Baby to BQ: Autumn races and running

Hello. It’s been another couple of months, so if you’re not following along on Instagram, which seems to be where I share my running ups and downs these days, here’s what’s been going on.

Holiday running

I went away to the seaside for a few days and did some lovely miles along the coast.

In September I got my weekly mileage up to a peak of 27 miles with a longest run of 12 miles. It has all gone pretty well.

Royal Parks Half

You can read the full story of this race in the January issue of Women’s Running magazine. So below is just my performance.

This had been my goal for the year. I started back in February with a list of my PBs + 10% as goals which meant I was targeting a sub 1:50 half. After running the Pride 10k and then having a great run of tempo workouts, I believed I could go sub 1:45.

The day before I’d started to get a cold. And then I had a terrible night’s sleep worrying that, if I couldn’t run it, the magazine would have a massive hole to fill. I felt foggy but ok the morning of the race, so decided to start but promised my partner I’d take it steady.


I started and felt pretty good running. I let my legs do what they wanted to do and ran in a weird limbo between not wanting to push faster but also not wanting to slow down. I finished in 1:47:02 annoyed at those two seconds, probably the result of me stopping to put my gel wrapper in a bin. But really I was annoyed at the 2 min and 2 seconds between me and my goal.

I knew that, putting all my eggs in one basket in terms of races, would be risky so I’d also signed up for the St Neots Half Marathon with that as a back-up plan. But, even though I knew I could run faster than 1:47, I didn’t want to do it so soon. So I transferred my place to my partner.

Great South Run

Duracell had asked me to be an official pacer for this 10-mile race. And as I’d never been an official pacer or run a 10-mile race, I said yes. Disclaimer: they were also sponsoring me.

It’s a different kind of nerves on race morning as a pacer. I was pacing the sub-1:40 runners. It was a time I could comfortably run but timing it so that you finish with seconds to spare and run even splits would be a challenge.

There were two other pacers with me and we chatted to each other and with the runners who were following us. The miles flew by.

The route took us round Portsmouth then out through Southsea, finishing with a couple of miles along the coast towards the finish line. The sun was shining and it was a perfect day by the sea.

We finished in 1:39:25. As soon as I crossed the finish line, a runner who I didn’t know had been following us gave me a sweaty hug and a thank you. I really enjoyed pacing and would definitely do it again, though probably no longer than a half marathon.

What’s next?

That brings us up-to-date. Cross country season has started and I’m entered in the London Championships in November at Parliament Hill. I’d also like to run the South of England Championships there too.

I have my first ever Santa Dash coming up. I’ll be running it with the buggy and my son – luckily the buggy is red to match our Santa suits.

And then, training begins for a spring marathon! I have my London Marathon Good For Age place (deferred from 2018). But I think I might aim for a different race as my goal. London is great, but I haven’t had the best of luck with it in the past.

I do, however, know I’ll be doing the Winter 10k and a new half marathon at the Olympic Park in February as build up races to wherever my legs take me.