Best laid plans.

I’ve been a busy bunny!

I mentioned in my last blog how I’d downloaded a training plan, bought a new sports bra(essential believe me!) and joined a slimming club.

The next weekend I tackled the garage, a bit of a clear out and got Buddy all set up – facing a counter on which I’m planning to put a TV set, ready for my winter training.

The slimming club is going well. I’ve joined weight watchers and I’m doing a programme called ‘flex’  where I get 23 points to spend per day and and extra 23 that you can use at any time during the week.

Foods like fruit, vegetables, fat free yoghurt and lean meat have zero points, so if you are hungry you can always have a chicken salad or some yoghurt and fruit, so there’s no need to be hungry. The points are to use for basically carbs and treats. So a slice of wholemeal bread is 2 points, a teaspoon of butter is 2 points, a slice of M&S carrot cake is 27 points……! So you get the picture! You can save up all your points if you want that piece of cake – you just can’t have one every day! After a slow start I have started to lose weight in a slow steady way, and the body fat % is coming down too.

The running has been a bit up and down – and I’m not referring to the hills! Highs have been enjoying the beautiful countryside and good weather! Sometimes though I just go out for a little one and I don’t take my phone, so no new pictures.

Lows? Well last week I had an attack of BPPV ( benign paroxysmal positional vertigo) whilst out running. I had the strange experience of my head and eyes trying to run down a path but my body veering off to the left! My first though was ‘oh no I’m having a stroke!’ But a quick check of waving my hands around in front of my face assured me that I didn’t have a hemianopia and so I turned around and staggered back home.  When I was no better the next day I finally got around to googling  Epley manoeuvres and after a bit of rolling around on the bed it subsided.

So today will be my first run for a week.

Other good news?

My teenage son has been strong armed into the school cross country group. Yeessss! Of course he wouldn’t volunteer. He opted out of rugby and his idea of playing cricket is sitting somewhere near the boundary pretending to be a fielder. Fortunately his teachers have worked out that offering him a choice is no good and that my boy, loves physics and lives by Newton’s first law ‘an object remains at rest unless acted upon by a force’. Hence he was told that he was doing cross country and although he won’t volunteer to say so I can tell that he loves it. They take them out and about in the minibus and they go running up the local fells, so he’s already done beacon fell a couple of times and last week they ran up Pendle hill. I know he loves it because he actually tells me about it😊 I’m so pleased because I know now that he will be a runner for life.

Preston Parkrun may 31stThis is 4 years ago now! He’s a lot taller than me now, maybe now he knows that he could thrash me at parkrun he might be willing to go!

Posted in running | 10 Comments

Getting busy

After last weeks blog I was spurred into action.

Did I buy a new sports bra? Yes! Thank you amazon!

Did I join a slimming club? Yes!  Weight watchers on line – instant gratification! I downloaded the app and I was off! By the time I got to weigh in on Wednesday I’d lost 2lb!

Did I download a new training plan from ASICS? Yes! I’ve printed off a plan to run a marathon in April 2019 for a complete beginner. The first couple of months call for running just a mile or 2 four times per week. So time and fitness are not going to be a problem- time management and determination are the key factors.

I asked hubs if I could stick it on the fridge door but he thought not ( it doesn’t really ‘go’ with the sophisticated open plan look) so I’m going to put it in the bathroom instead.

Did I do any running? No. Back to work after a week off was just too busy…. we had jobs to do for the house too (but they are now ticked off my ‘to do’ list).

Last night we went out to celebrate our anniversary.  I’d forgotten that alcohol +hot weather+menopause = hot sweats and no sleep so I was wide awake at 5:30. So I did the best possible thing and went for a long walk. There was a little bit of jogging but the intention was to get some miles in and burn some calories off. It was quite misty at 7am but by the time I got home 2 hours later, 7 miles under my belt the sun was up and it was beautifull


The first picture shows the mist – there’s normally a very impressive school building at the bottom of that road! The old bridge is the ‘Cromwell ‘ bridge, named after Oliver Cromwell who spent quite a bit of time, generally fighting, in Lancashire. He is said to have crossed over this bridge a couple of hundred years ago.

The bottom picture is the elevation profile- it looks like I fell off a cliff! Last time I did this route I did it anti-clockwise and I remember going UP that hill and made a mental not to do it in reverse! Even so I could feel my glutes after about 5 miles! I think this is a good route for me though, all those tree roots and rocks really get you picking your feet up!

Happy running!


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A nice run.

As a schoolchildren we were discouraged from using the word ‘nice’. Apparently it is bland unimaginative and meaningless. But sometimes ‘nice’ is just what you mean, pleasant, free from trauma, not in the least bit wicked and not outstanding in any way:  just nice. Sometimes nice is good enough. I’m happy to settle with nice.

Last night hubs and I had an impromptu date night. It was lovely. Fortunately we were very chilled so we weren’t too stressed when our food took a long time to arrive – had they forgotten us ?(yes) and so we reminisced about the last time that had happened to us – it was after my half marathon! I was starving and in the market for a huge number of calories and I waited and waited…. and I drank a glass of wine and nearly passed out because it went straight to my head! Happy memories. I want to be a runner again.

So after an unhurried waking up I dressed in my running kit. I do remember that I once wrote a blog complaining that Lycra always fits and how there’s no excuse to buy any more running kit. Now I know that isn’t true😬 It only stretches so far ….

Anyhow went for a 2 mile pootle along my current favourite route. It actually felt like I was running at times and it felt good. It was actually cooler than it has been for a couple of weeks, maybe that helped.


I  love all the different types of grasses and wildflowers in the grass verges. It’s just nice to remember how much I love the countryside.

So plans for the rest of the day/weekend?

1. Buy a new sports bra- it’s the one piece of running kit (apart from shoes) that I can’t do without.

2 I’m thinking of joining a slimming club. I’ve got 20lb to shift and it isn’t going by itself. There is evidence to suggest that joining a slimming club is the most effective way to successful weight loss.

3 sort out my bathroom scales. Since we move house they won’t link to my phone/iPad. A bit of internet research tells me that Fitbit use the band 2 wavelength instead of band 5 or something like that so you have to go into your wif router and set up a band 2 account or something. Sounds like a pigs arse of a job (I already feel that this is doomed to failure) but I did like having all those stats automatically uploading to my phone.

4 go for another run tomorrow.


Posted in fitness, habits, healthy diet, middle aged women, Motivation, Nutrition, running, stats geek, time management, weight loss, work life balence, working mum, yoga | 10 Comments

You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.

Yup I’m talking about my fitness.

I went for a 6 mile walk yesterday. OK it was a bit hilly in places but I found it hard work. It seemed strange to think that I used to run a 4mile route as a regular evening thing. I guess that carrying the extra weight doesn’t help. But I’m working on it. I haven’t gained any weight in the  last 3 months, so that’s good. And if I haven’t got the energy for a run I go for a walk instead. Here are some snaps from yesterday.


I’m working on my writing at the moment. It’s not so good to be sitting at a desk in my free time, but I’m enjoying it, so it’s just about trying to keep that balance between writing and exercise (and work and home stuff!).

Do you have so many things that you want to do that it’s difficult to cram them all in? How do you prioritise?

Posted in balance, fitness, fun, habits, hills, low intensity, middle aged women, Motivation, positive mental attitude, running, time management, walking, weight loss, work life balence, working mum | 13 Comments

Being honest with yourself.

My honest moment arrived a couple of weeks ago.

My running has really tailed off over the last few months. In march I ran once per week, in April once in the month.

Looking at my stats I can see that I was running an average mile per day up until September last year. Then it just dropped off. Since then my average has been a quarter of that. And I have gained 10lb. It isn’t just about the running though, I also gained 10lb in the preceding 10 months!

I knew that I was gaining weight but it wasn’t bothering me too much. I’d lost some when I was ill, and gaining weight was more than compensated for by feeling better. But a couple of weeks ago I decided that I needed something new to wear. For the last couple of years all my spare time and money has been spent on building the house, but now it was time to go shopping! Yay!

I was thrilled to find lots of lovely summery clothes in my favourite colours. I gathered up an armful and went off to the changing rooms.  Oh dear! I looked a mess! I wasn’t upset or anything. It just became apparent to me at that point that I was carrying a lot more weight than I did a year ago. And then I remembered being in this position before. 5 years ago. Before I took up running. Back then trips for shopping were a regular feature in my life- usually resulting in me coming home empty handed because nothing looked right.

And then I remembered how when I started running I didn’t need to shop any more, the clothes I already had looked absolutely fine when I lost the big belly thank you!

So I cut my losses. I didn’t carry on with my shopping trip. I drove home and went for a run!

And the honesty? Well that’s to do with my motivation to run. Although I like to dress it up as ‘health’ really it’s about vanity. I want to look good! I want to be healthy too, but vanity is the trump card that got me out of the door!

when I did go out, it was a lovely summery evening, warm and dry. It triggered memories of happy runs from our old home, off road, fields, woodlands, river. Smell of the countryside, wild flowers, sheep! The place we were renting whilst we had our house built, although rural, didn’t offer much in the way of  trails it was all on windy little roads, always the risk of cars. It was never quite the same.

Now I think that here I have an opportunity to rekindle some of the joy and variety of outdoor running. And maybe shift a few pounds…..

I got hubs to take a photograph of me as a ‘before ‘ picture. It isn’t very flattering so I won’t  be sharing it! Instead here’s a picture from a nice little woodland path that I found.IMG_2238also, the only ‘before’ picture I’m prepared to share with you, my monthly mileage!


Posted in balance, change, fitness, fun, habits, running, stats geek, weight loss, work life balence | 17 Comments


5C4B6291-3574-4DBB-858B-7929E3369AC0Because I never get in anyway so nothing to lose (well £39). Because I’ll have to start running now just in case I do. Because it looks like such an amazing experience on TV. Because I’d really like to do something that challenges me and I succeed. Because I’m a crazy middle aged woman. Craayyzeee……

Posted in running | 19 Comments

Looks good on the wall…

Fantastic website with some great artwork

Paul Davies Cartoons


I’ve been a busy bee getting together a selection of artists who I’m happy to call friends and trying to make their work a little more available. I’ve had the joy of making a shopify  site for them, which has been remarkably straightforward. Above are small images from their larger pieces.You can see them all on the site by clicking just here.

We are hoping that there will be a large selection of their work available soon. All you can see here will be available as prints, and will look good on any wall! Please take a look and let me know what you think.

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Living the dream.

This week I have a week of annual leave. We aren’t going anywhere so I thought that I would spend the week pretending to be a writer. As you do!

So what does this involve?

Basically, I get up in the morning and do some writing and the rest of the day is free to do chores, have coffee with friends, go walking or running and do a bit of reading.

I got the idea for my first novel about 4 years ago but I was too busy to do anything with it. Then a couple of years ago I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book ‘big magic’ and I worried that ‘the muse’ would ‘give my great idea to someone else’! So about a year ago I started to put a few words down. Over time the plot has matured in my head.

I have tried to avoid any writing courses or books on writing, I didn’t want to be influenced  and find myself being cliched or formulaic. However a couple of people recommended Stephen King’s ‘on writing’ to me. (Slow running girl you were the first! Thank you.) Truthfully I found it inspirational. He thinks that reading a lot is part of being a writer – in which case I’m halfway there! And he advocates writing 2000 words per day every day (currently I’m managing 1000, OK for a beginner) then he has the rest of the day off, oh and first draft with the door shut. Yes, I like that too.

So I’m having lots of fun in my own little dilly daydream land! It feels like my characters are coming to life. Some writers say that the story and the characters write themselves and now I know what they mean. I just sit at my desk, not really sure what I’m going to do, I get started and it just happens! I know that at least I will go back to work with my batteries re charged.

I have been doing some long walks too. Walking partly because I have been walking with friends, but also because it’s sooooooo muddy! Before long though the weather will improve and we will have bluebells in these woodlands!

I’m looking forwards to some dry weather and some proper cross country running!

Posted in balance, blogging, book reviews, Careers, Elizabeth gilbert, fitness, fun, habits, holidays, Inspiration, middle aged women, Motivation, reading, running, time management, walking, work life balence, working mum | 13 Comments

Muddy bum run!

I don’t know where the time goes but almost a week has passed since my last run. I have been going to yoga on a weekly basis – signing up for a class helped – and I feel that I am in danger of being able to do a press up before the year is out!

This weekend is a bank holiday and we are spending it at home, which is great for me, time to chill out and catch up on sleep, execrcise and general pottering type activities.  Having discovered that the route to the river down the lane is a dead end I decided to look for an alternative. I’ve seen walkers heading off around the back of the pub, and lo and behold on the map there is indeed a pathway from  there down to the river.

Like a pre teen on a non school day I woke up at 6 this morning and decided to give it a go. This is the promising start;IMG_2174

This innocuous looking bank has actually a very sharp crest topped with wet clay. It was very slippy and did nothing for my running gait!! It crossed my mind that I should have worn my trail shoes.IMG_2175

And this, bless Mother Nature, is the the first mud bank that I slipped on and slid down on my bum! I didn’t bother taking a picture of the other one. Or of my muddy bum. That would be TMI!


I don’t think trail shoes would have helped.

Despite my mishaps it was a lovely run by the river, out of the way, lots of flat bits full of the sounds of running water and birdsong. I did do a videoclip for you but as I’m a cheapskate on a free WordPress plan I can’t upload it for you to listen to!

sometimes it’s just great to be outdoors! It was a nice 3 mile loop and I think that despite the slip sliding it will become a regular route for me.

Happy running! Jx


Posted in fitness, fun, habits, hills, low intensity, maps, Menopause, middle aged women, running, slow run, walking, weight loss, work life balence, working mum, yoga | 16 Comments

9 weeks to go..

……..Until the Manchester 10k

I haven’t done it for the last two years. I can’t remember when I last ran 10k, let me check my running log…… Mmmm, 5 miles on 17 sept 2017. That’s almost 10k, but let’s go back a bit further to when I did actually run 10k…. er…. sorry to keep you waiting …. just flicking back through the pages……shouldn’t be too long, some of these weeks don’t actually have any runs in them ……oh! Here we are –  September 2016.

What a shock! I was just thinking how I should just be able to pick it up again- after all I used to run 10k fairly frequently on a Sunday, not very fast but it was a regular occurrence.

So how am I going to approach this?

Serendipity has resulted in me starting with sleep. My Fitbit said that I wasn’t getting enough. I’m not sure how accurate it is, but I’ve started a regime of bed at 10, up at 6.  I get up early to do my Buddhist practice. It’s working well, I get more done in the morning – I’m a morning person, so I have more time in the day.

The sun is up at just after 6am, which is lovely and I have come to think that I could also fit in a 20- 30 minute run before work.

A run down the lane to the river and back is about a mile and a half and took me 25 minutes this morning. It’s a good run psychologically – I can’t go any further, the bridge is closed and there is no path by the river. It’s downhill on the way there so it’s an easy start, then uphill on the way back once you are warmed up.


If I can do this 5 days in 1 week, or 20 in 4 weeks this will be a very good way back into running and training for my 10k. It would be nice to get it down to 18 minutes too!

anyhow it’s past my bedtime already, so let’s see what tomorrow brings!

Posted in bupa 10k, change, fitness, gore mythos running tights, hills, middle aged women, positive mental attitude, running, slow run, time management, training plan, Uncategorized, work life balence, working mum | 12 Comments