I’m keen on self-reflection. I wrote a diary for years as a child and I dip in again from time to time now.  I find it very therapeutic and I just LOVE reading it back. It helps me to be grateful for all I have and to set targets for the year ahead. It’s amazing how much you forget, even in the space of a year. I guess blogging and vlogging kind of replaces a diary in some ways but I’ll still be making my yearly entry looking back on the year I’ve had and making plans for 2016.
2015 has been packed. I can’t quite believe how much has happened. Work wise it’s been so hectic. The strains of being a GP in the NHS have really taken their toll with crazy amounts of work and increasing pressures from every direction.
I started working for Public Health England as a GP Clinical Champion in Physical Activity. This involves travelling around the north west of England teaching doctors and trainees about the importance and power of being active. I had forgotten how I used to want to teach and I’ve really enjoyed developing these skills, meeting like-minded doctors and getting to talk about my favourite subject too!
My writing work has flourished. I still have my monthly column for Women’s Running magazine and have written health features and online blogs for them too. I became the resident GP for UKRunChat and write a regular blog for them. I’ve also had guest blogs for Diary Doll, and Fitness 4 Mamas and been interviewed by Honest Mum and The Talented Ladies Club. Lots of people have contacted me for quotes for pieces ranging from The Telegraph and Top Sante magazine to Ultra Magazine and BBC Get Inspired. I was delighted to contribute to Nell McAndrew’s Guide to Running too.
I started this blog in February and it’s grown steadily month by month. I’m ever hopeful of being able to give it the time and attention it deserves! I’ve also started doing a bit of vlogging on YouTube. I’m only a beginner but it’s been something that the kids and I have enjoyed together. I think it’s a really useful vehicle to spread the message about being active everyday. I’m hoping that leading by example (including looking a bit stupid most of the time!) might inspire others to just get out there and enjoy exercise.
Most importantly I secured a book deal with Bloomsbury Sport to create a health handbook for active women. I’ve been finding extra hours in the day and hiding myself away to get down all my knowledge and experience into words to try to help other women to break down all the barriers to exercise. I can’t believe how much I’ve enjoyed doing it. Finding the motivation hasn’t been problem. Finding the time has!
Mallorca 261 womens marathon
Running wise I completed my double marathon challenge running the 261 Women’s Marathon in Mallorca followed by the London Marathon 6 weeks later. I was fund raising for A Mile In Her Shoes charity and managed to get a PB in Mallorca so I was over the moon. Since then I’ve been concentrating on short fast runs to maximise my writing time but I’m itching to crank up the distance again.
virgin london marathon finish
My running club Wray Women’s Running Club has gone from strength to strength and we’ve had 2 graduations this year of Couch to 5k runners. It’s a weekly dose of inspiration for me. Seeing women who never thought they could run learn that with support and encouragement they actually can is incredibly rewarding. We’ve had runners go on to run 10k, half marathon and even full marathon distances and enjoyed a lot of laughter along the way.
Women running couch to 5k
It’s been a super year as a family too. My kids continue to bring so much joy to my heart that I can’t begin to write about it. My husband has been so supportive of all my endeavours, I really couldn’t do all of this without him. We had a brilliant family holiday in Croatia this year.
waterfall kayak
So, that’s 2015! Well, the highlights anyway, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind! I’m so grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way this year. It’s been so much fun, if a little exhausting!
2016 has got me super excited. I’m taking a few months out of front line General Practice to allow me to finish my book. It’s really important to me that it’s the best it can be. My Public Health England teaching work continues and so does all my other writing as well as my blogging and vlogging.
I’m starting a new role with 261 Fearless to train coaches in English speaking countries and set up the UK 261 Fearless clubs. I can’t tell you how much this means to me. I first read Marathon Woman by Kathrine Switzer when I was training for my first marathon. I was immediately fascinated by this remarkable woman and the work she has done as an advocate for women in sport. I have to pinch myself (regularly) that I will now be working alongside her to help spread the word that running can empower even the most disempowered of women. I have so many new skills to learn to fulfil this role but I love a challenge and to be working on a project I feel so passionate about is thrilling.
261Fearless running top
I’ll be keeping the running ticking over until the Spring when I hope to start a marathon training plan in preparation for the Reykjavic marathon in August. I just need to convince the rest of the family to give up their annual dose of warm weather holidays first!
I think we already have some new starters for the running club in January so that will keep me busy too.
That’s a glimpse of what 2016 holds for me. I can’t wait to get stuck in. I haven’t even mentioned my New Year’s resolutions but that’s a blog in itself! I’d love to hear how your 2015 has been and what new challenges you’ll be taking on in 2016, why not leave me a comment below?

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  1. What you do is super amazing, I don’t know how you do it all but you are truly inspirational. My blog is sadly neglected but as I am about to embark on my VLM training I am wondering whether it is time to revitalise it. I am very passionate about running and all the benefits that if gives us and am thinking about how the best way to pass my knowledge, enthusiasm and lessons can be. I think I want to share my journey to try to prove that anyone can run a marathon as well as sharing all the ups, downs and lessons on the way. I guess I want people to know that you don’t have to be special or talented to achieve awesome things. How would you go about this? I want to share the whole thing. You mention vlogging but have no idea about this. I am sorry to hassle you but I feel we have similar goals. I am not at all qualified like you and am a normal busy working mum who wants to help inspire others to believe in themselves. How can I get my message across in the most effective way? Thanks for reading.x

    1. Hello! Thanks for reading and commenting. Like you I’m a normal, busy, working mum. I think you shouldn’t underestimate the power you have to motivate others. We need to get the nation active and it’s people like you who fit incredible challenges like marathons into every day life who can really make a difference. ‘Putting yourself out there’ takes a bit of getting used to but my experience is that people really appreciate it and it does motivate others.
      I would just pick up your blog again, write your thoughts as they appear in your head. It doesn’t have to be a polished article to be useful. Photos help too. I can’t set myself a weekly blog entry as it just depends what else is going on so just do it when you can.
      I recommend vlogging although it’s a bit scary at first ( I think I’m getting better… possibly) It’s quick to set up a YouTube account and then upload from your phone. Again, it doesn’t need to be a theatrical masterpiece, raw is good when it comes to vlogging.
      My kids help me with my editing etc!
      Just find the way that suits you best. You do need to tweet some links to what you write/film. I struggle with self promotion, it feels like bragging but again, it’s getting easier.
      Go for it, just get something down. Be yourself and be honest.
      I’m happy to help with advice etc, just give me a shout and tag me in on Twitter/FB so I can share! Good luck, be brave!

  2. Wow, what an amazing year! You’ve achieved so much and you’ve supported others to achieve too. Good luck with finishing the book and for everything you have on the horizon in 2016. You are an inspiration!

    1. Thank you Sarah. I’ve enjoyed your blogs so much this year, usually with my breakfast as they’re always waiting in my inbox every morning. Your consistency amazes me! Best wishes for 2016 and hope we might get to meet at some point. J

  3. What a fantastic year Juliet. You certainly have been busy with not only your running/races but blogging and working for NHS. We are US citizens, but lived in the UK for 5 years, so I certainly can understand your hectic schedule. I am so excited about running the London Marathon in April for the National Osteoporosis Society. It will be a fantastic experience and we hope to connect with many of the friends we made while living in the NE of England. 2015 was a busy year for me as I ran both the Boston and NYC Marathons.

    1. Hello Pam, lovely to hear from you, thank you for commenting. Boston and NYC, wow! Those 2 are definitely on my list! You’ll love London, it’s an incredible experience. What a great charity to run for as well. I wish you well for your training plan and Happy New Year!

  4. Hi Juliet, I’ve started following your blog and vlog recently after seeing your column in Women’s Running Magazine. It’s lovely to see the same lovely girl that I knew from Uni enjoying a happy, fulfilling work and family life.
    I, too, am a GP, mum and running enthusiast. I don’t really regard myself as a ‘runner’, more of a ‘plodder’ but have worked up from a 5K start some years ago to the Edinburgh Marathon in 2013, the finish of which was in my top life experiences,just short of the arrival of my children and my wedding.
    I love what you are doing to inspire people into fitness. Keep up the good work.

    1. Oh, this is my most special comment ever! Thank you! Sometimes I wonder what other GPs think about what I’m doing so I appreciate your feedback massively. I’m really enjoying it all and often feel I do more to improve people’s health on the days I’m not at work. You are most definitely a runner, I’d love to run the Edinburgh mara one day.
      BUT…. what’s your maiden name so I can picture you?

  5. It was Fiona Craig- I was more interested in boys and booze than exercise back then. What a turnaround! Lovely to hear from you.

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