Countdown to the Royal Parks Half Marathon // 8 weeks to go

8 weeks

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about how my sister and I have signed up to run the Royal Parks Half Marathon in London on the 11th October. We are both pretty athletic; Jen cycles and runs (shorter distances) and I play a lot of netball but you wouldn’t exactly call us long distance runners, so we are really stepping out of our comfort zones with this half marathon. We are however both running for deserving charities to boost our spirits and keep us on track!

Jen is running for Great Ormond Street Hospital and I’m running to support Ollie’s Army who are a family that are always in our thoughts. Thinking of helping Ollie and Amelia with the daily battles they are currently facing and will be faced with in the future gets me through the long runs in training and will most definitely give me the extra push I’ll need on the big day.

I’ve been training on and off, half-heartedly for a good few months now but when the countdown reached 9 weeks (last week) I thought I’d better start to be more structured in my approach and it has really helped. I devised my own training plan after speaking to a good friend who is a super-fast marathon runner and checking out the Asics one and so far so good!


Last week I wasn’t able to stick to my plan rigidly as Andy had to take my nephew to A & E on one of my running nights, so I couldn’t get out, but I managed 3 longer runs rather than the 5 shorter ones I had planned and thankfully I covered the same mileage.

Monday //  I ran 10km in 1hr 9 mins, not particularly fast but it was the longest distance I’ve run for a long time! I actually felt really comfortable and I chose a different route, away from the busier roads which always helps.

Tuesday / Wednesday // Rest days.

Thursday // I ran 7km in 45 mins. Again I felt pretty comfortable ( having a few rest days probably helped) and I actually enjoyed this run despite the rain.

Friday / Saturday // Rest days.

Sunday // I ran 14km in 1hr 38mins – My longest run to date. I ran a route that doesn’t have shortcuts so I had no option but to keep running! I wasn’t really feeling it and felt like I was plodding along but I did it. Not particularly fast or gracefully ( I resembled a beetroot) but I was pretty proud of myself for running the whole distance, more than planned, without stopping. I really need to look into fuelling the body pre-runs though as I ate half a wonton (stolen from the kids!) about an hour before I ran and before that a salad lunch about 6 hours earlier, which is probably the reason I felt a bit sick and dizzy when I hit the 12km mark.



Over the next few weeks i’ll be sharing my favourite products that I couldn’t live without whilst training for the half marathon.

Today’s shout out is to my Garmin Forerunner 15 GPS Running Watch. I am totally in love with it. It’s pretty simple to use and possibly one of the more basic running watches on the market but it really helps keep me on track whilst I’m on the road. I use Map My Run to work out the distances before I set off and my Garmin Forerunner 15 to keep me up to date whilst running. It captures essential stats from your run like time, distance and pace and it has an auto lap function that automatically alerts you when you complete each mile / km, giving you a friendly beep and a backlit screen that flashes your time for that mile / km. I also really love the fact it lets you know when you’ve achieved a personal record, such as fastest 5k and I always run with the aim of beating my PB.

If you’re interested in a simple, effective, smart little running watch, I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s also for sale on Amazon at the moment for the bargainous price of £89.

If you are able to sponsor me for this worthy cause – no matter how little – I would be really grateful. You can sponsor me over at


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  • Karen HannahAugust 21, 2015 - 6:18 am

    Hat’s off to you, I really admire people like you who put in so much effort to benefit others. I hope it goes really, really well – you’ll be great! Well done on the 14k!ReplyCancel

    • Steph@HelloBabyAugust 21, 2015 - 7:34 pm

      Thanks Karen, slightly petrified but it’s such a good cause xReplyCancel

  • Erin - Yorkshire TotsAugust 21, 2015 - 6:58 am

    Well done for a 14k run! I started running almost 2 years ago but haven’t really moved beyond a 5k. Best of luck for the half marathon!ReplyCancel

    • Steph@HelloBabyAugust 21, 2015 - 7:34 pm

      Thanks Erin xReplyCancel

  • MissPondAugust 21, 2015 - 12:17 pm

    Well done on your longest run! I did the Royal Parks half in 2013 and bloody loved it. It was surprisingly warm after on though so make sure you put some sun screen on (we started in the pouring rain) by the time I finished I was very red! #ShareFridayReplyCancel

    • Steph@HelloBabyAugust 21, 2015 - 7:35 pm

      Great shout, thanks. I looked at the route yesterday and it looks lovely. Although i’m terrified, i’m looking forward to it. xReplyCancel

  • HelpfulMumAugust 21, 2015 - 12:22 pm

    Looks like a nifty gadget! Good luck with the rest of your training.ReplyCancel

    • Steph@HelloBabyAugust 21, 2015 - 7:35 pm

      Thank you xReplyCancel

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