Now I love a Rollercoaster. Oh except The Kraken at Sea World Florida, my first and last feet dangling Rollercoaster

kraken_0310_3once was enough, then I made big Madam at 11 years go on it on her own, great parenting! Then there was Stealth at Thorpe Park, never been so scared in my life!

captureNever again. So darn high.

Anyway, on the whole I enjoy a coaster, but what I don’t like is when life becomes like one and I have come to the conclusion in 2017 that I really don’t like when my running becomes like a coaster ride. At the moment I have great runs, where I am rocking, it feels good and all is right in the world or I have awful, miserable, everything hurts, I hate running runs, nothing in between, just the extremes and to be honest it’s not much fun.

  • Club handicap, boy it was cold that night, awful run how can 5k feel so dam hard?
  • Seaton parkrun, coldest event ever,  Iran with wings and got a 30 second course PB and very near by 2017 target time
  • Doynton Hard Half- tough but pleased with the result
  • Seaton parkrun followed by 4 miles up in to Beer and back, 7 miles should not feel that tough and those hills should not have felt like darn great mountains.
  • Todays Green Circle Half Marathon, was very pleasant, the legs did not groan, the foot mumbled a little but was felt better than on yesterdays run.

As I head in to Ultra training mode this week I am hoping for more consistency with my running. Failing that I will have to utilise plan B, trouble is not really sure what that is yet!

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The Tale of Two Doyntons

Last January I completed my first Cross Country half marathon, I did this at the inaugural Doynton Hard Half Marathon (in case you missed that exciting blog you can catch up with it here) This year I was contacted by the organisers and invited back – it happens to all top athletes you know! I was planning on signing up but as ever was sitting on the fence. As I headed north on the M5 I watched the temperature drop, along with my bottom lip-I don’t like the cold.

Now if I was clever there would be a nice little Venn diagram here comparing the 1st and 2nd event, I’m not so here is a chart instead, squint a bit and use some imagination and the info might populate three circles


Not going to lie, I found this tougher than I remembered, the legs had decided they would have preferred to stay in the warm, but I will certainly enter again next year, first I need to forget about those hills!


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Darn (or insert your own expletive here) pebbles

New Years Eve I did Seaton parkrun without my Garmin and was thrilled to bag a PB and a fairly ‘good for Shaz’ time.

A week later I went back full of confidence, had what I thought was a good run only to get to the end 20 seconds over. Grrrr. To make matters worse the woman just a head of me was in my age group. Double Grr. Not to worry someone said there is always next week

Fast forward to next week-today. Minus three as I set off from home. On arrival rumours was flying in regard to a change of course. The Run Director confirmed this at the pre run meeting, an extra 400 metres at the end – ON THE PEBBLES and drug testing for those that obtained a PB. There goes my PB this week then.

Operation ‘hang in there and get to the end’ was put in to place. I did and I did, gaining a first old lady position and ended with legs like jelly, like I’d been on a boat for months.

Last weeks finish

Last weeks finish

This weeks finish

This weeks finish






Lets hope for warmer weather next week

On the upside it was a lovely bright, sunny morning and I was first old lady! There is always next week for that PB.


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After January comes February

Who knew?

You think that the penny would have dropped about this, wouldn’t you? After XX years where the months have been this way it should not have come as a surprise that it is the same this year. Total surprise this year.

Usually I try and spread running events out but it seems I have failed miserably for 2017 so far. I must try harder.

I have booked two halves the last two weekends of January, a 12 mile adventure on the 12th Feb, followed by a 10km multi terrain run on the 19th Feb, this I might get away with BUT when you pop something else running related in (comes under the heading of keep Shaz running and injury free in 2017-more on that later) right in the middle on the 5th that means I shall be AWOL from home five weekends in a row. I honestly did not realise this until I added them all to the calendar. Of course before February is January, doh.

My only hope is that hubby does not notice, I am contemplating hiding the calendar that’s the only way I stand a chance of getting away with it!

Note to self, do not book anything in March, oh except The Grizzly.


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Green Circle Trial run

At the end of the month I am running the Green Circle with other club members. Here is a bit about it

A new event for 2017 will see teams self navigate themselves around the Exeter Green Circle, following only the signposts around the city and rough route map.
The run will start and finish at the Twisted Oak, Ide.
The course is slightly over 13.1 miles, and depending on your navigation skills, it could run up to 14.5 miles.
There will be no solo runners allowed in this event but a team can be found for you based on your ability, and all teams must provide themselves with a pack which will include adequate water, a fully charged mobile phone and warm clothing.

Slightly different event to the norm.

Today I decided to recce the route. Mistake number one:- I wore trail trainers assuming it would be mostly off road, Mistake number two:- Said trainers were new and I assumed that as I already had a pair that these would be fine-wrong Mistake number three:- Assuming it would be easy to follow Mistake number four:- Not fully charging my phone.

Mistakes apart it was not a bad running adventure.

The Green Circle is a walking route around Exeter and I have known about it for a while so it was good news that someone was going to hold a running event using it. It is fairly well signed but easy to miss at times, oh and I did, on more than one occasion, there was much doubling back.

Not huge and often hidden or missing

Not huge and often hidden or missing


My greatest surprise was that so much of it was on concrete paths rather than mucky ones, hence the trail trainers were useless. It was not as scenic as I hoped either except for these bits

There was much running through housing estates, reminiscent of my early running routes back in Essex, but this is not something I enjoy now.

My phone died at around 7 miles, not useful at all as I was following the route on that when I went wrong. It was a life saver or should I say foot saver without it I could have completed a marathon rather than a half. I was slightly panicked by the dead technology but proceeded using a very bad paper map, that also had written instructions which were fortunately better to follow. Seems I can manage without my iPhone but don’t tell anyone.

I was very excited to see my first Devon fox en route, he didn’t stop to say hello, despite my greeting, just flashed me his tail and left the scene. No chance of a photo even if the phone had life. Wouldn’t that be amazing to be quick enough to capture him in a photo.

I was glad to get back to the car and get my feet out of those trainers. At least I know the way to go now, just have to remember it in three weeks time.

Popped in to town in the afternoon and bought a new pair of trail trainers, my feet told me to!






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2016 was I think a good running year. I say I think only because my memory is so lousy I struggle to recall without reading through 12 months of blog posts.

Garmin tells me I have run 1500 miles, probably nearer 1700 allowing for technical glitches like not turning it on, not charging and not taking it with me! 

Stand out memories must be conquering the marathon distance at VLM. If I was totally honest I would have liked another 5 minutes off my time, but so pleased to have slain my marathon demons and to have run it comfortably and to get to the end blister free. The day was made more special with two madams, brother and club friends out on the course. Then of course there was my first step in to Ultra running (I understand there are those Ultra snobs who would not consider 50k a true Ultra distance, but I do!). I discovered a love of running off road and in mud. Yes 2016 was good.

Some New York reflections for you……..

Now what’s in store for 2017…………..

The plan is to work on my core, do more strength training and to eat healthy all to help this poor old body make it through two ‘big’ events.

Event number 1

To run from Weymouth to Exmouth along the coastal path -100k.   Want to check it out click  Everything from here to then will be training towards this.

Event number 2

This will see me heading east back to Essex to run the Saltmarsh 75. This is a two day event along the Essex coast, it will be considerably different than the South west coastal path and although will be flatter, I’m not sure this will make it easier. The hardest thing will be getting up and doing it all again on day two! Fortunately the relics live nearby so that’s accommodation sorted and if I play my cards right a meal. I am hoping to persuade old running buddy (!) to join me, I think we can maybe catch up on each other’s news over two full days! Want to read about it then click

Anything after event 1, will be training to number 2. I see lots of back to back runs in my future! 

Good luck with whatever you have planned in 2017.

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New York -part four

The final part…..

Central Park

Obviously the aim was to run to Central Park, but the sub zero temperature put pay to that. Instead we got a cycle carriage ride around the various well known spots that have featured in many films

Memorial to John Lennon, shot near by

Ice Rink sponsored by Mr Trump

Love this!

Looking across the icy water to the building that featured in Ghostbusters


I would have loved to explore more but it was very cold. What’s not to like about a park that has running lanes! 

This brought to an end our brief, hectic stay in the Big Apple. Just a taster, so much to go back to do. Here is a brief summary in case you are thinking of going

  • It’s cold
  • The subway stations are hard to spot
  • It’s quiet till mid afternoon, with evenings being the busiest
  • Eating out is not cheap
  • Cars sound their horns all the time
  • Tourist signs do not exist, or if they do they are well hidden, so take a map.
  • The lights are amazing and on all day
  • Take comfy shoes, you will walk miles
  • Take the subway, it’s easy-get the app, it will take you from your location to any destination
  • Take a tissue if you visit 9/11 Memorial


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