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Part 2 – Nichola’s marathon

For the most part it was the same people around me most of the way, but i think we slowly started spreading out even more. I talked to one bloke who told me he had only done 2 miles in training! I wouldn’t have dared start if I’d only trained to 2 miles. As it was I trained to 20 with no problem, and that obviously wasn’t enough.
It was amazingly lonely out there so every little cheer, chat, or even someone calling me Wally (grr) was welcome. I tried putting earphones in and listening to a podcast to make it feel more like it did in training, but I couldn’t really hear it. All I could do was keep putting one foot in front of the other and hope that I made it to the end in time to get a medal.
At Mile 21, James was there waiting for me again. He had decided to walk the last 5 miles with me (thank you). By then I already knew they put about 5 different layers of chemicals onto the road to clean the blue paint lines off, the toilets were being taken away, and I was wondering if there might be any water left anywhere before the finish. (I did manage to get some, phew!)
So, off we went (not that I’d stopped) and soon got told we had to get off the road. They were cleaning the road more, taking down the signs and barriers and I was pretty worried we wouldn’t know where to go. We managed though. People kept getting in the way on the paths, but then when they saw my number and realised I was still doing the marathon, they would wish me luck and tell me to keep going. I must have had tears in my eyes every time someone said kind words.
I had forgotten to keep taking the energy gels I had so was getting more and more tired. James reminded me to have one and it was amazing how much it helps once I’d drank it. The roads seemed to go on forever. We’re both absolutely positive we passed mile 22, then 23, then 22 again! I could eventually see Big Ben in the distance and I knew that I had to go past that then it was nearly the end. It looked so far away though, how was I possibly going to get there in 35 minutes? I told James about the time cutoff of 8 hours to still get a medal, and he was determined there was no way I was going to do all of that and not get a medal. He encouraged me to run again. So for the last 2k we ran, and ran, and ran. There were still lots of people milling around in that area, and we were still not allowed on the roads so James was having to shout at people to get out of the way for us. Good thing he is tall and loud so people saw us coming and moved to let us through, and they cheered
smile emoticon
I was off crying again lol, we got to the sign that said something like 385 metres to the end, and I couldn’t see which way we needed to go so I stopped, still crying and not knowing where to go. We found gap to get onto the road on the mall with the finish just in front of us, and we sprinted (kinda) to the finish line hand in hand. We made it! I got a medal and a goodie bag, but no tshirt, they’d ran out.
The relief of it all being over was amazing, I’m so glad I didn’t give up halfway like I’d thought about. So I can now say I completed a marathon!
Apart from having kids, that is probably the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but I made it. Thank you all for the support you have shown to get me to that finish line xxxx

Ballet Barre classes starting Jan 2017

Ballet Barre classes tone your entire body, creating long, lean and toned muscles (think ballet dancer).
Our classes are a combination of pilates, ballet and yoga, inspired by the Lotte Berk method and set to great music.
Classes are limited to 4 people to ensure one to one attention. All ages and abilities are welcome.

The studio is based between Cranbrook and Goudhurst
Call Sarah on 07973 2336688 for a chat and further info.
Book directly from or download the MINDBODY app and look for Sarah Maxwell Lifestyle and Fitness.

It’s been a while!

July 20th, 2016

After a busy few months of parenting, supervising GCSE revision and trying to fit in work I finally got to Finca Buen Vino to run my fitness retreat.
What a fantastic group we had. Fitness sessions aside, we managed a tapas tour of Seville, a tour of the amazing Grotto in Aracena and a beautiful walk to the local Spa for an afternoon of pampering.
New dates for 2017 coming soon.

My lovely friend Elaine Kingett also runs Retreat’s at Finca Buen Vino, check her out Elaine came on my fitness retreat last year and has written a great article on body confidence

Finally, I have a team together to do the Great North Run for the Children’s Society. Hoping to raise money and awareness :)

I read this amazing post on Facebook so I contacted Nicola for permission to post.
It’s long so in 2 parts. Here is part 1

Nichola Robson
27 April at 13:07 · City of Sunderland ·
Diary of a marathoner smile emoticon

I did it!!! I completed the London Marathon!! It didn’t exactly go to plan on the day, but I kind of expected that. I
I started off at the back of the red start and took about half an hour to cross the start line. I stopped for a wee within the first mile and though I should go a little bit quicker to make up the lost time and stick to the 4 mile per hour pace that I’d planned on. oh dear.

It was going ok, I was managing to keep running at my preferred pace, then, before mile 4 the sweeper bus was upon me. For those who don’t know, there’s a bus that goes along the course picking up all of the injured and people dropping out along the way. Once these pass you, you’re supposed to get on the pavement if you insist on completing the race. The bus coming up against me so early in the course was such a big dent to my confidence, but I kept on going whilst panicking a bit.
Just before mile 5 I bumped into Sarah North, Lee Nixon and Darren Wharton, had a quick chat and photo, then I pushed on ahead.
I got talking to a few people along the way, people standing on the streets as we passed were shouting out names and encouragement, music playing everywhere etc, it was amazing. I was loving every second of it (apart from knowing those damn buses were right behind me) It was a bit weird being stuck behind a guy carrying a giant testicle for a few miles. I’d rather not be looking at that while I run thank you very much. I was passed by about 10 Rhino’s and all sorts of other fancy dress people.
Once I got to the Cutty Sark, the amount of people, noise, cheering and seeing the first real attraction to get an idea of where I was , it was probably the biggest highlight of my run, I was feeling good, my pace was completely right and I wasn’t feeling any need to stop of slow down. On we went..
By the time I got to Tower bridge all of that good feeling was out of the window. Not only had the buses started to go past me, there were also tractors alongside me to clean the roads.Major panic hit me and I was fighting back tears while still trying to smile and thank people who were shouting my name for encouragement. Tower bridge should have been awesome, just coming around that corner and seeing the bridge in front of me was a big wow moment that was marred by stupid, stupid tractors.
When you get to the end of tower bridge you have to turn right and you’re about half way (13 miles) but there are also runners going the other direction who are at about 22 miles. I’ve read about and heard people saying how daunting that part is, knowing you have miles to go and they’re already there, but I couldn’t actually imagine how that would feel (with tractors too). I saw Ian Swanston going past the other way (well he saw me and shouted) then Julie Sneider saw me and stopped for a hug. That just sent me over the edge and I burst into tears. I was thinking I might as well just give up, I wasn’t going to make it if they were already cleaning the roads around me. But Julie shouted at a couple of people going past the same way as me and asked them to stay with me, they were happy to (I think).
Half a mile along the road my boyfriend, James, was standing waiting for me. I couldn’t run any more, I was too despondent by then, so he walked with me for a little while, then let me go on. I managed to stay alongside the tractors till about 15.5 miles, then they just sped off. The crowds were gone and it was just me and a few of the remaining walkers and lovely people who stayed to encourage us slowcoaches on.

Tough & Buff in 2016

December 21st, 2015

I’m beyond delighted to be fronting The Children’s Society Tough and Buff campaign.
Join me and get fit, have fun and save lives.

Don’t wait until the January fitness panic. I’m going to be running a fitness class on the Glebe field, starting Friday 8th January for 6 weeks. All ages and abilities welcome. Book here, places are limited and prices go up after Xmas so get in quick.

DOMS by Rob at Risebridge

August 20th, 2015

This morning I got an e mail from Rob at Risebridge club in Goudhurst, Kent. Risebridge specialise in Crossfit and after asking Rob’s permission to post, here it is.

It can kick in after 6 hours but peaks around the 48 hour mark and, if you’ve been taking it easy over the summer, it’s inevitable.

You know it’s coming too, especially if there’s lunges in your first WOD back!

What am I talking about?

DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).

What is it?

Well, also called muscle fever, it is the pain and stiffness felt in muscles several hours to days after unaccustomed or strenuous exercise.

Why am I talking about it now?

Because I’ve got it and I know it’s going to get worse! As I write this it’s only about 8 hours on from my training session this morning and my glutes and shoulders are already displaying signs.

Don’t laugh though, if you’ve had a lay off exercise whilst on holiday it’s coming your way too!

Here is a quick explanation of why it occurs from researchers Schoenfeld and Contreras:

Whilst “the exact mechanisms are not well understood, DOMS appears to be a product of inflammation caused by microscopic tears in the connective tissue elements that sensitize nociceptors and thereby heighten the sensations of pain.”

Schoenfeld and Contreras’ research paper continues but goes deep into the biochemistry of it all describing noxious chemicals and different nerve afferents. I don’t think it’s necessary to go into too much detail, it’s enough to know that DOMS appears to occur due to connective tissue micro trauma after the body has been exposed to unfamiliar or intense physical activity.

What’s more interesting perhaps is to ask whether or not it’s a usefulI to us in terms of us progressing with our health and fitness.

I regularly hear you guys mention how much you ache after certain workouts and in fitness circles it’s often associated with, and indeed expected as, proof of having a ‘proper’ workout.

But is this the case?

Watch out for my next email where I’ll discuss the pros and cons of DOMS.

See you soon,



May fun

June 4th, 2015

This week I am thrilled and honoured to reveal that I have been nominated for Personal Trainer of the Year in the Kent Health & Beauty Awards. The awards are organized by the awesome Hilary Steel, who not only is the Director of her own company – Kent Ideas Ltd but also editor of Kent Women in Business Magazine and founder of Kent Independent Traders. Hilary has set up the Kent Health & Beauty Awards to celebrate the achievements of female health & beauty business owners in Kent.

I’m really looking forward to the Black Tie awards ceremony which promises to be a very glamourous night out for Mr M and myself. It’s taking place at the Great Danes hotel near Maidstone on the 10th June and tickets are available from [ It will be an ideal opportunity for me to get to know other local health professionals who are currently at the top of their game!

All this has had me flying high but I was brought back down to earth (literally) the other day in Karate class! The trouble with being the only adult pupil in a class full of pre teens is that the teacher tends to use me to demonstrate on as he’s afraid of hurting the kids! Sounds sensible doesn’t it? – not when it’s me he’s hurting! Every week I get beaten up in the cause of child protection and this week was no exception except that I literally went flying after a kick that wasn’t meant to ‘make contact’ did so and I ended up almost passed out on the floor! Perhaps this isn’t the best advert but I really would like to encourage other adults to join! – classes are held in Headcorn – email me for more details ☺

Welcome to all my new exercise participants in Goudhurst. If you want to join us, we are on the Glebe field(by the church) in Goudhurst every Friday at 9am- all welcome.

I’m doing my karate grading along with the youngsters this week, no doubt all of the parents will be watching #humiliation.

Betty and Ethel our chickens got bothered by a fox so we have welcomed two new additions, Mabel and Shirley and have had major fox proofing activities.

Summer is on it’s way, hurrah

I’m so excited! I’ve recently come back from Seville where I’ve been checking out venues for this years Retreat (20th – 27th September) and I am delighted to announce that I’ve found the perfect place!

It’s been very difficult to find somewhere that fulfilled all my very exacting requirements but the ‘Vinca Buenvino’
in the Sierra de Aracena Nature Park has done so (and some!). As soon as I walked into this beautiful country house, I felt as though I was arriving at the home of a favourite relative! Here are some teaser snapshots from memory: swimming in the saltwater infinity pool; walking along ancient drovers paths through the 150 acres of Sweet chestnut and Cork Oak woods. Relaxing in the Spa and dining on the terrace on incredible home cooked food made from fresh local ingredients by the amazing Jeannie Chesterton.

This is the balcony from my bedroom

Photograph : Tim Clinch

For more info and fabulous photos by Tim Cinch

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