Thursday, 31 December 2009

DISASTER!

Very, very frustrated, managed to do a seven mile run yesterday in the cold and rain but I done it, freezing by the time I returned home, the other half ran the first 5 with me, then left me to my devices, managed it in 1 hour 26 not fast I know but I didn't at this point I was just happy to be running.

I spoke to soon, stretched and massaged my achilies but woke up this morning with it hurting, rubbed it down,stretched it but no joy, so no more running for me this week, I am doing all the exercise the physio gave, stretching like a rubber band, and trying my best not to do anything to upset it, but low and behold, I am still having problems, it was all going so well.


No more running for me this week, I have no other choice but to rest it, I am terrified it will never heal but also determined to do what ever I can to ensure I heal.

I am so ready, my body bar my achillies feels great, I am ready to put down the food and get back on the healthy eating bandwagon, I have even signed up for a gym, there is a new leisure centre opening near to my boyfriends house in late Jan we managed to get an all inclusive membership for the two of us for only £54, I know what a bargain, I was/am looking forward to using the treadmill on days when the weather is just too unbearable. I will also be signing up for yoga and spinning, which I am told are great for complimenting running. Plus it means the boyfriend won't feel neglected as I train for the marathon this year, as he is training for the Wokingham half as well. With not Caribbean break this year there is no sunshine to look forward to, so a gym will have to do and at £27 it is almost half of what I was paying for the last one! With times being so hard every penny counts.

Cross your fingers for me, this is a very frustrating and precarious time, I can only hope and pray that my injury starts to ease up and I can make it to the start of the London marathon, the thought of not being able to do it, is just too disappointing to even consider,



Happy New Year

Kat

Sunday, 27 December 2009

FIRST WEEK OF MARATHON TRAINING:SNOW AND ICE.

So training has started and last week was my first official week of an 18 week programme, it was all a bit challenging with the snow, ice and freezing temperatures so I only managed to get out 3 times to run rather than the 4 times I was suppose to. I am again following the Hal Higdon novice proagramme it worked for me last time so I am sure that it will work for me again. I managed two three milers and a six miler. Christmas Eve went for a three miler that was fine, it was still icy so had to be careful, had a break X-MAS day then went out again boxing day, who told me to have left over macaroni cheese for breakfast, well when I ran I felt as if my belly was a balloon with two heavy bricks sitting at the bottom, it got so bad I had to hold onto my belly, I assure you I won't be doing that again anytime soon, think I'll stick to porridge!

Yesterday I knocked out a six miler, it was my first one since I hurt my achilles way back in July, the furthest I had run since then is five miles. I can't say I was looking forward to the prospect, but no time to mess around, April and the marathon will be here soon, so I just had to get on with it and to be honest it was a great run, no problems, little bit of a stitch on the way back but what's new? The weather was good a bit windy but not too cold, I set a nice slow pace, picked it up on the way back when I realized I was feeling good.

Pleased with that start, still got a hell of a way to go, six miles is really not that far in the scale of things but at least I did it, this week I have a 3, 3, 3, and a 7 to complete, main thing is to keep injury free if I can do that I should be fine so unlike last time this time a bit of yoga or Pilates is called for, try and keep my self strong and supple, and some weights as well, fingers crossed all those activities combined will keep me healthy and fit.

These few months will fly and before I know it marathon day will be here. My feet are looking a hell of a lot better, been suffering from athletes foot, which turned into a foot fungus, yes nasty I know picked it up during the last marathon training, first a few of my toe nails went black, nothing to write home about quite normal for runners feet after all the pounding they take. Thought the nails would just fall off like they did in the past, but nope that didn't happen, in fact two of them started to thicken up like witches feet (well how I would imagine witches feet to be) and my feet were so dry and crusty looking I was embarrassed to even show them. Finally went to the GP, and was told I had foot fungus, got some tablets which I have been taking for almost two months and they are looking better and better each day, no nasty dry skin and although my toe nails still look messed up, they have not grown any worse. I do have a foot spa, which this time I will be making great use of, no since having a good pair of legs and disgusting toes!

Achilles and knees are fine, very paranoid about getting injured which is why I am taking it slow to begin with if nothing hurts, falls off or falls apart I will look at introducing some speed work and really pushing myself this time.

That’s it for now; hope you all had a great X-MAS.
London Marathon here I come.

Kat

Friday, 11 December 2009

AM I DREAMING?

I woke up this morning, thinking am I dreaming, am I dreaming, did I really win a place in the marathon? Well yes I did, just re-checked the email and there it was in bold here it is so you can share my joy.

Dear Kat,

Congratulations you have won a place in the Virgin London Marathon 2010 as part of Team Lucozade Sport!

You were successfully picked from thousands of entries from our website to take you place on the start line and hopefully enter the running history books!

Not only have you won a place in one of the most prestigious races in the world, you are now part of Team Lucozade Sport. As part of your prize you will be invited to learn from our team of Lucozade Sport Scientists as well as Olympic marathon runner Liz Yelling at a bespoke seminar in February. For the first time ever we’re also offering places to Team Lucozade Sport at our brand new pacing event at Dorney Lake in March, to make sure that you cross the line on the Mall in the best possible condition.

It’s also important you look like a team member and will therefore be sending you a special Virgin London Marathon running top so that you can be seen on course! We want you to feel proud when you’re running 26.2 miles of what you have achieved and the milestones you have overcome during all your hard training.

We’ll also be sending you regular product deliveries to help you in your training. These Lucozade Sport Runners Training Packs are designed to take the hassle out of your nutritional strategy with the right mix of powdered products bars and gels to fuel you in your training.

Further to the above training help, you will receive entry into all of the warm-up races sponsored by Lucozade Sport, please visit our web site for all race dates, www.lucozade.com/running

After the marathon is over, exhausted and emotional, you will have a special invitation to our VIP post race hospitality in an exclusive venue in London, where you’ll be able to relax with a massage and a well-deserved shower, not to mention
re-hydrate and replenish all the energy you have burnt off.

All we need is the following details from you:
Address:
DOB:
t-shirt size:

For many, the Virgin London Marathon will be the biggest achievement in their lives as they overcome hurdles never imagined possible. We are delighted to have you as part of Team Lucozade Sport and hope the experience and the memories last with you forever.


Kindest regards


The Team at Lucozade Sport

Wow, so I am just about to go out for a short 3 miler and start my efforts to run the marathon, I have been training 3/4 times a week so far and taken up a wicked boxing class, so my fitness levels are really not in too bad a shape, I am not as in great shape as I was before my achilies started playing up but I am no where near as unfit as I was this time last September when I started running again.

Goals this time: I want to be more adventurous with my training, which is where the boxing comes in, weights as well to build up strength and conditioning, what I've noticed from the boxing class, is I have great stamina, but I can out run or out skip the other girl's but my upper body strength is not a good as theirs,I punch like a girl, they punch like boy's! I would like to gain overall conditioning, so I look fitter and more muscular, shit I'm a runner, I want to look like one.

I would love to work on speed, but I will build up slowly see how the achilies and rest of the body holds up.

Learn from my experience last year and build on that, i.e., food, hydration, kit,

To be as healthy as possible, without being restrictive, I need to start cooking more now, thinking of giving up fish, so need to introduce more protein to my diet as it is the only meat I eat.

Not to be so intense, I was a bit of a crazy monster last time, got myself into a massive tizzy on a few times, but with the knowledge I have gained and the fact I have done it before I can relax a little.

I will follow the Hal Higdon Novice marathon programme again, with a couple of days of weights, one day of boxing, I had already dedicated myself to training at least 5 days a week before I found out I was going to be running the marathon, I want to be fit and healthy for as long as humanly possible.

I need to start doing yoga, going to get a DVD and try and do that a few times a week.

What time do I want to complete the marathon, I am putting no pressure on myself, I have to see how my achlilies holds up, but if it does stay injury free, I will look to get in under 5 hours, I would be really pleased with that.

I feel very lucky to have won this prize, I didn't let on to anyone just how disappointed I was not to have gained a place, and when I was off due to my injury, it drove me nut’s, I would look jealously at other runners, mad that I too could not run, so to win was a great feeling of relief.

This whole thing has been a roller coaster ride, but has worked out in my favour, and without the pressure of having to raise money unless I want to, it leaves me free to concentrate on the running side of things.

I'm off for now.

Kat

Thursday, 10 December 2009

LORD HAVE MERCY I WON A PLACE IN THE LONDON MARATHON 2010!

After writing and posting a blog earlier today I found out I won a place in the London marathon 2010,I had all but given up hope, first I went into the ballot, just applied like all the other thousands of people wanted so desperately to run 26.2 miles but I didn't get a place and I'd left it too late for a charity place with Muscular Dystrophy, they all went like hot cakes, so I was out in the cold, I was deeply disappointed, but I had a hope that maybe, maybe there was a way. I entered whatever competitions came my way to win a place which was about 5 different ones altogether, and low and behold, just a couple of hours ago, I received an email to say I had won a place, through Lucozade Sport, I get race entry, a t-shit to run in, entry to a training day in Feb with Liz Yelling, Lucozade products to see me through the months of training, entry to a half marathon pacing race in Feb at Dorney Lake, and entry into any of their pre warm up races, and an after marathon reception, with shower, food and massage.

I couldn't believe it, had to get Rob my partner to read the email for me before I would accept that I had won a place, I thought my eyes were playing a trick on me, you know when you want something so badly you don't think it's really going to happen! Can't remember the last time I won anything, I have yet to win a single pound on the lottery.

Well the hard work starts now, I had already dedicated myself for training for the READING HALF MARATHON, now I can add the London marathon to my list and use the Reading half as a training run, yaaaaah I am soooo happy I can't even expain, yes I am happy to face months of training, running in the rain, running in the cold, dodging copious amounts of dog doo, doo, streaching, early rises, pounding the streets again, bring it on I am sooo ready.

It is a wonderful feeling to get something you want, I am used to working hard for everything that comes my way so it's wonderful to receive such a great prize, below is the poem I wrote for the competition, I had to write why it would mean so much for me to run in the marathon.

Winning poem

The reason I’d love a place in the Virgin London Marathon
is because it’ll be an act of defiance
against Muscular Dystrophy
which has ravished two of my siblings,
I run because they cannot.
To line up at the start
is to complete month after month of a challenge
that would’ve seen me cry, laugh, berate,
drag and continually push myself.
Running a marathon reiterates how lucky I am
to be able to put one foot in front of the other,
I run because I can.
That is how much running the marathon means to me.


So after taking a number of months to get over my achilles injury, and dealing with the dissapointment of having to cancel a whole heap of races, I now have this to look forward to, by the way my achilles is doing well, I am doing my exercises and massaging it regualry and it really does not give me any problems. I need to keep a close eye on it and not shirk on taking care of it, now that I will be running at such an extreme level, fingers crossed it will be fine, but I am ready, so, so ready, happy running everyone.
Hi all,

so the running is back on track, managing 4 times a week and taking up boxing, there is a great class near to me, run by a girl called Hannah Beharry Englands, number one female fighter, it's a fierce class, running, skipping, pad work, sit ups (300 a time in fact) I am scared everytime I walk in but it's worth it. I am in the intermediate class, even though I have just started got a lot to learn, but Hannah reckons I am fit enough. First week I got one slap across the face, it was a accident another girl in the class got carried away, won't lie it hurt, instant metallic taste in the mouth and I saw stars, but I held it down, no I did not jump on her back, that is no way to behave.

I am loving it though and as she does a beginners on a Thursday I can do go to if I miss the Wednesday, it is nice to be doing something other than running and also learning a skill which can help me to beat off a would be mugger or rapist, my thinking is I can stun them with a one, two, three combination, kick them where the sun don't shine then run away very fast, what more could a girl want, no since being slim and weak, I say athletic and strong is the way to go, a size six can't help you if someone is trying to beat you down or steal your bag can it?

The running has been picking up, it has been bloody great to get out there, I've evan braved the rain, well it's England what do I expect I sucked up all kind of weather for the marathon training so no since shirking now.

Races


Well I signed up for the Regents park summer 10k series, which is a 10k run in regents park, every first Saturday of the month, I done it a few times already and it was always a lot of fun, hard work but fun and well organised, there are six races in all and hopefully I will see some progression over the course of the time, they start in April and go on until September, by which time I hope I look like Angela Basset when she played Tina Turner in "WHATS LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT" buff yet oh so feminine. Go to link below if your interested in taking part, you don't have to do all six, warning though these races fill up very quickly so don't take too long deciding, easy to get to Regents Park is on the Bakerloo line, question is can you get up early enough on a Saturday to reach?
Link below to enter if your interested.
http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/events/viewevent.asp?sp=&v=1&EN=51993

I will also be doing the ACTION DUCHENNE LOVE RUN which takes place on Saturday 13th Feb 2010, I have run it three years in a row as it's for a great charity, I can't say the weather is good around this time of year, but as I keep saying it is England so we need to suck it up and get running regardless. Link to enter is below if your interested.
http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/events/viewevent.asp?sp=&v=1&EN=53543

RREADING HALF MARATHON
Sunday 21st March 2010

Done it last year, hell of a lot of fun, lots of people out on the route, well organised,they even had bands along the route playing, and the locals were very enthusiastic especially the black ones who all seemed pleased to see me. It was a real challenge if I remember correctly but It was great. Don't ask me how but I have managed to convince the boyfriend to run with me this year, rather than waving from the side lines, and put I it out on FACEBOOK and so for there have been a few interested parties, If I manage to get a group together it will be fantastic, I love running by myself but I also love running with others as well,plus being so passionate about running it is something I want to share with others, well don't get me started on the benefits, fitness, weight loss, emotional strength, raised levels of self esteem and self respect, ya look better too, and have a healthier appetite for certain extra curricular activities, if you know what I mean, cough, cough.
Link below, places go quick so don't leave your decision too long.
http://www.readinghalfmarathon.com/

PARKRUN

Weekly 5K runs every Saturday, across London and the country, well organised, lots of fun, great way to test your fitness and push yourself, a good distance not to long and a great way to start the weekend, and best of all wait for this they are free, if you've had a look at any of the links I've posted you would've seen that some are not cheap, so you can't beat freeness.
http://parkrun.com/

The way I look at it though is that I have spent enough money on foolishness over the years, I am willing to invest in my health, not in a silly faddy way but a sensible way, booking in races keep me highly motivated and gives me a reason to step out that front door, even when it is pissing down with rain and Antarctic cold. I have given up the gym membership which was over £50 a month, the boxing classes a free, I just spend money on good trainers and go to cheap websites for my running gear, running is not an expensive sport, plus I can't afford to buy a new large wardrobe so I need to keep the weight down! To be honest I am sick of this battle with weight from now on it is all about heath and fitness eat less exercise more, that's my new motto.


That's me done for now, boxing yesterday so a run today weather looks decent so no excuse but to slip on those trainers and pound the streets.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

So here I am back on the running and I have to admit it feels good and unlike last year when I started I am a stone and a half lighter and even though I have hardly run much since July I am fitter.

You know what I love most about running is the journey, ya start off convincing yourself, bullying yourself sometimes even fighting yourself to get out of the front door, you get out, chest hurting legs protesting then somewhere along the way the magic happens and your running and at the end you feel great cause it's all over!

I have to admit I am disappointed about not getting a place in the marathon I thought it would not bother me now I'm back running the itch is coming back, the pain the joy. I must be a nutter, well I guess like childbirth after a while ya forget the pain. I have booked in to do Reading half marathon at the end of March and managed to convince the boyfriend to join me. I never thought he would say yes, but he signed up paid his money and we went out for a 3 miler today he done really well. It will be good to have someone to run with and great to exercise and keep fit together, and rather than standing on the sidelines he can join in and be part of the action.

I have managed 3 runs this week, and I will do another run tomorrow, first time I would've run 4 times in one week in a long time. My achilles God bless is holding up, I am still stretching it and massaging it, and went to the DR to get some physio which should start in a few weeks time, no way could I afford to keep going private! The achilles is not giving me any problems, but we'll see when the miles start to add up if my body starts to protest.

Next week the same 4 runs, 3 miles plus, keep taking care of my achilles, and try and get back on some sort of eating plan, weight has been stable, but still need to lose some more, now I am back running the pounds should start shifting again.

Here's to happy running.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

It's been a while, yep mainly because I have not been able to run due to an achilles strain on my right foot, saw a private physio for a month or so, too expensive to keep going so trying to see one through my GP. I am up an running again, managed three 20 minutes sessions this week yes a massive come down, but fingers crossed, I am doing my exercise for my achilles, and massaging everyday so I am hoping it holds together.

I've been very frustrated missed all the runs I had planned over the last few months, managed to keep the weight down massive bonus I can't lie it did go up a bit but I jumped back on board, stopped myself yamming into oblivion and started watching what I was eating again. I did not want all the hard work of the last year to go to pot which can so easily happen when you don't check yourself.

My plans now are to take it slowly, next week I will try and run 3/4 times for a least half an hour see how the achilles does and take it from there, to be honest it has been pretty scary, my leg was messed up, end of the school year I was hobbling up stairs like an old woman, not like someone who had completed the London marathon. From being able to run 5k in 26 mins, 10k in 56 and half marathon in 2 hours 15, to nothing at all was a massive come down, but achilles can be buggers and stop you running completely if they snap, so I have been very lucky it started niggling back when I was training for the marathon, held up then stopped me running together in July.

I listened to my body, that was one thing the marathon taught me and until this week did not run for almost 3 and a half months, I tell you I have wanted to curse out people I have seen running I have been so jealous. Imagine I spent one of the coldest winters 20 years running in the streets and come summer I had an injury that stopped me from running in the sun, bitter yes of course I was.

I did put in the ballot for the London Marathon 2010, but did not get a place, maybe it's for the best with the achilles only just recovering, but I have not totally ruled it out, I am sure the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign would have me again, we'll see, the commitment is momentous and obviously the toil on the body is momentous too, but I can't lie I never felt or looked fitter.

Other effects of marathon training have included black toe nails and a foot fungus, luckily my man does not have foot fetish or I would be in serious trouble.

Thats me for now, I will always sing the virtues of running, and it has been wonderful to get out and streach my legs again,I am still too scared to push myself to much, I will build up slowly see where that gets me.

Happy running.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

DORNEY DASH 10K SATURDAY 6TH JUNE 2009


























Unlike last week when I awoke on race day to glorious sunshine, today I awoke to glorious rain! The race is taking place at the Dorney Lake, which belongs to Eaton College and is the site for the 2012 Olympic rowing events.
I booked this race just after the marathon as one of my runs to keep me on track.

All the way there in the car the rain is chucking it down, even walking from the car to the race start is a hazardous affair, Rob holds a brolly over the two of us and I have two rain coats on, my running one ( which ever really keeps me dry) and my street one I keep stashed in the back of the car for just such emergencies! I am being a bit of a wuss considering I am just about to run in the rain and here I am hiding underneath a brolly, oh well, praise the Lord for natural hair.


It all seems a pretty well organised, a annual affair run by the Dachet Dashers a long established running group, as usual not much colour and I guess being a bit further out of London that some of my usual races not surprising, did see two brothers and one sister, but that's it, really need to encourage some of the runners I know to travel a bit further a field to race.

The rain shows no sign of stopping, so the plan was to run with my jacket for the first 5k, to keep warm then hand it to Rob. To get in under 60 minutes I need to run each kilometre under 6 minutes.

I start at the back again, usual plan, start at the back and work my way through the field, but I may have started a little too far back as I spend a quite bit of time weaving my way around other runners. There are about 700 people running and a lot of congestion at the back, but that’s cool, it is wet,very wet and with a little ache in my achilles I am not looking to blast away.

It takes a while for me to warm up, my body has got used to running in the heat and this wind and the rain is a bit of a shock. I can’t lie I do not find my running rythmn straight away but I keep going, running is now second nature, put one foot in front of the other and move. The course is flat and so great for a good time, we ran along the outside of a lake, but the rain made the whole place look rather bleak.

I am managing to keep up my desired pace in fact I am a little quicker, try not to look at my watch too much, eager not to slip or run into the back of another runner. I get to the 5k mark, hand Rob my jacket, I manage it in 28 minutes, that is two minutes slower than my 5k pace last week, shit I could not even run a 5k in less than 30, look at me now.

It’s hard, I can’t lie and the thought of running the same again is not inviting, but I keep going, I have had my Ipod on from the beginning, to help me keep my pace, today I have Missy Elliot, Alliyah, Beeny Man, Stevie Wonder and others keeping me company, they bring me a little sunshine even if the weather doesn’t.

My pace is good , a bit of a stitch starts to bite at my left side, not my usual right side, but I breathe it out, and tell myself to relax, the rain seems to be getting worse. There are water stations every two and a half km, but I keep sloshing it over my chest, can’t get this drink from a cup thing as I run at the same time right, I either have to stop or not drink at all, now I am sweating, damp and cold, so I give up, and sip on the lucozade bottle I've been holding from the start.

For some reason just before 8k I think I am at 9k and speed up ready to attack the last Kilometre, I soon realise my mistake when I spot the 8k sign, I must have been delirious, I slow down and try not to despair, this is a lot harder than last week’s 5k, I think I prefer 5k’s!

I visualise my boy Rob running on my right hands side encouraging me, and my girl Simone on my left also encouraging me. I chant a little mantra “I can, I do, I will, I am”. Over and over again until I believe it. I focus once more, my breathing becomes easier, my legs and arms are pumping and I am in the running zone, no longer struggling just pushing forward. The magical zone does not last long but it is long enough to drag me close to the finish, I know have no doubts that I will make it. It is still raining and my top keeps riding up exposing my belly, not a good look, I have lost weight but not enough to be showing off
belly,well not yet anyway, but one day…


The finish line is upon me and I am more relieved then happy, the constant wind and rain was very jarring. I finish in 56 minutes dead. Rob is there to greet me, a tiny kid hands me a goodie bag and I receive my medal, it feels like schools sports day. Rob takes some pictures and we head straight back to the car, no need to hang around and anyway I am bloody tired, plus the rain makes it a bit miserable so there seems no point. I quickly change out of my wet clothes in the car, and snuggle down under a blanket, I try hard not to fall asleep as Rob takes me on a mini tour for Slough, pointing out the two houses he grew up in and the nursery and primary school he went to.

It will be a good few weeks before I race again, I have a RACE FOR LIFE 10k on July 5th and a half marathon on the 26th July but that is it for June, unless I do a few 5k time trials which are free timed runs which take place all over the country run by a group called park run, they are a great way to test yourself and free which is even better in these hard times, http://parkrun.com/ Plus my left Achilles has started to niggle again, so I need to be very careful and take it a little easy, I am terrified of getting a serious injury.


I am satisfied at the moment as I have recently surprised and surpassed myself with my running, but I still have more to do, so much more. I am not as fit as I would like to be, that is not taking away from what I have achieved, but I feel as if there is a lot more to come. I need to start pumping weights, doing some speed work and doing some yoga a few times a week.

I also need to get on top of my food situation again, I have not been as strict with myself as I should be and with my sisters birthday and my own birthday coming up it would be very easy to let it all go to pot, so as of Monday I will be back on the food and hopefully the scales will start moving again, time to shifting some weight again.

I’m a little tired now, so I think I’ll go and slob out on the sofa for a bit,
Bye.

Monday, 1 June 2009

RACE FOR LIFE SUNDAY 31ST MAY 2009 MOORGATE LONDON.














Today was a boiling hot day; heat was beating down from the sky like hard rain. I am dressed in my pink and black tutu, pink top, pink legwarmers and pink cap. Dedication on my back to my girl Sarah who has survived a fight with leukaemia after a replapse and a bone marrow transplant.

I'm very excited about the race, hoping to hit under 30 minutes in a 5k for the first time, I feel very strong and powerful at the moment, and thought this would be a great opportunity to see if I can do it. Hook up with my girl Simone she has her tutu on as well so we are two black and pink fairies running the streets. She has a knee injury so will be walking but we hang out until the start.

The warm-up goes on for a bit too long, the race is meant to start at 10:30 but we do not start until 10:50, the heat and the warm up is sapping my strength and I have drunk most of my water already, not a great start.

The atmosphere is great, hundreds of women, and a sea of pink, we are not the only ones dressed in costume, there is lots of other tutu wearing fairies both grown and small. I can see a woman dressed as a nun and also another nutter in a furry rabbit costume, crazy especially in this heat, but each to their own, who am I to criticize when I am dressed in a tutu!

There are many women little girls and women with children in buggies, lining up on the walkers side. There are people with touching dedications on their backs, remembering loved one's lost, or those who have survived their fight with cancer. Men there to support their girlfriend's, wives, daughter's, granddaughter's and friend's are lining the streets. 

When I found out Simone was walking on her own (usually there is a whole group of us doing this race, but today is is just Simone and I, this must be the third time we have run this particular Race For Life) for a moment I think about walking with her, but decide it is important that I am honest with myself about what I want to get out of my running and today I want to run as fast as my leg's and the heat will allow me. I am a little concerned feel a bit light headed, but decide it is just my nerves playing with me and nothing more. I have run in hotter temperatures than this, this is not the heat of the Caribbean, I will not be defeated.

The horn goes off and we part company, I am right at the front, so my path is clear I am not going to get trapped among the masses. I am also aware that I do not want to go too fast or I may burn out. I clutch the rest of my water as if it is made of the finest gold.

Start off at a good pace, in fact I have decided not to look at my watch, my race plan is to run as fast as I can, for as long as I can, being mindful of the heat. Everyone goes off quick I try not to go too wild. All is going well I am running a decent pace, I am running in the 8 minute mile zone  I do not know if I can keep it up but I will try my best. 

I run next to a women and realise we met the week before at the Wokingham half marathon we talk for a while but the fast pace and chatting is using way to much energy, so I tell her to go on run her race as I do not want to hold her back.

After a while I get my breath back and I am able to pick up the pace again, I soon catch up with her once more, this time she slows down saying it is too hot to keep up her pace.

Now I am concerned she is obviously a good runner having finished the London marathon in 4 hours 45 minutes, if she is struggling, will I? I continue, trying not to worry, trying not to guzzle all my water, just taking tiny sips to wet my throat, my pace is steady and strong and my tutu gets the crowd shouting out encouragement,so far so good.

Last mile and I have almost run out of water, I ask a guy who is supporting by the road side, if he can pour some of his bottle into my almost empty one, he does not have much left, but gives me his bottle I thank him profusely touched by his kindness, at this point I do not care if he has lurgies, I need water. I continue running, glad for the extra water, the heat is searing I try to find spots of shade but they are not always forth coming, so I end up zig zagging around hunting for the tiniest shadows.

Body check no stitches, no aches and no pains, it’s a miracle, the old bones are holding together, I am breathing pretty loudly but that is it. I keep pushing myself, happy now that I will be able to make it to the end. 500 metres and I am close to the finish I keep going, keep pushing, keep running, keep telling myself I can do it, I am starting to feel emotional as I realise I will post a very decent time.

I finish in 26 minutes 17 seconds I have never run a 5k faster than 30 minutes today is a big day for me, 9 months of consistent running is starting to pay off. 


The plan was to run then go back find my girl Simone and finish with her, but I am honestly too, too tired to even contemplate that plan. Rob is at the finish to greet me, and is grinning from ear to ear proud of my achievement. He has seen me through all the training I have been done since last September seen the struggles and the tears and is now seeing the joy, the speed the power and strength develop.

I take a breather, lean against a wall for a moment to recover and after some water, I am ready to try and find Simone, but a couple of minutes later she is in front of us, I cannot believe she has completed the race so quickly, considering she has a knee injury, 31 minutes in fact, she said she could not stop herself from running and that her knee held up fine, I am very proud of her. This is a woman who ran until she was 8 months pregnant that alone should tell you how determined she is.

So that is my running story for today, I am enjoying my new found health and fitness, enjoying placing one foot in front of the other and seeing what happens. I am still growing, learning and pushing myself to new heights the journey has only just begun.

Monday, 25 May 2009

TEN MORE RUNNING TIP’S

These tips are not based on fact or science I am just sharing what works for me. I hope I do not come across as if I am preaching, I have learnt the hard way that dieting alone is not a good thing, that weight gain, being unfit or both can effect self confidence and body image and how you feel about yourself and effect what you can achieve on a day to day basis. (Running for a bus, train or tube is so much easier now).

I have also learnt the only person who can help you to change is yourself. I want to break this negative cycle I have adopted over the last few years of losing and gaining weight. Most importantly I want to be healthy, regardless of dress side. I write this blog also to keep me motivated and to keep reminding myself of how far I have come and what I need to do to continue on this journey which is life long.

I still have weight to lose and fitness to gain, and once I reach those goals, I will carry on, I do not want to go back to being heavy and unhealthy and deep inside uphappy with the way I look and feel.



1.PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE

Try and be patient, everyone is looking for a quick fix, but when it comes to running you have to give your body time to get used to your new routine, you will start to see the benefit soon enough, but remember it is not what you do after one week, it is what you do over months that matters. It took a while for me to see the change in my body and my fitness, and at times I would get frustrated but I kept at it, kept trying no matter how challenging I found it. No I was not perfect but I done what I was supposed to do exercise and food wise 90 percent of the time and eventually the changes started to happen.

2.RUNNING LOG
I found keeping a running log really useful it does not have to be anything great maybe just write how far you went, how you felt, that way you can chart your improvement and keep a track of your training. I found it very motivating to look back over the log see what I had accomplished not just physically but I also wrote down how I felt and it was great to see how my moods changed over time,how much confidence I gained and how much quieter my negative voice became.

3.CONSISTANCY
Be consistent, consistency is the key, set yourself a task to meet each week, wether that is run two times, three times, four times or more, and stick to it come hell or high water. Bar death, family emergency or something of that nature, do this for yourself and no one else. Let everyone know that when it comes to your running do not mess. To me my running is more important that anyone elses needs, without running I would not be such a positive person,or healthy person I think we can all find a little time in our day to dedicate to ourselves, regardless of wether we are mothers,grandmothers have partners or are carers.The healthier and happier we are the happier those around us will also be.

4.FIND A FRIEND
Meet up with a friend once a week if you can, or more, running with someone can make the time and miles go quicker. I am not a member of a running club but I know people who are and find them very helpful and motivating. Since completing the London marathon I have been joined on some of my runs by my partner and I cannot lie it is lovely to have the company, I still like to run alone as well,find it is a great time to clear my head, be creative or just be me, but company is never a bad thing either.


5.SIGN UP FOR A RACE
.Book in a race a 5k is a great way to start, it will give you something to work towards and help you set a goal, the thrill of a race, will help to motivate you and get you out of the house, even if you do not feel like it. Plus if you manage to drag in a few friends it can become a goal that you all work towards. I have booked in 3 more half marathons, a 16 mile run, two 5k's and 2 10k's from now until October. I know that the races will keep me on track,focused and force me out of the house even if I do not feel like it, But to be honest as long as I do not have to face, the wind the rain and the cold of winter just passed I don't think it will be a major struggle.



6.TRUST YOUR BODY

It is important to trust your body, it will become stronger you will be able to run for longer times and you will become faster. It may not happen overnight but it will happen. Be aware that if you have not exercised for a long time or if you are carrying a bit of weight your body will need time to adjust. If you are very overweight or have health problems it is worth getting yourself checked out by your DR before embarking on an exercise regime, just to make sure everything is in good order, before you fling yourself into your new routine. It took my body a while to respond one day I could just about run 3 miles and a month or so later 3 miles were not problem and I was running 6,8,9 and so forth, It will happen.

7.EAT WELL
Be good to your body, make sure you eat foods that are going to fuel your body, if your exercising, eating lettuce all day is not going to give you the strength you need to run. Extreme diets we all know work for a small amount of time but the weight usually goes straight back on. I don’t know about anyone else but I am sick of gaining and losing weight, for me this time it is all about health and to run I need to eat properly and not be so restrictive I don't have the strength to train. For me being healthy and athletic is more important that being skinny so that means a combination of regular exercise and eating a healthy diet.

8.WATER
Water drink loads of it, it’s your best friend, I try to drink 1.5-2 litres a day, I don't always manage,but I try, be aware your bladder will protest at first and you’ll be visiting the toilet quite a lot or you may find yourself doing your old childhood wee, wee dance until you find one, but once your body gets used to the new intake of fluid it will settle down. Water is great not only for your skin, hair, nails, e.t.c but it will keep you hydrated when you run and also fill the gap when yourhungry as sometimes we think we are hungry but we’re we just thirsty. Now before I reach for the snacks I reach for some water and usually it works.

9.GETTING HOT
The weather is heating up, I wear a cap all the time to be honest helps me to feel a little anonymous, and keeps the weather off, sunshine, rain or snow, sunglasses are great for keeping flies and other critters out of your eyes, and again help you to feel anonymous on a run, just be careful if they are dark, watch your step. If it is very hot, watch your pace no need to kill yourself by going like Speedy Gonzales, and drink, carry a small bottle of water, I find drinking small sips help, large gulps always give me a sloshing belly which is not a great feeling.

10.EATING BEFORE A RUN

If I head out first thing in the morning I tend not to eat, but for anything longer than 45 minutes I would have a something, that could be a banana, porridge or an apple at least an hour before I run. For a lot of us it is hit and miss finding what works for us, some people find eating too close to a run gives them a stitch, other people can eat close to a run and be fine, some people cannot run without some food in their stomach others do not need to eat at all. This is where keeping a running log can help as writing down wether you eat or not can give you an idea of what works for your body, what doesn't and adjust accordingly.


HAPPY RUNNING

KINESIO TAPE






A lifesaver, I had read about this tape previously, but when my left Achilles started to play up during a 9-mile training run the week before a half marathon I knew I had to find something that would enable me to run but also keep me injury free.

Kinesio tape was the answer after scouring the net for different things this seemed to make sense, I could also use it on my knees, It seem unobtrusive unlike the knee supports I had been wearing which although worked seemed to restrict blood flow.
I could also continue to train, which was very important to me.

I rushed in an order praying it would arrive before the half marathon and yep the Saturday before the big day a much welcomed packet was pushed through my letter box.

It comes in a roll, the colour I chose was black supposedly there is no difference between the colour’s but the black one is meant to be more water resistant and since I like to shower at the least once a day if not more I thought that would be the better option, plus none of the colour even represented my skin colouring so black it was.


Closely following the runners world video’s of how this so called magic tape should applied I carefully put some underneath either knee, and also followed the direction on how to tape my left Achilles.


POSITIVES

The tape worked, the usual ache in my knees was a lot less bothersome and my Achilles hardly twitched at all, I made it through the half marathon with no injures, and my niggles that were there already did not increase.
It is unobtrusive.
You can wear it under clothes without anyone seeing it.
It just feels like a plaster.
It does work.

CONS

It is not cheap, about £7 plus a roll, but to me it is worth every penny.
It is meant to stay on for 5 days, but this does not always happen, the rough and tumble for everyday can make it come off more quickly than that.
If you’re hairy, it may be a little uncomfortable to pull off, but we’re runners hey, and used to a little bit of discomfort.
You have to put it on properly according to the injury your treating, but once you get the hang of it, it gets easier.
You will get comments from people, wondering why you look like a cyborg.


Like everything I recommend on my blog, they are only things that I have used and that have worked for me, this tape worked in conjunction with a stretching routine and regular use of a blue foam roller. I take my aches and pains very seriously as I did not want anything to stop me from taking part in the London Marathon and now I have caught the running bug I do not want anything to stop me running.

I do not know if it works for everyone but for me, it really helped, and I now tend to run with it as a safely measure, my knees no longer ache, I ran a half marathon yesterday in 2 hours 15 minutes, (I don’t know about you but for me that is a long time to be running) with no knee pain, this is the girl whose knees were so bad back in August 08 I ran the NIKE 10 in 1 hour 33 minutes due to the pain when I can usually complete a 10k in just over an hour. My Achilles I handle by stretching out my lower calves whenever I run and continuing to use my blue foam roller, to be honest I wonder if I even need the tape any more but for the time being it is a comfort and gives me confidence, so I won’t be turning my back on it just yet.

Kinesio tape is not a miracle cure it should be part of a care routine that you use to ward off injury or help alleviate injuries you already have.

I personally swear by it and would not run without it.
Remember to get any injures checked out by a doctor, best to have a professional opinion and not self diagnoses, taking a break from running for a few day's is better than being sidelined for months because you ignored a problem.


I have added links that explain how it works,
Links to videos to demonstrate how it is meant to be used and links to the UK companies that sell it.


HOW TO APPLY THE TAPE

http://www.runnersworld.com/video/1,8052,s6-1-0-5,00.html?bcpid=2888993001&bclid=6520521001

WHAT IT DOES
http://www.kinesiotape.ca/whatitdoes.htm


WHERE TO BUY IT


http://www.kinesiotaping.co.uk/?gclid=CNHJotrH15oCFZwA4wod6xa42w
http://www.vivomed.co.uk/listproducts-KI1000/Kinesiology_Tape.html
For any Americans reading, Kinesio tape seems widely available in the States so just google it and you should be able to find a good number of outlets and a good price, UK readers the two links above are the only two sellers over here for the moment that I could find.

Happy running.

Sunday, 24 May 2009













WOKINGHAM HALF MARATHON SUNDAY 24TH MAY 2009


So today was a big test for me my first race since the marathon.

I have been training, running at least 4 times a week from a week after the marathon, the first week I was down and out with a cold, but as soon as I felt strong enough I was out of the house like a shot hitting the streets again.

RACE PREP
I managed an 8 miler last Sunday so I felt confident that I had 13 miles in my legs, I had been eating well, meaning pasta and drinking lots of water for the last few days I knew it was going to be hot and I did not want dehydration to be a problem.

LAST NIGHT
Found it hard to sleep, nerves were getting the better of me, and I then went on to dream or should I say have a nightmare, that I forgot all my race gear, my garmin (my watch which lets me know how fast I am going and how far I have gone, it really helps me to set my pace) my gel’s, my jelly babies the whole lot, basically I was not ready and the race was horrific!

THE MORNING
When I woke up I thought the race was over, luckily it wasn’t and I had a chance to put it right. I made sure I packed everything that I need, Garmin, Carb gel, Jelly babies, tissue, Vaseline and anything else I could shove into my small bum bag, which I put around my waist. 13 miles is a long way you don’t know what you might need. (No not fashionable would not wear it on the street, but for running it’s fine).

The start of the day was 15 degrees so as soon as I stepped out of the house I knew it was going to be a hot one, and it was said to get even hotter. Obviously running in Trinidad and Grenada has prepared me well for running in heat, but each day is different and 13 miles as I keep saying is a long way. I decided to wear shorts, no not short short’s they come down to my knees, and a racing singlet I knew was great in the heat from having worn it in the Caribbean, Sunglasses, cap and made sure my feet and in-between my thighs were well greased with Vaseline to avoid chaffing, put on my kineseo tape and went about my business.

Rob (the other half, drove us to Wokingham and from his place it only took about 45 minutes,) we found somewhere to park and then headed off. First thing I needed to do was find a toilet, my stomach didn’t feel great, nerves always get the better of me so a trip to the toilet before I race is always a must. I took some Immodine afterwards to ensure my stomach did not play up on the way around.

You never know how your going to feel until you take your first step, and with the heat and the fact I did not know if the marathon was still in my leg’s I headed to the back of the crowd thinking caution was best.

THE RACE
Well in my world it was not really a race, its just Kat against the world, I leave the racing to the Gazelles and Cheetah’s at the front of the pack. Bottle of Lucozade in my hand, a quick chat with a few girls around me, wishes of good luck the horn went and that was it I was off.


MILE 1-4
All good, it had started to heat up but I was coping the field started off fast, well it was fast in my eyes, I was planning to start at an 11 minute mile then build up but I got swept along going a bit faster and since I felt fine I kept going, talked to an older white couple for a while who were both very sweet, felt strong so moved on up. I now have no fear of running by myself in fact in race conditions I prefer it, there is no pressure to keep up with anyone or slow down for anyone or worry about anyone else, I just concentrate solely on me.

Had a chat to a girl who was doing a walk, run strategy, guessed that was what she was doing, as one minute she was running past me and the next she would be walking, then I would be running past her. I have never tried that strategy myself but if I felt I needed to I would. We both just wanted to make sure that we did not get picked up by the sweeper van, which would be plucking people from the course if they did not reach 6 miles in 1 hour 15, or ten miles in 2 hours, pressure man pressure!!

The funny thing is I had booked this half to run before the London Marathon as part of my training regime, but due to the bad weather it was cancelled then rescheduled for today, not sure what I would’ve prefer snow or sunshine.

I have a stitch as always but I ignore it, breathe it out, berate it and demand that it behaves.

MILES 5-10
I’m surprising myself, I’m feeling good, started so far back I am now passing people, who either started earlier than me or who are slowing down, my pace is not too bad, I am trying hard to keep it between 10:30 and an 11 minute mile, determined to save something for the end, I want to finish nice and strong.

The sun is beating down, and the water they are handing out is in cups, I stop only for a minute to fill up my lucozade bottle with water, it is way to hot not to run and sip water constantly I try not to guzzle too much or my stomach will start gushing and make for uncomfortable running. I have eaten a few jelly babies already and taken one gel, my energy levels are fine, I just need to keep focused, I am still passing people.

I am waiting for doom to befall me, sure my achilles will play up or the knees will start to ache, or my groin to throb. I am waiting to twist an ankle or be struck down with heat stroke, but so far it has not happened. The marshal's are very encouraging and although there are long stretches without people and only fields of yellow rapeseed for company, when supporters do appear they are very enthusiastic.

Quick chat with a girl who is running her first half, she is sweating profusely, her hair is stuck to her face and her cheeks are red, these are the moment when I bless the Lord for dark skin, I too am hot I just do not look it.

I give Rob a quick call I am running faster than we anticipated, I yell at him that I am at mile 9, he asks how I am doing, I say fine, got to go. A man running next to me says he is impressed that I have energy to run and talk on the phone at the same time. I reply that I am a women I always have energy to talk regardless of what I am doing and run past him.

I am still passing people moving strongly thorough the crowd as others falter I keep running, keep moving on up, there are long slow inclines which hurt in the sun but I keep going, determined to push myself, but also weary of the impending disaster which I am sure will befall me.

I pass a couple who have t-shirts on stating they are running to raise money for a charity, I later find out the man was running even though he is dying of terminal lung cancer, I am humbled.

MILE 11-13.1
Mile 11 turns out to be my hardest after almost 2 hours in the heat I am starting to flag and it takes me 11 minutes 9 seconds, my slowest mile yet then on the horizon I see an Angel a women in her driveway holding a hose, spraying a lusciously cool waterfall, I stand in front of her and let her spray me all over, savouring the instant cool down, I thank her profusely and move on, now it is time to dig deep, I pull out my IPOD, time for the ragga, I need something to make my feet move quicker.

Music on, skin cooled, I keep moving, keep passing people, my stitch has gone now, not sure when it went but it is no longer bothering me, so my pace picks up further, I know I am not far from the finish line I know I can run two miles, two miles is easy, two miles is nothing, I could piss two miles I tell myself, as my body tries hard to carry me just a bit further, we have doubled backed on ourselves, so I know I am heading back to the finish, I smile and give encouragement to other runners, but still I move forward aware that if nothing goes wrong and if my pace stays like this I will run the fastest Half marathon I have ever run.

Half a mile to go I see Rob, long basketball arms stretched upwards at 6ft 2 he is always easy to spot, he takes a picture, we high 5 and I move on, no time to stop, I got a half marathon to finish, half a mile, half a mile, half a mile is a damn long way.
I keep on. A girl is crying holding her side, a man who is with her encourages her on, these are the people I respect those who have to dig deep, who have to find that extra something to pull through but they keep me going.

Today I do not struggle as I have done in the past, the training for the London Marathon has toughened me up, I am no longer that girl who started training last September, I have experience to pull on, 8 months of running, training, crying frustration, and determination that makes me know without a doubt that I will make it to the end, nothing bad has happened, luck is on my side, I pick up the pace eager to finish in style.

There it is the end, a blue arch, my medal awaits, I cross the line, Rob is on the left, congratulating me,I was not expecting to see him, but he managed to cut across a field Meet me at the finIsh, I almost run straight past him. Finally I can stop, finally my legs can relax, finally I can stop running in this heat. I put on my medal and Rob treats me to an ice-cream with a flake an strawberry sauce, I am instantly my 5 year old self again, having just been bought an ice-cream by my mum, I am happy.

2 hours 15 minutes 13 seconds and I am done, all limbs intact, no injuries, and a personal best time, beating my last half marathon time back in March by 13 minutes.

Today was a great day for running.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

THE LONDON MARATHON POEM







THE START

NERVES GRIP MY STOMACH

BUT IMMODINE PLUS HAS MADE ME CAST IRON.

FEMALE URINALS, HALIROUS,

BARE BOTTOMS BARED

SQUATTING SHAMLESSLY, LIKE SPORTY CRABS

A CONE SHAPED DEVICE

CREATES A TEMPORARY PENIS,

ORANGE TUTU COVERS MY BLUSHES.

 

MY NAME IS PRINTED ON MY CHEST

I AM A CRAZY LOOKING BROWN FAIRY

RUNNING ALONG LONDON STREETS

I FEEL FAMOUS

I SMILE, SMILE, PAY NO HEED TO THE MILES,

MY FEET FLY.

 

DISASTER

A WOMEN EAGER TO SAY HELLO TO CHEERING FRIENDS

CUTS ACROSS MY PATH

AND KNOCKS ME DOWN

I LAND ON MY HANDS AND KNEES

SHOCKED

I AM HEPLED UP BY A COUPLE

WHO SMOOTH DOWN MY RUFFLED TUTU

AND SEND ME BACK ON MY WAY

NO HARM DONE.

 

BIG BURLY MEN SCREAM MY NAME

WOMEN OOH AND AHH AT MY OUTFIT,

I HIGH FIVE THE HANDS OF MULTIPLE CHILDREN

I AM FREELY OFFERED JELLY BABIES, JAFFA CAKES,

SLICES OF ORANGE,

I MUNCH MY WAY AROUND.

 

I DO NOT RECOGNISE LONDON

THE WARMTH THE LAUGHTER- ALIEN

THE ENCOURAGEMENT-ALIEN

THE SUN SHINING-ALIEN

I DO NOT RECOGNISE

THIS CRAZY LONDON

I LOVE LONDON

TODAY AND ONLY TODAY,

NOISE AND CROWDS ARE A WONDERFUL THING,

THIS IS A WHITE VERSION OF CARNIVAL,

NO FLOAT’S ONLY RUNNER’S,

NO ANGRY POLICE ONLY HAPPY MARSHALLS.

 

I SPOT A BROTHER, DARK SKIN GLISTENING

MUSCLES TAUNT WORKING HARD

FACE CONCENTRATED

LOCKS FLYING

HE IS AT LEAST AN HOUR IN FRONT OF ME.

 

MILE 19 FRIENDS FOUND,

HUG’S ENCOURAGEMENT,

I AM GREATFUL,

COMFORT, A BIT OF LOVE

RUN

KNEES THROBBING

STICH NIGGLING,

GROIN ACHING

I AM STILL RUNNING,

THIGHS CLENCHING,

ACHILLES PINCHING

TOES PROTESTING,

BLISTERS APPEARING,

I AM STILL RUNNING

I AM STILL RUNNING

I AM STILL RUNNING

26.2 MILES IS A LOOOONG WAY.

 

I AM PASSED BY 4 RHINOS. BAT MAN,

PAMELA ANDERSON,

A BRIDE AND GROON,

I AM PASSED BY SPIDER MAN,

ROCKY AND 2 BANANAS,

I AM STILL RUNNING,

 

365 YARDS TO GO,

5 HOURS 23 MINUTES LATER,

I FINISH,

HAPPY, MEDAL,

SMILE, RELIEF,

JOY.

RELAX, RECOUP.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

TEN WEIGHT LOSS TIPS.

Don't know about you but I love food, which is why I have found myself, unfit and overweight, here are some things that I have found works for me. 

ONE: First thing I had to do was accept my weight problem, it was very easy for me to bury my head in the sand and ignore the weight I was gaining, even though deep down inside I knew I should do something about it. Especially when I found myself stretching my knickers so they would fit, and struggling to find anything in the wardrobe that made me look half way decent.

TWO: Forget the fad diets, they may work for a short time, but you always end up putting the weight back on. I’ve tried them trust me, healthy food and exercise is the way to go.

THREE: Short cuts don’t work, I’ve found that out the hard way by losing then gaining weight, it takes hard work but it can be done. The times I have tried to find an easy way a quick fix, the results have never lasted.

FOUR: Fruit, is your friend, learn to love it, easy to carry around, and good for you. Fruit salads with a bit of yogurt are a great thing to have especially if you have a sweet tooth like me.

FIVE: Vegetables get to know them, try different ones and try to include as much as you can in your diet. Butternut squash soup, and vegetable soup, has been a God send, low in fat,filling and can bulk up a meal.

SIX: Do not deprive yourself, I don’t know about you but anytime I eliminate anything from my diet that is the thing I will crave more. When I done the Atkins a few years back, everything around me started to look like bread, the shopkeeper, the bus driver, the children I teach all started looking like crusty rolls.

SEVEN: On an average I lose a pound a week in weight, it adds up, slow and steady is the way to do it. Remember a long term fix is better than short terms gains which do not last. Since September I have lost 26 pounds, only two pounds away from two stone, at first I felt I was losing way to slow, but piling on the muscle due to running, has meant the scale moves slowly, but that all over I have lost 19 inches and gone down two dress sizes from a 16 to a 12.

EIGHT: Weight Watchers worked for me it’s not for everyone, but it was what has helped me to lose in the past and has worked again this time. What I like about it, although it encourages you to eat healthy, I can also have treats, I just don’t go mad. Find something you can stick to a realistic healthy plan that does not make you obsessed with food, but encourages you to eat well, without depriving yourself.

NINE: Weigh yourself once a week, measure your self-monthly and take monthly pictures in a bikini or shorts so you can see the physical changes.

TEN: Learn to cook, fresh food is a lot better for you than processed food, and you can cook more than you need and take some into work, college or university with you.

For those of you from the Caribbean, West Indian food can be high on calories, learn to make low fat versions, or save it for a treat.

I also make low fat versions of Shepherds pie, apple crumble, Lasagne, Bolognese, bake my plantain instead of frying it. Even ackee and Saltfish is low in fat if you cut down on the oil and have a smaller than usual portion of rice.

Saying that the hard food in Grenada and Trinidad, kept me going on those long runs in the heat, when I was on holiday earlier this year part way through my London marathon training, and I did not put on any weight. but try not to eat it everyday unless you to are training for a marathon, or doing some kind of hard labour on a daily basis, or you may just start looking like a dumpling!

Fish is the only meat I eat, and I have found that soya mince and Quorn products are great as they are low fat. Just get yourself some good seasonings and it tastes fine and is a lot lower in fat than real meat.

A lot of people do not like fish but there are so many different varieties I am sure you can find something you like. You have to start taking responsibility for what you put in your mouth. I found it hard at first, but after while you get used to it and it becomes second nature.

Watch out for ten more weight loss tips coming soon.

Good luck