I am little over 4 weeks away from taking part in one of the hardest challenges I have ever attempted.  The Warwick Half Marathon in aid of the British Heart Foundation ( It seemed like a good goal to have and has helped me really move on with my running, but I have hit a wall in my training. I have yet to run further than 5 miles and I am struggling to move past that.

I have been working with a PT ( who has been brilliant at not only focusing me on my training, but also helping me remain positive and even managing to make me laugh when I feel like I want to die! The most impressive thing is that I actually listen to him. Those who know me well, know I don’t take kindly to ‘advice’. Certainly not straight away. Unless those people have come recommended from a friend or I have seen what they can do, I ignore them. Yeh, I know… I’m working on changing that.

Anyway, my hope is that the sessions will help not only my running and general fitness but also pull my body out of the slump it’s been in since my virus two years ago. Despite the fact that I haven’t been going to regular sessions, it seems my body is happy with even a little bit of advice and my running feels easier. I have also noticed I no longer have the pain in my legs, which used to stop me running and render me useless for a day or two.

So what is the problem?

Well there are two. Firstly, my chest is still recovering from flu over Christmas/New Year, leaving me with a nasty cough and a bit of reliability on my inhaler. Getting into a rhythm with my breathing is taking a lot longer and I’m not breaking through my initial wall until well past mile 1.

The second? I’m getting bored. This is the most difficult one to fix. Music isn’t helping and even the information from Runkeeper about how I’m doing, annoys me.

I’m not sure if this isn’t just down to the fact that I am used to team sports. In particular, I’m used to being in a boat with at least 3 other people and all of us helping to keep the other going. The best bit? We were all stuck in the same place so one person couldn’t go off and leave the rest behind even if they wanted to! Well, not without getting wet.

A few people have suggested joining a running club, but this isn’t what I want. I don’t want to be running with other people where I realise just how slow I am and how much work I have to do! At this point, I will acknowledge that yes, most runners are supportive and would help me… blah blah blah… but I’m not into that kind of help. I’m a competitive person. I need to feel I’m competitive, not that I’m there for everyone to pour pity on. I know that getting help from a club works for a lot of people, but I’m just not that person.

Taking part in the running events this year is about raising money and awareness of my chosen charities not how fast I can complete them. I just want to get round the course (before they close it) and prove to myself and the doubters, that I can come back from that virus and be fit again.

A lot to think about

I’ve completed the third week in my new job and I am really enjoying it so far. I can see the following months will be busy and fast paced, but I confess, I’m really looking forward to it.

I spent three days in Stockholm in my second week to meet my new colleagues and the staff of the Sweden office. I have to admit it was more than a bit nerve racking. I have never flown anywhere on my own before and also never driven to Heathrow! I was more concerned about the drive to the airport than anything else! My alarm went off at 3am and I was on the road by 3.45.

The drive was pretty good and I arrived at 5.15 with plenty of time to drive around the car park trying to find somewhere free. Once I’d transferred to the terminal I was quickly through security (I love online check-in!) and sat awaiting my gate allocation. This was the point where the tiredness hit me. I’d managed only a few hours sleep as I listened to Cheltenham’s game the night before and now I was regretting it.

Once onboard the flight, I fell asleep pretty quickly. Waking to the sounds of breakfast arriving and then dropping off again for an hour before we landed at Arlanda.

The following days were filled with new people, new software, new languages (both computer based and of course Swedish) and new ways of working. I think my brain’s just about recovered!

At the moment, I’m feeling very frustrated as I want to be able to help, but I’m not really able to. My knowledge is probably approaching basic, but as a perfectionist I have to reign myself in.

I also have a new car, which has been a fantastic purchase. A lovely 2.0l Mazda 6 which feels like a tank after driving around in a 1.7l Ford Puma for the last 8 years! It’s brilliant on the fuel consumption and the space is amazing. I’m confident I can fit all my fishing kit (and probably my dad’s!) in it, which is great heading into the summer.

The other advantage to the car is that I can fit my bicycle in it. I’m taking part in the Cotswolds bike ride for the British Heart Foundation in May (, so need a way of getting the bike back there! When I say I’m taking part in the bike ride, I mean I’m riding as much of the 40 miles as I can and hopeful of finishing it… if I’m lucky!

To add to the new job stress, I’m moving house in 9 weeks and I don’t know the location of my new home yet. I have two options. I would, of course, love to be back in Gloucestershire and I do have somewhere lined up near Cheltenham, but I have to be sensible about this. If I was to move within biking distance of my office, I could begin to save more money to pay off my new car and keep my debt levels at a minimum. Being close to the office would only be for year or so (unless circumstances change) and I think it would make things look a lot better when I do move back.

The thing striking me at the moment is my feelings about moving. It’s hitting me pretty hard. I always look forward, but there’s one person I would love to tell all about this and he’s not here. I know he’d be pleased about everything I’ve achieved, and he’d be thrilled to know I’m not commuting in and out of London any more. He’d also be happy to know that I was finally moving away from the East.

To be fair, at the moment, he’d be telling me to pull myself together, stop worrying so much and that I should be going fishing more! It’s been four years since I stopped match fishing, but I promise Richard, this summer, I will be going back.