Half Marathon

On my original bucket list, I challenged myself to enter a 10k race.  At the beginning of this year that really was a challenge for me, and it took a lot of work for me to manage to complete it.  Owning trainers is still a fairly new concept for me, and when I started running I was running in borrowed Tesco trainers.  At school I didn’t attend PE after year nine.  Exercise does not come naturally for me!  This time last year I hadn’t even heard of a burpee.  When I went for a run I was aiming to one day be able to share my 6+ km run on Facebook with the caption “Fighting For Seven” which was the name of the band Steve was in when we met.  But it took me a long, long time to get past 5k.


So after I completed my 10k race back in April (in fancy dress!), and then went on to run a further 7k that evening (in a different fancy dress outfit!) without actually dying, I thought that maybe a half marathon was not such a scary prospect.  I wanted a proper challenge to throw myself into.  I signed up for the Dartmoor Vale half marathon, bought myself some proper trainers, made some excellent fitness plans, and stuck to none of them!  But I did get out there running, mainly by myself.  I also started going to a Boot Camp on the beach with some Mums from school.  The more I trained the less confident I became.  A month ago I ran another 10k race for some more race practice, and it got me excited again.  Then a fortnight ago I ran 12 miles by myself, without even music to distract me (didn’t want to waste phone battery and not record my mileage!!) and felt good about it.  But then I barely ran after that.  When I did go out I was slow and uncomfortable and gave up after a couple of miles.  Confidence blown once again.

I got a little boost when someone pointed out that race day was after the clocks changed, so I’d get an extra hour in bed!  I had every intention of really cutting back on drinking before the race, but on Friday night I “accidentally” got drunk – it meant I rested up on Saturday though!!

Next thing I knew it was race day.  I warmed up with my friend Gavin, who had suggested the race in the first place, and he gave me some sweets to eat during the race.  These kept me going, as they helped me split the race up and have smaller goals – I was just trying to get to the next sweet stop rather than to the end.  I had them at 4, 8 and 12 miles and they worked a treat.

I ran with a girl called Bryony, who I’d met once before for a run.  We had a really similar pace throughout and made a good little team.  I would even go as far as to say that I enjoyed it.  The weather was nice, cold, dry, sunny.  I saw Steve at about 5 miles, and then my friend Laura was there to cheer me on, right at the bottom of a massive hill, exactly where I needed a boost.

At about 11.5 miles I was flagging so she ran on ahead, I managed not to stop until the end but WOW it was hard.  My hands were freezing cold and had pins and needles.  I felt sick and shaky and like I could not go on.  There was a nice moment when Steve drove past with the boys and they shouted out of the window.  In my head I was just trying to get to 13 miles and then to sprint the last 0.1 miles, but when that time came I had nothing more to give so I didn’t speed up at all.  For the last mile, people who had already finished were walking back to their cars, and they were all really supportive and that boosted me.


Immediately after the race. I finished in 2 hours 19 minutes 12 seconds – pretty much bang on my target of 2 hours 20 minutes.

Turning the final corner, I saw the finish line, and Steve and the boys and knew it was almost over!  I crossed the line and felt…nothing.  I didn’t feel relieved or proud or anything, just so SO tired.  All I wanted was to go and sleep.  I had a headache and a sore throat and I was tired and hungry and just felt ill. I would compare it to when I had just given birth to Oscar.  I don’t really remember, but I wasn’t interested in him at all, just so exhausted.  All I wanted was a shower and lots of sleep.

I stayed in bed most of the afternoon, and dragged myself out of bed at 5pm so that my friend Jen could take me out for a celebratory drink.  I felt absolutely horrific, but a pint of shandy at the Ship soon perked me up!  We got pizza too and that sorted me out.

Of course, now I am already thinking about next year.  I will definitely be entering it again and trying to beat my time (though I can’t see myself ever breaking 2 hours!).  I think the trick will be to be more strict on the not drinking thing (I’ll be 30 and a grown up by then so that will be easy right?) and to eat more breakfast before the race.  In the meantime I am enjoying the revelation that if you own trainers, they can also be worn as comfortable day to day footwear – this has changed my life!


Fourth Day

Yesterday was a FANTASTIC day of fundraising. Volunteering in Health had its annual family fun day on the den in Teignmouth. The sun shone on us all day (a little bit too much in the case of my arms) and the money hasn’t yet been counted, but I’m confident that we smashed last year’s £1800.  

 My breakfast was weetabix with almond milk. I had a bad stomach ache all morning (too much fruit and veg I think) so treated myself to a proper (cows milk) cup of tea and carrot cake muffin, it totally worked, think I’d changed my diet a bit too drastically all at once! Lunch was a falafel salad which was delicious.  

  I got in from the fun day with an hour to spare until going out to another fundraiser in the evening (this one put in by Red Rock Harmony) so just had leftover curry with soy yoghurt.  

I’m over halfway! A little slip today but I can live with that, I couldn’t afford not to feel 100% on such a busy day. 

My Fancy Run

So yesterday was the big day of my 10k race. I was super nervous in my ridiculous nemo outfit – exactly zero other people were in fancy dress for the race and everyone seemed to be taking it very seriously! It really made me appreciate just how hard Eve’s challenge to wear nothing but fancy dress for year has been.  (www.myfancyyear.com) Despite my plan to take it fairly easy for the first 5k and ramp it up for the second, I made the predictable rookie mistake of doing my fastest km to date in the first km. Then my shoelace came undone (I am unbelievably bad at tying laces and really hope Steve takes on the job of teaching this skill to the boys!) which was probably a blessing in disguise as it got me out of the too fast crowd! But I was absolutely convinced that I was at the back of the race which was a bit disheartening. Later on, Steve told me that when he saw me at the back he also thought I was right at the back, but of course there were loads of people behind me really.

Anyway, I think I finished in about 1 hour 2 minutes, but the official times should come out tomorrow. I’m sure I didn’t reach my target of under an hour, but that’s ok – it was much hotter than any weather I have run in before.

But that wasn’t the end of my efforts for the day! On Saturday night, whilst doing their 21st 10k in as many days, Eve (of My Fancy Year) and her husband got into a scuffle with some teenagers, resulting in Eve’s husband being bottled and having to be stitched up! Determined not to let this put a downer on all their hard work, they invited all of Teignmouth to join them for last night’s 10k. There was an incredible turnout of people in fancy dress and they raised around £650 on the night. I ran 7.3k, half of which with Oscar, who was amazing!

My legs are aching today but I’m really pleased with myself and the sponsor money is starting to flood in – so far I’ve collected £112 but I hope to reach £200.

And now I’ve got an official PB I just want to race again to try and beat it. I think I might be officially hooked!

My Fancy Run

It’s getting closer! The first of my 30 things that I signed up for, a 10k run in Exeter this Sunday.

I have been training quite a lot and learning to love it! On Monday I finally managed to run 10k in under an hour for the first time, which has given me a massive confidence boost.

The run itself is in aid of Hospiscare but when I saw that Eve was going to run 10k A DAY for 100 days for My Fancy Year I decided that I would run my one race in fancy dress too, and collect sponsorship for her. Eve is wearing fancy dress every day for a full year and hoping to raise a fantastic £20000 for breast cancer charity Coppafeel!

I need you to decide what costume I should wear from the selection below – just write your vote in the comments.

If you would like to sponsor me you can send money by cash, cheque, paypal or bank transfer, or donate direct to Eve through her website. My paypal address is goslingbaby@gmail.com and please contact me if you need other details.


My Fancy Run

There is a girl from Teignmouth called Eve who, last summer, gave all of her clothes to charity. She is wearing fancy dress every single day for a full year. She’s done 265 days already and raised an amazing £10000 for breast cancer charity, coppafeel! For her last 100 days she is not only wearing fancy dress but also running 10k EVERY DAY. What an amazing lady! 

I have followed her journey with interest, there have been lots of ups and downs – some days you just don’t want to dress as a parrot to go to the supermarket! In an effort to support her I have decided to run my 10k race on 12th April in fancy dress. She is going to lend me a costume (watch this space to see what I’ll be!). If you would like to sponsor me please get in touch, every penny counts!  www.myfancyyear.com

My children’s book

Write a children’s book

When I told people I was doing this challenge, several suggested I write a Children’s Book. They all seemed to have an awful lot of confidence in my ability to do this, but I’m not so sure!! Time will tell…

I’ve been the most excited (and scared) about this one from the start.  I had an idea very early on this year but never quite found the time to make a start on it.

Then last night I used Photoshop for the first time, to make a poster for the Volunteering in Health Fun Day this May.  I’ve never really done anything in Photoshop before, but I love watching Steve work on it so I had an idea what to do.

fun day poster

I’m so pleased with the final result, and it gave me faith in myself to do the children’s book.  So today and yesterday I have been beavering away at it.  I think I’m getting RSI, but I’m really pleased with where I’m up to so far.  No spoilers just yet though 🙂

Two down…Twenty Eight to go

I’ve finished my first two things!!

Get something published

Back in my primary school days, I wrote a short story about playing on Shaldon Beach, which got published in the Parish Magazine. In November the charity I work for was featured in Devon Life, along with a photo I took. But for this, I want something a bit more purposeful to be published, somewhere. Think this is probably going to be my toughest challenge.

I thought this was going to be my toughest challenge, but I got one of my favourite photos printed in February’s Devon Life.  Here it is:

And, on Saturday I entered the Spinathon for Volunteering in Health, and span for THREE HOURS in a row!  On the day we raised a whopping £2000 – fantastic!

Enter a Spinathon

My parents love cycling. My Mum and Stepdad met in a cycling group. Some of my strongest childhood memories are of cycling. Like the time we were at the Turf Locks and Dad told me to “Look at that”, so I turned around on the back of his bike and got my feet caught up in the spokes. Or the time my younger brother learnt to ride without stabilisers before I did. Or the time we got new bikes for Christmas and went for a mega bike ride in the rain on Boxing Day. Or the time my brother rode his BMX on what was clearly a mountain bike ride, and fell off his bike and had to go to hospital (though not before we stopped off at Trago). Therefore me and cycling do not get on. At all. The charity I work for is holding a Sponsored Spinathon on 17th January at Finlake so I am going to enter that. If you’d like to enter, or to sponsor me, get in touch.


Last night, Steve and I went to try and give blood, but unfortunately all the slots were booked up.  It’s great that they were so busy, but I was so looking forward to saying I’d done three things already, and I was so nervous about it, it would have been nice to get it over and done with!