Totally obsessed with running and at 51yrs old, I’m still improving. Last year I ran the Barcelona marathon in 3.02, I also competed in the Redbull steeple chase and came 6th. I just love the crazy challenging events! Currently, I’m in training for an ultra so I’m feeling super strong. I’m a chiropractor so I’m nuts about health, diet and sport.
Each week each member of Team Whole Earth updated us on their training journey
leading up to the big event, Man V Horse!
Training this week has been great – when the sun shines I am itching to get out there and train. I’ve ran a total of 56.5 miles this week and I have completed two bike rides which were 35 miles each, two swim sessions and two strength and conditioning sessions.
On one of my runs I headed off up the hills with my map in hand (which I have never done alone before). I got severely lost and covered more miles than I had planned but loved it. Next week I am heading back up the hills without a map this time and hopefully I’ll complete the run without stopping or getting lost! My aim for next week is to maintain my current fitness level and become stronger on the hills too, which is my weak point.
My nutrition has been so much healthier this past week and I haven’t been tempted by naughty food. I have used peanut butter in most of my meals in some shape or form and I have discovered some great recipes this week including Pad Thai with peanut butter, satay sauce, protein balls, soup and cakes. Eating more protein has made me crave less sugar but next week I’m going to try to increase the number of meals I eat to maintain a healthy weight.
I’ve had slightly less miles in the legs this week as I have had some back ache. I sneezed at the wrong angle and that was it! I’ve still covered 47 miles in total and done lots of off-road running. My long run this week was 21 miles all on road, it was very hilly but I felt strong.
I started the week with my off road runs being comfortable and trying to maintain a steady pace. One of them was 15 miles and very steep and I kept telling myself that this is nothing compared to what I’m going to face at Man V Horse! So I kept going. I have been swimming once this week and followed it with a 5 mile progressive run, starting at steady pace and finishing at 10k pace. I love this session.
I am a peanut butter convert now. I have never eaten so much of the stuff but it works! I’ve made another big pot of soup, I made peanut butter muffins yesterday which are my snacks when I can’t wait till the next meal and I always have a pile of protein balls in the fridge which I use as dessert. Since upping my protein intake over the last 2 weeks I have noticed changes in my body. Being a vegetarian I think I really was a bit depleted before. My post run muscle ache is so much less. My nails have started to grow properly instead of splitting and my jeans feel looser on me which is nice!
I took part in a local half marathon in Stratford last Sunday. It was a last minute decision on the morning to use it as a training run, rather than running alone. I did come 2nd which I was pleased with, considering I didn’t feel that I pushed the pace! I’ve been on a total of five runs this week equating to 30 miles and I’ve been on the bike twice and swimming twice.
I love Whole Earth cereals and have it for breakfast with almond milk. A delicious snack I have made this week is trail mix bars, made of lots of different seeds and of course Whole Earth peanut butter. I can’t believe that I haven’t eaten chocolate for 3 weeks now and I don’t miss it!
I’ve noticed an improvement this week – I’m finding it easier to maintain a constant pace over longer distances now. My last race I did, I finished strong and could probably run a few more miles.
I’ll be back up the hills next week, but I am going to try some gym work to increase quad strength too. It’s something that I haven’t done for a long time!
My high this week was definitely winning the Milton Keynes marathon. My time of 2.58 was a PB of 4 minutes – I have tried to run sub 3 hrs for the past 2 years so was ecstatic when I achieved it!
I’ve been on four runs this week and swimming twice – clocking up almost 79km. I am noticing how much stronger I am on the hills now too. I’m up there with the leaders and don’t feel like I need resuscitating when I get to the top. With a better diet and fuelling I don’t get gastric problems as much either. I now know how much I need to eat before an endurance race too, which gives me confidence with only 4 weeks until I run Man V Horse. My peanut protein balls and trail mix bars curb my appetite and clearly make me run better so I’ll be making more of those next week – I’ll also be concentrating on some speed work this coming week at the track. I’m aiming to include a few core work-out sessions too (which I get a bit lazy with) and I’ll of course be heading for the hills!
I started the week off with a hilly off-road run followed by a midweek club race that just happened to be off-road too, a half marathon along the Tissington trail in Derbyshire and a couple of easy gentle runs. These 4 runs totalled 40 miles and were all off road running as I am falling out of love with Tarmac!
This week I have been incorporating more speed into my training as I seem to have the distance and endurance in my legs from marathon training.
I am definitely feeling stronger while running. Our club race this week is one I have done before but I normally find it very hilly and tough- but this week the hills were a piece of cake! I’m going to do more stretching this week as I tend to be a bit lazy at doing this. I am also keeping up with having a weekly massage and swim as these things all compliment my running.
I can’t believe how much peanut butter I get through in a week- I love finding new recipes to try out. I’ve been trying the recent Whole Earth competition winner’s recipe, ‘caramel slice’, and it’s been a hit for me this week, I have got through 2 of them! They are loaded with nuts, dates, coconut oil and peanut butter and are the equivalent of chocolate cake to me .All my snacks are now peanut butter based and curb my appetite nicely giving me the energy to train well.
This week I completed five runs totalling 47 miles. I have been off-road twice this week trying to get used to the mud and slippy ground, following the rain earlier in the week. My other three runs were a mixture of road and trail.
My training high has definitely been gaining a PB in my half marathon last week and my low was that I know I could have done it faster, but I got the fuelling all wrong and lost the pace in the later miles.
I have done lots of stretching as promised to my legs this week! I have also cycled more this week and tomorrow I am doing a sportive of 64 miles in the hope that this will strengthen my legs enabling me to get up those hills in Man V Horse.
My delivery of peanut butter this week was desperately needed and I have made another batch of Whole Earth Peanut Butter Protein balls. I am feeling very fit at the moment and get a buzz every time I go out… long may it last!
Next week I’m going to do one long off-road run of 22 miles as it’s now 3 weeks since I’ve done one.
This week I have completed five runs totalling 82.5km which included two off roads and three road runs. I’ve had a fun week of training. Last weekend I did a sportive of 64 miles with club mates which was good to catch up on gossip while cycling. I have done my last long run of 19 miles which I must admit felt very easy.
Yesterday I was in a team relay event in Stratford; we called our team the ‘Peanutters’ and in style I wore my Whole Earth t shirt. Setting off at a sprint soon made my lungs feel as if they were on fire, however we came 2nd overall and I got the fastest female time of 11.30.
I’ve included everything in my training this week; hills, speed, tempo and I even found some steps in the wood which I used to do some reps up and down. Peanut butter continues to amaze me with the effects on my training… I LOVE IT! This week’s experiment was frozen bananas and Whole Earth peanut butter whizzed together to make ice cream. You must try it….it’s so yummy.Training miles will drop over the next couple of weeks but I will be keeping up the intensity.
I now feel ready for this race. Bring it on….. I feel really strong and fit.
This week I have completed five runs totalling 59km. These runs consisted of three hills and the others were a mixture of flat fast road and trail runs.
I had a really tough off road run at the beginning of the week, but the sun was shining and it was beautiful high up in the hills so that really helped! On Saturday I decided to do a local 10km race up to the windmill and back as I thought this would be good prep. This however, was a struggle as going straight from my morning swim of 2.2 miles my legs weren’t happy!
At the start of this venture I thought it would take me forever to get through my supply of Whole Earth peanut butter… how wrong I was! Several jars a week just disappear and I always have a stock of peanut butter based snacks in the fridge.
This week I will be cutting down the mileage further by doing four very short runs with a bit of speed work. My first open water swim of the year is this week, so this will give me some good ice therapy! And this week will consist of no alcohol, lots of healthy food, carbs and peanut butter of course!
This week I have completed five runs with a total of 37 miles. My first four runs were all road runs, and then of course my last run was the big event itself! I spent the last week of my training tapering off my running by completing short sharp runs and carb loading in preparation for Man V Horse.
I have been trying to increase my carbohydrate intake this week to get my muscles fuelled ready to climb the Welsh mountains. All my snacks have contained Whole Earth peanut butter in some shape or form, and I made some peanut butter brownies using the recipe from the website… they are extremely moorish.
No amount of hill training could have prepared me for the hills I faced in the Man V Horse race. They were relentless, quad crushing inclines, and muddy energy-sucking declines. It was however a fantastic event with a great fun relaxed atmosphere and jaw dropping scenery. The whole weekend really was fabulous.
Next week I am going to rest and enjoy some gentle swimming in the lake and also some easy cycling.
As Whole Earth ambassadors each member of our team have taken part in two additional events
and we have asked them to share their experiences with us.
On Sunday 30th August I took part in Offa’s Dyke trail run which stretches from the beautiful town of Hay on Wye all the way to Kington, 15 miles further down the road.
My training for this race has been fairly similar to Man V Horse, although unfortunately not as consistent! Two weeks previously I’d been in hospital with a horrible infection that had spread up my arm from a bite of some kind. This delayed my training; I spent two days in bed, lost my appetite and had to undergo a rigorous course of antibiotics, leaving me feeling very tired. However, even with this slight setback I did manage to finish my training and race at the event.
The day started at 11am with a 2hr drive to the event and then a 45 minute bus journey to the start. By 2.30pm the rain was coming down and we were ready to go. I felt good for the first five miles, trying to preserve some energy for the long climb at 11 miles. When I got to this point I was in second place, but soon moved to first after the lady in front took a wrong turn (much to my delight). I suddenly found myself leading the way but the hills just kept on coming and my legs were screaming at me to stop, so I did once or twice. I could see another lady catching me but was left feeling helpless – my legs were shot! After a hard course, I came in 2nd which was frustrating as I know I could have run it better. Nonetheless, I did finish on a high – with my peanut butter and yoghurt smoothie followed soon after by peanut butter oatmeal cookies.
Congratulations on becoming a member of Team Whole Earth! How are you feeling?
Good! I’m very excited!
What made you enter to become a Whole Earth sponsored athlete?
I was looking for a challenge and wanted to do something a bit different and had no idea what to do. I have taken part in so many events and I wanted to do something unique so when I saw this event pop up I thought I had to give it a go.
How are you feeling at the prospect of racing 60 horses cross country?
No problem! But in all seriousness, I won’t think about the horses when I’m running it, I’ll just be concentrating on the run.
Tell us about your running background?
I started running when I was about 14. I used to go to a track and I had a running coach and represented Scotland when I was a school child. I then drifted away from it – I trained to be a Nurse and had children and didn’t run as much. After having children I got into jogging and joined a Race for Life which was 5K and it nearly killed me! But you build it up and gradually I built my running up and joined a running club. I then started taking part in marathons and I have completed a few half Iron Mans too. I did the Red Bull Steeple Chase last year which was really tough – you’re on your hands and knees for most of the race! I now train a lot during the winter and run around 40 to 50 miles a week and in the summer I’ll run, swim and cycle.
What do you love about running?
I love the feel of it. It feels like the most natural thing in the world to me and makes me feel good. You have to love it to go out and train.
Tell us about your most challenging running experience
Last year I wanted to get a sub 3 hour marathon and worked really hard for it, I gained some tips from a nutritionist too. I went to Barcelona to run the marathon and it was so hot! I unfortunately did it in 3 hours 2 minutes, so that was a bit annoying!
What are you looking forward to at the Man V Horse event?
I think getting up those hills in one piece will be a challenge! I know I’m not going to pass any horses but I’d like to finish near the top of the list.
This race is quite a unique one, will you do anything differently to prepare for it?
There are no hills where I live so I will be spending time trying to find some and increase my hill training.
What’s your favourite Whole Earth peanut butter and how often do you eat it when you’re training?
I like most of the flavours and there are lots of high protein recipes that I want to try. I love making protein balls from porridge oats, peanut butter and rice syrup. They are a great snack to store in the fridge and eat after a race.
What’s your favourite peanut butter snack before a race?
I normally just have a slice of toast and a glass of orange juice before a race – I don’t like to eat much before I run.