Shine Marathon Walk – Recap


I can’t remember how or when we signed up for the Shine Walk, it feels like forever ago, I think possibly my friend Mandy may have suggested it after she successfully completed the Shine Half-Marathon last year, this was her first time doing anything like this, before last September she hadn’t even taken part in a Race for Life so tackling a half marathon was a huge accomplishment for her which I think even up until the night she didn’t believe she could do it, but we did, we even smashed her 4hr target. (you can read about last years half marathon walk here)


When we signed up to the marathon we decided to really knuckle down, we were going to train every week, we were both going to lose weight, while I can’t speak for Mandy, I am around a stone heavier than when we signed up, & while I do walk 3-5 miles at least once a week we never managed to commit to the long walks each week like we planned, that’s not to say we didn’t walk, we built up from around 3 miles to 9 miles at a mile a week, but unfortunately that’s where it started to go wrong, work commitments, family commitments, the weather, we have had a crazily hot summer this year and Wednesdays the day we usually walk seem to either be scorching hot 28+ degrees or pouring rain, neither ideal conditions, we done our longest walk (just under 21 miles) on 24th August the hottest day of 2016 – the cold cider in the above pic was calling me for the last 6 miles.


So onto the night itself, we planned to leave home just before 6 & head to a local Zizzi’s for some last minute carb loading, before we jumped on the tube and headed to Southwark Park, we were lucky in that we had been invited as part of #teamsole (more about that later) into the VIP/media tent, which meant we had somewhere to relax before we started.

Whenever I take on challenges like this I have an awful habit of clock watching, not necessarily for speed it’s because I break the races into chunks ie 2.5 miles we have done almost a 10th, 6.5 miles we have done over a quarter, 10 miles is just 10 miles but is always a high, 13 miles is halfway. etc & I always have a rough idea of how long I think the walk will take me ie for Saturday night we were on track for finishing well below 8hrs, so I new at 2hrs we should be a 1/4 way around by 4hrs we should have been through the half way point


Unfortunately, the evening didn’t go to plan, Mandy picked up some niggles during our 21-mile walk last month, that flared up quite early on in the marathon (mile 6) meaning almost every step after that was extremely painful for her.

This was my 6th walking marathon & by far my toughest, probably in some part because I am almost 3st heavier than when I have done these walks in the past, but I also carried the extra weight with me when we walked the 21 miles, I think I struggled because of the extra time on my legs, I have always said I don’t think I had more than 8hrs in my legs 8.5hrs at a push (I have finished previous walking marathons between 6hrs 42 to 7hrs 43) as I mentioned above I clock watch during these walks, so for me the night became as much of a mental battle as it did a physical battle, my problem was time wise I had no idea where that finish line was so I had no idea how much longer I needed to carry on walking & I found that really tough & demotivating, I felt like someone was constantly moving the finish line further & further away.

Several times Mandy told me to go ahead and leave her but that was never an option, there were times when I genuinely didn’t think we would make it & I am not talking about Mandy and her injuries although I am sure she had those thoughts too, I am talking about me mentally at 15 miles I could have happily quit, I knew there was no way we would be finished within 8.5hrs, I was shattered, I had started to trip up a lot where I was walking slower than my usual pace so not picking up my feet properly, which was making my whole body jar from fatigue, at every rest stop Mandy needed to sit down and rest her legs, but I couldn’t as I knew I would never get up, my body seems to know the distance/time I am out for and as soon as I stop everything just seems to seize up (this even happens after running a 10k)


To say we were both happy to cross London Bridge & see that finish line in an understatement.


(Mandy got her medal engraved)

I am so proud of Mandy she walked over three-quarters of the marathon in pain, not that I told her on the night but at mile 4 saw the remains of blisters she still had from our 21 mile walk a month earlier and they looked painful (I didn’t think me saying ouch would help), add to that a tight IT Band meaning she had pain right the way down her leg I think she is a total trooper, all along she was determined to finish no matter how much pain she was in herself or how long it took, she had in her head was why we were walking, to raise money for Cancer Research UK & for her personally in memory of her Nan, Grandad & Uncle.


My only regret from Saturday was not taking in the sights more, but I think we were both to exhausted.(totally gutted I didn’t get a snap of me & Bumblebee the yellow car from the Transformers movies as they were preparing to film along The Mall)


Sunday was spent catching up on some sleep, having a long relaxing bath with some Epsom Salts & giving my feet some TLC, thankfully I had my It’s Your Sole Sports Flips to wear as I am not sure my feet were ready for shoes just year.


(believe me those feet look better than they were feeling)

Did you take advantage of the massages & free socks on offer from the lovely people from Your Sole at mile 13, Mandy did, she had a massage along her IT band which helped loosen up her leg for a few miles.


I had already entered the Shine Walk Marathon when I was invited to be part of #teamsole & was lucky enough to have been sent some socks, Footbeds and the Sports Flips to support me with my training.  I was actually already a familiar with their products as my husband started using their footbeds during last year’s London Marathon and they really helped with his Plantar Fascitis pain, so if you haven’t already checked out their website do so now, I believe they have a sale at the moment as my husband was stocking up on the footbeds at the weekend.


I couldn’t finish without sharing this beautiful photo of the sun rising over the Thames just before 7am on Sunday morning, I am still not sure if it was this colourful sight or knowing that the finish line was just around the corner that made all those miles suddenly seem less painful than they had earlier in the evening.

I have been raising money for Cancer Research in memory of my nan & her sister & brother in law, if you would like to make a donation please text NIKM73 £2 to 70070 or follow the link below – Thank you in advance for your support



Monday Motivation

I have been talking about this on Instagram for weeks but have yet to put my words into practice

While my eating has definitely been better there is still room for improvement, I am finding myself caught off guard where dinners haven’t been planned and there is nothing in the house.

Doing all the  gym classes on offer aren’t going to help me if I am still eating rubbish.

So this week I am going to plan my meals in advance to ensure I stay within my allowances and to ensure I am eating to fuel my body, I have a 26.2 mile walk to do Saturday night, so my nutrition needs to be spot on.



Run Through 10k Victoria Park


So this week I hit the ground running.. literally, I talked 2 friends into running the Run Through 10k at Victoria Park with me the day after I returned from holiday, what I had forgotten was I had no food in the house to have before my run, so much for my healthy start I ended having Belvita for breakfast not the best start to my fresh start.

The run wasn’t fun, well running with Lisa was good but man I am out of shape but that was kind of the point of entering to use this run as a benchmark, ie see how bad the run felt and how I could improve.

I am determined to get my 10k time no matter how long it takes!



Project Healthy Fit Me


I know I know another name change, what does this one mean, will it magically make me fitter and healthier.. I wish lol

The reason for the name change is my health was suffering.

Over the last few years my weight has steadily gone up (3st in 4yrs) and my fitness levels have dramatically dipped, I haven’t really spoken about it on here but I suffer from anxiety & depression not helped by my B12 deficiency which seems to be getting worse & a few years ago was told by my GP I was borderline Bi Polar & while the anxiety & depression are mostly under control, I realised enough was enough, so I am being a little bit selfish, I am putting myself first for a change, with the support of my wonderful husband I have quit my job to focus on me, to continue my Nutrition studies, to cook myself some healthy meals and actually make use of the gym membership I took out in February.

Project Healthy Fit Me started on the 3rd September when I returned from holiday where I gained 5.5lbs, I have always said the dream was to achieve my Weight Watchers 50lb certificate, I am not sure how achievable that is, it will take me to a weight I haven’t been since 2001 & as I am no longer following Weight Watchers I guess that certificate will remain forever out of my reach, but I am going to keep the same 50lb goal, will I get there? who knows but I will give it my best shot, I do not want a number on the scales to define me, so as I get closer to where I want to be my clothes and how I feel in my own skin will be the bigger decider for me, but that’s still along way off so to start with 50lbs can remain as the goal & I will continue to document my journey here



Start Weight 12st 8.6lbs – Goal Weight 9st .6lbs – Lost This Week 0 – lbs to Goal 50lbs

Body Fat 38.6 – BMI 29.4 – Water 39.9

Waist 99  – Upper Arms 30 – Thigh 59.5 – Bust 107.5 – Hips 113 – Stomach 110

(all measurements are in cm)

I will report my weight loss each weekend, but will only check my measurements, body fat, water & bmi on a monthly basis (I am not even sure how accurate those figures are on these type of scales but I figured as long as the number goes down it is worth recording)

Do you have any weight loss or fitness goals that you are working towards?





Monday Motivation

Today’s Monday Motivation is a shout out to those who inspire me just by going about their day to day lives and doing what they love

But its also a reminder that our struggles, our bumps in the road, our honesty that its not always easy to achieve our dreams could be just what is inspiring others not to give up on achieving their goals


Marathon Watch – 70 days to go


This week started with a 7 mile run, I had been looking forward to this part race part of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Race Series, for a while as I like the bling (I am so shallow I know) it’s shaped like the London Underground sign, the race is a 10k but I wanted to add on another 1.2km to get me to 7 miles, what I didnt expect was that the extra 1.2km would become a sprint because the trains were delayed, I want to say the race was well organised & the volunteers out on the route were fantastic but those handing out the race numbers were literally stood around chatting as around 40 queued in front of them to get there numbers, admittedly registrations had officially closed but there were  many others like me doing the dash from Stratford station to the start line, they could see us standing there, they could see that people still had to visit the bag drop etc & with less than 7 minutes until the race start time, nothing seemed like it was going to interrupt their conversation until a man in an orange Hi Viz jacket came along and asked why there was a queue

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The race itself was better than I expected, I have run around the Olympic Park so many times and knew it could be quite a hilly course, luckily due to another 10k race being held over the other side of the park the organisers had kindly managed to avoid the hills but unfortunately left us with a fairly repetitive 3 lap course

My run at the Olympic Park was unfortunately the better of my 3 runs this week, my Wednesday run was a disaster, my trousers kept falling down, at one point I was running around with my top tucked in my trousers just to help hold them up, but I felt stupid and it wasn’t particuarly successful, so I ending up giving up, except I didn’t give up totally instead I decided rather than my planned 5k run, I would go for a 5 mile walk, as for some reasons my trousers behaved if I didn’t try and run

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Fridays run unfortunately wasn’t much better, I went out, my leg hurt, I realised I had forgotten my music, dextrose and I hadn’t set my Garmin to intervals, I had planned to run 8 miles & I was desperately short of time and after a mile I thought I can’t do this, I am not enjoying it but again rather than giving up totally I decided to go for a walk again & I am glad I did, when I got home, by poor furbaby was very ill and had I have stayed out the extra time it would have taken me to run those extra miles I wouldn’t have been home when he collapsed, I am pleased to say that after a trip to the vets he is back home and is doing well, but at almost 18yrs old the vet fears next time it will not be such a happy ending

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It sounds like this wasn’t a great week for me training wise but bizzarely I actually feel like the reverse is true, I am happy with how the week went, I didn’t give up, maybe I didn’t run as much as I wanted but I still done 16 dedicated miles & I seemed to make some big gains in my nutrition


Life seems to feel like a rollercoaster at the moment tearing around at 200 miles an hour with no time for me, well I have finally admitted its time to get off the rollercoaster, my husband wanted me to resign as he feels I have let my job take over my life but
I love my job and I do not want to give it up, but what I do agree with is that it has taken over my life – I am not going to go into the ins & outs of what happens next as to be honest I haven’t decided but what I have decided is I want more me time and the only way to get that is to reduce the hours I do at work & I am hoping for a better balance on that by the end of the month


Marathon Watch – 91 Days to go


I am feeling unusually confident for someone who hasn’t done that much training, but I honestly think the break has done my leg some good as the runs I have done over the last week might have been slow but they have felt good

I have booked some races and to help with my training and am really excited

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31st January – London Winter Run 10km

6th February – The Race Organisers Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park 10km

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14th February – My Virtual Valentines Race (let me know if you are interested in taking part, entry is £8 and includes a cool heart shaped bling)

21st February – St Lukes Hospice Test Track 10 miles

28th February – Roding Valley Half Marathon, effectionately known as the Half from Hell, or 13 miles & 13 hills


5th March – Run Through Victoria Park Half Marathon & the Supernova 5k (what on earth was I thinking!!)


20th March – Vitality North London Half

16th April – Run Through Events Battersea Park 10km


24th April – LONDON MARATHON BABY!!!!!

Let me know if you are doing any of the above races, it would be great to see some familiar faces

2015 Round up & 2016 Goals

Sand Raw 004 2015-2016

So I think everyone knows 2016, didn’t go exactly as I planned, I was so excited to be running the London Marathon in April & training was going really well, when I tore my calf & suddenly not only were my dreams of running the London Marathon shattered but I also slipped into a pretty deep depression, something I haven’t suffered with for years, my anxiety came back, making me scared to do things I wouldn’t have thought twice about before, I could write a whole blog post about this period, in fact I have many times, there are 4 saved blog posts in my drafts folder I just can’t seem to press publish but I will try to at some point as I hope it will help others struggling with the same issues but unfortunately today, I am just not quite ready to share


I have set myself some goals for 2016, they are nothing out of my reach and I would love to achieve them but if I am honest I am not feeling them at the moment, I was a month or so ago when I first thought about them, but now not so much, or at least other than running the marathon and drinking more water it just doesn’t feel as much of a priority as it once was

So that is why I have made goals rather than resolutions, I would obviously love to achieve my goals but 2016 I want to be happy (actually that’s my biggest goal there and I totally forgot to add it), I don’t want to be upset that I haven’t achieved certain things, so I am going to see where life takes me, I noticed on Instagram people writing monthly goals & I like that, at the moment 365 days seems to far to look ahead, 2016 is about taking life one day at a time and learning to love & appreciate myself more




Monday Motivation


So often we compare our fitness & weight loss journey’s to others, we shouldn’t we are all unique, we all have our own motivations for being on our journeys, our own reasons why we may struggle, our own goals, acknowledge each achievement, celebrate each milestone, learn to take pride in where you started and how far your journey takes you