Things I have learnt from 3 marathons!

I’ve completed 3 marathons. I have a love hate relationship with them all.

  1. Edinburgh

I learnt gels do not work for me, throwing them all up at 13 miles was not a highlight!

I also learnt what overtraining can do, tired legs very early on. I paid for that overtraining!

That and going out too hard will come back to bite you! It did from about mile 15! Not fun when theres over 10 to go.

Oh and out and back is great on the going out section (if you’re a slow runner this is) but not so great on the coming back when there is no one else around. 

2. Brighton

Clif bars are lovely but after a while get really boring. As do Jelly babies. Variety is the spice of life when running 26.2 miles! 

Once again (I never learn) going out hard will bite you on the bum. I went out WAY too hard. I had a pace band on my wrist so there really was no excuse other than going – “Oh look I’m 20 minutes ahead, I could SMASH my target if I keep going”, I couldn’t and eventually that 20 minute advance got less and less until I was past that and watching my goal disappear. 

Having family to support you is awesome. I saw my Mum, best friend and my boys twice in the early stages, along with my Dad and then one of my other besties was EPIC at popping up at numerous points around the course, she covered some mileage herself! It made a huge difference compared to Edinburgh where I’d had no one.

Play a mental game with the out and back, note what order you see your friends, make note when that order changes! Tick them off as you see them! Its a great distraction. 

3. Liverpool

I was carrying a tear in my quad. Doing this marathon was dumb. First thing I learnt! 

2nd thing I learnt – June is WAY too hot for a marathon, I am a spring/autumn runner and the heat just zapped me, I ended up running in just a sports bra at times. 

Clif shot blocks worked well but after a while I found I craved something salty, crisps will be packed this year! 

Being a slower runner doing a race with such a tight cut off – not advisable. It meant to a stressed last few miles which isn’t much fun really! 

Note the cheap hoodie brought from the charity shop that I chucked away when I was warm!

So from all that what SHOULD I know about this years Brighton?

Don’t go out too hard, stick to my planned pace … NO MATTER HOW GOOD YOU FEEL HAYLEY!

Fuel regularly even if you don’t feel like you need it, hitting a wall is not nice.

Enjoy the out and back sections. Look for people you know.

Respect the hills. There are more of them in Brighton than you realise.

Disposable layers are great, its often cold in the morning but once you get going and the day warms up suddenly that long sleeve layer is a pain being strung around your waist, buy something cheap you don’t mind ditching with a marshall.

Plan your hydration strategy. Are you carrying water and sports drinks? Or are you relying on the on course providers? Do you have a back up if that gatorade doesn’t work so well for you?

Ultimately 26.2 miles isn’t a distance you can just get up and run, well most people can’t. It should be respected.



7 years of blogging!

It occurred to me last week that I have had this blog for over 7 years now.

Officially it turned 7 on the 15th June. Thats pretty mental.

7 years of memories.

7 years of growing up, evolving, changing, adapting.

In 7 years I have:

shared posts about why I so passionately champion the give blood campaign.

written about my grief for friends who departed too soon, friendships that ended too soon, loved ones we have lost

used the blog as an outlet throughout my Open University Degree

opened up about my birth trauma and the slow journey to acceptance and moving on


written a regular diary throughout my second pregnancy

shared the difficulties of losing weight

PicMonkey Collage

my journey into discovering a love of running from the early days

the highs and lows of my first half marathon

my first marathon

subsequent brighton marathon


injury woes last year

discovering the gym as a way to keep fit

beginning my journey with pole fitness


I think one of the biggest things to come out of writing this blog and being part of the parent blogging community though was the fundraising I was part of following the sudden death of Edspire’s beautiful daughter Matilda Mae.

The year she passed away we did a skydive and continued to do them for two years following as well as last year running 24 events to mark the 24 months since she had passed away. The first two years raised over £10,000 for The Lullaby Trust as a combined group of bloggers. And last year I added another £700 on top of that.

PubSkydive7 (copy)

And so – so much more ranging from events to reviews. Reading back over 7 years of posts shows me just how many fantastic events I have been a part of and how many brilliant brands I have worked alongside. I’ve made friends and been inspired by many.

This blog for 7 years has been my space on the internet. Where I have been able to talk about whatever it is that is relevant to my life at the time. The things that matter to me. And hopefully it will continue to be that way for many years to come!

#24Events24Months – Pushing my limits

So taking on these 24 events hasn’t been a worry free undertaking. So I thought I’d share some of my concerns with you about some of these events.

Eliminator Race – This is an unknown race, its new, now the promo video quite frankly terrifies me! Stuck in the mud comes to mind!

Nuts Challenge – This recently got voted the toughest course! Need I say anymore?!

Brighton Marathon – I have high hopes for this and I really hope I manage to do everyone proud and smash my PB. I’m praying I enjoy it more than I did Edinburgh, if not its going to make the following 2 even harder!

Dirty Dozen – I’m excited about this and also terrified. I’ve been watching all the videos that Doug makes on youtube and I know that many of these obstacles are going to really test me. But thats what this challenge is about! Pushing myself!

Tough Mudder- I know theres a number of obstacles that involve being submerged. I am not good at the whole submerged thing. It stems back from a bad memory when I was in year 6 at school. I’m even worse at being submerged and having to go underneath something. If anyone has suggestions for getting over this I’d love to hear them!

Dirty Weekender – I’m mega excited about this but also rather nervous about it, its going to be absolutely EXHAUSTING. 20 miles – 200 obstacles? Don’t get me wrong I’m pretty fit, but thats something else right?

Liverpool Marathon – This is only 8 weeks after Brighton Marathon, which means I won’t have been able to do a full training plan. I am quite worried how that will affect things. I’m also concious that after Edinburgh it took about a month before I recovered anyway!

Spartan Sprints x 2! – For these I really have to get practicing burpees! I know of a few obstacles that I can’t ever imagine being able to complete! The rope climb, how an earth do you practice that?! Monkey bars I am bound to fail at! I’ve heard so much about these races but I’m also terrified!

Zombie Race – Imagine the scene, a thorpe park horror maze, a terrified 18 year old and a poor chap in front of her being almost strangled by how tightly she was hugging onto his jacket! I HATE anything that makes me jump or jumps out at me, or is generally scary. Being chased by zombies is like my idea of HELL! I am expecting to scream!

The thing is with all these challenges is I can push myself and face these fears. But for families who have been affected by SIDS they wake up every day and their worst fear is a reality. Their baby died. Nothing will bring them back. The Lullaby Trust support those families as well as funding vital research into SIDS. Please help me in my fundraising efforts by sponsoring me at my justgiving page or text donating via the details below.

Thank you!


Brighton Marathon Training Week 4

Yay I’m managing to write this on time this week! Ha! It is mainly because I am procrastinating about a 2000 word essay I need to write! Either way its here!

So week 4 of my Runners World Smart Coach Marathon plan was as follows: It was an easier week which was nice but I sort of missed having a speedwork or tempo run! Never thought I’d say that!

Run 1 : 5 Miles @ 12: 08 Pace

Now this 12:08 pace business is HARD! I am fine slowing down on long runs but have real issues doing it for shorter runs. Admittedly I ran this one on Tuesday morning and had been pissed off by my sons nursery so it ended up being an average pace of 10:57! Whoopsie! As runs go it wasn’t too bad, I am getting incredibly bored of my 5 mile route though! Ugh!

Run 2: 5 Miles @ 12:08 Pace

So the nursery had pissed me off again and that kind of meant I ran even faster, this time averaging 10:27! Trouble is at the time I don’t really realise I’m going so fast! I’m torn about attempting the marathon at a faster pace but I think I’d be setting myself up for failure if I did and I’d rather try and do a slower pace and complete it strong than in a heaped mess!

Run 3: 6 Miles Easy 

Well when it says easy… I’m not sure I’d consider Muscle Acre to be an easy run. There was definitely PLENTY of running but it was through bogs, and sludge, and uneven grass and was generally very tough, my calves are feeling it today! But I kind of focused more on the fact it had told me to do 6 miles and figured that the Muscle Acre 10k was perfect for that!


Week 5 sees my long run being 13 miles! I’ll be adding on the .11 to make it a half marathon distance 😉 Come back next week to see how I get on! Banner-728x90

New Challenges!

Before I had run Bournemouth the other week I knew what my next challenges were, I knew what my training plan was going to look like. And then I read a post on my friend Vikki’s blog and it reminded me how I’m no good at dealing with the here and now. I am forever making plans. Okay admittedly with running you kind of do have to plan because you need to have ideas about how your going to train for that event and you need to have booked your place, so you can’t exactly be spontaneous with running but even so I’m rarely focused on the challenge thats right in front of me, I’m usually focused on the next one that will push me.

So at the moment although I have a couple of 10ks and a half marathon ahead of me my main focus is on Grim Challenge and Judgement Day! I don’t know that its a bad thing as such but I guess I’ve started to realise why I’m always seeking the next big thing. The next challenge to push myself. I get a sense of achievement from doing it and am always looking to ‘better’ myself. Its all on a personal level and I’m not entirely sure where it comes from, possibly its my head still being in a 16 year old headspace of wanting to not be the stereotypical teenage mum. Maybe its from trying to show the doubters that I can do things. Either way I do it.Quot

This year I did my second skydive. I ran my first half marathon and then 12 weeks later ran my first marathon. This weekend just gone I took part in my first mud/OCR style race and have a couple of epic ones coming up before the year is out. So I’ve achieved quite a bit I guess, and yet I’m already looking at next year. I’ve already set myself a couple of goals.

  1. Run two marathons (Ran 1 in 2014)
  2. Run eight half marathons (Will have run 4 in 2014)
  3. Complete a tough mudder
  4. Complete a Spartan race

Its only October and I already have my 2015 goals! See thats how much I look ahead! Tell me I’m not the only person already looking ahead?