Tuesday, 28 October 2014


Well, the big day arrived - the Great South Run!!!! The challenge I set myself back in April when I could barely run round the corner. After beating lots of nerves and finding some wonderful advice I ran, yes ran, all 10 miles. Considering two weeks ago I was struggling to get to 5 miles without walking I reckon this is a fantastic achievement.

So, the weather was pretty perfect for running for me. I didn't get cold at all, except whilst waiting at the start. The wind was a lovely breeze that was refreshing without trying to blow me over. And the atmosphere was amazing. Loads of music on the way around was fabulous to run to, and loads of children were offering their hands to high5 the runners.

I pretty much ran alone, which was fine.  I had my iPod loaded with music that really connected me with Dad, and although the music was quieter than I would have liked, it meant I was able to not totally zone out, and subsequently soak up the atmosphere all the way around.

The actual run was amazing. I ran really comfortably and didn't get out of breath. I was prepared to walk but as I was doing so well, I decided to keep going. To get around I used a strategy of knowing where the drink stations were and doing mini distances. So it was 3.75 miles to the first one, then another 2miles later, and the last at 7 miles. Then it was the distance of one parkrun to get to the end. And that focus really kept me going the whole way around.

At the end I got through the finish line in 1 hour, 58 minutes and 2 seconds. A sub-2 hour run. Even better. After collecting my goody bag,and heading back to where the rest of the running club was, I was greeted by the running club, and as soon as they hugged me, I burst into tears: missing dad and the fact I had actually run the entire course.

It truly was a fab day. I ran 10 miles, but that means I kept running for two hours. How awesome is that??!!

So, I have completed the final task of my original challenge - and what a way to finish it!!! - and raised £285 for Cancer research in memory of my dad. What now?

I have signed up for the southampton half marathon next April and training will commence shortly.

Saturday, 23 August 2014


I entered my first RR10  at the beginning of August as a club member. The R10 series is a number of running events where clubs meet and basically run as individuals, but also gaining points for their club. The event I went to was nice and local and ran the lot except a totally atrocious hill which I can to struggle up twice!!!!! The distance was 4.4 miles and I completed it in 51 mins. I cried at the end I was emotional and seeing the club in a whole group cheering me on as I came through the finishing line was amazing. I really belong to an awesome club.

Anyhow, more photos:

On a completely different note, whilst on holiday I have done 3 runs so far, the furthest being 3 miles so far. Earlier  it was raining very hard but it appears to be clearing up and so I might make it out for another run this week, perhaps in the parkrun spirit, and racing at what would be 9am British time.

It's now less than 10 weeks to great south run. Starting to panic now.......


I have been utterly remiss in not updating this blog as I go. I don't know if anyone is  actually keeping up with it, but if you are, I thank you and you are very much appreciated!!!!

Ok, so since the last blog entry I ran the wyvern 10k in about 1 hour 11 mins. Very pleased with that and he last couple of kilometres were made much more easier with the company of a fellow runner, and then being cheered on by friends and running club members at the end of the race. I felt amazing and even won a couple of spot prizes - a hi-viz vest and a drinks bottle.

Anyhow some photos of me at the event:

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Another step forward

I joined a running club today and made it to the interval training this evening. The one thing I can say is that I made it through. I may have struggled with even doing one press up, but at the end I was still standing, even if walking home meant it was at a much slower pace than normal!!!! It's also been a air number of years since I have done 100m sprints, and certainly not done 100m where my feet and legs do things that really make them them work hard!!

My ongoing training seems to have taken a nose dive, which I am disappointed with myself for. So Thursday I need to get out there and back on track.

Other than that, running wise, things are rambling along. I have a running plan for the 10 mile race in October so that needs serious focusing on.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Most excellent!!!

I ran my first 10k today - well, some walking but thanks to a couple of friends who held back for their own reasons, I  ran more than I probably would have done. But I did it in 1hr 17 min 4 secs. In 3 weeks it's the Wyvern 10k. Then no more planned races until the Great South Run in October. But lots of training in the meantime!!!!!

This is me before we left the house:

I finished it!!!!

My piece of bling from the run:

Sunday, 15 June 2014


Parkrun is an organisation which arranges weekly free community based timed 5km runs.

I have now done 5 runs, and yesterday made it round all 5km without stopping to walk. I know that if I hadn't had friends running with me, I would have walked at some point. It was hot yesterday, and to tell the truth, I did push myself, but glad I did.

The atmosphere at these events is fab. Runners spur each other on, it's very relaxed. It's not a race against each other, which is just as well otherwise I'd be last every time. It's great doing with a group of friends too. For more information visit http://www.parkrun.org.uk/

There are junior park runs too, which are a shorter distance, but sadly not as many events in comparison to adult events.

Next Saturday is a women's 10k event in Saturday. My plan: to get round and enjoy it.

Sponsorship on my fundraising page is coming in - this page is remaining open all year due to doing more than one event. I was particularly touched by how much my colleagues sponsored me from work. I should get about £60 from my colleagues towards cancer research. http://www.justgiving.com/Helen-Hobbs2014

Getting out to run has been a struggle at times: too tired, too much to do, my arm hurts......yep, I can  bring on the excuses. But when I get out I'm glad. It's easier going further when running with a friend. By myself I don't have the mindset to push myself. Need to change that.

I have started training for the 10 mile run in October. No doubt I'll end up repeating runs and I have allowed time for that.

For those who are following my blog, I thank you. Do leave a comment about where you are reading it from. It's nice to know if people read it and from where in the world. I know international readers have found it.

Last Sunday I did Race for Life 5km, and I spent an enjoyable time walking around with my children. We all got our medals, and more importantly have raised money for cancer research.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Everything is awesome....

Wow, what a day. Went out with the lovely Charlotte today with the aim of covering 4 miles. Our route was unknown to both of us. We were both blind as bats without our glasses, we had to negotiate fallen trees and flooded pathways (even perilously doing good balance beam impression beside the river), and desperately trying not to get stung by the nettles. But it was a really good run. Poor charlotte's legs didn't come off well. Lesson learnt for next time.

BUT,  I ran (only stopping to negotiate said trees and puddles) all 4 miles. Awesome does not even come close to how wow I felt about that. I ran the whole way!!!!!!

I tried out my new flipbelt out as well today as a means of carrying personal belongings whilst running. Initially was aware of it but soon forgot all about it. It didn't constrict me in any way. It rode up onto my waist but still very comfortable. It didn't bounce around when running and sooooo comfy. Only had my phone and keys but my keys didn't rattle which is what normally happens when I put them in the pockets in my running tights. For a hollow tube with 4 openings it's brilliant.

So on Sunday it's race for life. With children in tow it'll be slower the way round but hoping it'll be consistent.

I found this on facebook so am unable to link an author but this sums things up:

Sunday, 1 June 2014


I did them!! The Gosport Golden mile and, an hour later, the 5km run. Really happy with my times.

Of course I had to finish with a celebratory ice cream

Feel amazing that I did them both. This week I need to start increasing my training distances in preparation for a 10km race on 21st June. I won't be expecting epic results but to get round will be fantastic.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Let me introduce you.....

...to the man who has really made a difference in my life and who I am raising money in memory of for Cancer Research.

This is my Dad, Jeff Watts, who passed away on 29th October 2007 from a short illness with cancer. He and Mum had been living their dream of living in France when he was diagnosed in July 2007, and sadly passed away a few months later. He was my daddy and I thought the world of him. He liked to a have a good joke, but was also the stern daddy when he needed to be. And for all that I thank him.
He served the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary with such commitment. At our local police station, where he worked, he got involved with the social committee as secretary, and helping with the organisation of events. Through all this he was developing lots of computer skills which later on, served him when he changed jobs.  Even when he retired he continued to enjoy playing with gadgets, and had am amazing amount of software and equipment.

He was a good friend to a lot of people would often help others out if they needed it.

When he passed away, he had one grandson (my son), and another grandchild was on the way, who arrived a month after he passed away. This cut us all pretty hard.

And now? I think of him a lot. I miss him everyday. But I see his smile all the time.


My new toy....

The garmin forerunner 10 (as the box does clearly state!!)

Can't wait to try this little baby out.

Tomorrow is the Gosport Golden races. It just needs to stay dry. That's all I care about now.

Thursday, 29 May 2014


First 5k on Sunday in Gosport. I have my running number and timing chip. I'm so not ready for this. Feeling very underprepared, and scared I'll be last and feel I will have completely failed. In the words of Toca, I need a miracle.........

Monday, 26 May 2014

It's raining, it's pouring.....

Yep, I went out for a 5km run this morning wet bank holiday Monday morning. Now don't be under the illusion I can do 5km all running, because I can't - yet - but the distance is definitely getting more comfortable to do. Along with a friend, I started at 8am, got quite damp, and even a lorry was good enough to avoid a puddle so we wouldn't get splashed. And at the end was met by another friend who kindly took a picture of us, but did make us a cuppa at her house (or rather her husband did) which was much welcomed!!!

A couple of days ago I  was definitely doubting myself about being able to run, but today was a good day and felt very encouraged by it.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

New personal best!!!!

Took 47 seconds off my last parkrun personal best!!! Awesome!!

How to spot me in the crowds

8 days.........

......to the first 5km event and I am terrified I will be the last runner through, I will be the only runner/walker and I'm not going to raise much money for cancer research despite pleas for sponsorship. Feeling slightly let down and deflated.

On the up side I might have beaten my personal best at parkrun today. It currently stands at 35 mins 46 secs. Waiting for results as I type.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Beware the sock monster

If you read a few days ago, I had bought some compression socks for running. Having tested them out  a couple of times now this week I'm finding that my calves feel incredibly better and are not aching so much post-run, and in the mornings on waking.

There are a few articles as to whether compression socks are beneficial or not. The price range can vary from as little as a few pounds to nearly £50. It's a gamble as to whether to invest in them or not. I bought cheaper socks (karrimor) and so far am very happy with the change of feeling in my legs. The relief when wearing them is really quite breath taking.

This does then bring up the question of sports wear etiquette. I'll happily wear the socks under long running tights. I own a pair of Capri tights and I reckon I'll look just silly in knee high socks with the Capri tights. But I'm not brave enough to wear shorts.  Looks like I'll have to either bake in summer, or disregard what everyone else thinks - hard to do when you're self conscious about what you look like.

Just need to make sure the sock monster stays firmly locked away. 

So, did the socks improve my running? I felt I was able to keep running for longer as my calves weren't screaming out in agony - must remember to book another leg massage soon as well.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Questioning my sanity

I have just entered for the Marafun being held in Southampton next year - my first half marathon. Still yet to complete a 5k event but optimism never did anyone any harm........

I'm sexy and I know it!!!

I feel like I have face planted the metaphorical brick wall today. No running spirit today. Instead, a trip into town, one coffee and chat, and return home with two pairs of compression socks for running. I have to confess they are not the most sexiest item of clothing that is available to man/woman, but boy I notice the difference within minutes!!! My calves had been aching so much but once I had wrestled the socks on,  they were feeling sooooo much better. So I must now try them out running. In my previous existence as a nurse, I had learnt the easiest way to get them on., so that meant I wasn't wrestling too much with the socks!!!!

My son came running with me last night. Well, he completely put me to shame by jogging the entire mile. But he's wanting to do race for life with me this year so I'll have some company.  Not long until the Gosport Golden races. Kids are doing 1 mile with myself and my husband,  and I'm also doing the 5km. Wonder if my son will join me for that too.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

It's raining, it's pouring........

I must be serious about my running. I went out in the rain today. 

I think I will stand out amongst the pink shirts at Race for Life as I bought myself a running top to wear at events to try and spread the message who I am raising money for.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Great excitement - I'm easily pleased!!

I forgot to share a great achievement tonight - I ran (jogged) a mile run in 10:39 without having to slow to walk. Absolutely chuffed!!!!!!! It can only get better, right???

What am I doing???!!!!!

In April of this year I was inspired to start running seriously by some friends. All previous efforts lasted no more than 3 weeks and I was bored. But something clicked inside me at the end of March and I felt that I really wanted to do running with a target to aim for.  I started with a couch to 5k app which to begin with I was motivated to do then the motivation dropped - again. And then as if by luck I found that someone I knew was a very experienced runner and was happy to take me out running. Since the 8th April I have been running at least twice a week, and recently increased it to 3 times by going to a parkrun- which took a lot of guts but really glad I did it.

Investing in proper running trainers has made running much more comfortable - and because they're expensive I also have to use them. Also a lovely leg massage has helped things too.

In terms of events I had already signed up for the Race for Life with the aim of running it (same mission every year and never achieved it!!). With encouragement from the facebook running group I'm on I signed up for the Wyvern 10km run. Just hoping it's not going to be the 29 degree temperature it was last year. This week I took the plunge and signed up for the Great South Run (GSR) - 10 miles.

Whilst contemplating all this I felt I wanted to try and raise money for cancer research. My dad passed away on 29th October 2007 after a short battle with cancer. So I set up a just giving page to cover all events so that I'm not asking repeatedly for sponsorship.  Again, whilst contemplating (I do this a lot) , I became aware that the GSR was 3 days before the anniversary of dad's passing and it felt even more significant that I stick to my guns and do this.

So far the events I have signed up for are:
Gosport Golden 5km and Golden mile
Race for life 5km
Wyvern 10k
Great South Run 10 miles

I do intend to try and update regularly so I can share my journey.

My sponsorship page is http://www.justgiving.com/Helen-Hobbs2014

Text donations can also be sent to 70070 by typing HHCR55 £5
HH being my initials, CR being cancer research and 55 is the age my dad died at. And you can can put any amount you want. £5 is an example.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I haven't blogged for a very long time, and was never very good at it anyway. So bear with me as I find my bearings with it.