So much to say! Where do I start? Well I’ll give you a choice of headings;

New route

Countdown to the half marathon

Monthly figures

New challenges!


New route
Although there are signs of autumn today was a beautiful day, sunny and warm.



As I was aiming for about 10 miles today I decided to run west along the canal instead of east. I haven’t gone this way before because I tried to go for a walk along part of it about 6 years ago and the towpath was quite overgrown but I guessed that things might have changed so I decided to give it ago. It was in fact lovely and jogged up to the Top Lock at Wheelton.

Best of all there was a free tap by the canal mooring so I was able to fill up my water bottle! It was such a lovely sunny day I needed it. It was a nice flat route and the towpath was in good condition so it’s probably going to be a nice mud free route in winter too.

countdown to the half marathon

The Lancaster half marathon is 4 weeks today and I’m feeling nervous. Partly because I saw it listed in ‘women’s running’ yesterday as ‘undulating’ and I’m sure that when I researched and booked it a few months ago it was described as ‘flat’!! So many things to worry about! Will I finish (yes I think so if I keep plodding along). Will anybody sponsor me? Well I’m having a drive now on asking people. Will I feel stupid plodding along and being last to finish? My main worry is the beginning not the end. I’m really slow to get going so I’m expecting everyone to run off at the start and I’ll be thinking ‘is it too soon for a walk break?’! Anyway I have thought about it and I have a plan. See below in challenges.

Monthly figures
I have been feeling guilty about my lack of effort over the last couple of weeks, what with birthday celebrations getting in the way. I thought that I would have a look at my monthly total to see what the damage has been and interestingly I managed to notch up 40 miles, the same as August, but in fewer longer runs. I don’t think that this is good practice! I’m supposed to be doing a couple of shorter runs too!

New challenges
I need to tackle the issue of the first couple of miles, getting into the rhythm of running straight away. So my challenge for this week is run 2 miles every morning without stopping to walk. It’s brain training really, nothing to do with fitness. Also it’s about getting back into the habit of running every day. When I start getting hung up on covering the distance I forget about he value of the 20 minute trot!

Just concentrating on the important things. No dieting! But staying away from the cakes and chocolate as much as possible! Having my post run chocolate milk. Today I took some gels and had one every 6k. I had SIS Go! Gels which were easy to swallow, not too sweet or thick. My hamstrings and glutes were killing me by the time I got to 15k but I think that’s just training that’s needed!

If you would like to sponsor me you can do so at


About mawil1

Hi my name is julie and I took up running at the age of 46! Hence 'mawil' Middle Aged Woman In Lycra. I did it at first because someone asked me to do a charity run with them. I couldn't run at all, but pride wouldn't let me be seen to be unable to run so I started a walk run programme. I stuck with it and to my surprise I found that I liked it- after a couple of weeks of progress I was hooked! My blog is about my progress in running and how I fit it in with the rest of my life.
This entry was posted in charity, fear, fitness, half marathon, middle aged women, running, time management, Uncategorized, work life balence, working mum and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Countdown!

  1. John says:

    For a minute I thought your picture of the towpath was one of my running routes, I suppose all the canal routes look pretty much the same? I wouldn’t worry about the walk breaks, do them when you need to/scheduled to.

    • mawil1 says:

      I suspect they do all look similar! This is the Leeds Liverpool canal. As it’s generally hilly in these parts there are lots of locks and aqueducts to break up the monotony. Best wishes, Julie

      Sent from my iPhone


      • John says:

        Yep, same canal I run on. I know what you mean, plenty of things to see.

      • mawil1 says:

        You surprised me there! I’d seen one if your blogs where you’d run to Wigan but I’d assumed you were going up from Manchester and that it was a different canal. But looking at the map I hadn’t realised how close Wigan is to chorley and that the Leeds Liverpool went there!

        Sent from my iPhone


      • John says:

        We’re practically neighbors!

  2. I wouldn’t worry about the breaks or the gels. Easy for someone else to say I know.
    The only really bad idea is to go off too quick.

    Unless you are going close to tempo pace then wait 45 minutes before the first gel then every 45 minutes (if they give you confidence) unless there is sports drink on the course then you will have had the equivalent fuel to the gel.

    On the mileage front – I think of it as 2 totally different skills – endurance – only the long run counts and pace which hills and intervals work on.

    So on the long run front some people like to have 3 x 14 miles under their belt for a half others are happy with a nine. They have the confidence to know the last 4 miles will be fine. 11 seems to the general rule of thumb. If you can get round 11 in training then 13.1 and a bit will be conquered on the day. (Common sense just means 11 x slightly slower training pace = 13 miles at a slightly higher pace).

    • mawil1 says:

      Thanks for the advice. I will be adopting the 11 miles technique and hoping that adrenaline will keep me going on the day. When I did the BUPA 10k in May I had only done 8k before that and it was hard bot ok. Incredibly to think now that 10k is a reasonable run!

      • Its also a time of feet thing – so 11 ish miles in a training run will equate ish to 13.1 ish of the pace on race day – adrenaline and the other runners and the crowd / sense of occasion all help too.

        If you have done a couple of elevens then most people are fine – if you are already doubting the 11 wisdom (a friend did on her first half) training to 13 or 13.5. I ran yesterday with such a non believer and she is now saying she won’t need to train over 11 next time. She has a shiny new PB and medal to boost her confidence.

      • mawil1 says:

        Well done on getting your ‘non believer’ round! So much is in the head isn’t it? Hopefully a PB will be a big motivator! J

        Sent from my iPhone


  3. joemacgown says:

    Looks like a wonderful place to run! Good luck in your upcoming half!

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