the finish line!



I would highly recommend Endcliffe park as a course! It’s very very pretty and super friendly! It was so inspiring to see so many people running! Every type of runner out doing it! But the most awesome thing was all the kids! I could literally if just run with the next Jess Ennis or Mo Farah! Getting kids doing sport is amazing (and of course running is the best sport to get into)! So thank you to all the runners, supporters and volunteers at Endcliffe Park today … You made my day!!

Love Sandie xxxx