Tag Archives: Great Manchester Run

AWESOME! #GreatManchesterRun 2012 report!


Well, there you go, for me I think that was pretty awesome. Although I think I could have done better…


I caught the train down to Manchester & was at the front of the Green wave for the start, literally toes at the start line once we’d walked down behind the Blue wave.

I saw Gordon Burns, Sir Bobby in the starters box, and if I had slightly longer arms could have touched Haile Gebrselassie as he spoke to some of the charity runners who set off in between the 2 waves. While I was waiting for the start I  chatted to some of the runners around me.

There was a gent who was running his 1st Manchester 10k, and another gent, from Cheshire, who was on number 3 or 4, and a lady who lived in Manchester and her journey to the start was about 15 minutes. The chatting coupled with the support from twitter, certainly didn’t leave me feeling like I was running alone.

While we were milling about the start I spotted a lady holding a big sign with “Follow me for a 60 minute pace.” I’ve never seen pacers at the run before, possibly because I was in the last wave for the previous 2, but as I’d spotted her I thought I’d give it a go to try & stick with her.

Although she was quite a bit behind me at the start she quickly crept up on me & I managed to stick with her till about 1.5k, she was just that little bit too fast for me, and so was the 65min pacer who came past. The 70min pacer caught up on me & I stuck with her for the next few KM, till at about 6km, then  I slowed and walked.

Now I should know from training, that as soon as I loose momentum I just can’t get going again, but I just couldn’t get my head to force my legs to keep going, and it wasn’t till about 7.5km that I got back on my stride and started to run properly again.

The last 2km were awesome, I made an effort to high five every single kid with their hand out, and waved at every person who shouted my name.

After I finished I actually managed to bump into two of the people who I saw at the start! The gent from Cheshire managed to finish in 48min!

There were 40,000 runners but the streets were full of their families and it was a little while before I managed to find my Uncle, who was also in Manchester for my cousins water polo training at the aquatic center.  It was ace to have someone at the finish line, and also to take stupid photos of me…

No, both the brews aren’t for me, one of them is for my Uncle, honest, it was tea.

After the run I went down to the aquatics center & saw my cousin’s training session. Water Polo is hard core and a little vicious, and in a pool where no one is touching the bottom, and he’s only 14! I was seriously impressed, and also amazed at how these guys can catch a ball, about the same size as a basket ball, in one hand (practically with their fingertips) whilst fighting off the opposite team with the other hand and all whilst treading water.

So yes, I did awesome in my run, and then was out awesomed by a bunch of 14 year olds.

Great Manchester Run 2012!


Whoo Hoo! On Sunday I run it for the 3rd year in a row!

This year I’m in the Green wave, I’m not sure if that’s promotion or relegation compared to last year, as they seem to have changed the colors.

I was supposed to be running with 2 friends, but one friend cannot do it because she hasn’t had enough time to train and I’m still waiting to hear if my other friend can do it after he injured his ankle at Tough Mudder last weekend. So it looks like I’m off to Manchester on my own, that’s not too bad, I tend to stress myself out about running with others as I think they’ll be 50 times fitter than me, plus you never really run on your own when you have friends on Twitter!

I’m not sure what time I’ll get this run, on the one hand I’m super optimistic because I’ve recently set an awesome 5k PB, but on the other hand I haven’t actually done much running recently, opting instead for the bike or the cross trainer in the gym & watching Pointless or The Great British Menu whilst I sweat.  I think I’ll just knock 10% off last year & aim for 1hr 15 or less. 

This year they’ve included a blank number to wear on your back, sort of like they do in the Race for Life 5ks, so you can write who you’re running for on, or something like that. This is how mine currently looks;

I couldn’t resist, but I’m not certain what to add into the big blank bit. I have a short TXT code for Just Giving, so that people could donate to Refuge, if they want to show some support & sponsor me.

RFTQ99 £1 to 70070 

(Just in case you didn’t know what it was, you can swap the £1 for £2, £5 or £10)

But that seems a little boring, and obvious, and so does a QR code, so I’m open to suggestions for something cool / geeky to write in it, or I might just not bother.

If you’re going, give me a shout or a wave, it will be greatly appreciated! If you’re not going then my “wave” starts around 12:10 and hopefully I should be done by 13:30, give me a tweet, they made me smile so much during the marathon!

Good Luck to everyone else running too!

I’m off to eat my body weight in pasta over the next 36 hours. You need to do that for a 10k, right?

Ready! Steady! Get your lazy arse GOING!


I live my life a quarter mile at a time

– Vin Desil (Fast & Furious)

Seriously I actually followed the training plan today & did both running & strength workout!

My Run was actually quite hard, and I’m sad to say it’s probably because I’ve been so lazy recently, but 8 sets of 400m runs with a minute walk in between was tougher than it should have been. I got progressive slower each quarter mile and if it wasn’t for the bottle of water I took, I might have just died in the park. Still there’s time yet until the Great Manchester 10k & even more time till the Guild Marathon.

And Then…

I’ve also said I’ll join my friend @OpenSourceress in completing Tough Mudder this November.  You should have heard about Tough Mudder by now.

Here’s a video in case you haven’t…

But bear in mind we’re doing it in England. In November.

There will be Mud & Swearing and more Mud & Cold.



>Targets times, training & tempo


>Right, this is the post where I throw down some numbers & spend the next few months sweating & puffing & panting & swearing, certainly swearing, to get them.

So through some sort of insanity gripped moment yesterday morning I booked my place in the RunLiverpool Marathon, not only did I book a marathon place I booked myself in the 4hr group. There was method to this madness, I used to do quite a few 25 mile walks / marches as a nipper, they took between 6 & 8 hours, and everyone knows running is twice as fast as walking. Right?)
After a long shower & a goodnights sleep I wake up & start to realise that this may perhaps be a bit ambitious…
On the other hand I have just about 6 months to train for it, and if I’m honest my current running is about 50% walking at the moment, so doubling my pace, means actually running all the time.

Cathy, JogBlog on twitter, and of course author of Jog Blog, pointed me in the direction of Hal Higdon’s Marathon Training Schedules and they seem quite simple & straight forwards, as she said on twitter, they have non of the faffy 8x200m tempo rubbish, the sort of stuff I’m guaranteed not to actually do.
So the 18 week program has been logged into my Google calendar (see over there at the top right?)

But before those 18 weeks of swearing stupidity, I have the Great Manchester 10k. As I’ve quite normally booked myself into the 1hr slot for this, I’m not too worried. After yesterday afternoons run, I just have 12 weeks to double my speed & fitness to reach that goal.
I’ve found a training plan on the Nike+ site that schedules in a few 8 mile runs, and ends nicely with a 10k, so that’s been plugged into the google calendar, and it fits almost perfectly into the time I have, with about a week between the 10k & the 18 Week countdown. perhaps during this week off I’ll eat cake & beer? Probably not.

To be honest I’ve been looking at the pace calculator things you can find online & I’m a bit frightened by the pace they keep throwing out at me. But they are just numbers and I feel like I have nothing to relate them too. So I’m 50/50 on going to go out tonight & doing a mile at the marathon pace, just to put something real behind the figures I keep seeing. And possibly motivate myself to step away from OHMYGODWHATHAVEIDONE?! edge. I know there are a lot of strategies when running marathons, I keep reading things about splits & there are a few calculators that will give you a differing pace for each mile, letting you tailor it to a fast start or sprint finish, but I’m just aiming for an over all steady pace. At least I am right now, I haven’t even gotten my trainers on yet!

Anyway I digress…


            Target          dream  / real   / settle for
Manchester 10k        50min / 55min / 60min

Liverpool Marathon  4 hrs / 4:30 hrs / 5 hrs

Wish me luck?!

>Great Manchester Run Round 2


>So at 8:30am the web page for the 2011 Great Manchester 10k opened!
and by 8:46am I had a place! Yippee!

This year I have decided to run for Refuge, the women & children’s charity against Domestic Violence.
Yes, it does deserve the capital letters, it’s a serious issue & it’s one that strikes quite close to home for me…
But 1st some facts;
· One in four women is abused during her lifetime.
· One in nine is severely physically abused each year.
· Two are killed each week
·On average, a woman is assaulted 35 times before her first call to the police. 

 I’ll give you a moment to lift your chin off the keyboard while the numbers sink in.

Refuge are committed to a world where domestic violence is not tolerated or ignored and where women and children can live in safety. Money raised and donated to Refuge goes towards many things;

  • £10 could allow a woman to buy her child essential materials for school – many women arrive at Refuge with nothing but the clothes they are wearing and do not have the means to buy the things they need.
  • £50 could fund a session of play therapy for a group of four children, helping them to overcome the trauma of witnessing or experiencing violence.
  • £72 could pay for two days of fun activities for a group of children in our refuges.
  • £75 could fund a local support group session for women who have experienced domestic violence.
  • £96 could pay for a training workshop for 5 women, helping them to enter the employment market and regain their independence.

Why Refuge?
This year (2011) I turn 30. Yikes, and it’s also 15 years since my mother was killed, by her abusive partner. Half my life has been without my Mum, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

The Great Manchester Run isn’t until May, 180 days away! I did the last one in 1hr 40min, I was pregnant, but I aim to get this one under an hour!

Wish me luck ( and Sponsor me) Cheers!

>Official Race Certificate!



I can’t upload the pictures from the site as they were taken by a company called Marathon Photos but you’re welcome to go have a sneak at the thumb nails at the Great Run photo site My bib number was 31614.

The more photos I see of me the less photogenic I believe I am… they’re all beauts!


>10k (1hr 36min 48 sec)



There we go. Taken from the Great Run Results site, you can head over & check up on me if you like!

I took it quite easy & must admit found it quite hard to not to jog much more than the 1st kilometre. I didn’t quite manage to get the 1 hour 26 I was aiming for, I put this down to 2 reasons;

  1. I needed a wee for the whole 1st 5k, but couldn’t see any place to do one, and I wasn’t about to wee on the road side bushes, or test the theory that Police men have to let pregnant ladies wee in their hats. Then when I did get to one, just out side Old Trafford, there were queues, so I wasted time there.
  2. I just couldn’t get my walking pace quick enough without breaking into a full on jog, which the Mid wives told me not to do. I just couldn’t seem to get to those KM markers quick enough. 

But still I was 10 min behind target, and thoroughly enjoyed ever moment of the 10k. Perhaps I was a little dissapointed that there were no jelly babbies at the Bupa Boost point around the 8.5km mark. But the cheer & the shout out I got as I crossed the finish line made up for it!

.I am proud to say that I beat both the Monkey & the Lion running near meat the start, but the Giraffe started a  little ahead of me & I just couldn’t catch him, must have been those long legs.

I don’t have any pictures yet, but as soon as I do I’ll get some copies up on the blog.

The Donations website is open another 3 months, so you still have time to head over.

Many Many thanks to the people who have already donated & pledged money. You lovely lovely people…

Kate & Nigel
Lewis Jenko
Stew B
Neil, Vanessa & Catherine @ Fast & Fresh
Daddy & Lily
Lelia, George, Michael & Helen


>The Morning Sickness of the Long Distance Runner


>The story I’ve been squeeing about is on page 3 of the Lancashire Evening Post today. The story covers  a full page.

I’m quite amazed at how much attention the fact that I’m running & pregnant has generated to tell truth. I’m sure other mums with 2 or 3 kids have to run around just as much, if not more, as me, only not as officially as I am.

Well it was fun to do the interview & the photos, even if I think I look a bit weird in them.

The link  to the LEP full story is below, please don’t forget the whole point of the story was really to help me raise more pennies for Heart Research UK, just let me know if you want to pledge, I’ll add you to the running total (PUN!)

The Morning Sickness of the Long Distance Runner


>6km (1hr :07 min)


>You know I think I’ve lost my Nike+ gizmo, so the distance was worked out with Google map & the time was done via the timer on my phone. Yeah Dead accurate I know, but I’m on a tight schedule here I just need to move my bottom & get these KM done so I’ve got time to not be red faced & huffy when I get to nursery. Well, less huffy & red.

took me just over an hour to Jog / walk around the 6k, giving a pace of around 11 min. Not going to put me at the start of the pack is it?!

So it’s quite weird doing all running & stuff when you don’t quite balance the way you thin you should! and I’ll admit I’m much slower than I could go,but then if I’m out of breath then Jelly bean is out of breath & I really don’t want that to happen.

Yes it feels a bit gutting to have flogged myself & made myself do all that horrid running in the wet & cold november / december only to think I’m just going to waddle the whole way around.

Right off to get the 1st born from her day of destruction & chaos at nursery!

>Sponsor me the Traditional way. (sort of)


>Ok, so not everyone wants to use the clicky links & put card details into the internet & while I’m certain no one REALLY thinks I’ll fail, some people prefer to be traditional & pledge the money & then donate after the event is actually completed.

It’s no secret that I’m rubbish with bit of paper & I’m quite nervous about loosing an actual sponsor form, so of you’d prefer to sponsor me the traditional way, then please do so.

Either, add a comment either below or through the Facebook thingy on the left, you don’t need your full name I’ll work out who’s who. Or drop me a txt, and email, a message on Facebook & I’ll add your name to the virtual sponsor form! If you pledge a specific amount the Virgin site lets me add the pledge to the running total & will even work out how much Gift Aid you’ll be adding too!