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Sharing the Love

As regular readers of this blog will already be aware, I am a member of Cleethorpes Athletics Club. I would like to take a few moments therefore to introduce you to a couple of other blogs written by my fellow team mates who are both also running their first marathons in 2012.

Firstly we have the inspirational and general all round good guy, Simon Pollard and his Blog:

From Cleethorpes to Paris

I don’t train with Simon as often as I would like as the times that work for us don’t general coincide and even if they did he’s far too fast for me! I have however been following his blog from day one avidly and finding his insights fascinating – well worth a look over even if I do say so myself.


Secondly we have the lovely Jason Neilson who has only just started his blog

Running For Enjoyment

and it promises to also be an interesting and insightful read.


Both of these links have now taken up permanent stations in my blogroll which can be found along the right hand side of this page – if you have a blog about running and would like to get a little link on with me then please let me know! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Zumba Classes Info

Thank you for everyone’s lovely comments on my story – I’ve had a lot of interest in my Zumba classes from people since my was published in the Grimsby Telegraph. New year is a great time to start an exercise programme, so if anyone is interested some of the times of my classes are as follows:

  • Mondays at Old Clee Church hall 8pm
  • Tuesdays at Park Congregational on Durban Road at 8pm
  • Wednesdays at Clee Youth Centre opposite Lidls on Ladysmith Rd at 8pm
  • Thursdays at Old Clee Church hall also at 8pm.

(Get in touch if you want a full timetable of classes as there are many more)

Zumba Information and Booking Hotline: 07974282950
Facebook Group:

While we welcome walk-ins where we are able January is a very busy time for the fitness industry so booking in advance is highly advisable to avoid disappointment โ€“ you can book your space by calling, sending a text or leaving a message on Facebook. Classes ar ยฃ4 each for the hour, bring a drink.

Thanks again for everyone’s support. Gemma x

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Early Bird

Looks like I’m back to my early mornings again, today I have been helping out a couple of friends with their kids so my opportunity to get on the treadmill and train evaporated. Fortunately its January and I’ve been in “fail to prepare and prepare to fail” mode so I had preempted this and carefully planned my day so I not only have been able to work around the looking after of 5 individual children at various times during the day, fit in time to cook, prepare and eat healthy, balanced and nutritionally dense meals, fit in my training run, cram in a double Zumba session AND I’ve even found time to sit down with a cuppa and write my blog for today!

Have I gone all Superchick on everyone’s backsides or what?

It started at around 5.45am when my first alarm went off – this was the one to remind me I have to get up in 45 minutes. Weird I know, but just how I roll as far as getting up goes. At 6.30am I actually got out of bed, got my gear on which was all neatly folded and ready for me downstairs, had a couple of swings of lucozade lite and headed out the door.

Still dark, raining a little and stupidly windy I managed to get just under 5 miles in – even if they were painfully slow. I’m still running carefully after new years day’s little mis-hap. Saying that, my average pace this morning was around 30 seconds a mile faster than the race – I had to laugh!

I really don’t appreciate early mornings, I mentioned earlier in my blog I am really nothing even close to a morning person, but I can cope with it every once in a while when needs must. Marathon training is serious now and I have no intention of missing a single training run if I can hep it. Injury is fair enough, a sensible reason to forgo a session, but claiming I don’t have the time to train is just not good enough – you’ll always find the time if it’s important enough to you.

Speaking of time however, my daughter is at dance class soon so I have to get her clothes sorted and the dishes don’t seem to be doing themselves so I guess that’ll be down to me too, so I’d better get off the PC pronto and let the madness continue!

Over and out…

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Diet Tip of the Day #1

After my article was published in the Grimsby Evening Telegraph – I got a few comments asking how I did it, how I lost all that weight. Firstly I’d like to point out that I’m far from anything even close to an expert and so all I can offer is my own personal experiences, and saying that – I’m guilty of putting on a “little” Christmas weight – nothing like the photos of the first race of the year on New Years day to spur your motivation to get back on the diet track!

Now my disclaimer is out the way I’m going to add hints and tips based on my own experience of weight loss as and when I am able and they come to me. So here’s number one…


(No, not “and be merry” I’m afraid – that was last night…) – I mean water mainly, but diluted fruit juice is ok if you find water rather unpalatable. Even electrolyte and/or carbohydrate based sports drinks are fine so long as your training demands them.

Ok, so we all know we should be drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day…

Firstly, this seems a little excessive until you realise that a glass = 250ml. That’s half the size of a sports drink bottle. Caffine is not fab for you but we all have our vices and there’s water in a cup of tea or coffee, so throughout the day, x 8 glasses is easily achievable.

Secondly, why? I’m sure a doctor would be able to tell you all that stuff but what I discovered is that it helps curve my appetite, or at least curbs my thirst when I’ve mis-read my body’s signals and confused thirst with hunger.

Basically, it seems the body is rather rubbish at dealing with thirst. From what I’ve read it seems that by the time your brain is reading “I’m thirsty, go get a drink”, you are already rather dehydrated. There’s a test that’s got something to do with the colour of your pee which is applicable to people doing long distance running and other endurance sports but as far as helping appetite goes I’d suggest this:

When you feel hungry, you might actually be thirsty, only your brain is being stupid and getting mixed up. So try having a drink first – then wait (it takes around 20 minutes for your stomach to register something is in it and tell your brain). If after 20 minutes or so you still feel hungry, then fine, it probably was hunger, so what you waiting for? Go eat! If however you find you are actually ok, then how annoying would have it been if you’d just gone and scoffed a few hundred calories just cos your brain was being stupid.

Even better, prevent the mixed signals from your brain in the first place by staying hydrated throughout the day.

Lay off the fizzy pop though – you know that stuffs gonna rot your teeth!

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2012 is here!

So here it is, the serious marathon training starts here and now!

No more mince-pie munching and sofa surfing while watching several non-offensive family orientated films in succession for me.

Todays plan was simply to run the New Years Day 10k – a race hosted by my club, Cleethorpes AC. Last year I ran it in 1 hour and 44 seconds – I was a bit miffed to not get under the hour but since then have completed several 10k races with an average time of around 54 – 55 minutes. I was confident that even if I completely coasted round this time I’d still get well under the hour.

Unfortunately though my husbands Granddad has been very unwell, the lovely nurses and the hospital don’t think he has much time left and we didn’t like the idea of him being alone on New years Eve so we both went and sat with him to ring in the new year. By the time we got home it was much later than my usual bedtime and I think I was rather more upset than I had anticipated and so didn’t sleep too well in the few hours I had the opportunity to do so.

Despite the tiredness however for the first couple of miles I was feeling really good. I was keeping the 9.10 / 9.30 minute mile pace I had set for myself easily and was even considering the possibility of upping the ante at the halfway mark if I still had it in me. It wasn’t so long back that in a 10k my aim would have been 8.40 minute miles but I was aware I was very tired. I’ve recently been rather poorly and over Christmas I’ve done far too much of nothing and way too much ofย  scoffing my way though everything in sight. Baring all that in mind 9.20 ish I felt was a reasonable ask.

At just gone mile 2 however I cobbled slightly in the smallest pothole you’d ever seen – how stupid! I was just behind my group at the time, they were all in “the zone” and none of them noticed as I fell back and I was gutted to watch them all steam off without me. I realised I hadn’t hurt myself so phew, but had thoughts of London and how my training is really getting serious now. If I attempted to keep up the pace I could injure myself and it’s just not worth it. Disappointed and angry I fell back even more and dropped back to around 11 minute miles. We train faster than that on beginners night runs so I did have to laugh to myself as I trundled along.

In the end I did beat a dog who was running his first 10k so score! (Although I suspect he let me come in ahead of him out of pity which I can cope with ๐Ÿ™‚ )

In short I finished todays race in the worst ever time I’ve done a 10k ever (ever ever) – and that’s including the 10k’s I ran before I even joined the club. Now it’s been a few hours since the race finished though my ankle has become rather sore and it’s all got a bit limpy my end, so a bit of quality R.I.C.E is on the agenda for me for the rest of the day and fingers crossed it gets nipped in the bud.

Also, I ended up on the front page of the local newspaper yesterday in a big article about how I used to be the size of a whale blahdy blah blah and now I’m all “fit” and stuff lol – I’ve only died of embarrassment about 60 times since it was published so I don’t reckon that’s too bad. Theres a link here if you wanna read it:

I must say, judging by some of the comments – I think I’ve pulled hehe ๐Ÿ˜€

Hope everyone’s not too hung over – Happy New Year xxx

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