Couch to 5k – my first attempt at running

Today on the blog, it’s all about Couch to 5k and what it’s like to start up the running program as a new runner.

If you have any friends who are trying to lose weight, or have taken up a new exercise hobby, you will know that they will not rest until EVERYBODY THEY HAVE EVER KNOWN LEARNS ABOUT THEIR NEW LIFESTYLE CHANGE, AND WHY YOU SHOULD DO IT TOO.

Seriously.  Imagine doing something like that.

Oh did I mention? I have convinced my good friend Sarah to try out the Couch to 5k exercise program, and today she’s taking over the blog to tell you all about it.  Enjoy!

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Half way to half marathon! Training update

Half marathon training update time!  I’ve just reached the end of week 6, which means I’m half way through my training plan already!  I have 6 weeks left before the More/Shape half marathon in Central Park, and I’ve hit the point where the long runs really start stacking up the miles.  Time to really get serious about this!

Photo from
Photo from

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Half marathon training update – the cold, the marathon and my shiny new GPS watch

It’s half marathon training update time!

You may have noticed that I haven’t been doing the weekly weight loss progress anymore, and that’s because I think a monthly update is a better frequency – it gives me more time to blog about other things that are a little bit more interesting!  That being said, I’ve had a busy month so we’re overdue a progress check.   Since I returned from vacation, I have been working on my half marathon training plan and trying to get up to speed for my epic year of racing (and my first marathon!)

A BIG marathon based update

So I talk a lot about running the NYC marathon.  I’ve relentlessly plugged my marathon plans on the blog, I’ve bored my friends to death with my marathon ambitions, and I completed my 9+1 NYRR races last year to get guaranteed entry.

However, this month I’ve taken it one step further and claimed my place!  My pocket is lighter to the tune of $220, and I have 9 months to train for what will be the biggest achievement to date in my running adventures.

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A year of running in New York, and some other places too

2015 running new york

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I did a LOT of running in New York this year.  I’ve completed my NYRR 9+1 race/volunteer requirements this year, which means I’ve got guaranteed entry into the 2016 marathon.  


I’m already excited.  I’ve never run a marathon before, but I’ve been running short distances for over a year now so I’m ready.  It’s time for the next big challenge.

It seems like a good time to do an end-of-year review of my races (only a month late!). Between my running in New York and also in surrounding areas, I’ve completed 19 races in total – nearly 2 a month!  It’s been a good year, and going into 2016 I have built a good base to build on with even more challenging goals.  With that, let’s recap on my busy running year!


Race 1: Scotland Run 10k

4th April 2015: Finishing time 1:16:18, average pace 12:17min/mi

Running in New York City
Posing with the Edgewater Running Divas (and honorary diva) before the race

This is my favourite NYRR race in the entire race calendar – although I think I’m the only actual Scottish person to run in it!  The Scotland Run is usually my first 10k of the year, spring is in the air and the icy chill of the winter months is starting to subside.  Weather is perfect for running at this time and everyone is in great spirits.

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Half marathon training plan. 0 to 13.1 in 12 weeks


It’s a new year, and time for a new half marathon training plan!  We’re 3 weeks into January, and I’m only now just starting my 2016 training. For shame! In my defense, I have been travelling through Thailand for several weeks and only got home this weekend, so I didn’t have a chance to start earlier – but better late than never!

To be completely honest, I’m actually writing this blog ahead of time so that I have my training plan ready to go as soon as I get back – right now I’m lying in a sleeper carriage on a 12 hour overnight train journey from Chiang Mai to Ayutthaya, where we’ll stop for the day before moving on to Bangkok. It’s 9pm and I have 8 hours still to go!

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12 races you need to run in 2016


We’ve said goodbye to 2015 and welcomed 2016 with open arms and ambitious goals.  With the end of every year comes the internet stampede of ‘review of 2015’ posts, including my own review which is sitting in draft on my computer at home while I’m travelling – oops!  So instead of looking at what’s been done in 2015 (which will be published later this month when it’s no longer relevent), let’s look at what to do in 2016 instead.

This is my bucket list of races for 2016, the races I’d choose if I could pick one per month, if money and travel were of no concern.  Some of these I’ve run before, most I haven’t, but all are known to be races you don’t want to miss out on!



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Diet forgotten, match abandoned. 2016 is go!

Happy new year everyone!

I haven’t written a blog post in a few weeks, for a couple of reasons.  I’ve been really busy with work, I’ve done some travelling and had a business trip to France which was much more stressful than I expected, and had some personal issues too. All in all, December was a split month for me, in some ways it was not the best month for me, but in other ways it was awesome. However, I did have some successes with running, so all was not lost!  I completed two more races since my last post, bringing my 2015 total to 19.

Ted Corbitt 15k, 9th December

It had arrived, the big race. My longest distance of 2015. The race that marked the final cell of my excel-spreadsheet-training-plan. It was an unseasonably warm December morning, which meant a last minute change to my running clothes. Running in one short sleeve tee was a nice novelty for mid-December!


Ready at the starting line with a running friend
Ready at the starting line with a running friend


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Dash to the Finish Line 5k

It’s NYC Marathon weekend!   For those of us not quite ready to run a marathon (yet!), this Saturday 31st October was the NYRR Dash To The Finish Line 5k, running through the streets of NYC and finishing in Central Park at the actual finish line of the marathon.  It’s a way to get involved in the marathon and get a feel for how amazing it must be to cross that finish line for real!

I ALMOST missed this race.  I’d planned on picking up my bib on race day as it had been so easy to do so during last week’s Poland Spring 5M.  By sheer chance, I was checking the NYRR website on Friday evening for the start time, and noticed that there was no race-day pick up for this race.  I had to pick up at the NYC Marathon Expo, and had till 7pm before registration closed.

It was 6:30pm.  I was at home.  In New Jersey.


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NYRR Poland Spring 5M – Learning my running pace

NYC Central park running

This weekend brought in the NYRR Poland Spring 5M in Central Park to kick off the NYC Marathon festivities.   The weather was wet but not too cold, the crowds were in good spirits and I was pumped up to run a good race.

I arrived early in order to find street parking (I’m a New Jersey local and pretty awful at city parking), giving myself extra time for bib pickup and baggage check.  There was a band playing as I arrived which was fun, and since the race was sponsored by Poland Spring there were plenty of opportunities to grab a drink of water before heading to the starting corrals!  Someone grabbed a snap of me at this point, I don’t remember having my photo taken and so got quite a surprise when I saw myself on the NYRR website race highlights! Continue reading

I skipped 3 weeks of running. Bad idea.

Facebook, maybe. WordPress? LET ME TELL YOU ALL ABOUT IT

I have a confession to make.  Yesterday, I went on my first run for over 3 weeks.  The first 2 weeks of my hiatus were pure laziness, but last week I got myself back on track with the dieting, so the exercise should have gone hand-in-hand.  Last week was due to be the start of my run-up-to-Christmas training plan, but I hurt my back and so didn’t do any exercise at all.

Could I have managed some?  Probably.

Am I using a minor setback as an excuse?  Most likely.

Anyway, I digress.  Back to the run.  The course I ran was relatively flat for the first mile, with some downhills as I approach the 1M point.  The first half of mile 2 is almost all uphill, not the steepest hill I’ve ever run but enough to leave me seriously struggling to breathe as I drag my ass up that damn hill. Continue reading