“Just my luck to pick a leap year” – Dan’s take on our #Run366 challenge.

I am going to run every day for a year. There, I’ve said it. Its out in the open, I have to do it. The easiest person to break a promise to is yourself especially if you are the only one in on the promise. I will get up at 6am and go for a run, I won’t eat another biscuit, and I will cut the grass when I get home. How many times have you reneged on a promise to your self? Well, this is a promise to all of you, I will run everyday for a full year. I started on the 1st November 2015, and will continue to at least the 31st October 2016. The more observant amongst you will realize that means I will complete 366 days; just my luck to pick a leap year. 

“Why?” is the most popular question I get asked when people find out about my plans. The truth is that there isn’t a simple answer. Last month I had the privilege of meeting Ron Hill MBE. Yes, the man who put his name to those running tights which have resulted in ridicule for many a runner returning from a winter run. But did you know that he was the second person to break 2:10 for a marathon, won the Boston marathon in 1970, has competed at the Olympics twice and won gold at the European and Commonwealth games? A man with real pedigree I am sure you will agree but the thing that really catches the imagination is his world record run streak. Mr Ron Hill has run every day since December 1964. Every day for over half a century!!!

Taking inspiration from this run streak could be reason enough to start my own, if I live long enough I could even try and match the 50 years. In a way, meeting Ron Hill just gave me the vehicle for challenging myself. I needed something to push myself. I have challenged myself in the past; run a marathon (3 times), completed a triathlon (twice), learnt to slide on ice at 70mph (bobsleigh skeleton and Olympic luge), fly solo and run the longest obstacle course in the world (200+ obstacles over 20 miles), but now I needed something else. Something long term which involved a different type of challenge, one that I couldn’t get through by gritting my teeth and bearing the pain for a short period. The difference with a year long challenge is it is going to need a new kind of perseverance, a different mindset. Regardless of how I feel, I will have to drag my backside out for a run everyday regardless of the weather.

Since our daughter was born my wife and I don’t get a huge amount of time to get hot and sweaty together. We used to do it all the time whenever the mood took us. I am of course talking about running together (what else?!) and whilst this doesn’t necessarily allow us to run together, we at least have the same aim for the next 12 months and can support and encourage each other (or sit there smugly having done a morning run as the other heads out in the cold evening rain). I’ll keep you up to date with our progress and the challenges we face over the year. If you want to join us then please get in touch or use the hashtag #run366

Can I run 366? Yes I can!

A few weeks ago, my husband and I had the opportunity to run with Ron Hill, who as many will know has been running every day for over 50 years. Ron is 77 years old, and was a gold medal winner in his time. Ron clearly loves his running, and just speaking to him it became clear that he hadn’t set out to run such an epic runstreak, he just really enjoys what he does. He’s clearly fit and healthy, and it got us thinking about how we both really hope we’re still running in our 70s.

I’ve watched as others have embarked on runstreaks in the past, some now well past day 1000  of running every day, and I’ve wondered how they do it. In fact, I’ve silently admonished them for daring to ask their bodies to run every day without rest. I’ve been an injured runner on two occasions during the last 5 years, and I have never understood how somebody can run that much without getting injured. Since embarking on my coaching qualifications, I’ve also learnt a lot about recovery, and quality over quantity, and I can spot the symptoms of overtraining easily now, It would be fair to say I’ve been very dubious about runstreaks for these reasons.

However, after seeing how normal Ron Hill is, and after chatting to other runners who had completed the October #RunEveryDay challenge, we decided to set ourselves a bigger challenge of running every day for a year. I’ll let my husband write his own reasons for doing this, but for me it’s really just an experiment to see what happens. I’m anticipating that I’ll improve fitness, and avoid injury by becoming stronger. I’m also interested in how it could potentially boost my mental strength and impact on other areas of my life: for example, will it have a positive or negative effect on my other priorities? Will it boost, or reduce, my immune system? Will I see an improvement in my running pace, or will it tire me out?

We have only set one rule, and that is that for it to count as a runstreak, we must go out and run at least one mile every day.

I would love to know your thoughts if you have experience of a runstreak, or if you are thinking of trying one. Feel free to join us on Strava, Twitter or Facebook #Run366 

Anyone can run a marathon. Honestly. (Practical tips and inspiration 👇🏻) #ukrunchat

Our local magazine asked me recently to submit a piece about my London Marathon experience, and I jumped at the chance because I’ve always said: “Anyone can run a marathon” and I truly believe that, so I hope my own experiences inspire others to undertake similar challenges.

However, lately on the Twitter community I’ve grown to love so much (namely #UKRunChat), there have been disturbed grumblings from some who don’t feel they can call themselves runners because they’re – in their words – slow. Some just feel that they’re not true runners. Even those that have run a marathon or further. Others have been made to feel that way by others. This makes me sad. And a bit angry.

So let’s clear this up once and for all. If you’re reading this blog, and even contemplating a marathon, you’re a runner. If you’ve been out for a run, you’re a runner. If you enjoy running – at whatever speed, you’re a runner! If you’re a member of a ‘jogging’ group or a running club, you’re a runner. Run/jog/fast/slow – it’s all just semantics. Who actually cares? And I’ve put the word ‘jogging’ in inverted commas because it carries such negative connotations in the running world, but what does it actually mean? In my opinion, if you go out there and put one foot in front of the other, and get a bit sweaty, and bloody enjoy it – you’re a runner, ok?

I’m glad we cleared that up.

I’m not a ‘natural’ runner; I was never athletic at school; I only took up running to get fit after I left university, but somehow I’ve become the person that inspires others to run, since setting up our village running club, Witham Runners, and I’m not entirely sure how that happened. I’m definitely not fast (my official 5k PB remains unbroken at 25:17) but I count myself as a runner. Who cares what others may think; it certainly hasn’t stopped me. Every one of my 35 beginners who started our Learn to Run course a fortnight ago, and is run/walking, in determined fashion, to better themselves, to get fitter, to gain in personal confidence, is already a runner to me. And one of them has already asked me about the feasibility of completing her first marathon next year. To which I said (obviously): Yes! Go for it!

This year’s London Marathon was my 2nd. I ran the event last year – my first ever marathon – and what a learning curve that was. Hobbling over the finish line after months of training in the cold, wind, rain, hail, sleet and anything else the winter weather could throw at me; ecstatic, but exhausted; inspired but injured; I swore ‘Never again!’ However, fate had other ideas and a competition win offered me a free place in the London Marathon 2015. I couldn’t refuse, because many people try unsuccessfully for years in the ballot, or feel under pressure to raise thousands for charity in exchange for a place.

The London Marathon itself is an amazing experience. I’ve watched it on TV for years, so it’s a surreal experience knowing the world is watching you now. Lining up with the masses in Greenwich Park; trying to find the wackiest fancy dress runners to stand next to so you can spot yourself on the TV later (this year I found myself between a giant orange tent and a silver spaceman); running past all the sights – my favourites are the crowds at Cutty Sark, Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf; the weight of the finisher’s medal around your neck; and the knowledge that you’re in – depending which statistics you believe – a 1-2% minority of the population that is believed to have run a marathon.

There were things I didn’t expect from the marathon too; how mentally exhausting it is to listen to a deafening crowd of people constantly shout your name for however long it takes you to run a marathon (in my case 4 hours 31 minutes); how your body urges you to give up, sit down, lie down at around 23 miles, and how that aforementioned crowd spurs you on; the instant gratification of a jelly baby; the sheer range of emotions you experience from mile to mile; the incredible and instant muscle soreness once you stop; the tears of joy.

A marathon hurts, however much training you do, but somehow a marathon also feels good too. I said in my last blog post about London (here) that a marathon strips off all your layers one by one, like an onion. Insecurity. Doubt. Fear. Anger. Sadness. Guilt. Worry. Until eventually it is just you and the road ahead, and all you feel is intense joy and freedom. I stand by this. I can’t honestly express how joyful I felt running through London, except to say I felt like the wind. I felt free, and happy. I had not a care in the world. I was fist pumping the air. I was so happy I wanted to cry. I wasn’t just a runner; I was superwoman! And you know what – I walked bits of it through the drinks stations. But that doesn’t make me any less of a runner.

So why then am I now retiring from marathon running for a few years, just like our own Paula Radcliffe? Training these past couple of years has taken up a huge amount of time and I’ve been lucky enough to experience it two years running. I alluded to this earlier; you don’t just run a marathon. You spend months training; much of it is on your own because your friends all think you’re crazy. Who in their right mind would give up their evenings and weekends for the best part of 5 months to go and run for 2, 3, sometimes 4 hours at a time? I was lucky this year because several other Witham Runners were training for their first marathon (3 at London and one at Milton Keynes) so to have training partners to share the long runs with made this year’s training feel so much easier.

However, for now my marathon experience will help as I continue on my training as a Coach in Running Fitness, to help others realise that they can do anything they set their minds to if they really believe they can.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, whether you’ve run a marathon or many before, or whether you’re contemplating it. For now, here are some words of encouragement and advice from those within our #ukrunchat community who have run a marathon.













And my personal favourite:


London Calling: my 2nd London Marathon

Yesterday, I ran the London marathon for the 2nd time and it was amazing.

After my first marathon at London last year – which you can read about here – I thought I’d proven to myself that I could run a marathon and didn’t even enter the ballot for this year. However, London somehow lured me back. I accidentally entered a competition on Twitter (without realising) and heard in November that I had won a place in the 2015 London Marathon.

I was a little blasé about it this year, I confess. Because 2014 had been my first marathon year, the culmination of a dream I’d had for many years, this time round just didn’t feel as exciting. The fear that had shrouded my training for the first marathon wasn’t there either. I already knew I was capable, and so I wrote a training plan, and set about getting marathon fit again. My marathon this year became a bit of a joke amongst my friends when I told them I was doing it by accident, so I didn’t share my goal of a 4:30 marathon with anyone. I just quietly set about following my training plan, this time working hard on strength and conditioning, and nutrition, and doing lots of interval training. I only did 2 long runs this time round, of 18 and 19 miles and my other long runs were around the 12-15 miles mark at slightly slower than my half marathon pace, and lots of 8-10 mile tempo runs. I have to say however, I really enjoyed training this year, as many of my club mates were also training for half and full marathons, and company on those rainy, windy, winter nights made training an adventure, particularly the head-torch runs around our beautiful Lincolnshire countryside.

My friend Gemma was meant to come down to London to support me, but sadly she’s had the flu this past week which meant on Thursday I had to put into action our Emergency Babysitter Plan so my husband Dan could come to London with me instead. I couldn’t have gone alone, knowing how hard it was to hobble to the train station from The Mall last year, as well as my poor navigational skills (how would I have found my hotel??).


I started the race this year in Greenwich Park, with the masses (last year both Dan and I were in the smaller blue start) and the amount of people at the start was a shock to the system. It took me 15 minutes just to cross the start line (and I did manage to spot myself on the highlights amongst the crowds, thanks to the man next to me dressed as a giant orange tent!) which gave me some time to gather my thoughts, and have a clear plan in my head, which was to keep it steady at 10:15 min/mile pace for the first 20 miles and then see what else my body had left for the last 6 miles. I also had a fuelling strategy for this year. I had 9 SIS carb gels with me, and I planned to take one every 3 miles. I had taken an extra gel luckily, because from 17 miles I decided to take them every two miles as my body started to tire.

The first 6 miles were quiet. The spectating crowd was restrained as they scanned the runners for the people they were there supporting. This gave me the perfect opportunity to get into my stride. After 3 miles I had found a comfortable, easy pace to stick to.

I knew Dan would be waiting for me at the Cutty Sark and I found him easily although he hadn’t seen me. I stopped for a kiss, and to graciously accept a jelly baby off the couple next to him who wished me well, then off I went knowing I only had 20 miles to go …


Tower Bridge was the next big sight, just before the halfway point. I was really looking forward to getting there and I wasn’t disappointed. You approach Tower Bridge from a dark narrow street, and the bridge glistens tantalisingly at the end, in the sunshine. As you step into it, the noise is deafening! The crowd is 4 or 5 people deep and you can see all the sights of London. It’s truly wonderful. I had goosebumps as I crossed the bridge, and a huge smile on my face, and I felt very lucky to be a part of something so incredible once again. I knew I’d done the right thing, at that moment, coming back. As I turned the corner off Tower Bridge I soon passed the halfway point, bang on my target time of 2 hours 15.

Then my marathon had really begun. I ticked off 14 miles, 15 miles and 16 miles, mentally cursing each marker seemingly moving further away. I was looking forward to getting to Canary Wharf at mile 18 where I remembered the crowd being incredible last year, and more importantly marked two thirds of the marathon distance. I was not disappointed. Although building works this year meant the route through Canary Wharf was slightly different than usual, the whooping and cheering of the crowd echoing off the tall buildings is a real spirit lifter.

Video of Canary Wharf

I was starting to tire now and wanted to get to 20 miles. I kept telling myself, ‘Just over an hour’s running left now, not long. Keep moving forward.’ I said ‘well done’ to a chap dressed as Pamela Anderson’s Baywatch character who looked like he was suffering extreme chafing at the thong of his swimming costume, and suddenly, there was the 20 mile marker. I couldn’t believe I’d got there so quickly. This marathon was almost over. Suddenly my senses were heightened. I was sensitive to everybody in the crowd, those whose eyes were upon me made an emotional connection with me for those last few miles. I’d catch someone’s eye, they’d send out some words of encouragement – ‘Looking good Michelle’, ‘Come on Michelle’, ‘Looking strong Michelle’, Keep going Michelle’ – and suddenly I was flying! I felt amazing. The crowd really does give you a boost when you need it most, shaking jelly babies, blowing whistles, playing music. I love how bands and Morris dancer come out to entertain runners and the spectating crowd, pubs employ their best karaoke singers, firefighters get their hoses out. It is one 26.2 mile long street party!

Contrary to last year, I had an enormous smile on my face for those last 6 miles. It still hurt, but somehow a marathon also feels good too. I always tell people to challenge themselves, in order to grow. And a marathon does this by stripping off all your layers one by one, like an onion. Insecurity. Doubt. Fear. Anger. Sadness. Guilt. Worry. Until eventually it is just you and the road ahead, and all you feel is intense joy and freedom. I can’t honestly express how joyful I felt yesterday, running along past the 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25 mile markers except to say I felt like the wind. I felt free, and happy. I had not a care in the world. I was fist pumping the air. I was so happy I wanted to cry. I saw the UKRunChat cheering point at 21.5 miles, and the Epilepsy Research UK team at 24.5 miles. And suddenly there was Big Ben. And I sped up. Where on earth was this energy coming from? I was overtaking people. I could hear the crowd roaring my name, like a celebrity, as I passed them. I turned the corner at Buckingham Palace, and gave it my all for that final 400 metres, crossing the finish line with an enormous smile on my face. I had done it. Again. 20 minutes quicker in fact! Last year wasn’t a fluke; I truly am a marathon runner. I had run it in 4 hours, 31 minutes and 24 seconds. I’m claiming it as a 4:30 marathon because of the smooch I stole off my husband earlier at the Cutty Sark … I am retiring from marathon running for a few years now, just like our own Paula Radcliffe, because training does take up a huge amount of time and I’ve been lucky enough to experience it two years running.

So this is where I pass the baton and set you all a challenge. If you want to feel superhuman, go and run a marathon. And if you want to experience Britain at its most generous-spirited, choose the London Marathon. The ballot opens on May 4th. Go and experience it for yourselves.

I’ll finish with something I said yesterday: Always challenge yourself. You are capable of extraordinary things when you believe in the impossible.

Thank you. My sponsorship page is still open and receiving donations: www.justgiving.com/beatepilepsy


Getting the best out of Twitter

Twitter is a bit like Marmite; you either love it or hate it. I usually get a very divided response when I ask somebody if they’re on Twitter or not. I am a self-confessed Twitter addict, but I still remember setting up my account on there and looking in bewilderment at the unique language it uses, the confusion at #hashtags and the procrastination over how to paraphrase my thoughts into 140 characters. However, I suspect that those who claim to ‘hate’ Twitter have just never learned to use it properly, so I thought I’d share my top tips for learning to love Twitter.

NB I’ve been asked to deliver some training to my business colleagues, so have put together this post with business in mind. However, the same rules apply if you are using Twitter personally.

Don’t measure your success by followers.
Many people consider Twitter the best free broadcast tool in social media, and use it for shameless self-promotion to their hundreds of thousands of followers. However, unless you’re a verified celebrity, this approach generally doesn’t work for average Joe or Jane. Twitter is not just about getting followers. The most effective Twitter users tweet about human interest 80% of the time and only 20% of their tweets are self-promotional.

So … instead, find your niche.
Follow those people who are interested in the same things you are. And then interact with them! If you chat to them, they are likely to tweet back, and follow you back. Then you can gain their trust and get to know them a little better as you build your own brand identity.

Find a community on Twitter that you can get involved in to help you find people to follow: there are many business hours on Twitter now that you can get involved in to introduce yourself to the local community and promote your business (still remembering the 80/20 rule). There are also many other communities you can engage with. The trick is finding them. Twitter is a big place.

Use hashtags to help users looking for tweets about a certain topic, but use them sparingly!


Be genuine.
Make sure you write a bio about yourself, and include a good photograph (not a drunken selfie or a picture of your toddler). People buy people. The first thing I always do when I get a new follower is have a look at their biography and read their latest tweets to see if I want to see more of them on my timeline. You don’t have to follow everybody who follows you. Use a bit of common sense and quality control, and you’ll have a much more fun Twitter experience.

Secondly, tweet things that are relevant to you or your product, and that you are genuinely interested in. Your passion will shine through, and people are drawn to that.

If somebody sends you a tweet, ALWAYS reply. Say thank you if somebody retweets something of yours. If somebody complains, follow them then ask them to send you a direct message so you can resolve their issue. If it’s an insult, try to remedy it, but sometimes it is better just to ignore or block.

Many people use automated social media schedulers to send tweets on their behalf, which is a perfectly acceptable way of managing a Twitter account you don’t want to take over your whole day. However, ensure you do check in regularly to make sure you reply to anybody who has interacted with you. My pet hate is accounts which send automated direct messages to new followers, usually starting with “Hey!” (I’m cringing, now.) And please don’t set up your account to post automatically from your Facebook page. Twitter and Facebook have completely different uses and audiences, so you can’t apply the same rules to both. It’s lazy, and the majority of people don’t like it.

Don’t believe everything you read.
The internet, including Twitter, is full of lots of information. It is a wonderful place. However, this doesn’t mean all of it is true. Don’t blindly retweet things: always research first or seek professional advice. Don’t retweet links without checking out the links yourself first.

Remember that Twitter is a public place.

Be polite. Never say anything you wouldn’t say out loud. Think before you tweet. Have respect for others: just because you can’t see the person you are tweeting, they still have feelings. Don’t argue – you’ll never win. Never SHOUT WITH CAPITALS. Always credit any photos or quotes you share back to the original person who shared them. And please, please, please, always proof-read your tweets before you send them.

In case I’ve missed anything, I also asked my own Twitter community to share their top tips with me, and here are some of my favourites.










Lastly, have fun and be yourself! Twitter IS a fun place to be once you know how to use it properly. However, it’s not the real world, so don’t rely on it too much, and make sure you get out and engage for real. Sometimes the two worlds do collide – I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some great people I met through Twitter in the real world too.




If you’re interested in running, health, fitness, marketing, crafting and the odd ranty tweet, feel free to follow me @shellmoby

Carry on Camping

I haven’t blogged about Slo Flo, our converted camper bus, yet but I’m pretty sure everyone knows about her. She’s an old Talbot six-wheeled bus that’s been converted to look like a wood-panelled chalet inside by her previous owners. She is our ticket to adventure.


We took her away for her first camping trip down to Hornchurch, in Essex, at the end of August, to compete in a 24 hour trail race, but this week we decided to take her away for our first proper family holiday. For a while we have envied the carefree lifestyle of motor home owners, pitching up at a new place every night, having adventures. We booked a pitch in a Peak District campsite for two nights, planning to see what happened and maybe do another few nights elsewhere. The reality was a harsh lesson.

What I learned about camping:
Camping in September is cold. Damp cold that wraps itself around your bones. I do not tolerate the cold very well. The hairdryer in the toilet block was 20p well spent, with hot gleeful blasts between my many clothing layers. Camping in September is also muddy, particularly with a dog and a toddler.

Speaking of the dog; she loves camping. She is in her element. Her humans, Alpha (Him), Beta (Me) and Gamma (Baby) are staying in a field. They are being more dog. Although this does mean she will spend every camping trip whining incessantly because you are in a field ergo it is the dog’s canine right to chase a ball/frisbee/squirrel continuously.

A motor home, while a dream, is effectively a small bedsit on wheels. We chose our bus over a smaller camper van because of the extra space it afforded, but having to make your 6mx2m space your bedroom, kitchen, dining room, playroom and lounge is a skill that takes a lot of experience and preparation. I think this is why everything takes so long! The first day, despite being up at 7am we didn’t eat breakfast until 10:30! By 2pm I was actually begging for chips, so we packed up early and left, opting to go home to our beds instead of spend another cold night in a field. Did I mention the cold?

What this trip has brought us however is the opportunity for some quality time as a family. There is generally no wifi or 3G in campsites off the beaten track, which means no distracting tech. No TV. We did bring some films but mostly we read books and chatted. We had packed the bikes so had a means to get off the campsite easily. However, I can understand why some motor home tourers tow small cars behind them. We had chosen an isolated campsite, and with the nearest chip shop five miles away, my plea for chips just did not materialise.

On the other hand though, our relative isolation meant we could really see the stars. I’m lucky to live in Lincolnshire where the skies are relatively dark, but in the glorious isolation of the Peaks they really shone. We camped on the outskirts of London for our first trip with the bus, when we did the Spitfire Scramble race. It wasn’t even dark at night. The stars were obscured with a cloudy, light-stained smog. Out in the Peak District this weekend, the stars shone in abundance, and the harder I looked, the more I could see.

I did enjoy our night away, but we’ve made A LOT of notes about improvements we need to make to the bus over the winter period so she’s ready for next summer. We’ve also learned a lot about how to become more proficient campers.

I sense many adventures ahead in Slo Flo; but first, to get over my tolerance of the British damp.

The highs and lows of running

I’ve been stuck in a bit of a running rut lately, and I’ve been tough on myself because of it. Plagued by an Achilles injury since the London marathon, and the inevitable slowing down that happens to me over the summer months due to my hayfever causing chestiness and wheezing, it’s been making me pretty miserable. I haven’t been able to keep up with my old training pals, who are setting faster PBs, and I seem to have slowed down and lost fitness. Coupled with the fact that I am in the middle of training to be a running Coach, feeling like I can’t run at the moment is doing nothing for my confidence.

I’ve realised this month however that running naturally goes in peaks and troughs. Top coaches talk about training towards your natural peaks in performance, and advise you to book races at your fitness peaks. For me, running is what now defines me (although I challenge anybody who knew me during my first 25 years not to snort with laughter at this) and feeling like I can’t do it anymore makes me miserable and frustrated. However, I’ve noticed a pattern. In the past 4 years, my running has gone like this:

Summer 2010: tentatively take up running (again, after dipping in and out over the past few years) very slowly at first.
Autumn 2010: start up my running club and fall in love with it. Set some new PBs.
Winter 2010/11: get injured due to overtraining and bad shoes
Spring 2011: get back to running slowly
Summer 2011: love, LOVE, LOVE running. Discover the trails.
Autumn 2011: Discover speed work. Enter some longer races and set some PBs
Winter 2011/12: feel in the shape of my life.
Spring 2012: set my fastest time ever at a half marathon.
Summer 2012: train most days, including cross training (focused on my first triathlon)
Autumn 2012: discover I am pregnant. Slow my running down and reduce intensity and frequency
Winter 2012/13: running, what’s that again?
Spring 2013: give birth to my daughter. Running is furthest from my mind. However, somehow I enter the ballot for the London marathon. Am I nuts?
Summer 2013: back to running slowly, discover the joy of Parkrun and enjoy setting some new PBPBs (post-baby PBs)
Autumn 2013: find out they’ve let me into the London marathon. Run one of my slowest half marathon ‘races’ ever. Feel like I’ll never achieve that 26.2
Winter 2013/14: Train, train, train. Especially in the wind and the rain and the hail. Get FAST over mid-distances.
Spring 2014: complete my first marathon. I am superwoman. But I am also broken. Lose my mojo for a while.
Summer 2014: after limping around and experiencing the worst post-race blues of my life, I find my mojo on the trails. I can’t keep up with my old training buddies though, after I went solo for marathon training.

So where am I now? I’ve realised looking at the peaks and troughs of the last four years where my running has naturally peaked and dipped. I’ve drawn a little diagram just to help you see my journey in full technicolour. (Yes, I drew this. I’m a runner, not an artist.)


I’m just coming out of a dip now, and I’m drawing a line under all that has gone previously. I’m certainly not marathon fit now. My Achilles feels better though, and I feel like I can focus on my half marathon in four weeks time. I’ll be training smarter, doing some cross-training on the bike and with cardio and strength exercises, and running no more than 4 times a week. And most importantly, I’m no longer going to compare myself to others, or to my former self.

Running, I will always love you, but sometimes we drift apart for a while. Like any relationship, we experience ups and downs. I feel that when we can get through the bad times together, we come out stronger. We’re ready for a great autumn and winter, let’s do this!