Only 2 days to the Great North Run!


And I have ran more than 500 miles! (in training so far!)

Who would have thought that I would ever get this far after deciding late one night that it would be a sensible idea to sign up to run the Great North Run for Oxfam? Less than 5 months later and I’m counting down the final few days to the big race feeling a bit nervous and majorly impressed by the amount of support and advice that my family and friends have offered me. I just reached the astonishing £500 mark far surpassing my original £300 target!

It’s definitely been an adventure this half marathon training malrkey. Long gone are the days where I staggered to complete 3 miles and embarrassed to be seen running in public, I sprinted past anyone heading my way resulting in a hyperventilating and fushia coloured Lauren.


Our 10 Mile Jelly race! What a hot day! Only meet to run 3.1 more miles to make the Great North Run

I remember my first 6 mile race where I hadn’t actually done any real training or ran 3 miles without stopping. My pre race preparations involved adding an extra layer of make up, youknow in case the St John Ambulance crew had to pick me up off the roadside. At least they would think ‘well she looks alright, she made an effort.’ I have a feeling my  pre race ritual will be somewhat different on Sunday morning!

Now I have (somehow!) managed to run 10 miles without stopping in 1 hr 34mins!! I only had to pause once to pour water into my trainers to soothe my burning bones. It was a VERY hot day. I  even got a sun tan on my arms!

 The highlights of my training so far includes…
  • being the fittest I’ve ever been!
  • having abs without holding my breath in! (I can actually see them and they’re real!)
  • spending more time outdoors
  • enjoying the sunshine (and somehow I’ve also learnt to enjoy the rain even when torrential)
  • making new friends without who I would never have made it through those very necessary long training runs! I salute your route planning skills!! And thank you for your encouragement!!
  • challenging myself to go beyond what I thought I was capable of
  • pushing myself way way outside my comfort zone
  • seeing a difference in my legs too! They’re strong!
  • trying new complimentary exercise. Hot yoga!
  • exploring parts of England I would never normally see on foot
  • there’s something glorious about being the only one running through a woodland with the Sun light streaming through the trees and discovering a beautiful waterfall and squirrels running free
  • running by myself and learning to enjoy it
  • learning to regulate my breathing
  • being able to eat everything in sight!
  • using running to actually get to and from places much quicker than walking
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    Running up THAT Hill!!

 What I’m looking forward to post GNR
  • resting!
  • sorting out the rest of our wedding (only 3 months to go!)
  • baking and decorating my 4 (or maybe 5) tiered wedding cake
  • not aching in various places
  • running the Edinburgh 10k!
  • no longer requiring blister plasters as part of my weekly shop
  • not spending the majority of my free time being hot and sweaty
  • wearing pretty clothes more often
  • getting showered at work
  • having more of a social life!
  • baking more aroundtheworldin80bakes experiments!

I’m counting down the hours now until the big race on Sunday and trying to remain calm! Here’s hoping for a good time! I will let you know how I get on!I’m aiming to get a hi five from Mo Farah who’s starting the race this year!


Some International tiered cake inspiration from Amsterdam

Thank you everyone for reading for for all the support so far. If you would like to sponsor me please visit my Just Giving Page 


My Oxfam Vest

And now for something completely different – Running Home, Running Fast? Running the Great North Run for Oxfam

I’m not a runner. I never have been despite my best efforts (my first ever junior run took over an hour to jog/walk 3 miles…) and yet I found myself contemplating the Great North Run this year, all in the name of Oxfam. I don’t think I would put myself through 13.1 miles (with hills) if it wasn’t for such a good cause.

Me in full Oxfam Stewarding mode at Leeds Festival 2007

I apologise for this slighty baking interlude but I really wanted to share this with you. I promise I will get back to cake as soon as possible or perhaps invent some way of combining the two. Cake Running. Now that’s my kind of sport.

Field of flags at Glastonbury

I’ve been supporting Oxfam for quite a few years now, volunteering at music festivals and donating on a regular basis. If you ever get the chance to volunteer for Oxfam, I really recommend that you do.

What a wonderful group of friends

I met the most wonderful group of friends through Oxfam, watched some amazing bands and made it to Glastonbury and Leeds Festival in the process, in return for stewarding at the festivals, doing three eight hour shifts. Stewarding at festivals also helps Oxfam to raise money.

Glastonbury got a bit muddy but look at those smiles! Oxfam Stewards

Night shift got a bit on the cold side

Me holding back the crowds with a security guard before Leeds Festival opened

But I haven’t had as much time as before to spend a week stewarding at festivals, what with travelling the globe and having a proper job, so I really wanted to do something to actively support Oxfam and the fantastic work that they’re doing.

The infamous Pyramid Stage before the crowds arrived at Glastonbury

Did you know to have the biggest possible impact on the lives of poor people worldwide, Oxfam concentrates on three areas of work?

Emergency response

Development work

Campaigning for change

Tackling poverty in 70 countries including the UK to ensure people can live healthy and safe lives.

I’m looking to raise a minimum of £300 before I run the Great North Run on 16th September 2012. If you have a little spare money that you would like to donate it will be very gratefully appreciated by the millions of people who Oxfam support and also by me. Each pound that is donated will help me get one foot in front of the other and push me on to train to get through those 13.1 miles. (That 0.1 of a mile is definitely important!)

Rather a lot of mud to get stuck in

At the moment millions of people in West Africa are at risk of starvation. Due to low rainfall, poor harvests, high food prices and a lack of pasture means that 13 million people are at risk of serious food shortages across the Sahel region. Oxfam aims to reach 1 million of them. £25 will pay for the vaccination of 15 goats which can then provide food and an income for families.

My target it to raise a minimum of £300. Fingers crossed! And £300 is more than enough to provide clean, safe drinking water for nine families in West Africa, by building or repairing water sources.

Oxfam has achieved so much already but they need continued support to ensure they can reach those who need it most. In this year alone they have secured clean water, public health and sanitation for nearly 34,000 refugees from the conflict in Sudan.

I know that any donations that are pledged will be a sure fire way to motivate me to put the cake down and get my trainers on. Thank you very much not only for reading this post, but also for donating anything that you can.

Just in case you need it my online fundraising page can be found here… JustGiving/Lauren-Prince

Hey Big Spender! Dame Shirley Bassey performing at Glastonbury