Tag Archives: Milton Keynes

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


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

2 Run Race Day

Finished my 2nd 10k of the year
Finished my 2nd 10k of the year


So at my running club awards night in November just after the London Marathon Ballot had been drawn three of us girls laughed and said “lets do a spring marathon” and “lets see if us slower runners can win a club champs award next year” SO …….. the very next morning I woke with a touch of a hangover and the drive to race.  I entered Milton Keynes Marathon and a few of the club champs races (my bank account did not look too healthy after this little hungover race spending spree).  One of the races I entered was Winslow 10k on 23rd Feb.  It was only when my good running friend was writing my programme i realised ….. “oops … i need to be getting my mileage up by then” so the plan on Sunday called for the 10k race (raced at best effort) followed by and 8 mile run  OUCH!

My finishers t-shirt
My finishers t-shirt


The start of the day was a bit depressing.  The weather was windy and cold.  My running club friend Clare drove us to Winslow and we followed the instructions to park at a local community centre and walk to the location. We started to become a little bit stressed as there seemed to be no sign of any marshals (or runners) and we only just managed to find the race venue.  The organisation of collecting numbers was pretty straight forward and well organised but I was a little disappointed to find it was not going to be chip timed.  This wouldn’t stop me entering in the future but wish I had been aware of this before.

I was also impressed by the availability of refreshments in the centre – amazing cakes, pastries and fruit as well as a variety of drinks were available (I must remember to take money to these events for a post race treat).  

Although I didn’t use the baggage area other members of my club did and it seemed very straight forward and quick at the end of the race!

The Race … we walked to the start line and I made the decision that I would use my garmin to get my actual finish time as I was not planning on being one of the first to cross the start line. However I must learn in future that i am (slightly) better than I think and I should maybe start a little bit closer to the front.  The road was pretty narrow so the first half mile was slower than I wanted as there just seemed to be no space to get around people.  Matt has said to be before that I need to start closer to the front than I do …. but I suppose I still need to find my inner runner confidence as I still don’t believe that I ACTUALLY RUN!!!

The course…. i tweeted in the morning that i was off to Winslow.  A reply came in “keep something in the tank – a few hills on that one”.   This I was not prepared for.  Running around Bicester I have come to forget what A hill actually looks like.

It was not a mountainous course and I don’t think I would call it undulating as such but at 2k it did gradually incline for around 2 more kilometres.  It then evened out with a nice little downhill followed by a horrible incline in the last km.

The course was lovely and out in the countryside through a few villages.  It was a lovely run.  They also had 2 water stations with plenty of enthusiastic kids to cheer us on and the marshals were all friendly and encouraging.

The Result …… 

From Lions Club of Winslow Website
From Lions Club of Winslow Website

I was 228th out of 318.  So not speedy speedy …. i don’t think ill ever be a speedy runner.  The time recorded was 57:42 …. BUT my garmin time was 57:23 ….. only 1 minute off my PB.  Considering the course was quite uphill in places I was pretty pleased with myself.  I was more pleased for my friend Clare who achieved her first sub 1 hour 10K ….. GO CLARE!!!


So we got in the car … i stuffed an apple rice pudding down my neck for energy and we drove home to Bicester ready for me to meet up with my other friend to get 8 miles done.  WOW … by the time I met Abby I was still in my runners high and raring to go BUT the legs said NO!!!  It was a slog … we misjudged the distance and only did 7.5 but it was a mental slog.  Legs were heavy heavy but still managed an average of 10:30 per mile.  Thats only 15 seconds slower than my predicted marathon pace so I was pleased with that too.  I was once told “its all about the time on your feet”.  I am glad i listened and went out for that second run!!



So how did I treat my running hangover?  A few days away in London with Hubby in a fancy hotel.  We arrived Sunday night and I spent an hour in a nice hot bubble bath, with mood lighting, a bath pillow .. and fell asleep.  Great end to a great day of running!!!

Next week …… Silverstone half followed by a 3 miler!  I must be insane!!



Types of runners!!


WHAT ?????? Are you???

Recently all my social media feeds have been filled with quizzes to determine what personality you are!! “what friends character are you?? “what breed of dog are you??? “what should your perfect job be” (and to be honest I have been guilty in partaking in a quiz or two!

A running magazine recently published a “what type of runner are you”! AND I’ve seen blogs and twitter feeds about ….

Running types….

I don’t really know much about the subject but I do enjoy people watching “runner watching”

We all know the super lean, super dedicated, 5 minute miler, eating clean, gazelle type runners that just make the whole thing look painless and effortless! (Although I would love to be in this group …. I never will be)! What amazes me is the dedication of this group to normally wear shorts and t-shirts no matter the weather …. With maybe a hat if it rains!!

We all know the picture perfect, make up on, hair perfect, beautiful runner who also makes it look so easy and whose race pictures could be published in magazines for the right reasons (I refer you to my gallery … I am not one of these runners either)

There is the tracksuit bottom and hoody runner, the addicted to running clothing and every new pair of trainers runners (I am definately this one) the group of girls runner, the I want to lose weight runner! The fast runner, the slow bimble runner, the 5k focused runner, the madly in love with the marathon runner!

So many categories! But what I love about most runners … We all run! We all love it (I love it after its finished usually) and no matter whether we are a 5k slow, group of girls, tracksuit bottom
Runner or an elite athlete running 5 minute miles …. A run is a run!!!


So what’s my point???

I found a new type of runner today!! The I HATE RUNNING IN THE MORNING RUNNER!!!


I wish I could be dedicated to wake at 4am eat my porridge and go back to bed for an hour before rising at 0630 to pound the pavement! The truth is …. I hate mornings!

You wake up, everything is aches, your mouth is dry and your eyes won’t open! I struggle to walk downstairs never mind make my legs move faster than a shuffle!

I am up usually at 0530 most days to get out to work …. Why on earth would I want to do this on my days off! So today I slept in for parkrun and opted for a 5 miler at 0830! And once it was done I felt great and set me up for the day!

So …. THE PLAN!!

I don’t think ill ever be a 4am porridge eater – but I think I might make more of an effort to pull myself out of bed in the future! Whilst I’m lying in bed …. Someone else is out there running!

Love Sandie xxxxx

End of Week 4!!!


One page down…..

So this is 4 weeks worth of my training programme for Milton Keynes …. It is one page out of 4.5!

As i crossed off that 12 miler – last square at the end I breathed a sigh of relief, feeling the sense if achievement – and then I looked at the other 3.5 pages I have still to get through! But that’s what I do it for …. The feeling I get when I have achieved so much … With the drive to continue in what is still to come!!

So week 4!!!

This week was an “easy” week! My programme was developed for me by a very good friend and my instruction for this week was … “only run the runs … Do no more” YES!!!! I get an extra days rest and BOY DID I LOVE IT!!

So Monday … recovery run!! 3.5 miles done at a nice easy 11:00 minutes per mile! As I set out thinking “how i love an easy run” this thought quickly changed to …. “Recovery runs are the hardest of the week”. Legs like lead!!

Tuesday speed training with my running club! It was PAINFULL! We did 1km laps! Up to 1km back for 1km – so I did 4 in total! When added onto the warm up and cool down it turned out around 4 miles at an average pace of 8:55! Which I was pretty happy with as my legs still felt heavy!

Wednesday .. REST REST REST! Although I did cheat a little bit from my orders and did some strength and core! Squat! squat! squat!

Thursday …. club night! Our normal 10km route and I planned to take it easy at a nice 10:00 min/mile! Well I got chatting checked the Garmin which displayed at nice 9:10! We finished in 9:30 average and I felt super pleased …. Proof I’m getting quicker!

Friday ….. Rest .. And Rest I did!

Saturday …. Oxford parkrun … My current nemesis! BUT I DID IT! It wasn’t a PB but I got it back under 29 minutes … At a nice …. 28:59! Ha ha! Considering the conditions are still mud bath central I was happy!


Pleased to say these are the old trainers … I couldn’t bare putting the new ones through it!

And finally …. Sunday … Long run day! All hyped up ready for 12 miles! Started off myself doing 2 miles before meeting the girls and doing 8 followed by 2 home! And in true English style at the minute … It was raining! Not just a drizzle … TORRENTIAL RAIN … And wind! My face was screwed up and I looked awful but the truth is …. I loved it! I couldn’t help run with my shoulders back and chest out with pride …. Knowing that even though the conditions were awful …. I was out there doing it! And all completed in a 10:20 average pace!

If I keep that pace up over training …. I am going to smash this 4 hour 30 minutes!!

Summary… I am loving training for this marathon! I feel like I have 1 under my belt so I know I can do the distance and I know the pain and emotion to come! I just feel like I am taking it in my stride and the miles will come! I feel relaxed about the whole thing!

Remind me if this is March/April – when it really kicks in!!

Happy running all!!


First week training

So marathon number 2 ….. Milton Keynes!!!! Training started Monday with a nice 3.5 miles in the rain, Tuesday interval training …. In the rain, Wednesday 6.5 miles ….. In torrential rain! But throughout the feeling of being constantly wet and drowning I still had a smile on my face!!!


Club night in Thursday saw me practically forced into joining the 9:30/mile group …. And I did it! The whole 6.2 miles completed at an average pace of 9:28 per mile! High fives all round, a collapsed Sandie at the end, feeling sick and sore quads for the remainder of the week!

I have examined my programme and reflected on Bournemouth and realised the biggest thing missing …. Strength! I have no glute strength and I’d quite like a 6 pack (ok ill settle for a tummy that doesn’t jog alongside me when I run)! I asked my darling husband for advice …. He told me dead lift, Olympic weights, squats beast the weight! I got a little Mardy with him (I hate weights) told him he was wrong and tweeted for advice!! What advice did I get …. “Squat, dead lift, weights and core training”! So here I say publicly ….. Darling husband Tim Farrow …. You were right!

So I downloaded an app called strong runner …. It’s not very complicated or fancy but just gives advice in different exercises! Also came across a yoga for runners …. Which looks nails but good! And I am pleased to say ….. It’s Saturday morning and I’ve completed abs and my squats already …. Now just for a wee tempo run to complete ….. In the rain!!!