In April 2011 I ran the London Marathon and raised £2600 for Asthma UK. It was a 'once in a lifetime' experience...or so I thought. Bravely (or stupidly) I'm doing it again, and this blog will chart my progress while I train for my second London Marathon. Come with me on my journey towards the big day. Here I go...again!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Look what the postman delivered...

My voice is starting to return, although I'm still a bit croaky. I'm nowhere near fully well yet, but I'm trying hard to be patient and rest. It's not easy - especially when the weather is perfect for a run.

My friend Simon (who convinced me to run the marathon again this year, and is helping me raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy) is heading out for a twenty mile training run this evening and I'm looking forward to hearing how he gets on.
Exciting news...I arrived home today to find the postman had delivered a very important parcel - my registration pack.

I now know my number for the big day - 43677 - which means I'll be starting at the red start in Greenwich Park along with all the other Gold and Silver Bond runners.
As a ballot place runner, Simon will be at the blue start on Blackheath so he'll get to wave off the elite men and women and the wheelchair entrants. There will probably be the odd celebrity or three milling around, too.

I'm very jealous, but there will be a lot of camaraderie at the red start, as well as a lot of very silly costumes to look at. As if running 26.2 miles isn't bad enough, some people dress in the most ridiculous of outfits. (Last year I got overtaken at speed by a rhino very early on - it's not good for morale!)
The registration pack also contains the 'London Marathon News' magazine which is full of information about the race, a pair of red shoe laces and a fridge magnet with peel off stickers so you can display your finish time...or the time you'd like to finish in..

Monday, 19 March 2012

Normal nattering will resume shortly...

Towards the end of last week I lost my voice. Quite a result for the family as I've not been able to do any nagging, but a bit of an issue for me - especially as the loss of voice has been accompanied by a temperature, cough and general feeling of illness.
I bravely soldiered on without any complaining...well...ok...I complained a bit...but finally gave in and went to the doctors this morning.
He confirmed what I thought - I have laryngitis, but unfortunately I also have a chest infection too. That'll be why I'm a bit wheezy!
I was sent away clutching a prescription for some high dose penicillin and instructions to drink plenty of water and increase my inhaler dose for the next week or so.
I'm hopeful that the tablets will pick me up over the next 48 hours and that I'll get my voice back soon.
Hubby and children...make the most of the's not going to last for much longer!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Fundraising fun

Yesterday was my Pampered Chef fundraiser.
The Muscular Dystrophy team had sent me lots of balloons and bits and pieces, so I called into 'Special Times' in Rubery to get the balloons blown up with helium. The lovely ladies in there filled them for free, so many thanks to them!
I headed back home to make a Victoria sandwich cake as a raffle prize, and got all the ingredients ready for the recipes that would be demonstrated during the evening.
The fundraiser was being held in the library where I work, so we headed over there at 5pm to get everything set up ready for when friends and relatives arrived.
Jen - the Pampered Chef consultant - demonstrated quesadilla cups as a savoury and black forest gateaux as a sweet, and we all got to try the recipes. Yummy!
The evening passed really quickly (so fast, in fact, that I forgot to take any photos for the blog - sorry!) and I'm pleased and excited to announce that we raised £160.
Thanks to all my friends for coming and making the evening so enjoyable. It wouldn't have been the same without you!

Monday, 12 March 2012

A trip into town...remind me to catch the bus next time!

Today was long run day, and I'd managed to convince my father-in-law that he'd like to be my outrider. Saying that, he didn't take a lot of convincing as he likes to get out and about on his bike, and I think it was a good opportunity to get away from the decorating that he's been doing at home!

He collected me just before 10am, and we parked in Kings Norton and hopped onto the canal towpath and headed towards town.

The first mile or so went without a hitch, and then there was a bit of confusion about which direction to go in and we found ourselves on the Rea Valley Route. did that happen?!

A very kind cyclist going in the other direction led us back through a housing estate, and after a mile detour we waved him off and were back on the canal towpath and heading in the right direction again.

For those of you who know my father-in-law, you'll know he enjoys talking to everyone. Today that included everyone going past on their canal boats.

Well it did - until he lost concentration mid sentence and nearly took a dunking.

From that point on we stuck to hissing back at the geese that made us feel very unwelcome on 'their' towpath.

The Edgbaston Tunnel upset my Garmin, but we were soon through its 56 metre length and back out in the sunshine.

It was really interesting to see a different side of the city - the back of Kings Norton, Bournville and Cadbury's, Selly Oak and on into the city.
We arrived in the centre of town just before midday, and stopped for five minutes for a drink and some fudge.

It would have been nice to sit down for longer, but I knew if I did that I wouldn't get back up so we turned round and headed back.
Although we'd just covered the route it took on a different perspective running back in the opposite direction, and there was always something to look at.
I can't tell you how lovely it was to have someone to chat to along the way, and was a great distraction from my tired legs and sore feet as the miles clocked up.

We ticked off the London landmarks as we went along - 6 miles got us to Cutty Sark, and as we headed back into Kings Norton we imagined crossing Tower bridge at mile 12.

The final picture shows the Specialty Minerals kiln outlined against the skyline.

This is where hubby works, and I was hoping he'd have climbed to the top to cheer me on, but sadly not.
Not long after that we got back to where we'd parked. While father-in-law headed straight for the car to put his bike up on the bike rack I did a circuit of the playing field to get just that bit closer to my 14 mile target.
So - another long run...done.
There's now just under five weeks to go until the big day. Tomorrow evening is my fundraiser event, so it's going to be a busy week.
I'm hoping to fit in one more long run before the big day, and then the taper will start.

Hmm...I wonder what my father-in-law is doing in two weeks time....

Tuesday, 6 March 2012


After a seemingly endless time of feeling below par, I think I'm finally on the mend.
I can breathe without a the aid of a hanky drenched in olbas oil, and can finally afford to be more than three foot from a box of tissues.
Apologies to my family and work colleagues for all my whingeing and moaning; I'm not a very patient patient!
Hoorah too that I managed to get out for a run today.
It's a stunning morning, with blue skies, sunshine and gardens filled with spring bulbs in all their glory.
It's my day off today, so I waited for the sun to warm the air a bit before heading out. I took it slowly, and after a mile of my lungs feeling like they were on fire I settled into a rhythm and the rest of the run passed relatively easily.
I did just under four miles, which was slightly more than my planned three, but it was just too nice to head home too soon!
I felt quite wheezy while stretching after, but still didn't have to use my inhaler, so it's all good (especially as a week ago I could hardly get up the stairs without wheezing!).
There's just a week to go now to my fundraising evening, so it's getting really exciting. I chatted to Jen yesterday - the Pampered Chef consultant who is running the party - and we've decided on the recipes that she'll demonstrate. There'll be a savoury and a sweet, but if you want to know more you'll just have to come along on the evening!
Don't forget...if you can't make it next Tuesday evening but want to help me raise funds just go to
Every penny counts!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

A very creative day

I've been a bit of a poorly bunny, so haven't been out running for nearly two weeks.
I'm cross at being ill, frustrated at not being able to train and am very conscious of the countdown clock to the big day ticking ever louder in my ear.
I'm trying to keep positive.
I'm definitely getting better each day, and did a fast walk today - not too far, but at least it's a start.
Hopefully tomorrow I'll manage a run.
My final training schedule is out of the window so I'm rewriting the time that I've got left.
I should still be able to fit in 16-18 miles for my longest training run, and know I got round on that last year, so I'm taking heart at that.
The big positive is that I did some fundraising today in the form of teaching Creative Writing to friends.
I lured them in with the promise of tea and cake, and then fleeced them for all their hard earned pennies.
We did lots of writing exercises based on thinking creatively, making characters and settings, and looked at point of view too. I think they'll have writers cramp for a week, but I certainly enjoyed the morning, and I hope they did too.
Now I'm on the countdown to my Pampered Chef fundraising evening in just over a week.
Anyone free on Tuesday 13th?