Mumaleary's Blog

Cheaper than therapy

How to Run a Marathon (when you think you can’t run a bath).

Ironically I am writing this post from my sofa, with a delicious G&T (and an equally delicious husband) for company however, since the clocks sprang forward last week my social media feeds have been rammed with talk of lighter evenings, perfect for getting out and today it has been all about final long runs, tapering, ice baths and Paris…For runners, the arrival of April means MARATHON SEASON and I challenge any one of you to watch the coverage of the Marathon in 3 weeks time and not:

  1. Cry your head off
  2. Want to sign up

Though I would never be so bold as to call myself a ‘serious runner’, I suppose I have a bit of experience having run the London Marathon 3 times. It is the only marathon I’ve ever run however but I do plan on ticking off some others before I hang up my trainers.

Here’s my take on making sure you get the best out of your marathon experience where ever and when ever that may be. Who knows, you might even feel inspired to sign up yourself…

OK- First things first, lets get the disclaimers out of the way- I am not a medical expert, in fact, I wouldn’t say I’m an expert in anything so take this advice in the spirit in which it is intended and, if you’re not sure about anything health related, check with an actual expert- not Google.

Right, now the ugly legal side of things is out of the way, here’s my marathon brain dump on…running a marathon.

  1. You can almost certainly run a marathon.

Even if you are reading this having not seen your toes since 1996, I reckon, with the right preparation you would be able to complete a marathon. I’m not saying it would be fast, I’m not even saying it would be in the next year or 2 but getting fit (or fitter) can be done with planning, perseverance and determination.

One of my favourite quotes is

the body achieves

So, if you want to complete a marathon you just need to tell your body you can (and then check with an expert, get fitted for a sports bra and a pair of trainers and perhaps download the Couch to 5km app as a starting point.


2) Run for a cause

A cause needn’t be a charity- maybe the cause is yourself but whatever your reason, it needs to be a compelling one because sometimes, getting motivated to go out for a run is tough. You will need motivation to keep you going.

Point to note- If you’re applying for one of the ‘big’ marathons via their ballot and don’t get a place be wary of accepting a charity place for a cause you don’t truly care about. The first marathon I ran was for The British Heart Foundation. I lost my daddy unexpectedly to a heart attack when I was a little girl and I wanted to raise money and honour his memory. It worked. I raised over £4,000 but these days fund raising can be really hard. Every man and his dog is climbing mountains, giving up alcohol or bathing in beans for charity these days and if you aren’t genuinely passionate about what you are raising money for it will be harder. There are so, so many excellent charities out there and they are all worthy so have a good look and do your research. Equally, there are loads of brilliantly organised marathons that do have spaces so, if it’s more about the distance and proving yourself to yourself then they might be better options. Check what your options are here, I think Chester (2nd October) is excellent.


3) Find a community

Whether this is a group of mates, a local running club, your gym or an online community find others with a common passion and goal. They will be your cheer leaders, your support network and the ones you share PB’s with, injuries, fears and feelings in a way that non runners just won’t get. If there is a Park Run local to you GET. ON . IT. They are an excellent way to boost confidence, speed and meet people.


4) Take it as seriously as you want

When one of my best friends ran the marathon he stopped drinking on New Years Day, treated his training like a second job and got injured with 2 weeks to go falling off a curb. I on the other hand took it a little more with a pinch of salt- I trained a fair bit but no where near as much as the training plans recommend, didn’t really amend my diet and got round in a little over 5 hours. Looking back I don’t think either method was ideal. I am disappointed I didn’t put more in but I still had an absolutely incredible experience and raised a whole load of money for an incredible charity.


5) Prepare for an emotional Rollercoaster

I applied through the ballot for a place in this years VLM and was gutted when I didn’t get a spot. I applied through a couple of charities that are very close to my heart but didn’t get in with them either. I was shocked by how disappointed I was and I know I’ll be feeling it all over again when I watch the coverage on 24th April and hear the amazing opening score.

Those that did get a place however will have had months of

‘YES- I am nailing this’


‘What was I thinking- I can’t run a marathon, I can barely run a bath’

and every single emotion in between…often all experienced in the time it takes to do your long training run on a Sunday morning! These feelings (in my experience) are easily dealt with with a hot bath, a good cry, a glass of red, bar of chocolate and a bag of chips but that may have been my downfall!! Some days everything will go like a dream, you will feel as if you are running on air and could go on forever, other days it is like pushing water uphill with a rake and I for one have never been able to work out WHY.

The marathon week is something else all together- you’re stressing about a last minute injury, carb loading, getting enough rest but not over sleeping and missing the start. The weather, the water stations, the toilets and everything else in between and then, when you see the crowds, hear them shouting your name and willing you on, when you read peoples reasons for running and make your way around the course it is quite simply an incredible and very humbling experience- I am getting emotional thinking about it now. At some point you’ll find yourself crossing the line, collecting your medal and wondering how on earth you got there. It is an amazing, amazing experience and one that I am so so pleased I took on.

So, there you have it- my take on marathon running. In short, it can be summed up as follows:


and I am telling you now, this girl can AND WILL again (and hopefully in under 4.30).

Go on; Just do it, GOOD LUCK.

With love,





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Why are women so weird?

This evening I have been running.
By running, I clearly mean breathing out of my arse and sweating like a pig whilst dragging myself after Mr L who offers words of encouragement whilst I swear under my breath and ask myself why I am doing it!
It is the same almost every time. Sometimes I get the legendary runners high but, I’ll be honest, it’s not a given.
When I got home I was so red and out of breath I couldn’t talk but, now I’ve inhaled a pizza and three chocolate digestives I’m almost feeling human again.

So, as I delicately nibbled at the biscuits, I was leafing through Facebook and saw one of my friends was talking about the good old self-worth/body image fat/fit/thin debate and I thought you are SO right. What the fuck IS this?

Why is it that beautiful, intelligent, funny, articulate, sexy, interesting, sassy women equate their size and their body shape with the way that they feel. It is weird. AND it is sad.

I posted here about how I want my children to feel about themselves and their bodies, it certainly isn’t the way I feel about mine at the moment.

I thought back to yoga on Monday night. It was quite literally the hardest thing I have ever done. Ever. Including labour and after one of them I had a 3 pint blood transfusion.
Because it was hot yoga (If you haven’t been, go. It is awesome but I realise that the previous sentence may make you doubt my sincerity!) I wore a crop top and, as I was flailing about like an upside down tortoise I caught sight of myself and the teacher in the mirror and I was genuinely really upset at what I saw.
How shallow is that?
Instead of thinking;

  • YEY me. You totally held that pose for around 4 seconds this week.
  • YEY me. You could be sitting at home right now.
  • YEY me. You are getting stronger every week.

I was thinking why the fuck don’t I look like her??

Well, let’s think shall we,

  • This is her job.
  • This her life style and she is hugely passionate and committed.
  • She almost definitely does not eat pizza and chocolate for dinner.
  • (And two mars bars as a little lunch time treat)
  • She hasn’t had 2 children in quick succession and as a result is unlikely to have had a second arse hole ripped for her preventing any meaningful exercise for some time.

I think there is a genuine need for women to rewire their brains. To think of all the things that their bodies DO do.
To think of themselves as more than the shell that they reside in. Basically we need to become Sikh- check this out- it’s an oldie but a goodie;

Sikh Woman Teaches Reddit A Lesson in Tolerance

A Sikh woman’s classy, thoughtful response to a mean-spirited photo of her posted on Reddit has not only warmed the hearts of people around the globe, it has even forced the man who posted the photo to look at his actions and repent.
The original photo posted of Kaur, with the caption “I’m not quite sure what to conclude from this”

sikh womans idea of body image

Kaur’s response:

Hey, guys. This is Balpreet Kaur, the girl from the picture. I actually didn’t know about this until one of my friends told on facebook. If the OP wanted a picture, they could have just asked and I could have smiled 🙂 However, I’m not embarrased or even humiliated by the attention [negative and positve] that this picture is getting because, it’s who I am. Yes, I’m a baptized Sikh woman with facial hair. Yes, I realize that my gender is often confused and I look different than most women. However, baptized Sikhs believe in the sacredness of this body – it is a gift that has been given to us by the Divine Being [which is genderless, actually] and, must keep it intact as a submission to the divine will. Just as a child doesn’t reject the gift of his/her parents, Sikhs do not reject the body that has been given to us. By crying ‘mine, mine’ and changing this body-tool, we are essentially living in ego and creating a seperateness between ourselves and the divinity within us. By transcending societal views of beauty, I believe that I can focus more on my actions. My attitude and thoughts and actions have more value in them than my body because I recognize that this body is just going to become ash in the end, so why fuss about it? When I die, no one is going to remember what I looked like, heck, my kids will forget my voice, and slowly, all physical memory will fade away. However, my impact and legacy will remain: and, by not focusing on the physical beauty, I have time to cultivate those inner virtues and hopefully, focus my life on creating change and progress for this world in any way I can. So, to me, my face isn’t important but the smile and the happiness that lie behind the face are. 🙂 So, if anyone sees me at OSU, please come up and say hello. I appreciate all of the comments here, both positive and less positive because I’ve gotten a better understanding of myself and others from this. Also, the yoga pants are quite comfortable and the Better Together tshirt is actually from Interfaith Youth Core, an organization that focuses on storytelling and engagement between different faiths. 🙂 I hope this explains everything a bit more, and I apologize for causing such confusion and uttering anything that hurt anyone.

That story was published on Mashable in 2012 but it will be incredible forever.
I wish I had a bit of that ladies acceptance. It is incredible. She must have so much space in her brain for important stuff since she filtered out all the rubbish about wrinkles, saggy tummies and cellulite. No bloody wonder she’s got the headspace for a neuroscience and psychology degree!

So, I will carry on running.
And I will carry on avoiding the magazines that remind us every week that we’re not quite up to scratch.
And I will continue to go to yoga.
And I’ll always accept a biscuit or two… Because I actually AM more than the way I look and so are you.



positive body image,



I am linking up this particularly angry, sweary post with Brilliant Blog Post by Vicky…I hope she doesn’t mind!! You can check out some other BBP’s by clicking the link below.

Brilliant blog posts on


Respect the Race or pay the price. BTR Liverpool 1/2.

Evening All! What have you been up to today? Anything special?

Mr L and I have mainly been running!…The BTR Liverpool Half Marathon.

I’ve run this a couple of times before, once in 2007 and again in 2012 with my sister and my friend when it coincided with my first ever Mother’s Day and I decided this new year I wanted to get back into running so I signed up.

2012 Happy Mothers Day!

2012 Happy Mothers Day!

I say ‘get back into running’, I’ve never been a die-hard get out there every day kind of gal. I think perhaps, as with so many things, I am fearful of putting in the hard yards, following a training plan, trying my absolute best and still coming up short.
I guess I’m frightened of failure and by being able to console myself that I didn’t give training my absolute commitment I can still get around that.
Just once I would like to finish something and say, yep- that was me, I held nothing back, I tried my best and I’m proud of my efforts, whatever the result. And that isn’t specific to exercise. But, that’s not the case this year and man alive, I paid for it!
Any who, enough of the soul bearing shenanigans. How did we do… Read the rest of this entry »



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