Nike gets a Tick

Nike-SportWatch-GPS-with-Sensor-Powered-by-TomTom-WM0070_700_A[1]After my last attempt at finding a ‘running watch for idiots’ I had resorted back to my previous method of planning my runs, the AA Autoroute Planner on line. This was fine for road runs but more tricky for any trail running so I just guessed these distances and stuck on 4 miles.

I noticed one evening that the elite Running Club runners were all wearing very nice new watches with huge screens THAT I COULD READ.  Apparently they were Nike + SportWatches.  Very simple to use, and great fun.  I dashed home and ordered one from John Lewis. Two days later my awaited green bagged delivery popped through my letter box.  I hurriedly opened it then realised I did not have time to study the instructions (in any language) before going off to work.  On my return I spotted a little black box in Toby’s dog basket. ‘Oh no, my watch’ I gulped.  On closer inspection I realised he had just chewed the packaging but the GPS sensor to put in your trainer had GONE!  I was convinced that Toby had eaten it. There was only one plus point to this; he would now have an in-built tracking device if we lost him in the woods.  I sighed with relief when I spotted it on the floor in bubble wrap.

I found the whole Nike + instructions experience very easy, even for me. On my next outing I nodded knowingly at the elite runners ‘with watch’ and pointed to my wrist.  ‘LINKING SENSORS START!’ It flashed.  As soon as I got home I managed to download  all of my run statistics onto the Nike + website. It was amazing, a little stick man danced and cheered and a huge banner came up saying ‘Well Done’. This is going to be so motivational and definitely my best purchase since my Baybliss Hot Brush.l_06474295[1]

I am running the New York Marathon 2013 for Macmillan Cancer Support. If you are enjoying reading my blogs please donate at:


Pet Shop

210[1]Husband doesn’t do shopping.  In fact he is allergic to it. Last time I got him to the shops was to buy a large red plastic fire engine for our son’s 3rd Birthday.  Son is now 14.  The only time a shopping ‘light bulb’ goes on in his head is if he is in the vicinity of a very expensive watch shop.  Usually If I need to do any shopping I get him to drive to me the Mall then position him in a watch shop window for a couple of hours whilst I use his credit card. Watches do nothing for me.  Diamonds yes, watches no.

Last Saturday we were driving to the Power Tool Depot as a treat for him so he agreed to the detour to get some food for the boys, Toby and Frimpong.  We wandered around the air conditioned bliss of ‘Us 4 Pets’ and I browsed the massive display of dog toys and biscuits.  Then I spotted them in all their  glory.  Clothes for dogs, in fact entire outfits for dogs.  Little Barbour jackets, knitted sweaters, hoodies, raincoats and tartan waistcoats.  I thought it would be wonderful to buy a few  for the boys. ‘Absolutely no way’ said Husband,  ‘Absolutely noooooo wayyyyy! I am not walking up Lingfield High Street with 2 dogs in Barbour jackets and sunglasses.  Forget it!’ Usually when he tells me to do something I just ignore it but I do like to encourage his dog walking activities so I compromised with a stuffed rodent for Frimpong and a super strength tennis ball for Toby.  However as he was loading the purchases in the car I did nip back inside and buy a gorgeous red and blue sweatshirt for a poodle.  I thought I could put it away for Little Trevor’s birthday present.

PS.  So far over 400 people have read my blog but less than 12 have donated via my Just Giving page.  Please donate at or email me at if you prefer to pledge by cheque.  Thank you.


True Life Stories

RW_LatestIssue_septWhenever I read ‘Runners World’ it is full of inspirational stories about how running changed people’s lives, how they started running and lost 10 stone and did their first marathon in under three hours.  Whilst I am sure these stories are meant to be highly motivational they do nothing for the plodders like me who never get any faster now matter how much they run.  I have often cheered myself up by disbelieving these stories  in the same way I disregard the true life weight loss stories in Weight Watchers magazine. This was until last night.  After a gentle plod around Lingfield with 2 members of the running club I got chatting to a lady called Maxine who had only taken up running in October at the age of 45.  She had lost 4 1/2 stone since then and ran the London Marathon in April in  4 1/2 hours.  This is so unfair when I am hoping to stagger around New York in 6 hours in November.  I couldn’t even dismiss her as a fictional character as she was standing in front of me with a Jessica Ennis stomach, so I stumbled home all depressed.  Apparently your maximum fitness potential is determined by how fit you are in your teens.  In my teens I was 12 stone with the nickname of ‘Dustbin’ and a love of Marathons only of the chocolate kind.

Think I am going to publish a magazine for people like me called ‘Slow Runners World’.

I am running the New York Marathon 2013 for Macmillan Cancer Support. If you are enjoying reading my blogs please donate at:


Uphill Mile

Everest-from-Gokyo1[1]Thank you everyone who has so kindly donated to Macmillan so far via my Just Giving page and by email.  I will now continue my story…

‘Help’ said Little Trevor.  ‘Sorry to bother you.  I seem to have lost Lynda’s mobile number and I was wondering if she could make the Uphill Mile tomorrow night?’  What on earth was the time???  I glanced quickly at my alarm clock.  Crikey,  it was only 9.32pm. This running was really taking it out of me.

The next evening I too was doing the Uphill Mile ‘Fun’ run which, quite frankly, had nothing going for it.  It was a boiling hot evening, we had to drive to a mountain in the Ashdown Forest and, it was uphill.  We drove to the bottom of the hill but did not stop.  No, we drove and parked at the top.  This meant that we had to run down before we even started the ascent.  I jogged down so slowly to conserve energy that everyone was waiting for me at the bottom.  As I was the most handicapped of all the runners the plan was that I would start first, so I hardly had time to draw breathe before I was off again up sodding Everest. God it was steep! I did try to run, honest, but the gradient and lack of oxygen at that altitude got the better of me and I had to walk for a while.  I then started to jog again but soon noticed I was being overtaken whilst jogging by the others who had decided to walk. So I gave up and walked the Uphill Run.  I did a limp sprint to the finish just to show willingly then collapsed in hot heap.   The ‘Keenos’ in the club then decided to race around the forest liked deluded hares for 20 minutes just to take in the scenery whilst I was lying unconscious in the boot of a friend’s little red KA with a bottle of water.  What a way to spend a Tuesday evening.  I think an evening watching the Test Match highlights with Hairy Male Teenager might have been marginally better.

The next morning a cheery email came in from Little Trevor which said ‘Everyone enjoyed the Uphill Mile so much last night we will be doing it again next week.’  Not me….

I am running the New York Marathon 2013 for Macmillan Cancer Support. If you are enjoying reading my blogs please donate at:



question_mark1[1]I knew Saturday night was going to be a bad one. Firstly, I went for a quick run, despite the searing heat, and I asked Hairy Male Teenager to put some sausages in the oven at 7.30pm. He. over enthusiastically popped them in at 6.30pm resulting in a late supper of  burnt sticks and mash.  I then settled down to watch this week’s edition of Luther which I had been looking forward to, only to realise that Hairy Male Teenager had stopped the series recorder in order to make way for 140 hours of The Ashes.  I did ‘mention’ my anger to him using a few unmentionable words then skulked off to bed, hot and fuming. I was struggling to get to sleep when, very unusually, my mobile phone rang,  I groped to find it in the darkness, knocking over a beside glass of water on the way.  I blinked,  it was Little Trevor calling.  I mumbled an anxious ‘Hello’ and all I heard was ‘HELP!’

If you want to hear the next part of this blog do please donate to Macmillan via my Just giving page  or alternatively drop me an email at to pledge your donation.


County Border News???

Scan jHello.  If you are new to my blog please scroll down to the first blog entitled ‘Oh No’ otherwise you won’t have a clue what is going on…

I am pleased to announce that my blog has now gone viral.  I have readers in the UK (obviously), the USA, the Philippines, Guernsey and Malta.  Either that, or whenever anyone Googles ‘Runner bean and bacon salad’ they end up on my page.

Yesterday, whilst in a meeting, a text popped up from my great neighbour Johnny ‘Page 3 next week?’ it read.  We have always had a bit of a flirty thing going on but this was taking it a bit far…  ‘Was I in another love triangle I wasn’t aware of?’  Anyway I quickly regained my composure in front of this awfully dull client and then forgot all about it.  On my return home there it was staring at me from the front door mat….  The 20 stone photo of me in Macmillan T shirt on the front page of the Lingfield County Border News.  I had been on page 14 last week and was on the front page this week.  God they must be short of news in the area.  Soon after I got a lovely text from Little Trevor ‘Dearest Runner Bean front page this week!’  I replied back ‘Great PR for Macmillan but lots of people might now read my blog and find out about us‘.

My teenagers are very unimpressed about my blog, and indeed my newspaper features.  Not a flicker of enthusiasm at all.  After I had written one post which I thought was particularly brilliant I showed it to Daughter.  ‘Mum, she scowled.  ‘I don’t get it.  Why would anyone be interested in you?’  Oh great.  Running a marathon has met with the same level of enthusiasm however, I do secretly think the kids are impressed as they have told a few of their friends.  Unless they disclosed it in the usual scornful tone of ‘guess what my highly annoying mother (who doesn’t understand me) is doing next?’ Etc… etc…

I have come to conclusion there are only two things I can do to impress my kids; one, learn how to use an Ipad and two, borrow a white Range Rover Evoque for the day.

PS.  So far overy 400 people have read my blog but less than 10 have donated via my Just Giving page.  Please donate


‘Fun’ Run???

Runners[1]Throughout the summer season Little Trevor organises ‘fun’ race nights for the running club. I was particularly looking forward to tonight’s race as it was a flat scenic 5 mile route around the back of the local school, out to Haxted Mill and back. When we got to the club car park Little Trevor announced that due to road resurfacing he had change the route to May Race 4.’ May Race 4!‘ this was the hilliest of all the so called ‘fun’ races. When I did it in the correct month, May, it nearly killed me and I vowed never, ever, ever, to do it again. I tried to think of an excuse but could only come up with  ‘I need to go home as I have forgotten to set the timer for Hollyoaks’. This sounded a bit lame so I walked down the hill to the start with a very heavy heart. Little Trevor slowed down in his little blue Polo to offer me a lift. I think he was worried that if I had to walk to the start I might not make it around the course. I declined only because Husband Trevor was with me and I didn’t want to make the ‘love triangle thing’ too obvious.

The advantage of a handicap race is that the slowest runner starts first. I am allowed to start before most runners have laced up their trainers and got in the car to drive to the club. I also get the amazing sensation of being first for a while. I love that feeling. ‘First, in front, the leader’ I relish in the short lived glory. By the time I am half way round I spot them coming up behind me like little day glo ants. One, then another, then another, then another. To start with I shout ‘Well done! Nice running!’ to the front runners. By the time the last one has overtaken me I just mummer ‘Oh Christ another one’ under my breath. Tonight’s run was really successful as I was not staring at the backsides of 36 runners until way past the half way point. I managed a sprint finish to loud cheers of ‘Come on Jayne.’ As usual there were lots of finishers waiting to spur me on so they could jog back to the club house for a quick pint.  Little Trevor was particularly pleased with my time. Apparently I had knocked 3 minutes off my previous time for that ghastly run. I knew he wanted to scoop all 5’8″ and 11 stone of me into his arms to congratulate me but as Husband Trevor was there he just said ‘ Well done Jayne’ and gave me a winning smile.

PS.  So far nearly 400 people have read my blog but less than 10 have donated via my Just Giving page.  Please donate if you want me to keep writing, or even if you want me to stop!


Saturday night


What the starter should have looked like…

Rule one of being an interior designer:  Never have your clients round to your house. It is very difficult to talk with any conviction about the merits of Farrow and Ball paint colours and space planning when they know you actually live in a world of chipped Dulux and dog beds.  I broke this rule on Saturday night to have some particularly lovely clients from Horsham round for a BBQ.

It had been a busy week.  I had knocked the house down and rebuilt it one metre to the left, got a new kitchen fitted and gone on a Cordon Bleu cookery course. At 5.30am on Saturday morning I was already stuffing bits of smoked salmon into bits of smoked salmon whilst coping with the heat and Frimpong, the new puppy. I even made 3 puddings as I knew I could eat all the left overs in the week as part of my carb loading programme.  The evening was very successful however fatigue set in and I nearly fell asleep in the cashews nuts before we had even got to the starters.  I don’t know what was going on at Gatwick but the noise and frequency of the planes overhead was unbeliveable. They were coming in so low I could see the pilots’ boxer shorts. Hairy Male teenager did well.  He managed to do more than grunt when introduced to the guests and his jeans were not in the usual place around his knees with his pants showing.

All these preparations had really affected my training schedule so I had to get up at 5.00am on Sunday to do my LONG RUN.  I was so tired that I slept for the first hour apart from having a quick glance down to check I was not still in my pyjamas.  I was pleased to see two white wobbly legs poking out of a pair of old shorts.  I keep going mile after mile safe in the knowledge that the more time I was out of the house, the more washing up Husband would get done.  On my return I saw a text from Little Trevor ‘Dearest Runner Bean would you like me to escort you to the Uckfield 10K this morning. It starts at 10.00am?’ Such is my love for Little Trevor that I did consider running the 10K after my earlier 12 miles but I decided against it and just replied  ‘You know I love you very much but I can’t make it this morning’.  I then went back to bed with a nice cup of tea and the Sunday papers.

I am running the New York Marathon 2013 for Macmillan Cancer Support. If you are enjoying reading my blogs please donate at:


Dog Blog

IMG-20120514-04803 (2)

Toby, the English Pointer

Can we have another dog?  I asked Husband as I was cooking him a nice dinner and he was sipping a cold cider.  ‘No’ came the predicted response.  ‘Why not, you know how much I love you?’ I pleaded. ‘We have one great dog, Toby and we really don’t need another one’.  I did.  I LOVE DOGS of any shape or size.  My brother was allergic to them when I was growing up so we had to live in a dog-free zone and I vowed to have a dog-filled adulthood.  When I retire I want to have six dogs and foster a few more from the rescue centre. I might have to rehome Husband though.

When we lost our last faithful Flynn 2 years ago I did extensive research into dogs suitable for families and made a short list.  I then spotted a photo of an English Pointer which, speaking as an interior designer, is the most beautifully designed dog, so elegant, graceful and stylish.  I then read about the temperament of an English Pointer. ‘Highly strung, sensitive, difficult to train, requiring extensive exercise’.  I forgot all this and we got one. Toby.

Now Toby needed a friend but this was going to be a mini dog as I could not fit two Toby- sized hounds in my car. I researched cockapoos, schnoodles, cavachons, jackawawas , labradoodles, puggles, jugs and malitipoos…  In the end of I settled on a miniature schnauzer ‘robust, friendly and highly trainable’.  My  husband likes big dogs, to compensate for his lack of height, and his perfect dog is a Great Dane, so a mini schnauzer was going to be a battle….

Text to husband ‘Shall we go and have a look at the Puppy before or after I have cooked you a fantastic lunch on Sunday xxxxxxxxxx?  No reply.  Next text ‘Does your car need washing on Sunday? You know how much I love you xxxxxxx.’  No reply.  Next text ‘Will you answer my sodding texts please?’ No reply.

Sunday came and Puppy was not mentioned.  ‘Where are you going?’ Husband asked as I grabbed my car keys at 4.30 pm.  ‘I am going to Harlow, Essex’.  ‘Why on earth are you going to Harlow this afternoon?’  ‘To look at the Puppy’ I murmured.  Hugh pause.  ‘Do you want me to come with you?’  Pause. ‘Yes please’.  At that moment I knew we were getting the Puppy.

The mini schnauzer was so cute, like all 8 week old puppies, but Husband was not convinced.  ‘He looks like a rat’ he observed on the way home.  ‘well he is small with German origins and he comes from Essex, just like you’ I replied helpfully.

The next night we had a family supper to discuss dog names.  The short list was as follows::









Ratty (Husband’s contribution)



Husband would only consider the name ‘Ratty’, and Son wanted ‘ Schweinsteiger’ or ‘Frimpong’ as these are his favourite footballers. He also liked ‘Merlin’ but I wasn’t keen.  In the park can you imagine saying ‘Have you seen Merlin? He seems to have disappeared.’


Son with Frimpong

Discussions went on into the night with no agreement.  The next evening we reconvened.  We finally agreed on ‘Zac’ (small and German) but with the caveat that his full name is ‘Zac Merlin Schweinsteiger Frimpong Webb’ and Husband will call him ‘Ratty’ regardless. Great.

I am running the New York Marathon 2013 for Macmillan Cancer Support. If you are enjoying reading my blogs please donate at:


Dehydration Desperation


Typical Dormans Park House

Last night Husband agreed to  accompany me on my ‘LONG RUN’.  He had mapped out a route  that would be scenic, off road and cover the required 11 miles.  I didn’t see much of him on the run. In fact he was so far in the distance he may has well have been in the office.  When he and Toby, the dog, did lose sight of me puffing and panting  a few fields behind they would both bound back to me then sprint back to where they had started just to show solidarity.  Wrong.  ‘Look  how fit and fast we are ‘ they implied and I just got more and more hacked off. I secretly hoped Husband (not dog)  might stumble in a cow pat  and sink until just his head was showing.

By hour 2 of the run I had a total sense of humour failure.  ‘Come on Bean’ he kept on shouting.  ‘Bugger off you’, I kept on mumbling.  The pretty route from Lingfield to East Grinstead takes in the beautiful houses of Dormans Park  however, there are also  an unnecessary amount of hills.  At one point I noticed a tatty pub in the distance . ‘ I need water’ I  gasped . ‘Ok fine, you run on ahead and I’ll get some water’  he replied helpfully.  I plodded down the hill, my mood lifted by the thought of a quick Evian. Three minutes later he sprinted back.  ‘Sorry no bottled water there.  ‘No water in a bloody pub’ I screamed.  I would have had bottle of Malibu instead.  We continued home in silence.

I am running the New York Marathon 2013 for Macmillan Cancer Support. If you are enjoying reading my blogs please donate at: