The Liebster Award 2018

Something a little different from me today as the lovely Beth at My Anxiety Matters has nominated me for the Liebster Award. Thank you!

If you’ve not come across it before, the Liebster Award is a great way of connecting with other bloggers and giving a little blog-love to those whose work you enjoy reading. I’ve not taken part in anything like this before so am excited to get involved.

So what do I have to do? It turns out it’s pretty straightforward:

  • Link to the Official Rules in your Liebster Award blog post.
  • Answer the questions given to you.
  • Create more questions for your nominees to answer (ideally unique and creative ones).
  • Comment on the Official Rules post with a link DIRECTLY to your Liebster award. This collates all the posts in one place to make them easier to find.

The questions I got from My Anxiety Matters are:

  1. Three words to describe your blog.
    Running, yoga, food!
  2. What would you name your boat if you had one?
    Since Boaty McBoatface is taken, I’d go for something that captures my passions a bit more. I’m fairly certain I was born in the wrong time and place (I would have loved 1920s Paris) so I would call my boat La Parisienne. I’ve never sailed though and all I can think of right now is that episode of Friends where Rachel tries to teach Joey…😂
  3. Five positive words to describe you.
    Optimistic. Caring. Energetic. Springy. Determined.
  4. The most interesting thing you’ve read/seen this week?
    As a parkrun aficionado, the most interesting thing I’ve seen this week is this statistic about New Year’s Day:
    Yes, I was one of them!
  5. Favourite joke/pun?
    I’m one of those people who can NEVER remember any jokes. Except this one which nobody else ever finds funny apart from me. I’ll not put “comedian” on my CV then 🙄
    Two elephants fell off a cliff…BOOM BOOM!!
  6. They’re creating a film (movie) of your life, who plays you?
    If it could be anyone from any time then I would have to say Audrey Hepburn. But if we’re talking someone more current, then I’m going to choose Idina Menzel. Why? Because the movie of my life would have to be a musical (oh I do enjoy musicals!) and I would love to be played by the talented actress behind Elphaba (Wicked) and Elsa (Frozen)!
  7. Favourite blog post you’ve read today & would recommend?
    I’m going to keep it in the family here. My sister has just started a new blog all about her experiences in Disney (she has been a cast member in more than one capacity) and I loved her post offering tips to get the most out of a runDisney experience. If you love running or Disney then I recommend taking a look.
  8. As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
    I don’t really remember having a particularly fixed idea of what I would like to be, but I do remember fancying myself a princess (some things never change!) or a superhero (maybe that explains why I love to see myself as Wonder Woman lol!). Clearly I set realistic goals for myself as a child 😂
  9. Positive motto for 2018?
    Can I have this one?
    2018 is The Year of Me and I want to focus on things that add value to my life rather than things that create stress, so Hakuna Matata sounds fitting (and should really be everyone’s motto!).
  10. Your top tip for finding blog-spiration?
    Engage. Engage with other blogs and podcasts, engage with nature and engage your brain. I definitely get some of my best ideas when I’m out on a long run, so take a bit of time to clear your head and get outside – you’ll be surprised what you come up with while you’re out!

And now for my nominations (*drumroll*):

  1. Running on Espresso
  2. Adventures by Linsey
  3. Early Bird Runner
  4. Tartan Jogger
  5. Tri.runner.ella
  6. Maria Runs
  7. Anna The Apple
  8. The Right Fits
  9. Pip In Motion
  10. Running Bean

And my questions to pay it forward:

  1. What inspired you to start your blog?
  2. An elevator pitch for your blog?
  3. If you could have a conversation with anyone (real or fictional) from any time, who would you choose and why?
  4. If you had a theme tune, what song would you pick and why?
  5. Where is your happy place?
  6. Who would you most like to go for a run/cycle/workout with?
  7. Flying or invisibility?
  8. If you could learn one new skill, what would you choose and why?
  9. What do you want to achieve in 2018?
  10. What made you smile today?

One of my favourite things about blogging is the chance to engage with others around the world and learn more about people I wouldn’t otherwise cross paths with, so answering Beth’s questions and coming up with my own has been fun. I can’t wait to read the answers…!



This week I reached a blogging milestone…my 500th post. 500 times in the last few years I’ve committed my thoughts to the screen. 500 times I’ve hit publish. 500 times I’ve wondered if anyone would really read what I had to say! Who would have thought that yesterday’s Friday Finds could be so momentous?

I’ve written before about what I enjoy about blogging so I thought today I would dig into my archives and share some of my favourite posts from that 500. Perhaps there will be something in here you’ve not read before…

As the great Julie Andrews taught us, the beginning is a very good place to start. My first ever post back in 2011 detailed the beginning of my running journey and was followed up soon after with how I came to take running a bit more seriously:

In 2012 London hosted the Olympic Games and one of the legacy aims was to inspire a generation. As the new school year began a few weeks later, I considered whether or not there had been any impact on the younger generation in my classroom:

As someone who enjoys racing, I know that races can really only take place thanks to the fantastic army of volunteers who turn up to show their support. In this next post, I wrote about why volunteering at a race is so crucial:

In 2013 I was excited to get my first age category prize (although I had to travel a fair distance to get it!):

And just a few days later got my second one – and a first place finish in my age category!

I rounded off that year with one of my most popular posts – a farewell letter to a pair of worn out running shoes. If you run, then you’ll get it!

A nice companion to that is the love letter I wrote to running for Valentine’s Day in 2014:

2014 was a big year for me: Steve and I took on a massive fundraising challenge for Macmillan Cancer Support and once of MY biggest supporters was my friend Ian who helped out through his business. Without him and the generosity of his customers, I would never have raised as much as I did. I featured Ian in a guest post that year:

I also played the proud wife card and gushed a bit about Steve and his incredible achievements in supporting Macmillan.:

That summer, I reflected on my childhood summers and how that year compared. Spoiler: it turns out some things never change!

But that autumn I had to make a tough decision. Here, I wrote about that process and how I was dealing with it:

Another first for me was my first ever link up. I must have enjoyed it since I continue to link up regularly with Jessie even now!

In 2015 I introduced Friday Finds as a regular feature. Given that an edition of FF was my 500th post, I thought it would be fun to include the first ever here:

2015 was probably my biggest year for other reasons too. Having changed my 2014 challenge thanks to injury, I had some unfinished business and it was time to go bigger than ever. That year’s Edinburgh Marathon Festival is probably one of my best running memories EVER!

Speaking of which, a few weeks later I wrote a post pulling together some of my favourite running memories:

Throughout 2015 I became a parkrunner, having immediately fallen for its charms after my first event. A year later, I summed up just what is so special (for me) about a free weekly 5k:

2016 was a strange year as we moved house and I probably didn’t blog as much as I should. Our trip to Paris that year did inspire a couple of posts though:

This was followed later in the year by a joint post with Jessie as we considered some linguistic differences between US and UK running:

Another very popular post came late in 2016 when I was once more forced to make a tough decision. There was a lot of emotion when I wrote it and I can still remember just how sad I felt:

This year, I’ve probably written more regularly than ever. A fun post at the start of the year was inspired by the book Your Pace or Mine and took the form of a record book:

I also marked “Marathon Day” by chronicling my own experiences with the big 26.2:

Which has a nice companion in my marathon tips:

In fact, I wrote a few posts this year offering some tips and advice:

As well as reflecting on the life-changing impact of yoga:

A couple of highlights were when I was interviewed for a podcast (so cool!):

And my first ever international parkrun experience:

More recently, I summed up what it’s like to taper for a marathon. Anyone who’s ever tapered will understand!

And as a counterpoint, a little bit of the aftermath:

Which brings us up to date. The posts I’ve chosen have highlighted some memorable moments as well as some reflections on training, racing and life. In amongst that there have been plenty of training logs, race reports and general musings so I’ve really enjoyed looking back through my posts and remembering all of the varied experiences that inspired the posts. I hope you’ve enjoyed indulging me by following along too and will join me for the next 500…!

On Running and Blogging


This was the image that greeted me last month – the news that I’ve now been blogging for five years. Five whole years of posting content on my own little corner of the Internet! Although sometimes it can be tough fitting in time to write posts, especially at crunch points during the school year, overall I really enjoy blogging and think that there are a number of benefits not just to blogging, but to blogging about running. So with that in mind, today I want to share some of the things that I enjoy about being a running blogger (or blogging runner!).

1. Connecting
Blogging is a wonderful way to connect with like-minded people. Before I began my blog I was regularly reading one or two others, and I was always struck by how fellow runners often had very similar experiences, fears and goals to me. By starting my own blog I guess I added my “voice” to the discussion and really enjoy connecting with “real” runners, people just like me fitting training in around work and other life commitments; people whose goals may very well be just like mine; people whose journeys I like to follow. Running can be a very solitary pursuit, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s nice to know that thoughts and experiences can be shared with those who will just “get it”. By writing my posts and reading those of the many others I now follow, I feel part of a connected community with which I can celebrate, commiserate and converse. There’s always a supportive voice to be found and it’s lovely when that connection extends into the real world. I feel really lucky to have met and chatted to people from all over the world that I found through blogging and I look forward to that continuing. I’ve even, on one or two occasions, been “recognised” as The Running Princess which is really cool as it’s lovely to know that someone other than a partner or parent might be reading what you have to say!

2. Learning
“Every day’s a school day,” or so they say, and writing a blog can be a great learning tool as well. Not only does it allow me to hone my writing and put into practice some of the skills I teach my pupils, but it also gives me the opportunity to learn from others. Sometimes I might have to do a little research for a post, or read interesting articles to share in Friday Finds. Sometimes I might learn from a reader who comments on a post or offers advice. Even just working on the mechanics of the blog has been a learning experience – at first I had no idea how to link to other content and it took a few posts to get to grips with tags and categories. I tweak some bits and pieces from time to time and try out new ideas to see what works. Blogging helps to clarify my thoughts and I do think a lot of what I’ve learned about various disciplines comes back to being part of this crazy, connected world we call the Internet.

3. Discovering
Related to learning is discovering. I discover new things all the time through blogging. I discover new ideas for posts, I discover different approaches to training or nutrition and I discover new blogs to read and people to connect with. When someone new interacts with my blog, I usually take a look at theirs to see if it’s something I want to read regularly. When I post about books or podcasts or music I consider the suggestions people make and often find something fantastic to read or listen to. When someone writes a review of an event I might add that event to my wish list or perhaps even sign up for the next one. Sometimes when I complete a survey or respond to a message asking how I came across something, I find that I actually don’t know. Even today, I was reading a blog I had just discovered and saved, yet I no longer remember how I came across it! The world is just full of new things to discover, and maintaining my blogging helps me to find some of them.

4. Recording
When I first started writing the blog, probably the only person reading it was Steve, and maybe one or two friends who felt obliged to. Even now I sometimes find it strange to think that other people might actually be reading what I post. But even with no readers whatsoever, I would probably still keep writing. Why? Because my blog has become a great place to document my life. It can be a training log, a record of races and a snapshot of my life at any given time. What was it I thought about that book? There’s a post on it. How did I structure my training for that race? There’s an online record of it. How did my experience of that race compare to previous years or other races? There are past posts to check. Some people keep a training diary, some people journal about their lives, I keep my blog. Five years generates a lot of content and I do go back and look at it from time to time.

5. Sharing
I suppose we’re all a bit narcissistic these days and platforms like blogs and social media allow us to share a great deal. Sometimes we’re all guilty of sharing unimportant or, dare I say, boring details, but blogging can also present an excellent opportunity when it comes to sharing. Writing a post can allow me to share my knowledge or experiences; it can open up a converstation or even debate with others; it can help me to encourage others or receive encouragement in tough times. Blogging also helps to keep me accountable. If I set out a goal then knowing I’ve shared it publicly helps to keep me on track. This year I shared some goals for the year and have been updating my progress as the year goes on. And not only can I share what I’m up to, I can also share in the experiences of others by engaging with them via their own posts to share advice, commiserate when things haven’t gone well and congratulate when they succeed. We’re all quick to complain about the sharing of pointless details online, but we must remember that this can also be a force for good and allow plenty of positive sharing. By connecting with others and sharing in their lives, we must surely help to improve our own.

My blogging "helper"!

My blogging “helper”!

So there you have it. I’m never going to make my fortune through blogging, but over the past five years it’s become an important part of my life. Here’s to the next five years…!

What do you enjoy about writing or reading blogs?
If you write a blog, what inspired you to start?