“Let’s go to the beach, beach, let’s go get away…”

Over a year ago, a text from running buddy Lisa asked if I fancied running a 35 mile ultra on a Hebridean island. After a 15-second google, I replied with a sure, why not. We arranged a B&B, flights, and then promptly forgot about it until a couple of weeks ago when ‘sh*t, I am running an ultra soon’ really kicked in.

Training hadn’t been the best for either of us. I had managed 4 or 5 runs of around 16 miles before the heatwave saw me hang up the…


Too hot for this sh*t

The ups and downs of Summer running…

My running friends seem to fit into two camps at the moment: those who love to run in the sun, and those who flippin’ hate it.

I’ve always put myself in the latter…Summer and me do not go together well. Now I know I live in the Midlands and not the South of France, but anything over 10 degrees is too warm for me. I am built for Winter, not only thanks to the layer of hibernation blubber I cultivate all year round, but because I am a…


Calm down, calm down

The Liverpool Half Marathon and making peace with my pace

When I last wrote, I was a bit grumpy (FINE, I was a miserable cow). So much so that people IRL were asking if I was ok. I felt a bit embarrassed about spilling my guts onto the internet, simply because I was in a bad mood, felt fat, and had had a couple of poor runs.

So, following my grumpy blog, I took myself for a 5 mile trot in the early evening sun, and the same again a day later with the Massey lot…


Changing focus.

Runnerbird Update: I am tired and uncomfortable.

It’s been five weeks since my mega 40 mile marathon, the Coventry Way. I promised a part two to my race report, but the words haven’t come and I hate to force my writing.

One of my spring goals: run through a lovely yellowy field. Like this one I ran through near Stanwick Lakes

I took a week off running and spent five days in North Wales with my sister and our collective brood. It wasn’t relaxing by any means, but it felt like what I needed. I didn’t think about exercise or diet much, the main focus being stopping the kids from killing each other and keeping our sanity. …


“It was like a 40 mile Tough Mudder…”

Race Review: A Coventry Way

If you CBA reading this whole tale then the short version is: Yes, I finished. 40 miles of mud and swearing, to be rewarded with a cloth patch and a potato.

2018 was going to be the Year of the Ultra for me (and running sidekick Lisa). We ran a couple of them (ultras) in our training for the Coventry Way 40 mile circular, and were as prepared as we could be for the big day itself.

By the time 4:45 am arrived on 8th April (my…


The importance of a mantra. Or a really good song. Or giving up and drinking tea.

Tips to get you through those long runs

I found myself saying to somebody this week, a new runner with pre Parkrun nerves, that your legs will never let you down.

I am so wise. How on earth did I even come out with that BS?

In the days that followed were two unbelievably challenging runs that had me questioning my own wisdom.

Ashby 20 was cancelled and, in my circle of runner friends, we were determined to run 20 miles regardless this weekend…


The truth about the menopause in your 30’s

It’s not sexy, but it’s the truth.

This is the article I wish existed when I went into a surgical menopause 8 months ago, after my hysterectomy.

Recap — my surgery was due to a high risk of ovarian cancer. It wasn’t a case of ‘if’, it was ‘when’. I couldn’t take the chance and, after leaving it as long as I dared, I got it done. Five-ish weeks off work, and I was back to life.

It really wasn’t that bad. I had keyhole surgery, a night in hospital, a bit…


“I laughed til I wee’d”

Race Review: The Winter Railway Ultra

An Ultra! I ran an Ultra!

Honestly, I feel iffy about calling it an Ultra…it was spot on 28 miles, technically Ultramarathon distance. But it isn’t the distance that makes me proud of my accomplishment, it’s what I went through over those 6 hours or so.

Ultra hard. Ultra hilly. Ultra muddy. Ultra cold. Ultra shitty camber. Ultra knackered.

After the Big Bear Challenge and it’s 3.3 mile laps, I proclaimed that laps are the future. But what about 6 x 4.5 mile laps…..or 3 x 9 mile laps…


“Enjoy the planet through your trainers.”

Guest post: Running on the Move by Lisa Jay

I was quite honoured when Lou asked me to do a guest blog post, not because I’m an amazing athlete wining trophies every week (only occasionally on Strava!) but to because I’ve learned a lot about how to stick to a training plan when travelling.

There’s not much glamour to my destinations. I’m an engineer programme manager so visit factories and offices in Europe and China, usually twice a month. …


The importance of talking shit

Race review: Big Bear Challenge

Spoiler: I ran my second marathon yesterday. On a Thursday.

Rewind: by some miracle of diaries aligning and a refusal to let Christmas stodge podge takeover, and despite a full agenda of work, parties and piss ups, Lisa and I kept the Ultramarathon training going over the festive season and, by the time January arrived, were up to over half marathon distance on trails. We were chuffed and had learned a lot about maps, shoes, livestock, pissing in the wind….etc.

I remember when I was training for the London Marathon…

TheRunnerBird

Mother. Runner. Writer. Manc 🐝. Yogi.

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