My opinion by Mercury reader Mary Cowley: Constant juggling act as reality bites

NMAM 30-4-13 RKH 7 Mary Cowley
NMAM 30-4-13 RKH 7 Mary Cowley

Mother of six children and local shop owner, Mary Cowley, has taken on the challenge of a lifetime and signed up to run The Great North Run for Bakwell charity, Helen’s Trust, here’s her latest training diary entry...

After the first rush of enthusiasm it’s back down to earth with a bump. When I signed up for the Great North Run I think I pictured myself at the finish line with everyone saying “isn’t she amazing” as I posed for pictures in my size 10 running kit. I’m now realising just how much hard work I’ve got ahead of me.

Reality has set in now – and I’m beginning to realise just what a long journey this is going to be. It’s a constant juggling act and the biggest challenge is trying to find the time to get to the gym. My husband is really supportive but I don’t think I’d be very happy if he left me to put the children to bed every night while he went to the gym!

So I’ve bought an exercise bike. Problem solved! Now I can fit in the exercise I need to and still be around to make sure the children do their homework and get to bed on time. And I can watch TV at the same time which makes exercise so much more bareable! And it’s working - the weight is falling off.

Just to keep things on track I’ve signed up to run the Thornbridge Hall 10K – that’s nothing compared to a half marathon, right!? Thornbridge Hall are putting on a free 10K and fun run on 6th July for supporters of small charities. I’ll be making a donation to Helen’s Trust in return for my free place. There’s also free camping and a BBQ afterwards but I think I’ll be heading home to a nice hot bath afterwards! If you want to sign up too and support Helen’s Trust – and run alongside me – have a look at their website If I can do it, so can you!