My journey from 59 to ………

Archive for the tag “Club One Hundred”

Back On Track – Week One 

Tuesday 26/01/16

Braved the scales – important to face your demons!

Breakfast – black coffee then pineapple, banana, celery, almond & chia smoothie

Training – went to gym and did my full program but not in the right order because other people were on MY equipment! 😃


Lunch – no time as had to go to a funeral. Had a kale, spinach & mango smoothie and a protein bar

Snack – almond bar, black coffees

Dinner – carrots, broccoli and bolognese

Snack – prawns

Happy with that!

Wednesday 27/01/16

Breakfast – Black coffee then pineapple, banana, kale, carrot, almond & chia seed smoothie

Lunch – crayfish salad

Snack – black coffee & vegetable crisps

Dinner – mince & mediteannean vegetables

Snacks – protein bar and a box of raisins

No exercise, always busy on a Wednesday so rest day

Thursday 28/01/16

Breakfast – black coffee, pineapple, banana, kale, carrot & spirulina Smoothie

Lunch – tomato soup (the only thing available without starchy carbs!) & eat well bar

Dinner – crayfish & anchovy salad with sweet potato crisps

Snacks – eat well bar & box of raisins

10.3 km walk in my boots, which are nearly 2lbs heavier than trainers. Need to get my leg strength back!


Friday 29/01/16

Breakfast – Black coffee.  Chocolate protein powder, banana, almonds & chia seed shake

Lunch – Frankie & Benny’s ABC salad

Dinner – Lemon sole salad

Snacks – box of raisins

Trained with Darryl for the first time this year! Started using My Fitness Pal


Saturday 30/01/16

Breakfast – black coffee, pineapple, banana, kale, carrot, celery, almond & chia seed smoothie

Lunch – prawn salad

Dinner – crab stirfry

Snacks – protein bar, eat natural bar

Out all day with the man trailing dogs. 10.4 km plus time on my feet!

Loving My Fitness Pal, it’s going to help me make better choices

Sunday 31/01/16

Breakfast – chocolate protein powder, banana & carrots smoothie

Lunch – prawn salad

Dinner – butternut noodles & homemade bolognese sauce

Snacks – vegetable crisps, eat natural bar

Another day with the trailing dogs. 8.85 km today.

Monday 01/02/16

Breakfast – pineapple, banana, kale, carrot, celery, spirulina & almond smoothie

Lunch – a burger with coleslaw and side salad (didn’t enjoy it 😏)

Dinner – ham omelette with beetroot crisps

Snacks – eat natural bars, box of raisins

10.08 km walk

I’m pretty pleased with my first week back on track.

When I trained with Darryl (for the sake of any new readers he is my personal trainer and Jiminy Crickett – http://www.clubonehundred.com) on Friday he suggested I try My Fitness Pal, not for calorie counting (I’ve moved away from that) but to help with nutrition and portion size.

I am hooked! It’s already changed how I eat!

I get fed up with people telling me I need carbs (I never eat bread, pasta, rice and try not to have biscuits/cake!) but I’m easily meeting my carbohydrate target from fruit and vegetables

I’m loving seeing the ‘sugar’ record, it’s made me really look at the amount of fruit I eat and I’m going to change my snacks once I’ve finished my ‘stock’. I now eat the little box of raisins a few at a time, don’t just swallow them in one go!

I’m realising how good fish is for you (thank you Sally Osborne, big shout out to Osborne’s fishmongers for getting me to try new things!)


I’m on getting my fitness back and I finally seem to  have recovered from all that kidney stone nonsense!

From now on I’m screenshotting My Fitness Pal!

Tuesday 02/02/16

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Wednesday 03/02/16

Got the munchies tonight, typical the night before weigh in!!!

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And here’s the nutrition information for the week, aiming for less sugar next week!



That’s 1.6 pounds off!!!!


Read more…


Three notches down!

Having got into a muddle I’ve decided to split this update into 2 posts. This one will focus on health / nutrition / training / ramblings and the other will be a sort of diary. They will of course overlap but it will suit me better!


I missed out a post!

Last time I posted I said that I was aiming to get the belt down by one more notch in 4 weeks. I did that but I forgot to bore you all with it, and I went straight into getting the third notch in 8 weeks.

The 8 weeks were up 2 weeks ago and …………. I did it!

4 belts

Now, as I’ve said before, I’m well aware that the number of notches can be changed by the position that you wear it, but this is a ‘working’ belt and I can only count it as successful if I’ve worn it, and used it, for a full day, which I have!

The next ‘target’, if I go for it, is to get it on to the last notch (now I’m wondering if I should have said hole but I like the word notch much more, in 16 weeks time. That’ll be on the 4th December 2015!

The bigger, if you’ll pardon the pun, use of it is to stop me getting bigger though. The trouble with living in lycra is that it stretches, and stretches so you don’t get as many wake up calls. This belt definitely does not stretch! Nor do the 2 pairs of cargo pants I’ve bought. I know this because for the last two weeks I’ve been in face stuffing mode and they have told me!

I have to confess that I’ve been bitten by whatever the sugar equivalent of the tsetse fly is again. The man at the end of the conveyor belt where they make Viennese Whirls must have washed his hands because I’ve been force feeding  myself with those, and other sorts of cakes 😦

My training has also suffered, Darryl has given me three new programs. Normally I’d be ultra excited and attacking them but I did not manage to complete even one of them 😦

I haven’t been feeling great, very tired and episodes of ‘wooziness’ (M.S. stuff – boo) and my knee has been playing up.


  • Gluttony! It will never leave me, I just have to learn to manage it and I’m getting better at it all the time
  • The weather. Yes, that’s a real point. It’s been very hot and muggy and my body reacts badly to that
  • Doing too much! (Not so good at learning about that!)

But let’s rewind because it has been a long time since I told you what I’ve been doing and, before this latest blip, training was going brilliantly!

We have had the Club One Hundred Games!!!

COH games

The games were open to all members of Club One Hundred and were made up of 6 events. You got points for each event depending on your position, and the winners would be the man / woman with the most points.

The events were:

  • maximum deadlift
  • 2000 metre row for time
  • 21 – 15 – 9 – 3 Burpees and Thrusters for time
  • maximum clean and jerk
  • 3 sets of: 500 metre run, 100 x single unders skipping, 2 lengths of walking lunges
  • As many rounds as possible in 12 minutes of: 7 press-ups, 10 hanging knee raises, 15 box squats

Because I train fortnightly we were doing 2 events per session and this was session one! (Where I peaked!)


I was really pleased with these results, but when I looked at the board and saw someone had lifted 90kg I was not happy! There was only Darryl and I in the studio and he tentatively, and carefully, pointed out that I was not in my mid 20s!!! Gareth walked in at that point to find me moving around the studio, kicking myself and chanting “Got to remember I’m 62!”

The next session I did the burpees (lying down on the floor and standing up in my case) & thrusters. I  may occasionally (OK, frequently) suffer from flatulence but I do not do burpees! Still, I’d been practicing them at the gym and I gave it my best shot. Part way through I was VERY hot and felt sick so I had a little pause then carried on. Although I was proud of myself for not giving up I was a bit gutted that I knew I could be faster. I was, however, thrilled when I found out that I was not the slowest!!!!

I also did the clean and jerk that session. Now I can clean (only this sort, not housework), and I can press, but …. waiting for the sniggers …. I can’t jerk! I have a real problem with any form of jumping, my feet do not want to leave the ground at the same time! So my final weight that day was 25 kg. But I really, really wanted to do 30kg, just for my benefit. Darryl gave me a list of weights and reps to try it with and, one day at the gym ………


I was SO happy! I may never do it again, but it doesn’t matter, I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!

On to the final session ….. save the worst until last!

I did not have high expectations of myself, this was cardio! My major concern was whether I’d be able to do both of the events …. & complete them in an hour!

These were by far my weakest events but, bizarrely, they are possibly the ones I am most proud of. I didn’t bottle it, I went for it and did far, far better than I ever expected to ( you have to remember that my expectations were awful, don’t assume from my reaction that I smashed them, I did not! But, for me, I was thrilled!)

These Games have taken me on a further journey.

I may come across as being very confident! and I suppose I am, but I never think that I’m that good at stuff. When people say I’m inspirational or a role model I tend to think I must be kidding them in some way but the Club One Hundred Games have made me realise, again, that I should be proud of myself. 

I am a LOT older (chronologically) than the other ‘competitors’ but I did myself proud. I came 13th out of the women!!!
I’ve finally got to finish this post as I’m sat in my hospital bed with nothing else to do!

On Friday I had the steroid injection in my knee, that went really well

On Saturday I was hit by excruciating pain, and I’m sat here, having taken loads of painkillers, about to spend a second night in hospital, waiting to see if nature will get rid of it. How can something that small (2.5mm) be so painful? And how can it cause my blood pressure to soar to 189/76? And that was before my melt down trying to get help for Ray!

























Fat / Weight / 2 weeks 1 notch

My blog has sort of turned into a diary of what I’ve been up to which I like as I write it for me and one day, when I’m old, I’ll look back at all this stuff I used to get up to.

Today I’m going to write about something else first though.  That ongoing relationship between me and my fat!!!  Although I’ve got fat in lots of places I’m only really bothered (as regular readers will know) by my belly. I don’t care what I weigh because I’ve understood how meaningless that is, so I’ve come up with a new way of looking at this.

When I started at the prison I was really skinny and, when I was given my belt the officer said he thought id have to make extra holes! I didn’t, but now I have spare holes 😦  So I came up with the idea of 2 weeks – 1 notch. In 2 weeks I needed to be able to wear my belt one notch tighter.

That meant starting with getting rid of the sugar monster AGAIN!!!!!!!!

I have a real problem with sugar. Ray likes Viennese Whirls and so did I. (Notice the use of the past tense!) But I wouldn’t have one. I could eat 10 in a row. I could be shoving them down my throat despite the fact that I felt sick.



But I am also very good at visualisation.  I have now convinced myself that at the end of every conveyor belt that produces Viennese Whirls there is somebody with exceptionally dirty (leave what that is to your imagination) hands who touches each cake before it us packed!  I have not had any since!!!!!

My nutrition has been much better over the last couple of weeks although I have to confess to sugar free sweets. I know they are worse for me than natural sugars but I do seem to be able to control myself with them so it’s time for the pragmatic approach!

I’ve also eaten some interesting things but more about that later!

I’ve been doing a weighing experiment. As this is not about weight that may seem strange but, as I’m not looking at it emotionally I thought I’d do an experiment and weigh myself daily.  The evidence shows that this is definitely not a good idea! As you can see from the graph my weight gives up and down on a daily basis. If weight loss was my goal I’d have thought ‘Well sod it then’ several times!


2 weeks – 1 notch was a success.


Now I’m not naive enough to not realise that by moving the position of a belt you can change hue it does up but this wasn’t really about the belt, it was about getting my head back in the right place and it has definitely worked! I have now got 4 weeks to be able to tighten it another notch 🙂

I’ve now added another thing.

When I was at the Westminster Mile / BUPA 10k this weekend I stayed overnight. Carrying my rucksack about I realised how heavy it was so ………… although this isn’t about weight I came up with an idea (I’m really good at these!).

The rucksack is now full of cans of food, jars of sauces and bottles of water. Every night I have to put the rucksack on and go for a walk, do things in the garden etc just to remind myself what I’m carrying all the time.  When I think that I used to ‘carry’ 4 or 5 of these everywhere ……


Diary time now..what have I been up to? (Note form!)

Havens to Havens – a 10 mile walk with Nigel & Renei

The Branches at Havens

Garden furniture – I bought this at the end of last summer, the table has just arrived and the chairs changed for a matching pair. Others thought I’d been ripped off and would not get them. I never had any doubt!!!! So much safer for Ray to get I and out of.

London marathon – only watching this year, with my friend Lindsay, but the ballot has been entered for 2016


Ham house – Renei and I have joined the National Trust and are going to visit as many places as possible.

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Pedal for Js- marshalling a bike ride for Js hospice

Great Bardfield garage sale

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Nuclear races – watching the Club One Hundred team!


Meal with Zung & Lien – two ex pupils and now good friends! Felt a bit like Bear Grylls as I had chicken feet (ugh, preferred the crispy version), ducks tongues (did you know they have bones in them?) and cow’s stomach (which I liked but they thought that was because of the oyster sauce!)

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New car, Ray can get in and out of this one!


New programs = loving them!

4 weeks – 2nd notch starts

Westminster mile – thank you Sweatshop Bluewater!


Premier inn – the luxury of a bath as opposed to the practicality of a wet room (and a night off from caring!)


Doing the baggage for the BUPA 10k

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Getting a packed lunch from Fortnum & Mason!

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And I’ve just got a physio appointment about my knee for next week!

2015 has started well.

Well here’s my first post of 2015, halfway through January.

Christmas and New Year are over, thank goodness. They are never a good time for us and this year was no exception. Once they are out of the way things can settle down (until Ray’s next major stress point, my birthday in March!).

So what about my new targets? I was struggling to come up with some for this year. Well, let’s face it, the last couple of years were pretty spectacular 😀 and how do you follow those?

But, after a lot of thought I came up with these:

1) To be leaner on 01/01/16 than I am on 01/03/15
2) To improve my PBs at upper body strength exercises
3) To do whatever the physios say is necessary to sort my knee out!

The first one may sound a bit odd, but let me explain.
I am NEVER going to be a naturally slim person. Yes, for the first time in my life, I have control of my weight, I still go up and down, albeit over a much smaller range.
Like most people, I start the year full of good intentions and with strong will but, over the course of the year it sneaks back up so I thought the best thing was to do was use that pattern to try and break it.
As you may have noticed, I do not like not meeting my targets so, hopefully, this will work!
I’ve just finished my two week detox and begun the year with a 7lb loss so that’s a good start.

Because of my knee (boo) I have been concentrating on upper body exercise, latterly strength work, for about the last 3-4 months so it makes sense to have a target in this area.

Again the knee …. I’ve now started the arthritis physio classes and, after one session, been promoted (or got rid of) to the functional exercise class!
Giving been given the ok to start doing some leg work I’ve been doing some gentle squats and lunges and I can’t believe how tight my quads are. At the moment it’s like I’ve never done legs before. I’ve been using the foam roller and tiger tail on my quads and IT band – it really hurts, but I know it has to be done! I can’t tell you how nice it us to have these feelings again though!

I am so busy at the moment. As well as training with Darryl, doing the program’s he’s given me at least three times a week, I’ve also signed up for two months of bootcamp at Club One Hundred! This means going out in Tuesday and Thursday evenings, breaking a pattern of sitting at home and eating! I have to say that I am loving it! The sessions are great fun and get me doing cardio!!!!

Today I was out fundraising with Search Dogs Essex. They are a great group of people, and dogs, who are all volunteers and give up their time to assist the police in searching for missing people. Not only do they give up their time to search, they have to do a massive amount of training. I have an easy role, I get left hidden in the woods as a ‘misper’ (missing person) and wait for the dogs to find me!

While we were there today I met Davina McCall! I gave always liked her on the TV and I was completely hooked by her Comic Relief Challenge. One amazing lady!
Well, we got talking (me? I know that’ll surprise you!) and she was interested in what I’d been up to!!!

Well, that got me thinking on the way home.

Darryl has got me listening to an audiobook called The Secret. It’s had a big impact on me. It stresses the importance of being thankful for the things that we have and, in trying to practice this, it has made me think far more openly and honestly about all aspects of my life and, today, I finally began to see why it may be that so many people have told me that I am inspirational!

– I taught, for ever, in a secondary school in one of the toughest areas of London (& loved it!)
– I survived a couple of pretty disastrous relationships!
– I’ve been the sole carer for Ray for the last 26 years!
– I lost masses of weight and have succeeded in keeping most of it off. I’m still more than 6 stone lighter than I was!
– I have been a non smoker, after being on 40+ a day, for over 4 years.
– My Multiple Sclerosis has gone from relapse & remitting to secondary progressive to benign (hooray, hooray!!!) I no longer need walking sticks or a Blue Badge!
– at the age off 55 I took up exercise for the first time and I am now completely addicted.
– Whilst I can no longer work I do interesting voluntary work including in a prison and with the search dogs!
– I’ve amassed a large collection of medals from different races including the London Marathon!
– I’ve built up a wide range of friends all of whom are positive (younger!) people!
– I am definitely the fittest and healthiest I have ever been and I think I am also the most positive and content as well.

For all of the above I give thanks.

Life is good! And there us no reason why it should not continue to improve.

Better stop now, I need to get to bed, I’m off to hide in the forest for the dogs tomorrow. 😃

How much difference can two weeks make?

All the difference in the world!!!

When I last wrote I was on the point of tackling my nutrition and saying how I had to get off some of the weight that had crept back on.

I got out my nutrition plan from Club One Hundred and really studied it, then decided to commit to doing the two week detox properly.

I’m not going to tell you what the plan says. that is part of their business after all, but I will say that it doesn’t involve calorie counting or weighing and measuring food. In fact non of the things normally associated with weight loss!

It is so true that, with almost anything, if your ‘head’ is not in the right place you are not going to succeed.

Finally, at long last, my head IS in the right place and I have followed the plan to the letter as well as doing all my programs.

Last Thursday I trained with Darryl and told him that I’d lost seven and a half pounds! I have NEVER lost that much weight in one week!!

I showed him my food diary and he told me it was the best I’d ever done (gold star for me!)

He gave me some advice as to how I could improve it further and then we went through my three new training programs. Total happiness 🙂

Week two began and my resolve was as strong as ever. I have completely stuck to the nutrition plan, and taken Darryl’s advice on board. I’ve been doing my new programs at the gym and loving them.

I’ve found that I have changed ……. yet again!

Somehow, over the course of the last two weeks I’ve found that I do not feel that I HAVE to finish food. For the first time in my life I have been able to reseal whatever I’m eating and put it away for later. I’ve been varying the foods I eat and trying out new stuff.

I’m loving my food, here’s a couple of  examples:



Friends keep posting pictures of foods like this:


But I can honestly saythat I do not want it.

There have been chocolate biscuits in the house and I have not even been tempted.

I’ve been nibbling at food, rather than guzzling it, and found that I get fuller quicker. There are times when I have to tell myself to eat because I know I should rather than because I’m greedy!

Could it be that I am finally understanding that food is a fuel, not a comfort?

My new programs are awesome. All upper body and core because of my knee and no cardio. Happy times!

(Seeing the physio on Friday so I hope to find something out. Hope s/he doesn’t just say stop being a wimp and go and get on with it.)

I never ache, but these ones have really got me. Love that feeling.

Last Sunday I went to do the baggage for Ride London.

I was aching but it was due to be a rest day so no problem I thought.

People don’t half pack a lot of stuff in their bags! Steve and I had it off to a fine art though. Steve was on the lorry, I was on the ground and we threw the bags to each other. As always, as soon as I started exercising the eche went.

I am so proud to say that I did not drop a single bag! My throwing and catching have improved as well.

I had a great day but, as you can see, I did get exceedingly wet!

Although I was really wet and cold I did not stop to get a cappuccino on the way home. Every Costa in the South East is in shock at my change to green tea!


Oh, and my weight?

This week I lost  2.4 pounds , my belly has shrunk and I’m getting definition back in my arms.

That’s 9.9 pounds in two weeks!!!!

i’ve never lost that much so quickly before, after last week I wouldn’t have been surprised to see no change.

It has NOT been hard, I’ve had no cravings at all.

I can do this and I will do this!

And, as always, remember that if I can, so can you!

BTW this is not and advertising feature but if you want to have a look at Club One Hundred and what they do go to:


There’s free stuff there and lots of people’s stories.

They train people all over the country, and abroad as well! I can’t recommend them enough!

My London Marathon (part two)

So I’ve written about my experience on the day …. this is about other stuff around the marathon.


First of all, I am famous!!!!!

Before the marathon Darryl interviewed me

And then I was on the opening of the TV coverage for the London Marathon!!!!

AND I was on the highlights programme as well!


I’ll have you know that I did pass that rhino!!

Loads of people saw these and people I don’t know have come up to congratulate me. One of the guys at the gym asked me for my autograph 🙂 I even got this message from Stuart who I used to work with!


People keep telling me that I’m inspirational. I genuinely don’t understand that, I’m just doing stuff! Anybody can do anything (within reason), you just have to decide what you want and go for it!

Doing the marathon really was quite easy ……… because I’d done the training. Ever since I got the letter telling me I’d got a place I’ve been out there putting in the miles, or kilometres in my case because they go round quicker.

Darryl worked with me to plan the distances I needed to do each week (one long, one medium and one short) and the conditioning program I needed to do at the gym. I knew that, for me, the training was vital. Having done it I know the training is vital for everybody!

You just need to decide what you want, work out a plan and go for it. That’s not too difficult is it?

Although I have to admit that on the following Tuesday I was in pain.

I was very glad we live in a bungalow. Add to that the (rare) advantage of having a disabled partner – a raised toilet seat!!!

But I knew I had to do it. I got out the foam roller and the tiger tail. I knew how much it was going to hurt ….. and I was right ……. but I felt so much better afterwards.

Strangely my left knee that has been giving me problems for months did not hurt once on marathon day, although it has since. Weird.

And I’ve learned so much on this journey.

I’ve always thought I liked to be in the background, but doing essential stuff. I never wanted to be centre stage, and when I was it was usually because I was doing something that I thought may help somebody else.

That has had to be rethought. I loved the crowds shouting my name, the experience on Tower Bridge was unbelievable.

I’ve learned that physical strength and mental strength can go hand in hand. I’ve learned that I am incredibly strong minded, although I haven’t yet worked out why I lose that when it comes to the evenings and any available ‘nice’ stuff to eat!

I’ve learned that it is really important to like yourself, especially when you spend hours out there alone with your thoughts.

I’ve also learned that I need to get my ingrowing toenail sorted out and that’s due to be done on the 20th June!

I must thank Havens Hospices for their support, they have been fantastic. Last Friday they held a barbecue to thank everybody who had run for them and they did a slideshow charting our progress from November. It was great to see and when I get the link I’ll add it here.

They took a photo of all the marathoneers together 🙂


So would I do it again? You bet!!!! I’ve entered the ballot and tried exploring another way to get a place if I’m unsuccessful.

It’s out of my control at the moment but I can hope.

After a bit of a rest I’m now getting back into training. Darryl’s got me back to basics, I want to get my upper body strength back and, after far too much snacking and nibbling on ‘bad’ stuff I’m biting the nutrition bullet anmd need to shed this weight that’s crept back on.

As I said at the start, anybody can do anything, so I can do this!

Oh, one last thing.

I am extremely proud of what I achieved at the marathon.

Whenever I have been proud of anything in the past my brain has then started worrying away at it, making me feel I wasn’t that good, telling me that I was kidding myself, putting me down in any way possible.

But NOT this time!!!!

I’m sure I haven’t crushed the self esteem monster, but every time it starts having a go I shall think of this.

front back



BTW – you may want to compare those clips to the last time I was on TV.

Perhaps I’ll accept a little bit inspirational!

“My” London Marathon (part one)

The day finally arrived!

I’d managed to avoid any injuries and all of the nasty bugs that were doing the rounds.

I’d been having problems going to sleep (over excited) but kept getting up early as ! wanted to be ‘in synch’. Unfortunately this led to me being massively over tired and I started getting all sorts of symptoms which terrified me as I thought the M.S. was making a reappearance.

There was a lot of ‘Not until Monday’ being said, but fortunately a good night’s sleep put paid to most of that 🙂

Saturday night I got everything prepared. No carbs or gels for me. I had chicken, ham, nuts and eat well bars.

Sunday morning arrived and, after days of not sleeping, I woke up completely refreshed and very excited.

So excited, that I could not eat my breakfast, and I hadn’t eaten much over the previous few days. I have finally found something that kills my appetite! Shows how often I get excited about things!

Got dressed, final check that I had everything, and set off to Little Havens.

There were three coach loads going to the start and the atmosphere on the coach was buzzing. Everybody was happy and chatting.

There was a slight hiccup when we missed the turning for the start. We continued down the A2 but the next two junctions were coned off as the roads were already closed. When we reached the final exit we stopped and the driver tried to get the marshall to let us through to turn round. He asked us if we were for the Olympics! 🙂 He was about to let us through when another marshall, who’d been talking to the coach ahead of us ran back and stopped him.

Then the police arrived on their pushbikes. Fortunately they saw sense and escorted us off, round the roundabout, and back on the main road.

We all disembarked on the heath to set off to our start points.  I met up with Carly who also had a ballot place and we set off for the Blue Start.

There had to be a little diversion though …… my friends will understand why!


We met up with Carly’s friend and headed in. Time to join the Martin Yelling loo queue.


We had plenty of time to relax, make myself eat my breakfast, organise our stuff and hand our baggage in.



Then we started to wander to the start when the guy on the tannoy announced “23 minutes to start time”.

Instant laxative effect!!!!!! Thank God the queues had gone down, and it was one less thing to worry about!

Time to join the start


And now the excitement really took hold! We talked, we laughed, we shared journeys ……. and then we started to move forward …….. across the line …………… past the grandstands ………. and then


I looked to my right to see Penny and Eve who I used to work with! The shock on their faces was brilliant!

And that sort of set the tone for the rest of the day!

I really don’t know how to write about the marathon so it’ll just have to be a random stream of thoughts.

Firstly, I loved every minute. I may have said that before, and I’m bound to say it again, but that’s the over riding emotion.

I saw so many people I know on the route, friends, colleagues, ex pupils the lot. The crowds were fantastic, there was not a single point in the 26.2 miles where there was not a crowd (well, OK, they weren’t in the tunnel) and my face was hurting from grinning and my hands from high fiving the kids.

The camaraderie with the other runners was great. You’d spend short periods of time with someone chatting to them and then go your own ways.

I remember a man who had obviously had a stroke (I know the signs well) who told me he wasn’t giving in to it and was determined to finish. I hope he did.

There was another man in an ordinary wheelchair, respect to him too.

There were unexpected moments and emotions too.

We were going through Woolwich when I suddenly saw this block of flats.

25 years ago, when Ray was in hospital after his stroke, I was allowed to take him out for thew weekends. The problem was we had nowhere to go. Our flat was a basement which I could not get him in and out of. We tried a hotel but it was a complete disaster.

We had a hospital social worker, Sylvia. Her daughter and grand child lived in this block of flats and they moved out every weekend to allow us to stay there! It made so much difference to how we coped and I will never forget it.

Big sniff …… and back to the race!

As I went round it seemed like everybody was shouting my name, especially the little kids, it was a nice short one for them to read! But somehow I could differentiate between those who were encouraging me and those who knew me!

Took a while to work it out, well I had plenty of time!, and I realised that the encouragers shouted things like “Come on Gill”, “Keep going Gill” whilst the people who knew me just bellowed GILL!!!!!!

I saw so many people that I’m not going to try to name them all because I’ll only miss people out and that would be awful. Every single one of you, and every member of the crowd, helped me round that course!

I think this photo, taken by my friend Hayley, illustrates that!


I have always wanted a photo where I have both feet off the ground (it happens very rarely) and now I’ve got one!

From Cutty Sark, through to Deptford …… my old territory! Oh, I miss Deptford. Loved being back surrounded by the crowds and being shouted at by ex pupils (nicely I may add).

I knew that some of them were coming and they’d told me where they’d be so I was looking out for them. Problem was I was looking for teenagers, and some of them are now in their 40s. Another Mr. Chips moment.

On we went, until we turned a corner and saw


The sight of Tower Bridge really lifted my spirits, especially as I knew my friend Lindsay and her son George, were there. I haven’t seen them in ‘real life’ for years and it was wonderful to do so. The large bag of jelly babies they gave me was wonderful too 😉

On we went through Docklands, more friends :-), and finally headed towards Tower Hill where Darryl had told me he would be. We’d both wondered if we’d see each other but, as he was leaning round a hoarding with a completely clear view up the road, there was no problem! I wanted to run towards him but the last few times I’d tried to run my left hamstring had screamed so I sped my fast walking up.

I stopped and we had a very excited chat! It was great to see him, a lot of you will know how much I owe to him and Club One Hundred (plug, plug, plug) and I loved that he could see how his training had worked because I had reached 22 miles in no discomfort at all!


About 1/2 km further on were Nigel (my brother) and Renei. Another stop and chat, it was great to see them and I have to confess to my eyes welling up when I saw Nige ‘cos he looked proud of me!!!!

On again along the Embankment and reach the 25 mile point



I was still feeling great but that last 1.2 miles seemed to take for ever. It was so much longer than the others have been.

This may be, in part, because it was! When I arrived at Westminster Nigel and Renei were waiting for me again. They called me over, and then made me go back down the course so that they could take a photo they had been planning. I’d done over 25 miles and then had to retrace my steps for a photo opportunity!

Here’s the photo, you decide if it was worth it!

go back

The next thing was


385 (very long) yards to go and it was over.

Across the line and then my medal was placed around my neck!

I HAD DONE IT!!!!!!!!!

The medal was so heavy it felt like it was pulling me over. It’s huge, and beautiful!

front                    back


I then met up with Nige & Ren again


before walking back with Havens Hospices to get the coach home. Thank you for waiting for me guys!

I have to say this was one of the best days I have ever had!!!! I loved every single minute of it.

Below I have posted the thumbnails of all the photos the official photographers took. If you zoom in you will see that I am grinning like a lunatic in almost all of them. Says it all really!

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4

And the time?

Well, that was never important to me, my aim was to finish it, get my medal and enjoy it. I certainly met all those criteria!


I’ll do another post soon about what I’ve learned but if I don’t stop now nothing will ever get posted!











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