Monthly Archives: December 2017

December Roundup

December has been one of those “blink-and-you-miss-it” kinda months!

I started December with a trip to Garson’s Garden Centre to go and feed the Reindeer. They were so cute and total posers as you can see.


On 2nd December I participated in my first piece of parkrun tourism. My husband and I went along to Moors Valley parkrun which is about 50 minutes away. It was a lovely course (albeit a bit hilly) and it was a frosty but sunny morning. I loved running with my feet crunching the ground and looking round at the glistening pine trees.

Moors Valley parkrun

Have I mentioned before all the Christmas Decorations we have are Reindeers? When I saw these cuties I just had to have them. They’re from Finishing Touches, a local shop, at Lee-on-the-Solent.

Reindeer Family

I hope you all had a good Christmas and enjoyed the festive break. I loved this wrapping paper from Tesco. Of course, it had to be Reindeers.

Christmas Presents

On 23rd December my local parkrun held their Christmas Fancy Dress run. I went dressed as a Christmas Pudding! So many people shouted “Well Done Pudding” or “Keep Going Pudding” It was really funny. I did feel very silly walking to parkrun dressed like this though! This picture was taken by my Mum who had got up at 3am to drive down and surprise me!

Christmas Pudding Fancy Dress

I donned the pudding outfit again on Christmas Eve for junior parkrun. We had a photographer from the local newspaper come down and take some pictures. We had Santa Claus come down on his sleigh which made the children’s day. He gave them high fives and cheered them on as they ran by and afterwards they could have their picture taken with him whilst sat on his sleigh. Here’s a picture of the volunteers that day with Santa at the back!

parkrun team

One of my favourite Christmas presents this year was this little fella knitted by my Mum. Isn’t she clever! I loved his little knitted nose!

Knitted Reindeer

Did you all have a lovely Christmas?

What was your favourite present?

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My Running Goals for 2018

2018 Running Goals

It’s that time of year where everyone is looking forward to 2018 and thinking of New Years Resolutions or Goals. I’ve been thinking of some myself, just like I did in 2017. This time though I’ve made running specific goals and have yet to decide if these will be my focus or if I’ll set some life goals too.

Here’s what I’m hoping will come out of my running in 2018.

I finally managed to get my 5K time to under 45 minutes and now it’s time to strive for the next goal. I chose 40 minutes, but with a whole year to work on this I might get closer to 35. I thought about adding 30 minutes in there but right now that seems practically impossible!

At the minute I’m only really running a parkrun on the seafront or running on the treadmill at home. I need to get outside more and run on a variety of terrains as this will help my running. By attending the club nights with Gosport Road Runners I’m hoping this will help with this goal.

To simply survive the 10 mile long Great South Run in October is the main goal. To complete it in 2.5 hour or less is the secondary goal.

So far I’m signed up for two races in 2018. I’d like to sign up to a few more. It’ll help me get some practice in before the dreaded GSR!

Are you setting any goals for 2018?

What are your running goals for 2018?

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Running in 2017 – My Journey

My greatest achievement in 2017? Starting to run again and properly this time!

Last Christmas Day (2016) my husband and I went for a walk. Embarrassingly I made it to less than a mile before I needed to turn around and head home. My intention that Christmas Morning had been to walk my local parkrun course. I’d never completed the course and wanted to give it a go. I think the aspiration was too big and it was a case of wanting to run before I could walk (excuse the pun)

Gradually through the remainder of December and January I built it up little by little. By the end of January I could walk 5K (the length of a parkrun) but it took me well over an hour. By walking regularly I managed to speed my pace up a little and by April had got my 5K time to just a tiny bit over an hour.

In May I was ready to attempt my first parkrun. There’s one friend I’ve made through parkrun who is my greatest believer. She’s called Rachel and she gives so much encouragement. She told me before that parkrun “So what if it takes you over an hour, they’ll wait. You’ve given enough of your time through volunteering, now it’s your turn to do it” Those words meant a lot to me and I managed to complete that first parkrun in 58:24. Under an hour. I was over the moon.

I slowly built up to run/walking. I completed the course walking a couple of times and complimented this with run/walking on my treadmill at home. I then began walking the majority of the course and then run/walking the last section. This then built up to run/walking from around halfway and then run/walking the whole thing.

Louise and I at parkrun
Louise and I at my 2nd parkrun

In August I joined the Gosport Road Runners Beginners Group but broke after week 2. I suffered with Achilles pain that put me right out of action until September. I was so gutted. I’d waited so long for the group to begin and then went and broke myself. I think it was a case of too much too soon. However it made me more determined and I was still able to complete the final 5K race of the Bayside series, which the Beginners Group were using as their Graduation. I got a PB in that race, 45:53 and broke my PB from 2012!

Bayside 5K Summer Series

Since September I’ve looked after my Achilles doing stretches and buying a half foam roller to help aid it. My run/walking has continued to improve and I’m now able to complete 5K doing one minute of running and one minute of walking. However I can’t do this and finish strong yet. If I do 30 seconds of running and 45 seconds of walking then I finish feeling stronger. I’ve worked on chipping away at my time since September and really wanted to get under 45 minutes. on 2nd December I did it! I crossed the finish line in 44:40. I was elated.

So far I’ve improved my parkrun time by 13 minutes and 44 seconds. I’d love to make that 14 minutes by the end of the year but with only one parkrun left I’m not sure I’ll manage it, especially after the indulgences of Christmas! But we’ll see….Watch this Space!

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2017 Goals – How I did

2017 Goals


I’ve done ok with this. I’ve lost just over 2 stone in 2017. My weight has plateaued since November but people are telling me on a regular basis I’m looking trim lately so I guess the exercise is paying off. I’m enjoying running and spin classes. My lunches during the working week could be better. As I said in my last update we get a free lunch at work but it isn’t the healthiest even though it’s supposed to be! Something to improve on in 2018?


For my parkrun goal I said It’s time to complete one…and maybe a second if I enjoy it! I love volunteering at parkrun and to date have volunteered 70 times! (71 on New Years Day) Yet I’ve never completed a parkrun. It’s time to change that”

I completed my first parkrun on 13th May in a time of 58:24. I’ve now got that down to 44:40 and I’ve completed 14 runs. When I wrote the post I’d volunteered 70 times. I’m now up to 130. I’m really proud of that number. I’ve also engaged in a bit of tourism!

Read more books

I think I could have done better with this. I’m currently on my 19th book which for some people will be a lot but for others is barely any! This is something I’d like to work on more in 2018.

be me

This is something I’ve done well with. I’ve only accepted invitations to things I really want to go to. I’m going to be honest, it’s mainly food related. I’ve enjoyed spending time at home doing things I enjoy rather than going out and doing things I enjoy less.

It’s time to start thinking about my 2018 goals.

How did you do with your 2017 goals? Keeping myself accountable on my blog has definitely helped!

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My Christmas Wishlist

I love looking at these on other people’s blogs. This isn’t a gift ideas post, this is a list of the items I’ve asked for, for Christmas. It’s mostly centred around running to be honest with just a sprinkle of girly glitter.

parkrun wristband

parkrun wristband

Available from parkrun barcode

Cath Kidston glitter bag

Cath Kidston Glitter Bag

Available from Cath Kidston

eGlove touch screen running gloves

eglove touch screen running gloves

Available from eGlove

Black & Gold Runr Hoodie

Black & Gold Runr hoodie

Available from Runr

Runr Midnight Hoodie

Runr midnight hoodie

Available from Runr

Mermaids don’t have thigh gaps gym tshirt

Mermaids don't have thigh gaps tshirt

Available from OBD Clothing

Nike Running Tights

Nike Running Tights

Available from Very

Nike T-Shirt

Nike t-shirt

Available from Very

Nike Long Sleeved Top

Nike Long Sleeved Top

Available from Very

What’s on your Christmas wishlist?

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November Roundup

Apologies that this post is a little late. I’ve kind of being feeling a little burnt out when it comes to blogging. I’ve had no inspiration or motivation but this post should really write itself so lets see how it goes.

I started off November in Brazil, or more specifically Rio De Janeiro. If you want to read my post about it, it’s here: My Holiday to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil Below is a picture I didn’t share on the post, but did on Instagram. This is taken at the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain. There was a huge wall covered in this graffiti. I know sometimes graffiti can be menace and look unsightly but when it’s done like this, it’s marvellous.

Graffiti from Sugar Loaf Mountain

When we got back from Brazil my husband and I received our iPhone X’s. My old iPhone 6 plus had been running slower than an old dog so I was glad to be able to upgrade. I’ve enjoyed playing with the portrait feature on the camera. I like how it blurs the background on pictures.


I also went to lots of parkruns and still tried (unsuccessfully) to break the 45 minute 5K. Getting closer though!

parkrun time

Staying on the fitness note, I’m still really enjoying the spin classes at the gym. The calorie burn is epic and I come out of the class buzzing. I’ve started going twice a week now.

spin class

A funny moment that occurred at Stokes Bay junior parkrun in November was a lost dog. One of the rules of junior parkrun is that dogs aren’t allowed on the course, unlike the adult parkrun where you can run with a dog. We spotted a dog running loose and at first assumed it was with one of the spectators but we soon realised it wasn’t. Our wonderful team rallied together and caught the dog and hooked him up to a makeshift lead! Luckily he was wearing a collar with his owners phone number on so we made contact. As I was RD I was left holding the dog whilst the rest of our team returned to their volunteer roles. His owner soon arrived and was very thankful. Apparently he’d come quite a way and crossed over a busy road! Thank goodness he wasn’t hurt!


The core team of volunteers at Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun had a team night out in November. We went to a Chinese buffet in Fareham. The only problem was they sat us on a super long table so it was difficult to talk to people more than a couple of seats away from you. They’d seated another large group on a round table which looked a much better way to chat but we couldn’t have got a “down-the-table-selfie” as easily had we of been sat there.

Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun core team

I think that pretty much sums up my November. I managed to get a few blog posts out before I burned out too, in case you missed any, they’re listed below:

November Memories Through The Years

Bonfire Night Memories

My Holiday to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

October Roundup

Disney Mickey Mouse X Cath Kidston

More Christmas Items

Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse

I Am A Broken Runner

Why I Love Winter

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Snow Day!

I hate snow! Now don’t get me wrong if I don’t have to leave the house for a week and a fresh blanket of snow comes down of course it looks lovely. It’s always nice if it’s around Christmas time too. However my memories of snow are mainly of the huge inconvenience it causes. One of the reasons we were excited to move South was that we’d barely see snow again!

January 2015

The above photo was taken a week before we left Sheffield for the South. There’s a car under there somewhere! Note it’s still snowing in the picture and the snow covering the road too. This is at the top of the steep hill I lived at the top of. (January 2015)

As a child of course snow is fun. Sheffield is very hilly and my school was at the top of a mile long hill (No word of a lie) This meant the first hint of snow and school was closed! Perfect! However as an adult when you can’t drive because the roads are impassable and the buses aren’t even running, walking to work all downhill is a slippy and hellish inconvenience but also so is walking home all uphill where you take one step forward and slide two steps back!

December 2010

This is my husband knee deep in snow. We’d just walked back from work after they’d both closed due to the weather. We went and bought emergency supplies on the way home because SNOW MEANS PANIC!!!!! (December 2010)

January 2010

It does make the street look pretty though (January 2010)

Sometimes the snow would remain for well over a week and when they eventually sent ploughs round it’d stay even longer as it was a giant snow boulder/moutain!!

There was also that time we landed back at Manchester Airport to heavy snow. We were the last flight to land before they closed the airport. The journey home should have been around an hour and a half and it took 4 hours! We then had to dig our way in to our car park. Not the best way to end a holiday!

March 2013

Have you experienced bad snow before?


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