Friday, 27 May 2016

My favourite places to go camping, but can you guess where?

Talk about PERFECT Timing, last night through my letter box arrived the 'Halfords Guide to Camping' and it's a gorgeous little book of ideas to inspire the next camping trip.

Last weekend I celebrated my birthday and was lucky enough to not only go camping for the weekend for my birthday but it was also the hottest and sunniest weekend of the year so far. It was amazing, me and my partner had the best four day mini break, road tripping in the van.

The minute we finished work on the Thursday we were in our T4 camper van, named Stanley and were heading up the coast. In less than an hours time we were watching the sun set over the beach and had a beer in hand. It doesn't matter where you go as long as you go somewhere that isn't your regular work or home location and your holiday starts the minute you arrive. We travelled all over the west country that weekend from North Cornwall to Bath and then down south to the New Forest. It was amazing and you can read all about the adventure in depth on my blog here.

Getting back to the reasoning behind this blog post is this cute little camping guide that was on the door mat when I returned home from work. This is no flimsy leaflet that finds it's way through the letter box and straight into the recycling bin. This is a chunky heavy weight booklet bursting full of information about camping. Taking a tour around the UK the booklet sweeps around the UK with campsites, attractions and cycle rides and within just a few pages I am planning my next camping weekend and possibly even camping week away.

Flicking through the pages with my partner we started to remember some of our favourite camping trips that we have been on over the last eight years of being together.

Cornwall
Starting on home turf my favourite place to go camping has to be Cornwall. I know I live in Cornwall and when I say I live 7 miles from the beach and that doesn't sound very far at all there is still something very exciting about going to the beach and especially spending the night at the beach. 
There are so many campsites in Cornwall and so many have fields literally above the cliffs over looking the beach. 
One of my favourites is a really simple campsite at Bedruthan steps. This probably sounds totally crazy as its literally only a ten minute drive from my home but there is nothing better than the simple things in life. This campsite is nothing more that a field and a beach, there's a small toilet and shower in a shed and that is it! 

The campsite is only open for two months of the year during the summer and the minute you arrive you are completely and utterly absorbed by it's beauty. When the tides out there is a gorgeous rugged beach and when the sun sets over the water I don't want to be anywhere else. With a glass of something cold and a few friends I absolutely love camping here.
Surfing and camping in Cornwall
Surfing and camping in Cornwall
Amsterdam

Now my most memorable camping experience goes from one end of Cornwall to the other side of the Netherlands. One of my favourite bands were playing at a festival in Amsterdam called Fat Freddies Drop and so we decided that we would embark on an epic road trip travelling across the UK with various stops along the way and end up in Amsterdam. We stayed in a gorgeous camp site on the outskirts of the city of Amsterdam on the edge of the main train line into the city.

At first sight the campsite was just off a motorway, near a train station and close to the airport, it had barbed wire around the entrance gates and the perimeters, with security guards at the entrance. However once inside it was one of the nicest camp sites I have stayed in. With wonderful lush green grass, surrounded by trees and a very clean block of showers and toilets with the friendliest staff you could wish for when travelling in a foreign country, it was perfect.
Campsite in Amsterdam
Campsite in Amsterdam
After several nights in the city of Amsterdam and taking in all the sights and sounds of the music festival it was a long road trip back to the UK but one of my favourite camping holidays.
Amsterdam City Centre
Amsterdam City Centre
Cycling in the city of Amsterdam
Cycling in the city of Amsterdam
Belgium
Another favourite camping trip has to be another European road trip, this time across to Belgium. It was one of the first times we had taken the van abroad and it was such an adventure. From driving on the wrong side of the road, well technically the right side of the road to attending a classic Volkswagen drag racing festival. 
Volkswagen drag racing in Belgium
Volkswagen drag racing in Belgium
However as camping goes you can never tell what the weather is going to do and you need to pack and prepare for every eventuality and we had gone completely unprepared. 
It was lovely driving over, the sun was constantly shining and it was really hot but once we arrived the heavens opened and it poured with rain all night. 
This wasn't such a problem for us as after a long drive across the UK and Europe we were tired and just got a good nights sleep listening to the rain on the van roof. 
It wasn't until the following day once the sun was back out that we realised that a lot more festival goers had arrived during the night and the fields were mud baths. 
I didn't have the correct footwear just a pair of trainers and the mud was knee deep! 
It was a brilliant weekend, an excellent adventure but a definite reminder to pack for every weather eventuality when camping. 

Camping at a muddy festival
Camping at a muddy festival
Sinking in the mud at a festival
Sinking in the mud at a festival

It doesn't matter whether your camping in a small 2 man tent or you have a huge Winnebago getting away from the daily stresses of life and camping is such a brilliant way to spend a weekend. It's the places and the people that you go with that make the memories. From camping in a tent at a music festival to camping in our van In remote locations I absolutely love the adventure. Even when covered from top to toe in mud I love it.
Festival camper van with friends
Festival camper van with friends
Sitting in my living room flicking through the pages of this little Halfords guide to camping I'm now full of ideas for our next adventure in our van.

Feeling inspired? You can download a copy of the camping guide and find out loads more information on camping and even festival survival here. Plus if you are inspired and need a new tent there are loads available at Halfords including a gorgeous Orla Kiely tent!!!

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Good luck Josh Curnow

I'm not normally one to get addicted to watching things like The X Factor, The Voice and Britains Got Talent because I fear they destroy talent and create a generation of manufactured pop artists.
I despise pop music and much prefer to find myself at live local gigs, supporting small festivals and lesser know artists.

I've written many a blog post about some of my favourite live musicians and not one of these have ever been created or produced through a talent show. These artists have opened my mind to a whole world of new and interesting music and I love it.

Some of my favourite gigs in Cornwall include John Butler Trio, The Cat Empire, Zion Train, and then some local artists including Willie and the Bandits, Backbeat Soundsystem, The Sum Of, Land Of The Giants, The Claze and The Grenaways and last but not least Josh Curnow 
Josh Curnow CD'S
Josh Curnow CD'S
I found myself curled up on the sofa one Saturday evening with Britains Got Talent on. It's not my usual Saturday night entertainment and my partner was outside working on his car and I think I was possibly even reading a book or doing something else at the same time and the program was background noise. Then out of the corner of my eye noticed that Josh Curnow a singer song writer that I have seen live several times and that is a family friend of a friend was on the television.
Josh Curnow playing Live In Truro
Josh Curnow playing Live In Truro
He wasn't singing, yet, he was actually giving headbutt kisses to his girlfriend Jen. I started banging on the living room window to my partner who was outside working on his car, that, I think Josh Curnow was just on the television.

That was it for us, we have watched him audition and now in just a few minutes will be performing live in the semi final.

If you haven't yet seen his live audition then you need to. He has amazing gruff deep tones to his voice and covers one of my favourite Greenday songs beautifully in his BGT audition.


I just want to wish Josh all the very best for tonight, I'm sure the whole of Cornwall will be behind him tonight and really do wish him all the best at getting through to the live final as he really deserves the success. 

GOOD LUCK JOSH - PLEASE VOTE JOSH

Getting back in between the waves in Cornwall

I moved to Cornwall ten years ago because I loved the beach and wanted to learn to surf and that still hasn't changed now. I'm still learning to surf and every year my confidence goes up and up and I think that this will be the year I master it. Then the winter comes, the waves get big and scary, I lose all of my confidence and I'm back to square one learning to surf again.

Although I do usually try to continue surfing throughout the winter, this year saw storm after storm batter the Cornish coast and learning to surf took a back step.

But with weather as gorgeous as it is at the moment, with the lifeguards being back on duty should anything go wrong and the water warming up I managed to finally get in the water this weekend.
Great Western Beach Newquay
Great Western Beach Newquay
I've been in a few times during winter with the aid of boots, gloves, a hood and a winter wetsuit but this weekend I ditched the accessories and finally felt the sea water on my skin and it felt amazing. OK so I was still in a winter wetsuit but feeling the sand between my toes is a wonderfully uplifting feeling.

I might not be able to surf very well and I'm going to always be learning but whilst I'm trying, I'm making friends, keeping fit and have a huge smile on my face and can't wait to get in the water again soon.
Tolcarne Beach Newquay
Tolcarne Beach Newquay
If you think your to old and thinking about taking up a new hobby and trying to learn something new, don't ever think your too old and always keep trying, and definitely always keep smiling.

The sun's shining, get out there, get in the water and have fun.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Beach BBQ and a gorgeous sunset across Cornwall

When I first moved to Cornwall nearly ten years ago, the idea of beach BBQ's was so exciting. Being a city girl and more accustomed to the more civilised garden BBQ I couldn't wait to cook my food on the beach.
I had visions of catching fish and cooking it straight away, being warm all night and having the most amazing evening. A stunningly beautiful beach scene with good food, good drink, good people and a lovely location.

The reality is that the weather in the UK just doesn't let me succeed in that dream as much as I would like. This weekend my friends had planned to meet on the beach for a BBQ in the evening but the weather was having other ideas.

On Saturday it did NOT stop raining. I went to bed Friday evening listening to the sound of the rain hammering down on the window panes and this continued all day Saturday. We started sending messages to each other and making back up plans as the afternoon turned into early evening and the rain continued to pour. But about an hour before we were due to meet on the beach the clouds started to break up and the sun finally started to make an appearance.

With most things, it's always better late than never and after such a diabolical day it felt even more special to enjoy an evening on the beach with friends.

We lit the BBQ's, drank beer and enjoyed a wonderful evening with the simpler things in life, good views and good friends.

Porth Beach Newquay Sunset
Porth Beach Newquay Sunset
It was an amazing evening and so pleased that I live in Cornwall and can enjoy these simple pleasures in life. 
Porth Beach Newquay Sunset
Last glimpses on sun behind the clifftop
Love an evening with good friends

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Road Trip, Camping in the UK. Bude, Bath and Beyond...

As you get older in life suddenly things or rather objects in life aren't so important, especially when it comes to your birthday. I remember as a young child getting a copy of the Argos catalogue months before my birthday and studying the pages from cover to cover creating the ultimate birthday list. Writing down the catalogue number and the page number and marking the item with a felt tip pen birthdays were extremely exciting.

Now in my thirties, things have very much changed and although I don't dread my birthday and fear getting older, I no longer have a list of things that I 'want' Instead I have a mental list of things I'd quite like around the house, including a casserole dish, a spatula and even a new ironing board cover. When did I get so domesticated?

I'm not sure what happened but when my other half ask 'What I wanted for my birthday' I replied with camping!

I wanted to go off and get away from it all, I wanted to sleep under the stars in a van without WiFi and without television and get back to basics.

My partner pulled a brilliant weekend away out of the bag and started by driving up the coast just an hour away just the other side of Bude where we wild camped the night. We were not alone as two other vans joined us for the evening but we enjoyed waking up to the sound of the waves and a morning stomp up a very big hill to the next beach and back.
Northcott Mouth Beach Bude Cornwall
Steep hill climb off the beach up onto the coast path
Northcott Mouth Beach Bude Cornwall
Northcott beach near Bude Cornwall

Northcott Mouth Beach Bude Cornwall
Northcott beach near Bude Cornwall

Northcott Mouth Beach Bude Cornwall
North Cornwall Coast Path

Northcott Mouth Beach Bude Cornwall
Walking along the North Cornwall coast path from Northcott beach to Sandymouth beach

Northcott Mouth Beach Bude Cornwall
Walking to Sandymouth Beach near Bude Cornwall

Northcott Mouth Beach Bude Cornwall
Sandymouth Beach near Bude Cornwall


I was feeling extremely lucky, as not only were we staying in a beautiful location but the sun was shining and it was hot. I write this today as the wind howls and the rain rolls down the window so getting sunshine whilst off work in the UK is something to get excited about.
Sandymouth Beach near Bude Cornwall
Sunrise on Sandymouth beach near Bude Cornwall
We then left the North Cornish coast and headed up country for a few hours until we reached Bath. We arrived at the Bath Marina campsite which sounds amazing however doesn't quite live up to it's name. It is right on the canal and does have a tow path access directly to the city centre however the facilities somewhat reminded me of an eighties holiday camp and the staff weren't particularly helpful either. We asked the reception staff if they had any cycle maps for the local area of which they didn't and when asked which direction we should head to get to the two tunnels cycle path were answered with a vague knowledge of the attraction but no idea where it was!

We made a start on the tow path and with a combination of a few cycle route signs and some very friendly people we found the two tunnels cycle paths. For anyone that hasn't experienced these tunnels on a bike I would HIGHLY recommend.
One of the tunnels is over a mile long and is the longest cycling tunnel in the UK, It's really is pretty cool. As you enter the tunnel your eyes take a while to adjust to the dimly lit corridor and the temperature drops, as the tunnel bends around you can't see the end or the beginning of the tunnel and then out of nowhere you catch a glimpse out of the corner of your eye of light and realise that there are lights and sounds all around and a feature of cycling through the tunnel.
Two Tunnels cycle path near Bath
Entrance to the Two Tunnels cycle path near Bath

Two Tunnels cycle path near Bath
Inside the Tunnel, the longest cycling tunnel in the UK just over 1 mile long
Cycling the canal paths around Bath
Cycling the canal paths around Bath
It's an awesome experience whether you walk or cycle the tunnel but hugely recommend exploring the area if you get the chance.

After cycling through the tunnels we met up with another canal path and made our way back into bath city centre and back to the camp site. In total we covered around 16 miles and feeling very pleased with our efforts decided to head back to the van, have a shower and head back into the city for dinner. However before we had even made it to the nearest bus stop we bumped into the riverside pub. Another thing the staff in the camp site had failed to mention, the fact that there was a pub a few minutes walk away!

We soon ditched the idea of getting the bus into the city centre and opted to stay by the river and have a meal here. It was a lovely evening and we watched the sun set over the water enjoying a glass of wine and a very lovely first day.
Sun setting over the canal in Bath
Sun setting over the canal in Bath
Bath marina, canal boats
Bath Marina
4 puddings on a slate
A whole slate full of desserts
Food and wine coma, but delicious and well worth it!
The Boathouse Bath
The Boathouse Bath
The following morning I woke up early and completed another few miles of walking along the canal path before my other half woke up and then it was back in the van before heading to the new forest. Another place I have never been to so when we arrived at quite possibly the most beautiful camp site I was hugely excited. My partner had booked us onto a pitch right next to a fishing lake in an adult only section of the camp site and it was perfect.
Camping in the T4 in the New Forest
Camping in the T4 in the New Forest
The sun continued to shine and so we headed off on our bikes again through the new forest in search of the nearest pub. We actually went for the second nearest pub and completed a lovely, if not rather hilly in places, 8 mile bike ride. After a bite to eat, and a pint it was time to cycle back to the camp site for the next activity, Go Ape.
Cycling in the New Forest
Cycling in the New Forest
The Green Dragon in Brook - The New Forest
The Green Dragon in Brook - The New Forest
Drinking a pint in a beer garden
Enjoying a pint in a beer garden

Now I do love the outdoors, I love cycling, surfing, running and all things active but I wasn't sure about heights and being Tarzan for the afternoon. It wasn't long before we arrived in another beautiful forest and I was being harnessed up and ready to start the sessions. It was late in the afternoon and we were on the last session of the day and suddenly the walking, cycling and beer drinking in the sun was taking effect and I was feeling sleepy!!!
Go Ape near the New ForestGo Ape near the New Forest
That soon changed as I climbed the first rope ladder up a huge tree and had to use a zip wire to get back down. It wasn't something that I would have chosen to do normally, however it was brilliant and would hugely recommend it to anyone. I've never done rock climbing or used a harness before and when a very confident child whizzed around my feet during the training protesting she knew what to do I soon found myself feeling a little worried and embarrassed.

The first few times I was clipping myself on I struggled and got my partner to double check them and the first leap off our of a tree was particularly scary but by the end I was loving it.
Go Ape flatforms in the trees in the New Forest
Go Ape flatforms in the trees in the New Forest
Certificates at the end of Go Ape
We might be adults but feeling very proud at the end getting our certificates

After nearly two hours of climbing, jumping and swinging through the trees it was time to leave and with the sun setting it was time to find another pub for the evening.

The following day we didn't really have any plans and found ourselves yet again enjoying the sunshine with good food and good drink in a beer garden in the new forest. I was so happy, the weekend was turning into something really wonderful and that afternoon with heavy stomachs we cycled another 17 miles.
Cycling in the new forestHuge trees in the new forest
We camped the final night in the new forest itself, in a camp site with no pitches, with very few rules and we didn't even have to pay until the following morning. We rocked up, camped under a tree and paid in the morning. It was great and apart from showers and toilets in a nearby building, there was nothing else here, apart from forest. It was amazing to just sit, and chat, and drink. No clubhouse, no TV, no Internet just the forest and our little van.
Camping in the New Forest
Camping in the New Forest
On our last day we were up early and headed into the local village of Lyndhurst where we managed to dine alfresco for breakfast. It was gorgeously hot and sunny and we were so lucky to be able to enjoy the sunshine.
Boiling a kettle whilst campingEnjoying breakfast in Lyndhurst
 After breakfast we headed in the van across the New Forest until we reached our last destination and had an afternoon cream tea and more beer in the quant little village of Burley before heading back on the road home to Cornwall.

As far as birthdays go this has been my favourite and getting back to basics and camping and making memories means so much more than anything I could purchase from the Argos catalogue!!!

Except for unicorn onesies!!! Every Birthday girl needs a unicorn onesie for camping in the UK when the evenings get cold!!!
Unicorn OnesieUnicorn Onesie
 Unicorn Onesie

Unicorn Onesie
Just being all grown up on my birthday.... Being a UNICORN hee hee

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Running the World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff.

I had absolutely no intention of entering another half marathon after I had completed my first in October 2015 The months went by and as the new year started and new year’s resolutions begun, myself and two other family members decided to enter the Plymouth half marathon that is coming up in less than two weeks’ time on April the 17th.

The training for the Plymouth half was going really well, I was regularly doing 8 and 9 mile runs comfortably. I had even run my second fastest Park Run and was just 11 seconds away from getting a PB and then an e-mail dropped into my inbox. I read the e-mail and saw that they had re-opened entries to the Cardiff World Half Marathon again. I instantly dismissed the idea and closed the e-mail.

It would be crazy to do a half marathon in just 10 days’ time without any warning, or planning or training... Well I was training and I was feeling strong but that was for a run in 4 weeks’ time! Not in just 10 days!
      The World Half Marathon landed on Easter weekend so even if I did enter I could have two full days on the sofa to recover, if needed.... After not too much thought and just 10 days before the event I found myself re-opening the e-mail and signing up to the event.

A few days later I thought I would take a quick look at the weather to start thinking about what kit needed washing in preparation to take. AND THEN, like a slap in the face it dawned on me. I was not only running a half marathon in a few days but I was potentially now going to be running a half marathon in a predicted severe weather warning. It was bad enough having gale force winds predicted but torrential rain too, that was just so unfair and I was soon wishing I had checked the 10 day forecast before signing up.
Weather Warning for the Cardiff Half Marathon

This was only going to be my second half marathon and I hadn't yet endured a very wet run! I had done a fair few soggy Park Runs but that was only 30 minutes in the wet. I've often achieved a run in Cornish mizzle and more frequently a run in gale force winds but usually although really windy most were still dry and never more than an hour out on the roads. It was dawning on me that I needed to do some research on what exactly to wear to run for over two hours in the worst weather imaginable!

After reading a few blog posts and articles I was starting to get into a slight panic and was reading horror stories of needing to Vaseline all toes to stop multiple toe blistering. Vaseline, basically was the suggestion for everywhere as once clothes were wet and heavy things would rub more than before.

In a slight panic I resorted to asking the trusty community of Newquay Road Runners who advised me that it would never be that bad and to wear a bin bag on the start line to stay as dry as possible and to just go out there and enjoy the event regardless of the rain. They suggested a few clothing options and I was armed with slightly less scary advice on how to overcome my first very wet half marathon.

Good Friday arrived, it was the day before the run and so I found myself in the car heading on the roads up to Cardiff. The day couldn't have been any more beautiful, clear crisp blue skies, the warmth of the spring sunshine yet unfortunately I was joined by thousands of other cars on the roads also attempting an Easter getaway.
We got stuck in traffic on the A30 leaving Cornwall, stuck again on the M4 after Bristol, Stuck again before the tolls on the Severn Bridge and again the other side. A journey that should have taken just over three hours was clocking in nearer to five hours. We had spent the majority of this gorgeous sunny day on the motorway and was arriving into Cardiff with just enough time to make it to the conference centre to collect my race number.
With Race number in hand and feeling slightly drained we headed straight for the hotel for food and rest before the event the following day.
World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff race number
Due to being a World event, the race wouldn't start until 2pm due to being televised all over the world so I managed a nice leisurely start to the day. Leaving the hotel late morning and taking a drive to the city centre it was dry and it was forecast dry right up until 2pm when rumour had it, it would then chuck it down.
Start of the World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff

Timing cars at the World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff
Feeling optimistic we walked the 1 mile into the city centre from the park and walk car park and headed straight to the conference centre. We spent several hours in the conference centre amongst many other runners. There were people stretching, foam rolling, jumping about, eating, sleeping, the atmosphere was pretty intense as everyone muddled through the morning waiting for the event to start. As the time got closer we headed to the race start and found the massive queue for the portaloos and it was there and then in that queue that the rain started to make its appearance.
Meeting a giant red dragon in Wales

This was just typical, this could only be described as 'The law of sod' I left my partner and started making my way into the allocated pens. I was in the 'Everything else' category over 2 hours 15 minutes. I was given a plastic poncho in the conference earlier that day and had put this on in the toilet queue as the rain began to fall and was feeling confident that the rain wouldn't come to much, it had been dry pretty much all morning with only a few light showers.
Waiting in the pens to start the Cardiff Half Marathon
The race then started, we had stood in our pens whilst the starting ceremony got underway and the elite race started. We started to shuffle forwards as each of the pens was released. Everyone else started discarding their plastic ponchos and so I decided it was time I did the same. I tore and ripped my plastic poncho off and tossed it away to the side over the crowd. There were bin bags, bottles, old t-shirts being thrown into the sky and we slowly shuffled forwards again as the next lot of runners got underway.

And then arrived the first downpour, we hadn't even got through the start line and the first heavy rain shower hit us. We had literally just removed our waterproof poncho layers as the cold hailstone filled rain gave us a brief soaking. Things were muttered between runners and people were grumbling and moaning about being cold and wet but with my lightweight running jacket I figured I was well prepared and didn't really want to run in the poncho especially in the strong winds that were blowing up.

We were off, we passed under the start funnel and began running. I started to get warm and as I approached mile 2 was warm and dry enough to tie my running jacket around my waist. Things weren't so bad after all, it was a little drizzly and blowy but not too bad and so I started to relax and enjoy the run.
Although the weather had other ideas and the light rain started to get a little harder again. I decided to throw the jacket back on but leave it undone so that I would get too warm. I passed through mile 3 and the drinks station and grabbed a bottle of water and things were going well.

Then came the monsoon, or was it a biblical or even apocalyptic downpour? It was just horrendous, I was approaching mile 4 and the heavens literally fell out of the sky. I had my bottle of water in my hands without a lid on and I couldn't quite do my jacket up and tried to clasp the jacket together the best I could and tried to keep my head down and battle on through but it was the worst rain I'd ever experienced.

The roads started to swell with running water at the edges, the spectators, many wearing full wet weather clothing with umbrellas started running for cover and one runner shouted "IS THAT THE BEST YOU'VE GOT" and it just poured down. The rain drops were massive, I can only describe it as a bucket of water being chucked over me and everyone else. I kept going and started to get jealous of those runners still with their ponchos on. I then started to feel my feet getting very wet and they began to sound squelchy and heavy. Luckily the torrential rain didn't last more than a few minutes but it had managed to soak me completely through every layer even to my pants!

I was then approaching the marina and the barrage and I could see the sign for mile 5. As I crossed the dividing footpath between the marina and the sea the wind cut across making me feel even colder in my soaking wet clothes. I saw a bin and ditched my water bottle and finally zipped my coat back up. Although already soaked I hoped it might at least shelter some of the wind.

Mile 6 went through fairly quickly and with another water station and shouts and cheers of support it wasn't feeling as bad as 2 miles previous where I was on the verge of laughing and crying through the rain. After mile 6 we climbed over a dual carriageway and back towards the city centre, mile 7 was reached on a lonely stretch of road. Heading back into the city centre the crowds were back and moral was lifted and I was soon flying through mile 8, 9 and eventually to the dog leg section of mile 10 around the lake. I looked across the lake to see all those other runners much closer to finishing and felt strong and happy that it wasn't raining and I was literally 30 minutes from finishing.

But then the worst thing happened, I approached mile 12 and got a sudden, sharp, shooting pain in my foot. I literally ground to a halt, I stopped in agony and then gave my foot a wiggle and it kind of felt ok so I walked it off. The only way I can describe the pain was like treading on an upturned needle. A piercing pain straight up through my foot. After walking for a few minutes and passing mile 12 I knew I couldn't walk the last mile and picked up the pace back to a light jog and managed to finish the run in a very respectable 2 hours 15 minutes and 37 seconds.
Finishing the Cardiff Half Marathon
I was over the moon with my time having done it 5 months previously in 2 hours 23 minutes. I had managed to knock 8 minutes of my previous attempt. I walked through the finish funnel, collected my medal, T-shirt, water and banana and started to feel a bit achy. But at this point had completely forgotten about that weird odd foot pain. My right groin was twinging when walking and so was my right glute. I headed to the massage tent and had a massage and did the best to get out of my wet clothes and left the massage tent feeling relaxed and slightly warmer. Grabbed a hot drink jumped in a taxi and headed back to the car and onto our journey home to Cornwall.
One very soggy race number at the end of the half marathon
Sadly the following day when I woke up I couldn't put any weight on my foot. I couldn't work out what it was that I had done. As the days went past I was able to put more and more weight on the foot but it was still sending shooting pain through my ankle and foot. I managed to get an emergency appointment with my physio who at first couldn't work out what I had done but soon suggested that it was a pain brought on by the mechanics of my foot being out of line and the constant use over 13.1 miles had left a particular ligament with trauma and that was causing the pain. He strapped up my foot into a better alignment and I returned to see him after 48 hours and it was feeling much, much better. I was getting an occasional twinge but nothing at all like it was previously.

Things are feeling a lot better but I still haven't since the Cardiff Half. I'm hoping to try a little run this week whilst still taped up and fingers crossed if everything behaves itself I might be able to complete the Plymouth Half in less than two weeks’ time!!!