Blue Runnings

Race Reviews, GPX files and more from North-East England

Doing My Homework

on 7 July 2019


A month or so ago I joined an online fitness group – mostly pilates based – which Jill from Organic Pilates has started called ‘Core Club’. Recently, Jill sent out a welcome pack with a hello/thank you letter, beginner resistance band and some homework: she’s a big fan of goal setting and goal tracking, and the long term goal questions have been batting round my head for about a week now, so I thought I’d share them.

I’m not normally one for SMART targets for the future; I’m certainly not anywhere now I could have conceived of being 10 years ago, which might be why when I think of where I want to be in 1 year and 5 years what comes into my head is pictures rather than a bullet point list and timeline.

The obvious answer to all questions below is of course “to win the lottery” so I can do all the things I want to but currently can’t afford due to money or time constraints, but failing that – here’s my back-up plan!

Where do I want to be in the next year?


Those of you who’ve been following me for a while will have seen the above picture before – as I’ve been aiming to get back to there for a while. It was taken the night before I did my first half marathon at Liverpool in 2015, and while I’ve been arguably fitter since then in terms of mileage run, I don’t think I’ve hit that balance again of being happy with both my shape and my fitness level. I felt truly capable and I want to get back to feeling that way again; even if I’m not doing exactly the same route to get there as I did 4 years ago. Pushing myself to do things I’d not done before but in a way that kept my life feeling balanced – I wasn’t losing my entire weekend running silly distances and being wiped out for two days afterwards, I was eating well and I have no memories of how work was – and I’m taking that as healthy too! I felt strong in my own skin and ready for anything ๐Ÿ™‚

I feel like I’m heading back down this path again already – I’ve been eating a lot better (just omitting the sweets/cakes/pop etc. from my diet) though I have been sabotaging everyone else’s healthy eating by baking a lot. I’m nearly back at the weight I was then though I’m not as toned – that’s coming back too though. I’m not running as much as I’d like as I’m still only just in warm-up stages from the injury bench really, and I miss bounce a lot which is great for toning up. Even if I’ve completely lost my weekly workout routine and am still trying to find a new one, I can’t argue I’ve still been getting out there and doing stuff albeit at a lower cardio level than I’m used to: I’ve been walking quite a bit, and have even been known to have an occasional dip in the pool for a length or two! Pilates is helping and I’ve also noticed a big improvement since starting to do a short daily 10 mins stretching in the morning – most obviously when I stopped doing it for a week or two.

We’ve got developments happening at home too; I’m trying to keep things moving on plans for a kitchen extension (I’m finding our current one positively claustrophobic sometimes with three adults in the house and am very grateful to the gods of dishwashers that one graces my house with its presence and hasn’t broken yet!) – we’re hoping to start building next year but there’s still a lot to be done in the meantime with drawings, quotes, builders, mortgages…etc., etc.!

I’m spending the short-term trying to build up good habits; the stretching, the eating and the general exercise (whatever form it takes for now though I hope to be back in my trainers and bounce boots a lot more soon!), and I think I’m setting good foundations for that, though it’s not ingrained yet. I’m on the right path and I’ll get there.

Where do I want to be in five years time?


I’ve been nursing an ambition since last year regarding my running which has had to be sidelined for now. I realised a while ago that marathon training was not for me: it requires a time commitment I’m not willing to make to be able to run that distance all in one go without stopping for a cake in the middle. Yes – you heard me, if there’s no cake-break I’m not playing! I’m aware this contradicts my one-year eating healthier plan, but exercise treats don’t count ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ve done higher mileages before of 10-20 miles in one go, both mid-week and on the weekends and particularly as my hubby-dearest does not run it essentially made him a running widow for about 3 months. He was very supportive as he is in everything I want to do, but I missed the activities we would normally do together and it felt very selfish of me ditching him every weekend to go spend hours pounding along tracks and expecting him to pick my sweaty butt up again at the end of it. Seriously, a post-long-run Sarah is a smelly creature indeed!

Instead of weekend after weekend of pavement pounding for the sake of increased mileage aiming for one particular event, I want experiences. I want to be able to keep my running mostly to 2hrs on a Sunday morning while His Lordship’s still asleep so we get time together the rest of the day and I’m not completely wiped out and sound asleep or eating us out of house and home afterwards.


I still have things I want to work up to – the eagle-eyed among you will notice my picture for 5 years is not a pair of trainers or a race event, but a shiny new backpack and a guide book. I want to run several of the walking trails around England and Scotland in weekend bursts. I might hit marathon distances in a day, or even further, but they’ll be over 8-12hrs and I’ll be stopping any time anything takes my fancy; be it a view, a nap spot, a tearoom and then pottering back on my merry way again, just me and my backpack. I went on a walking holiday doing a section of the Wicklow Way in Ireland with a friend a few years back (the same year as Liverpool possibly!) and I absolutely loved it. My friend was completely broken for several years afterwards as it knacked her back, but I really enjoyed it.

Where do I want to be in ten years time?

Master Isolated Images

I honestly don’t know – you’ll notice my five year plan is pretty vague in terms of ‘whens’! I also have some reluctance towards completing the 12-week action plan sheet Jill’s included for us: I blame work for this (as I do for so many other things!) as I find it likes to blow up and get in the way right when I’m trying to do things! So instead, I will make four commitments to myself, which are pretty similar to the Core-Club challenges for the next few months.

  • I will concentrate on eating healthier; minimal snacking and sweet treats, and prioritising fresh food over processed. I’ve also got a cap on eating out ๐Ÿ˜‰ My wallet will thank me as well as my waistline!
  • I will drink ALL the water; this one has slipped a bit lately, and with the weather getting warmer this is not the time to be compromising on this one
  • I will do some form of exercise four times a week – and I’ll not beat myself up if it’s not necessary the type of exercise I’d prefer (e.g. doing low cardio when I’d rather be dashing about). Any moving is good moving and particularly while still getting my knees sorted I need to take what I can get. It’s all good!
  • I will be happy with how I am at all stages of the journey. I can have aims to move towards, particularly regarding fitness and physical shape, but that doesn’t mean I can’t also enjoy life and appreciate everything I can do while I’m working on improving myself

One response to “Doing My Homework

  1. mollymooblue says:

    These are fabulous goals Sarah. There comes a time when acceptance is key, the challenge is to find balance in whatever you do. Starting to get them out if your head and onto paper will help to make them happen. Remember small steps! X


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