Too Much

I have a tendency to try and do everything, after all why not cram everyday full and run around like a headless chicken? I come by this tendency honestly from female relic but now am at an age (maybe growing up) that I realise that maybe it’s not always a good thing to live life in fifth gear, once in a while I manage to see when I have taken on too much, it is however a work in progress. Last week I saved myself once and then totally blew it three days later!

As you know Saturday is parkrun day, but it also the only day we could go to the Devon County Show. No problem, was my first, I can do it all thought, parkrun, jump in the car, drive to the Show, meet hubby there and change in the back of his car. Sorted. By Friday the temperature had started to soar and the thought of wrestling my sports bra off my sweaty body in the back of a car was not an enticing one. Time to re think. Parkrun was shelved but we did have lovely time at the Show admiring all things fluffy and sampling copious amounts of flavoured cheeses, cider and caramel vodka!

A common sense win.

Fast forward to Wednesday and club was running one of my favourite routes along the coast, I had to go. The trouble was I wanted to cycle home from work. After careful consideration (total time taken 30 seconds) I worked out that time wise this was a feasible plan, (I overlooked the small matter of my legs cycling 13 miles and then running 6 miles!) Disaster occurred at two miles in to the ride home when the chain came off.

No problem, I have fixed a derailed chain masses of times. However this one was wedged and would not come free.

No problem, running buddies house was just up the hill he would save a damsel in distress. However he had gone to the beach!

No problem, older madam is not far away, emergency call for a screwdriver and 10 mins later the chain was free and my journey could continue.

I arrived home looking a bit like a mechanic or a blackberry picker! 5 minutes to change, clean up and get out of the house, but I made it to club.

Maybe I should have shelved the cycle ride or the run to give myself some breathing space, but where is the fun in that! Mission accomplished but might not try this again!

This I can do everything attitude spills in to running and the prime example of this is next weeks running event. Next week my running buddy and I are doing The Tsunami, a run along the Northern South West coast, starting in Clovelly and ending in Bude. When I signed up I did not really check the run out, it was on the coast, it was a marathon what else did I need to know? Now I read it is ‘a tortuous coastal trail, a Rottweiler of a race‘, it took 5 hours for the winner to complete the course last year and has 2000m (6500ft) of ascent! Will this be too much? Who knows, come back in 7 days to find out!


Posted in cross country, Devon, Marathon Training, Marathons, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

365 Days Lovelier

Yes, it is official I am 365 days lovelier, well according to this birthday card I am.


To celebrate this momentous occasion hubby and I took the day off work and headed to South Devon and a place called Beesands.

Why Beesands? Well, the previous week the cat had brought a mouse in to our bedroom at 3 am, this is no mean feat given the size of the mouse as he had to catch it, jump up on the fence, up on to the garage roof and then up in through a side window. Quite impressive, although obviously at the time we didn’t praise him too much. Two nights of interrupted sleep and the mouse was caught with the help of peanut butter and a bagel! Anyway I digress a bit. Two positives that came out of this scenario were that everything under the bed was moved out and then the carpet was hovered (make that three positives as hubby did this!) and during this huge task I found the well hidden, much forgotten ‘Devon Pub Walk’ book. I adopted a foreman role and sat on the bed whilst the cleaning was being done and chose a birthday Pub Walk.

Beesands is a fishing village on the south coast and not somewhere we have been before or so I thought until we got there and then I realised I have run through it last year!


First things first a coffee and a coke and a comfort break once the public loos had been serviced bu their male cleaner who decided to go in there just as I was about to, cue drink stop!

The weather was fabulous, in fact perfect. We walked along the coast for a way before heading inland up over the hills with some stunning views. It was a route that had it all, hills, flat coastal path, fields, cows, sheep, mud, sea views, woodlands, a WW2 bunker, bluebells and the best thing not another soul!

Fortunately we were back at Beesands at lunch time and as it was the only Pub available we opted to go in to The Cricketer, from the outside it looked like a bog standard pub and a fully expected to be greeted with ugly red floral carpet with an oak bar, but how wrong `I was. The decor was seaside/fisherman themed and really tastefully done and the food was as good.

Altogether a great day celebrating being lovelier (it is a skill), full of my favourite things: sunshine, countryside, Devon, hubby and sticky toffee pudding!

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Adaptation of a runner.

14 years ago when I started this running lark I used to run in the afternoon when hubby got in from work. These started off as brief outings so no planning involved, out the door for half an hour try not to die or see anyone I knew which of course would cause instant death by embarrassment obviously.

Then I moved from working nights to a full-time 9 to 5 job. I was worried, how was I going to fit in my running? 4 am alarm calls were implemented and much pounding round the streets of the city whilst the drunks made their way home. When I travelled away on courses, the trainers were packed and many adventures in far-flung cities were had.

Early morning excursions came to an abrupt halt when we moved to Devon, dark mornings on country lanes didn’t appeal. As I was lucky enough to work from home, fitting in a decent run before hitting the lap top was not too hard, many a day I sat at work smelling less than sweet till I could shower at lunch time. Alternatively if the sun was out off I toddled at lunch time, being sun seeker, to lollop over the fields in the brightness.

Sadly after 5 years that came to a halt. Hard to find a job let alone one that fits in around running and maybe this shouldn’t be a priority?

February saw me start work at the NHS, full-time hours. Adaptation time again. Finally after two months I have settled in to a new routine Monday to Friday of sorts.

  • Monday-club run if I fancy it, rest if not
  • Tuesday-Track training -yes you have read that right, I have been let loose on the track. Each week I fully expect someone to haul me off the asphalt telling me it is for young, lithe, fast athletes only and can the elderly lady with the white hair and plodding style please vacate the premises! Not something I enjoy if I am honest, makes me feel much like a Polar Bear must do in captivity, round and round and round and round. Kudos to Coach M for putting up with my grumpiness
  • Wednesday-1 mile effort session x 3 round the village at 6 am OR club run if it appeals after work.
  • Thursday-Catch train to Exeter, work all day, long run home, 13 miles in the bag. Not sure what I will do in the winter but this is a great way to fit the miles in at the moment.
  • Friday-REST day

Happy to report that the new regime seems to be working, whether it’s the track session, the extra miles during the week, the 1 mile efforts or a combination of everything I have no idea but I did manage a parkrun PB this past weekend.

Now I just need to sort out the recurring stomach issues!


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Road trip planned

Recently I wrote about needing a focus (here in case you missed that exciting post). In 2017 I had 100k run as a focus, in 2016 it was VLM and my first Ultra. 2018 I have been aimless and running performance has suffered, its hard to get out the door without something to get fit for.

I believe in fate. For example, when we were beginning to look to move to Devon, the house we now live in was under offer and we could not view it. This sale fell through and a subsequent  one also, when it was eventually re-listed we had just sold our house. This was fate, we were meant to live here, well that’s what I think.

Pre little Madam, hubby and I had a weekend away in Wales at the base of Snowdon. We walked to the top, I got scared and we got the train down. Back then they did not accept credit/debit cards and as luck (or was that fate) would have it, I had just enough cash to get the train tickets saving us from a tough walk down, me with my fear of heights and him with his blisters! We had such a lovely weekend having left Essex in rain and flooding, Wales was bathed in sunshine, since then we have been wanting to go back and more recently I have wanted to run there.

Many events are held there. I have looked at them all.

  • Road marathon-nope
  • Ultra-better not
  • Event held in October-weather could be horrendous
  • Snowdon, this word could mean Snowdonia National Park event, I want one that goes up and over Snowdon, not round the bottom.
  • Trail Marathon – SOLD OUT

Yes, I have done my research and had pencilled in the one in October once the course details were released and then per chance and yes with a sprinkling of fate…..I saw someone advertising a place for Scott Trail Marathon in July WITH accommodation! Within 24 hours I had transferred the marathon place to my name, amended the accommodation reservation to be in our name, booked time off work to make a long weekend of it and booked an Airbnb room for another night.

So there you have it my focus for this year, my road trip, may the training begin! I really can’t wait, so very excited about this one!

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With myself recently returning to work and out of the house, hubby has started to assist me with the laundry duties. By assist I mean he takes the wet washing from the machine and hangs it on the drying rack, it’s a small contribution but I am grateful for this input. Of course it would be amazing if said wet washing when dry could find itself ironed and put away but I realise two things 1) Rome wasn’t built-in a day and 2) Miracles are not likely to occur in my corner of East Devon. Hubby has made two observations during this new activity for him…

  1. My sports bras are like something a three-legged man would wear. Mmmmmmm
  2. Madams underwear that consist of many strips of ribbon and a centimetre of fabric are apparently like solving a Rubik’s cube in detangling them before hanging to dry.

This got me thinking and not for the first time that men have it easy don’t they? Hubby wears boxers and that’s it, simple. Sure he has different colour ones but that’s where the variety ends, I don’t suppose for a minute he contemplates which colour to put on as he drags a pair out of the drawer. Nope I would guarantee that it is the pair on the top, simples.

Meanwhile in the right side of the bed in my underwear drawer there is a positive array of knickers. Each day I have factors to consider before grabbing a pair.

  • The skimpy, sexy, thong (granted these are a rare breed these days with my a*** and my age advancing they are not quite in such demand these days!)
  • Mini briefs my everyday go to style, pull on, comfortable and sit there
  • The lace back ones, not to be worn if sat all day as that lace can chaff a bit
  • Non VPL pairs, comfy and sensible and in theory not making their appearance known to on lookers
  • Suck it in knickers-when wearing that tight fitting outfit, these are essential for holding it all in and have the added benefit of just moving the excess flesh up in to my chest! Win win. Except breathing is tricky and they are damn uncomfortable.
  • Running knickers – nothing sexy or appealing about these, but hey who needs that when wearing lycra, one word for these SENSIBLE oh and another BORING
  • Short style undies – now this is a new style on me, but I love them and wear them for running now, no disappearing up your nether regions whilst running causing you in a very unlady like way to oik them out. These have the added bonus of hiding everything enabling me to strip off in car parks after running an event to put dry trousers on. No danger of flashing anything with these, Madam has smaller Nike running shorts than these. Thank you Reebok for creating these beauts. Sadly hubby not so keen, but hey can’t win them all.

With so much choice it’s a wonder I get out the door in the mornings.


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Yeovil Half Marathon

Sunday March 25th the clocks went forwards an hour. Note to self, don’t enter an early start event an hour away from home on the day the clocks spring forward. Running buddy and I worked out we needed to leave my house at 6:45 BUT that was 5:45 am, ON A SUNDAY, needless to say we were both very bleary eyed as we set off. We arrived early if not very bright, found the start and the portaloos before returning to the car for breakfast. God we know how to rock on Sundays.

At 8:30 we reluctantly left the warmth of the car and headed to the start, I opted to put the onesie on after my last minute trip to the loos, figuring this was a safer option. I slipped the giraffe on, oh my and it was toasty. As I stood there at the start watching running buddy shiver I was SMUG, it was lush inside that fleece, no goosebumps for me!

It wasn’t long before we were off and running buddy and I parted company, he is a speedster.

It was a nice route up and down and back around the town of Yeovil before heading out to Montacute House. The support along the route was amazing. Many times I was called a cow. Really people of Yeovil? Get yourselves to Spec Savers or to animal identifying classes, how many cows have beige skin, with masses of brown spots? One child got totally confused and shouted ‘look Mummy a zebra’!!! No hope for them! The hood stayed up for the first two miles and then the sweat began to drip, I then took this off and undid the front of the onesie. This did help but boy it was hot. Occasionally we caught some breeze and this was most welcome.

A friend had warned that at mile 8 there was a hill. Let me correct her there was a hill at mile 7, mile 8, mile 9 and 10! Thankfully at mile 11 there was a nice long down, off I went flying as only giraffes can downwards. Sadly I peaked way too soon with mile 12 being my fastest mile, by the thirteenth mile I felt quite ill, was hot and cold all at the same time, starting to shiver. Where was the finish?

I very pleased to get to the end……….

Very pleased with a half marathon time faster than some I have run in full running gear. Maybe this is the way forward, but only in very cool conditions.

Great way to spend a Sunday morning and £400 raised for South Western Ambulance Services.

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Thought I would try something different…………

  1. Yoga? – No too stiff and sleepy
  2. Triathlon?-  No I swim like a drowning person
  3. Duathlon?-  No, not yet, but not ruling this out
  4. Swimming the channel?-  see point 2
  5. Mountain climbing? – terrified of heights wouldn’t get off the floor
  6. Pot holing?- god no, too dark, wet and terrifying
  7. Coasteering? – see point 2
  8. Orienteering? – map reading skills of very lost person, can take the wrong turning out of public toilets and usually end up trying the cleaning cupboard door!
  9. Golf?- zzzzzzzzzz
  10. Canoeing?- having capsized several times as a teenager without being taught to right myself, this is a resounding no.

Tomorrow I am trying something new, but no none of the above. Tomorrow I shall run 13.1 miles, nothing new in that really. Tomorrow I shall run Yeovil Half Marathon, I haven’t done this one before but this is not the something new. Tomorrow I shall run Yeovil Half Marathon in a Giraffe Onesie, now that is something new, for me anyway. I have never dressed in anything other than running kit, when running. I don’t really like ‘dress up’!!! So how did this come about and what is the rationale behind this if any?

Several weeks ago, a friend from running club sent out an email, asking for Volunteers to run Bath Half in aid of the Charity she works for South West Ambulance Services, I stuck my hand up, slooooooowly! Being not very half marathon fit at the moment, I needed an excuse to run it, but run it badly! Light bulb moment. Fancy dress! Much time was spent on the WWW researching costumes to wear, I ruled out the skimpily dressed bar maid out fit (you are welcome) the Rhino costume and carrying a washing machine on my back! Eventually came up the Giraffe Onesie idea. That way I would be a Giraffe in Bath!!!!!

I was very aware that many friends and family have sponsored me before and club members should be donating to the club runner who is doing VLM this year, so I came up with the idea that if I would run in the onesie ONLY if I got 20 donations of £5. Needless to say due some lovely (mmmmm) people I was soon bidding on a onesie on Ebay.

Sadly due to some non UK type weather, (Snow snow and more snow) Bath Half was cancelled. Shame really as freezing cold temperatures would have meant I would have been snug and smug all at once.

Having raised over £300 I felt the need to book in on something else QUICK and to notify the sponsors, so that is why I am heading out to Yeovil tomorrow at the crack of dawn (the clock change plus a 9 am start is not a great combination!)

The day is set to be dry, thank goodness, but warmer than I would like. The onesie is made for someone of Giraffe stature rather than my Hippoesque one, this means the crotch is down by knees and running is going to more of a waddle. Think penguin! BUT I have my body glide packed and my smile so what could go wrong?!


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