Tag Archives: review

Soham Half Marathon

During May I ran another half marathon. As is becoming the custom for me, I heard about it three weeks before the event and, with it being so close to home (about 6 miles or so) it seemed rude not to take part. Another thing in its favour was the 11.15 start.

Unfortunately, the day before the race was one of the hottest days of the year so far and the weather was not due to break. Suddenly the late start was not looking quite so nice! I sent a text to my partner in crime saying something along the lines of:

It is quite hot to run a half marathon……

Her response was not quite what I was looking for:

I am making sure I drink a lot…

Great idea. I spent the rest of the day drinking lots of water! The morning was as hot as it promised to be. Lot’s of sun cream, a hat and a bottle of water were my only defenses.

I can’t say I was looking forward to it and the first 3 miles were not a lot of fun. I was so close to dropping out and walking back, especially when we saw three doing just that. I couldn ‘t blame them, thinking instead that there were sensible (leaving us……?)

Heading out into the unshaded fen roads, surprisingly, I began to feel a bit better and that I might, maybe, be able to finish this after all. The plan was to finish. No matter the time, or even if we were last. Finishing was good.

It was a very well organised race, small, mainly run by club runners but friendly. There were water stations every three miles which, fortunately consisted of water bottles and not cups. I say fortunately because a bottle was very much needed. You drank a good amount, threw a good bit over yourself and then ran along with the rest sloshing over you. By the time you got to the next station your drenched t-shirt was bone dry.

Slowly we plodded along. I am really pleased to report that we did both finish. It was probably the slowest half that I have ever run but the thing that pleases me the most is that I felt quite strong throughout – I even managed to over take people in the final stages. This is not usual for me and a real morale booster.


Despite all my misgivings I fully enjoyed the race. Everyone was lovely, all the marshells were totally amazing. I would happily runΒ  it again and hope that this is the beginning of new confident and strong me.Β  Watch this space πŸ™‚




The Milton Keynes Marathon


Despite all the fears and worries.

It was not easy but I didn’t expect it to be so that is fine.

The Organisation:

Great! The venue was easy to get to. The start line was easy to find.

marathon 003

The start from the spectators view.

There were plenty of stations to get water from with sports drinks and gels at three points around the circuit. At each of these stations there were plenty of volunteers so there was no congestion. At the end there were again plenty of people to hand out the medals and goody bags. There was even someone to give you a print out of you finish and chip time.

The Course

I chose the Milton Keynes marathon because I assumed that it would be quite flat, lots of roundabouts but flat. I was correct in that it wasn’t mountainous but there were quite a lot of short ups and downs as we went under lots of under passes and over hump back bridges over the canal.

These obviously took a lot out of our legs.

I enjoyed the course – there was some road running at the beginning around offices but it was mostly on cycle paths and paths. We went through housing estates and parks, through wooded areas and around lakes.

marathon 015

The busiest part was in a park (I am not wearing the pink Tu-tu!)

The course was well marshaled and there were plenty of supporters. There were also parts with very few supporters but that was OK as these were quickly followed by supported parts. Most importantly the course was a single loop and not laps. There was one part where we were running alongside those ahead of us but this was towards the beginning and not at the end when we were tired!

My performance

It was a hot day! There was a fair bit of shade along the way which helped but it was hard. At times I felt quite sick but wasn’t sure if this was to do with not taking on enough or taking on too much!!

At half way I felt strong (half marathons will seem easy now!) and we were running at a consistent pace of between 10.20 – 10.30 min miles. This was probably a bit fast but I was just relieved that it wasn’t any faster! My running partner had a knee injury that (unknown to me) started playing her up at 7 miles into the race. She was able to keep going until just before 13 when she began to struggle. I slowed down to stay with her but I suspect that this was the beginning of the end for me. My muscles began to cease up a bit and once I had walked once the barrier had been broken! It was easier to walk bits from then. I did mainly keep the walking bits to the uphill bits, they were so steep!

My mental strategy

I started at 26 and worked backwards. Therefore the first point ti aim for was 6 miles in – 20. Then 13 (half way). the next obvious point was 9 – down to single figures and from there 3 miles intervals. It did work – sort of!

The last stretch

Very, very hard!! No other way to say it. At one point I thought that I would have to be carried to the finish but I would not then get the medal so I pushed on! The finish for this marathon is the MK Dons stadium. This came into view during the last mile but seemed to be so near but so far….

I knew that once in the stadium we had to run around the edge of the pitch which I knew would be very hard. However, on entering the stadium you didn’t have to go right around. This was really good news to me and meant that I was able to run around to the finish. Within in reach of the finish line my calf began to cramp but, thankfully only for a second and I made it across the line in 4hrs and 49. I was so pleased with myself πŸ™‚ Under 5 hours. VERY pleased with that. No regrets at all – just pride. (Oh I did feel REALLY ill at the end but I was able to move incredibly well the next day!

Will I do another one? Really not sure yet….. One is definitely enough for now and more than I thought I would ever do πŸ™‚

Looking Forward


WOW! This is the last day of the knitting and crochet blogging week and I have done it πŸ™‚ I have written a blog post of some sort everyday for a week. Phew. I am quite tired but SO pleased I have done it.

Today we have been set the challenge of looking forward to this time next year:

One year from now, when the 5th Knitting & Crochet Blog Week rolls around, where do you hope your crafting will have taken you to? What new skills, projects and experiences do you hope you might have conquered or tried?

Before I address this I first wanted to go back to last year where we were asked something similar and I set myself some targets. I have never returned to these and so thought that now might be a good time to do this (Should you wish to read the full post it is here):

1. To be more effective and further develop my understanding around Facebook and Twitter.

I had only been blogging for a couple of months this time last year and I was struggling to get to grips with these. I am not sure that I will ever stop learning but I have got the basics (or so I think!)

2. To set up an e-shop to sell my jewellery.

Well no! Failed on that one and so will push this forward to this year. I have started I promise πŸ™‚

3. Make a beaded crochet rope necklace by the beginning of the summer holidays!

I have done this but not by the time I set myself!!

Beaded Rope Bracelet

A bracelet

A necklace.

A necklace.

Turquoise non-classic beaded rope.

Turquoise non-classic beaded rope.

So on to this year:

1. Set up the e-shop!

2. Keep challenging myself:

I enjoy doing new things – sometimes too much (the bee) flitting from one thing to the next. I cannot give a specific list because things have a habit of cropping up out of no-where. I would like to make some socks (I have a pattern from feelgoodknitting that I won doing a treasure hunt!!) and I would also like to learn how to knit 2 at once. Which brings me to another part of this which is to keep looking outward. I have found so many awesome blogs through this knitting and blogging week that I had no idea existed. I have this ‘silly’ rule that if I follow a blog I really want to be able to do it properly, read each post and interact. The trouble is the more I find, the more I want to follow that takes more and more time! Anyone have any answers – PLEASE?

So there we have it. Nothing very exciting – more reminders so I don’t get stuck in a rut (something that is so easy to do). Oh yes, one more thing:




I hope you all have a lovely Sunday which includes some crafting time πŸ™‚

Ely New Years Eve 10k

Yesterday I took part in my final race of 2012. It is a race that many people I know have run before but that I had always failed to get into before. The day before I heard that 2 of my friends had dropped out which I found to be rather sad but I was determined not to be put off (by that or the weather forecast!)

Now many of you will know that I live right on the edge of the fens and the fens are very flat.

This is the view of Ely Cathedral across the fen from where we were.

This probably shows the type of day in a better way.

Being very flat and open means that there is no wind break. This was a bit of a shame as the weather was a little blowy but at least the rain held off.

The Start

Parking in dedicated carΒ  parks was limited so there was a lot of street parking. This ended up working in our favor as we were able to nab a place really close to the start :). Collecting our numbers was easy and there was no queuing for the conveniences!!

At the start there were some bagpipes which then moved to the top of the hill towards the end to encourage us up. (Despite being very flat there were the obligatory ‘hills’ of course.)

The Course

I had been warned that the first part of the course was fast being down hill. Which it was. I did the first mile in 7 minutes 56! No doubt my fastest ever. Here are the rest of my splits:

Mile 2: 8.29

Mile 3: 9.12

Mile 4: 9.11

Mile 5: 9.51 (this the windiest and uphill part of the course!)

Mile 6: 9.02

Looking at these I am fairly pleased with myself. I did an average pace of 8.55 min miles which in the conditions was very acceptable.

I really enjoyed this race although towards the end I did have to dig deep. I felt that I did myself justice (wahooo!).

Here are the official stats:

Time: 55.50.

99th out of 198 ladies.

Place: 375 out of 539 total.

23rd out of 42 in my category.

A great way to start the New Year if I do say so myself!