Aimee Horton

30 days, 30 runs.



It’s the summer holidays, and right now, as I write this post, I’m sitting propped up in bed with a cup of tea, while one small child has an iPad and we wait for the other creature from the swamp to appear.

In true British summer form, it started by pissing it down on the school run. Thanks for that. Have you ever tried to carry gift bags and bottles of wine in the rain, while trying to keep home made cards from going soggy?

But now here we are, and the sun appears to be shining, the children aren’t fighting, and I’m having a chance to reflect on the last month of term, and the #30days30runs challenge I set myself.

In retrospect, setting myself a challenge where I force myself out of the house everyday for a run, rain or shine, during the busiest month of term sounds pretty stupid. After all, there is a whirlwind of meetings, non-uniform days, projects, plays and trips to be prepared for. Plus, you know things like work. But actually, I think that’s what prompted it, although I can’t even remember when I decided to do it.

You see, working from home, it’s so easy to just get absorbed and almost become a bit of a martyr, all work, and sorting out the family and house, you get sucked in to this weird little bubble, and when it comes to doing additional stuff like exercise or time out, the guilt takes over and you put it off. But that’s not good. To be successful in what you do, you need to be able to take a step back, I needed to step back before I broke into a pile of self-loathing.

Like I say, I can’t remember what made me decide it to set myself the challenge. I have been watching in awe as one of my friends has run EVERY SINGLE DAY this year, and as another friend just thrives on exercise, and I have a feeling I was feeling sluggish, tired, and lazy and realised that looking at working out to just lose weight wasn’t working for me. Especially as I am finally coming to terms with the fact I will never ever look like Cheryl. As much as I don’t like my stomach and muffin tops yada yada yada, I’ve come to terms with them. Not because I think my children made me this way, but because pizza and gin did, and I’m not going to stop those any time soon.

But anyway, I digress. I remember I’d already sort of set it in my head I wanted to run 5 miles by the time the kids break up from school (all the better to run away from them when they do my head in) but that wasn’t enough, I needed more motivation. So after asking my run-a-day friend, about her runs, I decided to F*CK IT, and make some changes, kick myself in the arse, and remind myself why I used to love running so much.

The rules are, there are no rules other than run every day, and a minimum of a mile a day. Seems simple enough eh? So I started. I started in the hottest week of the year. And you know what, I loved it. I loved it so much I even bought myself some actual real life running shorts and while I was running, I didn’t care that my thighs jiggled about like a bowl full of jelly. I cared that I was running and the sun was on my face, the sweat was running down my back, and I was winning.

See, you may or may not know this about me, but I’m quite competitive. Not with you lot, not at all, but with myself. I’m very hard on myself, a perfectionist in everything I do, and no matter how hard I try, I can’t handle it all, and somewhere along the line, #30days30runs has helped me realize that.

Suddenly I left the pots on the counter so I could go out and run. School polo shirts and shorts were being cleaned more with a dish cloth, and so what if Larry’s socks were stripy HE IS FOUR. If I got up and ran first thing I’d be annoying and perky for the rest of the day, if I dragged myself out at the end of the day, I’d come back annoying and perky. I was singing in the shower again, stretching while I waited for my fake tan to set in (there’s an image for you), and most importantly, the habit was becoming ingrained. After the first week or so I realized that running a mile still felt as good, it wasn’t a cop out – I was still putting the trainers on and GOING.

On day 24 I reached my 5 mile goal. It surprised me, and made me a little emotional. I’d been exhausted that day. Physically and mentally exhausted, trying to make plans for the summer, and for my life. I’d gone out saying “I’ll be fifteen minutes tops” and at around the 2 mile mark I felt this surge. My brain had been ticking on overdrive, and without realizing it I had reached 3 miles. That’s when I knew I’d keep going, and I probably would have gone further, but I thought Mr Aimee might be worried about me – he wasn’t he was sitting on the computer looking at headsets for Theo.

But following that, it was hard. Exhaustion set in, my knees were beginning to hurt – one day I didn’t stretch in the shower, I just collapsed on the sofa and drank wine. The end of term was creeping closer and closer, and the inclination to do anything but eat and attempt to sleep was too much. But the tug of going out was still there – partly because I REFUSE TO LOSE when it comes to competing with myself, but naturally, I knew that I would feel better if I did.

So what now? It’s day 31 and I’m already not very happy at the thought of my 30 day streak being broken. Do I extend it to 60 days? Even though my knees are tired I’m pretty sure I can work through it – perhaps an excuse for some new trainers? Or do I set another challenge? A distance challenge perhaps? I considered a 30 day shred, or the HIIT stuff, but the reason I like running is that when I go for a distance it’s just me. Which is quite ironic because when I’m working from home, and it’s just me, I get lonely at times. Writing at home full time is lonely, but mainly because it’s full of self-doubt and all I can think about is the dishes on the counter. When I’m running alone I’m thinking about that next half-mile. I’m thinking about what to write next but for some reason the self doubt is gone and what’s in my head seems to flow better. So the challenge has to be running.

So I’m thinking of setting a distance. Maybe 60miles30days and also tag in hitting a 7mile run within that? I need to do some maths!

To end, I just want to say how happy I am that other people have decided to set themselves a challenge whether it’s 30 days, 7 days, or 3 times a week. It’s good for your body and good for your head!

Right now though, the war breaking out in the lounge is not good for my head, so I’m going to throw toast at them and hope that fixes things, carbs usually do.




I’m not one for exercise classes, I never have been.  I’m not up for the whole “GO GO GO” rallying together thing, when I work out I’m a loner.

At the gym I was a headphone in, head down kinda girl, only breaking free for a gossip in the Jacuzzi.  I was crap at doubles when I played tennis, and I make a shocking running partner because all I want to do run down the road singing Britney and Cheryl Cole to myself.

But recently my motivation to exercise has been waning.  I get up thinking RIGHT I REALLY want to go for a run today, I want to feel the wind in my hair and the rain on my face.  I get psyched up in the morning, but by the time I’m back from the school run I think “I’ll just do this…” and suddenly it’s time to close my study door and go and get the kids.

I promised myself I’d shred first thing in the mornings, but I never wake up before the kids and if you’ve ever tried doing crunches with a 17kg toddler on your chest, you’ll see why I’ve given up, and at the end of the day when the children are finally asleep I Just.Need.To.Sit.Down.

But I need to work out, I know I do.  Not only is my bum spreading at an alarming rate, but I need the buzz, the time where my mind is focusing on something other than work, homework, and keeping my children alive, so what do I do?

After chatting to a friend we decided to look for a class, and it turns out Eleanor had just started going to Zumba which runs in the school hall every Tuesday evening, and we decided to join her.  So Mr Aimee came home from work on time, and I kitted myself out ready to go.

White Trash Work Out Gear

We trotted in, introduced ourselves, filled out the forms, and whilst my co-ordination was a little off these days, I had a sneaky feeling that by the end of the first routine, once I would be in the zone, I would totally look like this.

Me in the zone

After all, I’d totally done tap dancing between the ages of five and five and a half.

Unfortunately that wasn’t the case.  First of all, who knew my bottom could swing from side to side quite so much? I mean, WHEN did that happen? Did I suddenly wake up one morning with the ability to knock innocent bystanders by with a flick of a hip?

Then there’s the music.  We started off with Gangman style, which instantly put the pressure on for me to memorise the dance ready to show The Beast just how cool mummy could be, and then was followed by a lot of rather frantic cool stuff that I have a feeling is probably in the charts right now, but not the sort of thing that Radio 2 or Lincs FM plays while I’m in the car.  In fact, I swear it’s faster than the actual footwork that I’m desperately trying to keep up with.  Or maybe I had an ear infection or something which threw me off beat? I mean, everyone else in front of me in the sports hall seems to have GOT it, how do their hips move from side to side? And crunking? Is that what you call it these days CRUNKING? You know, this…

CRUNK it baby!

Is that even crunking? Whatever. The point is, while I had the image of the entire school faculty watching through the windows with a little snigger as I move my arms up and down pretending to be in Beyonce, all I could think was ZUMBA IS HARD.

Then around the third routine something happened – NO my stitch didn’t kick in until about routine number four, and I totally didn’t nearly black out in routine number five – my competitive nature started kicking in.

As I went left…and everyone went right…I felt it wash over me, as I tripped over my foot I stopped, I stood up straight and thrust my shoulders back, muttering to myself “Come on Horton, look lively” and I was ON IT.

Except I wasn’t, and as I wiggled my hips and stamped my trainer clad feet I began to wonder if there was a DVD I could order from Amazon, perhaps the teacher gave one-one catch up classes?

Suddenly, an empty water bottle, red faced hour later, it was over.  We hobbled out to our cars, and drove home where I quickly consumed pizza and a large glass of red wine to counteract any good the exercise could possibly have done.

Now I’m building up to next week, and I’m totally not Googling step-by-step guides in preparation.


Fad diet failure? Life Style Success? I need you!


Don’t worry – I haven’t vanished, I’m just on holibobs.

However, following on from my last post about fad diets I’d really like to hear from YOU lot.  I really want to prove that fad diets aren’t good for us, but life style changes are good if we need them.

As per my post, I’m not naive.  I kinda get the weight loss desperation/hating body/lack of confidence thing…however, I can’t believe we risk our health for a figure that is only achieved by serious airbrushing/Hollywood style help (or those annoying people who have good genes grr).

Therefore, if you’ve tried a diet and it’s all gone horribly wrong or alternatively you’ve changed your lifestyle to save your health PLEASE PLEASE let me know.  Just click here and drop me an email with your story and I’ll respond on my return. I’d really like to post some on the site.

I can’t wait to hear from you.