Hi, I’m Rose, a 39 40  42 43 🙁 year old runner from the lovely Dorset Coast.

I started this blog as I was incredibly lucky and got a ballot place for VLM 2011 and then incredibly also got one for VLM2012 so thought that logging my thoughts/training/progress etc would help with the motivation! (those of you who’ve applied lots of times please don’t hate me!)

Since I did the VLM twice I also ran the Purbeck Marathon route twice (2014 & 2012 – with the committee), ran the Giant’s Head marathon in June 2013 and then got injured attempting the Purbeck marathon route committee run in August 2013. I badly sprained my ankle, strained my Achilles, couldn’t exercise for ages, ate too much, gained weight and basically didn’t look after myself very well at all so when I could finally start exercising again it was with the added burden of 2 stone I REALLY don’t need and 1 that I could probably do without! I’m still struggling to get rid of that weight despite a full year of being back running. I’m not really sure why it’s so much harder to shift these days but it’s probably a combination of age, my body being ‘used’ to the exercise and my love of wine!

I now have a club place for VMLM 2015 so here we go again!!!!

About me…..

I’m a very busy, full time working, mum of two and wife of one! I’m lucky enough to live in the gorgeous Purbeck Hills with my husband Mike and my two lovely (mostly!) children Grace (13) and Elliot (8)

A little bit of bit of background information….

This picture of me was taken at Christmas in 2008 – it’s quite a shocker!

Never ever again………

I don’t quite know how I let myself get so overweight and unfit but enough was enough and I decided that I needed to do something about it.

Over the years I’ve tried lots and lots of ‘diets’ and been very successful at losing weight. The problems only started once the diet ‘stopped’.

Therefore I needed to find something that would make me change things forever, a way of life, rather than a diet. I did a fair bit of googling and decided that I’d give calorie counting a go. I initially started with a free website called Food Focus but although the calorie counting was working the site just wasn’t reliable enough and then it totally went offline and I had to search for an alternative.

I was lucky enough to find Weight Loss Resources and I can honestly say I’ve never looked back. It’s a fantastic site with literally thousands and thousands of food items in the database, a great bunch of people on the forums and tools that are so easy to use that anyone can do it. Best of all you can tailor your weightloss goals exactly to you and your way of life and even better….you can ‘earn’ extra calories by doing lots of lovely exercise. Therefore, not only do you lose weight but you tone up, get fit and feel bloomin fantastic too!

I had to find an exercise routine to fit in with my busy life and my empty purse. I had a Davina McCall DVD lurking at the back of a cupboard so I decided to start with that. I dug it out and started doing a 40 or 50 minute session 3 to 4 times a week. For anyone not familiar with Davina’s workout dvds they always consist of lots of different types of routines; aerobics, kick boxing type aerobics, body pump for upper body and body pump for lower body. This really works well as even with just one dvd you can vary your routine when some bits are still too achey to work again! I can thoroughly recommend these to anyone of any fitness level as you really can work to suit yourself without finishing yourself off! These days I still ‘do’ Davina and have 4 of her dvds; High Energy Five, Davina Fit 2010, Body Buff and Super Body Workout. I am also a big fan of Jillian Michaels DVDs, particularly the 30 Day Shred.

As I hope you’ll agree,  all my hard work paid off and I was much more happy with my photos from Christmas 2009!

In late December 2009 my son brought a letter home from his pre-school about a fundraising event they wanted support for. A 5km fun run to be held on Valentines Day in 2010. Initially I put the letter down and out of my mind. Running was for not for me and never would be. Even at school I hadn’t been able to run, in fact my mum always used to laugh about how I was always the one who was going so slow that I wasn’t blurred in Sport’s Day photos……

For some reason though I went back to the letter and then mentioned to my husband that I was thinking of doing it…he laughed….. now what greater incentive could that be?! A challenge indeed! So the seed was sown and that was the start of my running obsession!

I knew that there was a runners board on WLR (weight loss resources) so I hopped over there for a bit of advice and got lots! The main thing was that a lot of people had used a training plan called Couch to 5k from Cool Runnings. I went and searched for it and found that I could download podcasts to use which would tell me when to run, when to walk etc etc. I used the ones from Robert Ullrey, the music is quite middle of the road so not likely to offend anyone! I duly did my first ‘run’ (more walk, less run) and then found the next day that I could barely walk!!! Back to the WLR boards I went and pleaded for help, surely a few mins running shouldn’t do this to a girl?

Nearly at the end of my first ever 5k fun run

Luckily there was more fantastic advice given and I was told that I shouldn’t try to ‘run’ at all but that I should actually be jogging at a speed where I felt like I could walk faster, so next time out I tried that and it worked! I was religious in my training, never missing a single session even with all the ice and snow we had this year! I live in a tiny village with no streetlights and most of my C25K was done in the dark, in freezing conditions with the aid of a rather too large headtorch!!!! However, I realised that it was all worth it on the day in week 5 (I think) where you run for 20 minutes without stopping. I never ever thought I could achieve that and I think that the high stayed with me for about 2 weeks!

I completed that first fun run in a very respectable 34 mins and immediately came home and entered the Bournemouth Bay 10k! I need a challenge to stay focused and that was it!

I continued my training, did the Bournemouth Bay and thoroughly enjoyed it. I’d heard about a local running club and contacted them in March about becoming a member. I got a reply back but then bottled out, thinking that there was no way I was a good enough runner to belong to a club. However, the idea didn’t go away so in April I emailed them again and finally went along for my first run.

Purbeck Runners lining up for ‘The Beast’

I couldn’t have made a better decision. I am now a fully fledged member and a even a Group Leader of Purbeck Runners and love my running more and more all the time. Go and have a look at their website for more information but if you are a runner who lives in the Purbecks and who doesn’t already belong then you should give it a try. The club supports runners of ALL abilities and the encouragement, help and support is second to none. Much more importantly I have made a huge bunch of fantastic friends and look forward to my Long Sunday Chat (with added run…) every week!!!!!!

So…how did I end up entered into the marathon?

I actually have my son to blame for that one. He was poorly one night and we spent the night on the sofa, him coughing, crying, sleeping, puking etc etc etc….. me surfing, NOT sleeping, nearly crying…..any mums will get the idea……….. at around 4am I realised that it was the day the ballot opened, so in a moment of sleep deprived madness I entered…never once thinking that I would be successful. However, once I’d done it and as time passed and I completed my first half marathon (the very hilly Swanage half!) I couldn’t help but to get more excited by the idea and by the time October came round I REALLY wanted to do it. The day that the magazines started landing on peoples’ doorsteps I couldn’t wait to get home and see if mine had arrived..it had..and it said ‘Congratulations’ on the cover!!!!! Woo hoo…………..

So…. that is how I ended up training for a marathon, writing a blog, completing a marathon and just running, running and more running! I always intended to stop blogging once I’d completed the marathon but it’s kind of addictive and I enjoy the chance to write. It’s actually a very therapeutic activity and I hope that sometimes what I write can help to encourage other people to eat a bit less and move a bit more ……

Even though I’m now not slim once again I am still a runner (albeit a very slow one right now) and this blog will now track my progress back to being where I want to be!



Finishing The Beast – Loved it!!

  1. Hannah Walker
    Oct 17, 2010

    Hey lady! I love your story and you have been my inspiration from davina to c25k!! Doing my 10k soon then I *might* look at a half… or not lol!

    I’m very proud of you and to call you my (nutter) friend Rose!

  2. Bobbi
    Oct 17, 2010

    I’m such a proud mum Rose!

  3. Karen Boyce
    Oct 17, 2010

    You are an inspiration Rose. Just now I look like your before picture and would love to look like your now picture. I’ve got as far as downloading C25K. Maybe I’ll actually start doing it! Thank you for sharing your story. X

  4. Jules
    Oct 17, 2010

    You’re a star and an inspiration


  5. Ron
    Oct 18, 2010

    You are a total inspiration Rose and your determination and enthusiasm have touched so many people, you should be so proud. We’ll be following your progress closely and cheering you on all the way.x

  6. rose
    Oct 18, 2010

    Thanks Karen, give that C25K a go, you won’t regret it!

  7. rose
    Oct 18, 2010

    aww, thanks Jules!
    And thanks for QA ing the site for me!


  8. rose
    Oct 18, 2010

    thank you Ron, I’ll be needing all those cheers!!!!

  9. Julia
    Oct 18, 2010

    You’ve always been a star Rose, whatever size you were, but you do look fantastic now, you must be so proud of yourself ! Keep it up girl, some good tips in your story, hopefully I’ll be following in your (running) footsteps soon, just need to go out and find me some of that motivation thing – Any tips :0)

  10. rose
    Oct 18, 2010

    Thank you hun! As for the motivation thang…… find a 5k funrun for a good cause, sign up for it and then you **know** you’ve got to get the training in ….. alternatively, tell your hubby you are thinking of doing it so that he can take the mickey as that is even better – nothing like proving your man wrong (again!!!)


  11. kirsten
    Oct 25, 2010

    Rose you look amazing! I am truely impressed! I read this and felt a little inspired…so much so that i made the first move and checked out the C25K! Am actually thinking that i could do that…with a bit of prodding! love the blog Rose and have no doubt you can do this! look what you have achieved in just a couple of years….26 miles….paaaah! xx

  12. rose
    Oct 25, 2010

    Thanks Kirsten!!!! You CAN do C25K – believe me, when I went out the first time I thought I’d collapse and never make it home again but as the sessions passed it became more and more clear that running might actually be something I could enjoy!
    Keep me posted with how you get on!


  13. Stefan
    Dec 31, 2010

    What a great story Rose. I am sure you will love. I have done my first marathon this September in Berlin and absolutely loved it. I have always been running, but the feeling of achievement after a run like this is priceless. So, I am wishing you all the very best and from what I have read above I am certain that you will more than excel. Amongst others, I will be running Edinburgh and the New Forest marathon next year. All the best, Stefan. ;-))

  14. rose
    Dec 31, 2010

    Hi Stefan!

    Thanks for your lovely comments. I might see you at the New Forest Marathon as I am thinking of doing the half there this year (as long as I am still in one piece after VLM!).


  15. Lorn Pearson
    Feb 14, 2011

    Great story Rose. Keep on running! 😀 Good luck for the marathon. I’m doing the Lochaber Marathon in Fort William the week before. I’d suggest this book as a great read for anyone into running: The Competitive Runner’s Handbook by Bob Glover… I’ve read it and it’s been a great help. It’s got some really good pointers for running your first marathon! 🙂 Good luck x

  16. Elaine
    Feb 21, 2011

    I’m so glad I found this page. I tried my first “run” yesterday but didnt complete it. Though part of this was because I felt a bit self conscious huffing and puffing like Thomas the Tank Engine!! Legs are killing me today. I’ll try it again but a bit slower next time. Inspired by you now. 🙂

  17. rose
    Feb 21, 2011

    Hi Elaine,

    Thank you for taking the time to comment. One good trick for the huffing and puffing thing is wear headphones and turn it up loud…..then you can’t hear yourself!!!
    When I was doing the C25K I downloaded podcasts so always had music on but I can remember being distinctly alarmed the first time that I ran without music and realised how loud I was!
    Good luck with the running and keep me posted. I’d love to hear how you get on


  18. Website updates and a new toy…..
    Sep 20, 2011

    […] About me.. […]

  19. Carol
    Nov 24, 2011

    Hi Rose
    I’ve just come across your website by chance. I’ve only known you for a short time and whilst I’m the ‘old’ experienced runner you’ve helped motivate me on many runs and made me feel so welcome.
    Having now read your amazing ‘story’ you are truly an inspiration and I now fully understand why you run with such dedication/interest/pride.
    Thank you

  20. rose
    Nov 25, 2011

    Hi Carol,
    Thanks for your lovely words. It’s so nice to hear that you’ve enjoyed our club runs as much as I do. We missed you this week!

    Sorry you found the blog when it is being so badly neglected, I promise that I will be rectifying that very shortly


  21. Ruth
    Mar 16, 2012

    That’s the first time I have read this properly. You are truly inspirational and you have certainly spurred me on! I shall be entering a 10k race in the next few days 🙂

    Ruth xx