It’s okay to be scared, or is it?

I admit. I’m scared. I’ve got some really scary stuff coming up and not just running related so yesterday and this morning I had a mini freak out and then a much needed “pull yourself together” chat with myself. So yeah, if anyone had been watching me the last few days they’d basically had seen me wandering around the house chatting and chanting to myself…

So why so scared? Well here’s a few of the things scaring me at the moment…


No matter how many I’ve done, no matter how much I love them, the thought of races still scare me, but that’s the point, it’s the thought of them, the whole, will I be last? Will the finish line still be there? What if people laugh at me? For some reason it still scares me and then on the day I’m fine! Sounds silly but hey we’ve all got our thing! I guess I’m worrying so much at the moment over two especially, 1 is a local 10k I’ve entered and I guess because it’s a smaller race I know it’ll mostly be club runners and the time limit will probably be less than in a larger race. The 2nd one I’m worrying about is the Cardiff half but there’s more about that below and the 3rd is next year’s London Marathon. Not going to lie, I am terrified but I know in my heart of hearts if I follow a plan I will finish!

The Cardiff Half

So the Cardiff Half doesn’t scare me in itself it’s more the fact that it’s the first race ever that I’ve got a team entered in that I’m helping train. My focus on the day will be that those ladies have the best race day experience possible and getting them all over the finish line. They’re all doing so well at the moment and I couldn’t be prouder of them. We’re raising money for the Newport and Cardiff branch of Sands and if you’d like to donate please use this link here.


That’s right! Along with everything else that’s going on at the moment I’ve decided that it’s an excellent time to go back to college! At the age of 28 I’m going back to do my beauty therapies qualification and before the student day I was absolutely terrified but now I’m really excited yet still very scared. Mostly because I know training could go one of two ways, 1) completely out the window and I never run again or 2) the routine of college really helps me and training falls into a decent pattern. Knowing that I’m a person of extremes I’m really hoping it’s number 2…

Coach training

In November along with another Run Wales blogger I’ll be starting my Coaching in Running Fitness qualification. Run Wales were supportive enough to fund half of the course and I crowdfunded the rest, because of this I really feel I need to do well on the course and it’s slightly more daunting than doing the Leadership course as it’s over several weekend and I’ve heard rumours of an exam?!

So that’s a few things that I’m scared of at the moment and when I first started writing this blog it was called ‘Scary times ahead’ but it got me thinking, am I scared or am I excited? What would happen if every time I wanted to say I was scared about something I said I was excited about it? For example: “I am excited about taking part in a local race, it’ll give me a chance to meet more people from local running clubs and groups” or “I’m so excited for each one of my ladies to come across the finish line at the Cardiff half”. I’ve realised that sometimes in life I spend so much time being scared that I don’t see or take the exciting opportunities that lie ahead.

So from now on every time I want to say scared I’m going to say excited because it’s okay to be scared every now and again but it’s better to be excited!






Spitfire Scramble – 24 Hour Relay!

It’s no lie that i’ve been having a crisis of confidence somewhat as of late, my mental health hasn’t been at it’s best and my running has really been suffering because of it. I’d signed up to Spitfire Scramble, a 24 hour relay race in Hornchurch, months ago as part of a team of 8 from the Too Fat to Run? clubhouse, along with another team and Julie going solo. On the run up to the race I nearly dropped out several times. I wasn’t able to leave the house alone, how the hell was I going to get down to London and camp for a weekend with a whole group of women I hardly knew or only knew online? Oh yeah and run several laps of a relay race. I’d also only tested my tent in the garden for the first time in 9 years…

However, I didn’t drop out, that’s the thing about the clubhouse ladies, they give you the confidence when you can’t give it to yourself. The fact that I knew I could run either 1 lap or 7 and still be celebrated as part of the team. So I plugged in my headphones and pulled on my massive backpack and away I went!

I met Kate outside Hornchurch station mid afternoon on the Friday and we made our way to the campsite where we duly met Julie who had acquired a lovely man to help put up her tent and then the two of ours as well. Tammy and her lovely hubby were next to arrive (with the most amazing camping skills, they had a STEAK dinner, did you hear that STEAK dinner while camping!) and after a few more of the club arriving, setting up camp and a few beers it was off to bed. So one thing i’ve learnt for next year is bring many, many layers for camping. The floor is freezing so you really do need something between your mattress and sleeping bag. In the morning we were up and fuelling ready for the start at 12 at which I was doing my first lap.

The siren went and we were off. I’d done the Great Bristol 10K in May with Steph, another member of the Clubhouse and knew I could get a 1:40 10k walking my pacing myself. My plan was if I did this my feet would be strong for at least another two laps. The course was actually nicer than i’d anticipated with bridges and a few different terrains. I’d ummed and ahhhed about bringing my trail shoes but in the end had stuck with my road shoes and was glad I did as the majority of the ground was firm underfoot especially as it was a mostly dry day. Next year I will however be bringing two pairs of shoes. I came across the line to change over with Tammy in 1:39 and returned to our base for some food, my parents also turned up to bring a double duvet and pillow (love them!) so I fuelled up and relaxed a bit in between cheering team members over the line. As the sun set over the camp it was actually quite stunning.

I was set to do my evening lap, lots of lights had been attached and i’d partnered up with someone from the TFTR? team so both of our laps would count. From the 2nd km mark I knew something was wrong, my feet were absolutely burning but we plodded on. The course seemed to go on forever and I started to really wish that i’d test run my headtorch before the event. Finally we returned to camp after a 2 hour lap. I limped back to camp and pulled off my trainers and socks to reveal throbbing feet. I drank two lucozades, downed a couple of ibuprofen and went to sleep.

I woke up in the morning thinking my feet would be okay, but no, two massive matching blisters on each foot. Since the race i’ve realised my socks were probably one of my old pairs and so had been worn thin on my pressure points. At first I was dissapointed in myself that I couldn’t do another lap but later on I looked at it and i’d managed to do a lap solo in the daytime and a buddied lap in the dark. I was proud and it’s given me the confidence to take control of my training again. Although i’ve dropped out of my August and September half marathons (i just wasn’t ready) i’m going to be ready for my October half and several 10ks.

I would thoroughly recomend Spitfire Scramble to anyone who wants to try a 24 hour race. It’s a thoroughly friendly race while still being competitive, even if most of that competitiveness is against yourself apart from the top 3 of each category winners. Next year i’m entered as a duo and will learn my lessons from this year. On the plus side, no chaffing to report!


JJ xx