‘It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you…’

Nothing like starting an overdue blog with lyrics from Aaliyah (‘Try Again’). I felt it was appropriate.

It has been a rather long time since I last wrote here and plenty has happened since my last entry. This would actually have been the perfect time to get writing but only now have I come back to it. There have been plenty of ups and downs keeping me away.

Losing 2 family members in September, re-visiting the bouts of depression and general grieving has kept me away. However, through all the heartache came something positive.


My first ever marathon. I think me taking part was meant to be. Fate, if you will.

At the start of September, my partner’s brother passed away suddenly. It was absolutely devastating for the whole family. He lived in New York so my partner and I flew out to see if we could help to sort out his affairs. While we were there, my grandmother passed away. To me, that was like losing one of my best friends in the whole world. My Nan, my sister and me were like the Three Musketeers, always looking out for each other and putting the world to rights. On the same day my Mum rang to tell me, I had an email from a friend at work saying ‘Hi Doll, would you like to run the London Marathon for us in April?’

Now if that’s not something to:

  1. Keep my occupied
  2. Channel my grief
  3. Do right by others

…I don’t know what is. So I said yes.

My Nan always asked about my running and my knees! She was always concerned that I’d have non left with the amount of running I was doing. So, me and my knees are taking on this massive challenge in memory of her and my partner’s brother, Ant.


Getting a place through work was very awesome but it meant having to raise £2,000 for the charity. Because of everything that happened, I’m raising money which I’m hoping will go towards the bereavement service. I know how important it is to keep talking about what happened and our charity helps those who have lost people. Amazing service.

I floated the idea of a charity Zumbathon with my Zumba instructor who gave a resounding YES to the idea. We ended up with 80 people taking part, 50 songs were danced to in 150minutes and over £2,000 was raised for my cause! I was absolutely gobsmacked and so emotional. Again, I think those two were looking down on me that day to help me reach my goal. I’m so grateful to all the ladies and gents who came along to take part and help me on my way.

And here are all those beautiful and determined ladies…

Beth Rees and Ellie Madonia Tomlin with Zumba crowd 2


Now comes the good stuff!

The training is going well. I’m on target with the mileage and building as steadily as I can. I’d love to do the marathon in 5 hours or under and as it stands, I’m on target for that. I’m doing a mixture of running and Zumba because doing too many runs will definitely make me bored of it (which I don’t want!).

I’m up to 17 miles and missioning to 18 miles tomorrow. I’m trying to change up the routes frequently so I don’t get fed up. I’m lucky that we’re surrounded by beautiful Welsh countryside so it could be worse. Finding the fuelling quite tricky, especially as 2-3 gels make me feel slightly queasy. I’m going to attempt taking a natural bar with me to nibble as I go along to try a different type of fuel.

It’s 80% a mental game too isn’t it? I didn’t realise how much so. When you’re running shorter distances, you never think too much about it. You also tend to have more company! To be fair, my running buddy Susie and my sister have been gems, running some of the long distances with me. Now I’m getting into the steep ones, they’ve politely declined. Here’s my little sis and me after she met me five miles in to help me complete my 15miler!


It’s definitely a journey and an experience! It’s keeping me focussed and my #ReasonToRun is definitely always front and centre. I’m dedicating the first 13.1miles to Ant and the second 13.1 to my Nan. Hopefully, they’ll be there in spirit on the day spurring me on.

So, to finish as I started, with a bit of Aaliyah for inspiration:

“If at first you don’t succeed (first you don’t succeed),
Dust yourself off, and try again,
You can dust it off and try again.”



2 thoughts on “‘It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you…’

  1. I’m so sorry for your losses. That must have been incredibly difficult. Congrats on the marathon. Training is one of my favorite parts of the race. I hope you enjoy the entire process!


  2. I’m so sorry you’ve had such a tough time, but pleased you have something positive to focus on now. You will LOVE the London marathon – such an amazing experience. Getting fuelling right can be tricky. Have you stuck to the same gel brands? Some brands can upset the stomach while others are ok. I’ve found Science in Sport really good. They’re not gloopy so you don’t need water and they’re really gentle on the stomach. You just have to try things until you find what works for you. Good luck with the rest of your training 🙂


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