10 things to remember when you line up for a marathon.


So I’m not sure if you know, but my best pal Ellie B is running her first marathon tomorrow!! To say I am excited and proud of her is an understatement! Deciding you are going to run a marathon takes balls. It’s a big bold challenge, something most people would never do. Then you have to commit to a program and stick with it. 16 weeks of running 5-6 times a week, regardless of the weather, your mood, work commitments and everlasting tiredness. It also takes a very patient and loving partner – kudos SB. Getting to the start line in one piece is an achievement in itself and everyone who lines up tomorrow has accomplished something most people wouldn’t even begin to entertain.

So tomorrow Ellie, when you feel sick and nervous and jittery and have no idea what is coming next I think you should remember the following.

  1. Marathon training is harder than running the race. Tomorrow you get to realise all your hard work with fresh legs.
  2. You are an experienced runner……you have done loads of races and are speedy as. Tomorrow is just another long run.
  3. Oprah ran a marathon. In 4.29.20. You can beat Oprah. List of celebs who have run marathoners
  4. You are strong as an ox – all your pole classes and strength work will pay off dividends in the last 10km.
  5. You will join a very elite group tomorrow – only .5% of people have completed a marathon.
  6. You will burn, approx., over 2,880 calories tomorrow. I look forward to seeing your post-race meal pictures. (Book somewhere amazing now if you haven’t already – you don’t want to waste that meal on Nando’s.)
  7. Runners high? Wait till you feel marathon high!
  8. Ibuprofen can help with your blister pain.
  9. You are guaranteed a PR tomorrow!
  10. And last but not least………have fun! Yes it’s a race. But I’m goinging out on a limb here and guessing you won’t win. So no stress. Just think of it as a really long fun run! When you’re struggling at the end……and everyone struggles regardless……remember how awesome you are and how a little pain now is a lot of smiles later. J

Have an amazing race (we should totally enter the amazing race!!) and cannot wait to hear all about it! You got this.

Gill xxxx



That’s why they are hurting! J

Dunsborough X adventure Training


With the Dunsborough x-adventure race coming up this Saturday I have tried to be a bit more consistent with my training. 10 days should be enough right???

I know the run will be fine so I was more keen to focus on the swim and bike this week. My sister – an experienced triathlete – advised me to do a beach swim to make sure I don’t panic. So that was another item to add to my list…..don’t have a “shit fit” in the sea.


  • Saturday 8th

Run – 18.6km @ 5.02 pace.


  • Sunday 9th

RPM – 45 minute class


  • Monday 

30 minute pool swim


  • Tuesday 

Club Interval Run – 3*3km intervals & WUCD – 13.5km total

500m Beach swim where I didn’t freak out, horray!


  • Friday 

RPM – 45 minute class


  • Saturday 

17.7km run @ 5.02 (how odd that both run paces are the same)

500m beach swim


  • Sunday



  • Tuesday 18th 


    PT session organised by work


So looking at all of that how I could be more prepared is beyond me! 😉

I didn’t have a chance to get out on the mt bike so am hoping the RPM classes will be enough to knock the cobwebs. All the swims were great, I love to swim and am comfortable in the water. However I am super slow but nothing I can change in the next few days. I borrowed a wetsuit from a pal so I am going to test that out on Thursday morning……after the man who sold me the tri short advised me too.

Bikram was great and really highlighted how inflexible I am. I am thinking I will make this a habit.

This week I want to do one RPM and one swim. After that will chill until the race. It’s not too big a distance and I will have trained for 10 days so I’m thinking no need for a taper. J

I have no pictures of any of the above, sorry. However I just found some pictures of me from last year! (I did the 12km run of the long course last year)


Have a good one. J




I thought this was a running blog?


After the Melbourne marathon last year I took a step back from training and running. It was never a conscious decision, I didn’t feel burnt out. But it was definitely welcome and needed. Between moving house, Christmas and my trip to the states I didn’t get back into a fitness routine until the end of January. I don’t regret not running but next time I think I will make more of an effort to stay fit whether with swimming or biking.

Anyway, I am back running a few days a week and loving it. With no race in sight, I am remembering why I love just running and how good it makes me feel. No spreadsheets, time goals, paces or distances. Just turn up to training and run whatever everyone else is doing.

I am going to take a step back from marathons this year, just giving my head a break from it. I am sad not to be training and focusing on another PR. But I am really enjoying running as a hobby. Maybe next year I will do another marathon. Saturday morning runs are great now……I just run with whoever is there and when they pick up the pace for their respective programs, I wave bye and see them at the end for coffee. I do about 18km on a Saturday morning, which if you aren’t a runner sounds far but compared to what I used to do and the pace I run it, is not. I promise. J

I am thinking of focusing on 5kms but they scare the living beejasus out of me! I hear people say “run until your eyes bleed” and it sounds so much harder than the long slow plod for the marathon. Any advice on how to make the transition to shorter faster running? I have never raced a 5km or 10km and a bit nervous! Perth has quite a few of these races so I can try a few.

We moved into a new suburb in Perth at Christmas and I saw on FB today they are forming a soccer club and are in need of players. In a rush of blood I emailed the organiser and offered my services. I used to play a lot of soccer as a kid so hopefully I won’t disgrace myself! Finally, I am going to add some swimming into the mix. I had entered an adventure triathlon race  – the X Adventure race in Dunsborough – on Saturday week as a team with 2 pals – I was the runner. Unfortunately my 2 teammates can’t make it so we had to pull out. It’s down south and a gang of us are camping – it’s about 3. hrs south of Perth. I hate missing out so decided to enter the short (beginner course) myself so I have 2 weeks to train for it!

I went for a swim In Cottesloe  on Monday and I just loved it. I forgot how much I love to swim…..thanks Mum for that gift! I did an ocean swim with Jason on Wednesday morning and thankfully didn’t panic. A few people had warned me that I might so that was a relief. I may be last but I won’t freak out. J

I wish I had more time to train for it, but it is what it is! My course is a 700m ocean swim, a 6km beach and trail run and a 11.km mountain bike ride. The swim will be fine, I will be slow but there is nothing I can do about that now.

The run leg will be fun as there are rocks etc involved – the race describes it as a “1km run along the beach before things get more technical with a 1.5km rock hopping section through to a fun and friendly water jump at Castle Rock. After a quick swim you turn and head for home with a gravel walking trail with some hills and on into T2”. I have no idea what my pace will be as the first 3km is a bit of an unknown, but that’s good as I can forget about times and just enjoy it.

The bike route is single track so will be fun to ride and there is nothing too technical. I used to do more mt biking so am pretty confident I will be ok.

My goals are

  • Don’t panic in swim
  • Don’t get annoyed if you are last out of the water (I will struggle with this one!)
  • Don’t focus on time on rocks, just focus on not falling and stay steady
  • Pray I don’t get a puncture in the woods – I know in theory how to fix one but will fall to pieces under pressure!
  • Have fun!

So this week and next I want to fit in some more swims and get out on the mountain bike with Franman. Any tips for the bike and swim would be much appreciated!

Finally, big up to my sister and stepmother who took part in a duathlon last weekend in Ireland. Cliodhna came third female overall! And Rachel knocked 6 mins off her 5km time (she just started running) and came 5th cyclist overall! I have big shoes to fill.


Have a good one,

Gill J


Happy Weekend


What is everyone doing this weekend? I am listening to Frankie and going to relax. It’s been a busy few weeks so looking forward to having no obligations this weekend.

I was all set to write a lovely post about my return to running (insert dramatic music here) but have been told I need to wrap this up quickly. So in lieu of running here are some fun links and I’ll come back tomorrow to fill you all in.

Middle Class Problems – a nice update to the first world problems. This was one of my faves J



Is anyone else SUPER EXCITED about the new Wes Anderson movie? Or just this nerd? I was reading an article that started with “As far as Wes Anderson films go, The Grand Budapest Hotel is the Wessiest film that ever Wessed”…..awesome!! It’s not here until April and I am counting down the days.

I bought this book recently on the recommendation of a pal Jason.



It’s a “3-week healthy lifestyle plan to help change your life” and it’s really good so far. I have made a few dishes and everything has been lovely and the exercises are great. Focuses on strength training which you can do at home which I like. The squats are killing me on my runs – my legs are weak! The have a recipe for zucchini (courgette) pasta which we tried on Thursday. Franman is always deeply suspicious of these types of foods but he inhaled it! I bought a spirualiser recently on the recommendation of the BJB and finally used it. so quick and easy, will definitely be using it again.



We blanched them for 30 seconds but you can eat them raw as well. We just dressed them with sesame oil but like pasta, they can take on any flavour. Super nice and recommended. I can add this to the cauliflower fried “rice” and cauliflower mash that Franman approved.


Have you seen Spirit of the Marathon? Well the second one was just released on DVD and I received it on Thursday. I immediately texted Franman to say our evening was sorted which he was super pumped about. 😉


It’s good but I think I prefer the first one. This may also be as there were lots of subtitles – it focuses on the Rome Marathon. Combined with the running, Franman was a little less than focused on it. So I might watch it again to be sure.

Ellie – watch the first one before your race, it’s pretty moving when you are tapering and your head is messed. Don’t worry about that now, we’ll discuss later. 😉


We bought a headboard recently but if I hadn’t I would be making this one. It’s an Ikea Hack which I love! Actually that’s complete BS – I like reading about Ikea Hacks.



I’ll have to get this for Fran. He is ‘flirting with paleo’ at the moment. Which so far appears to be eat lots of bacon




And finally, this is a NYC based website but there is great info on nutrition and training. They do a weekly Refrigerator Look Book which I love to read. More from an aspirational than inspirational but fun all the same.

Have a good one. J


Lake Tahoe


The final stop on our tour of the US was Lake Tahoe for some R&R and skiing. It’s about a three and a half hour drive from San Fran so an easy trip to make. And make it you should – it is lovely up there. I slept on the way up and arrived as Fran was about 5 minutes away. Sorry Fran. It was amazing to wake up to all the snow and tree dotted landscape after falling asleep in downtown SF. The hotel greeted us with a roaring fire and warm apple cider and we knew we were in for a good time!

There are a bunch of ski resorts in Lake Tahoe and we decided to stay at Squaw based on some friend’s recommendations. California had been experiencing a drought until the Thursday we arrived but it started snowing when we were there – luck of the Irish!

The hotel is located in a ‘village’ at the base of the mountain. This meant our hotel room was a 5 minute walk from the first lift. Awesome! All the ski rentals, shops, cafes and so on are all there also so no need to go far to get an Irish coffee over lunch. The food in the village was surprisingly good. We ate in a pizza joint, an Irish bar – awesome sausages – modern Californian food, Mexican and casual café style. All were really good and great value.


Happy Fran taking a break from skiing

The skiing was great there as well. There are hundreds of runs and squaw shares ski passes with another mountain so you can go between both. Neither of us had been skiing in ages so it was lovely to get the opportunity to do so again. We’re mad to go on a full skiing holiday now. Japan anyone???

I also did a yoga class one evening – the windows were huge so you could see out to the snow as you did downward dog. It was vinyasa yoga and I think I finally found a class I enjoy! Or maybe I have been enough now. Either way I would go again.

Before we knew it our last leg of our tour was over and we were on the road back to San Fran and home. I’d love to go back to Lake Tahoe in the summer, it’s incredibly beautiful and there is so much to do. Some day!

Thanks for reading. Gilly J