London Marathon 2022

London 2022 – The Invite

Where do I even begin? So on the 18th August I got a DM from the Muslim Runners organisation asking if I wanted a place in London 2022 after I had shown interest in a post the month before saying they had some additional entries available. My initial response was “No thank you”. My longest run in 2022 up to that point was only 10k, there was no way I could run a marathon with just 6 weeks notice, right? I said as much but got a reply back saying that’s fine, but there is an option to walk it and an 8 hour time limit. That got me thinking!

I asked my more experienced running friends for their advice on what I should do. To get a ballot entry for London is impossible with it being one of the worlds major marathon, an opportunity like this doesn’t come along often, if ever! This is a marathon that was on my bucket list.

I took onboard all the advice I was given, reminded myself that maybe this is what I needed to do to get out of the rut I was in. Since my difficult experience at the Manchester Marathon in 2021, I didn’t think I was ready for a 2nd marathon yet. I struggled so much on that run that I could barely stand anymore after I crossed the finish line.

I was supporting ladies in my community on their running journey, but was neglecting my own. I gained 2 stones in weight in a considerable short amount of time. I wasn’t physically ready for a half marathon, let alone a marathon! Running was feeling harder but I still went out and did it because I loved the way it made me feel after. I am not an athlete, I am just a regular mother who enjoys running.


I went back to Muslim Runners and said yes. I had 6 weeks to train myself to that distance. I knew this wasn’t going to be an easy feat. But after Manchester I remember the feeling of accomplishment and how proud my children were of me, and that for me was the reason why I said yes and decided to put myself through that again. I suppose it is a bit like childbirth, it is a painful and often tramautic experience but you soon forget all of that with your next child!

In my head I was planning to slowly up my distance and get to 13 miles but a very good friend of mine whose husband is an experienced runner, told me how many miles I should be doing every weekend for my long runs to get marathon ready. He said I needed to go out and do a 10 mile run that first Sunday! I could just about manage 10km, I didn’t think I would be able to get 10 miles in but I did. I was so proud of myself and it gave me boost I needed and the reminder that I could do this.

This was his recommended training schedule for my long runs which I followed for the few weeks I had left before the Marathon and I am forever grateful for his advice:

  • Week 1 – 10 miles
  • Week 2 – 13 miles
  • Week 3 – 16 miles
  • Week 4 – 20 miles
  • Week 5 – rest
  • Marathon week – 26 miles!

Another lovely friend then offered to do all my long runs with me, at my pace. She is an amazing runner, I couldn’t believe she was ready to spend many hours with me pounding the streets but she did. There was no way I could have done it on my own

Marathon Weekend

On the Saturday of the marathon weekend, hubby and I set off early at 6AM to get to the Expo at the London Excel to pick up my race bib. There were trains strikes that weekend so we had to drive down. Luckily we got there quite early so there were no queues to collect my bib. We took some pics, had a wander around the stalls, bought the most delicious flapjacks ever ( and listened to a couple of talks. I was slightly disappointed with the amount of people at the expo who thought my husband was the runner and not me. This is something that I’ve had to deal with quite a lot, people look at me and make judgements. Whether it is the hijab on my head or the size of my body that makes them think that I am not a runner I have no idea. What does a runner look like anyway? We all come in different shapes, sizes, colour and run at different paces. At the end of the day whether you take 3 hours to run a marathon or 7 hours, you are still covering the same distance – 26.2 miles!

After the expo, we travelled to Victoria and I joined The Running Channel shakeout run at the Puma pop-up shop. We ran through Hyde Park and surrounding areas and at the end of the run we were treated to manicures, pedicures and a sports massage. Oh and a pair of personalised Puma sliders and a fantastic T-shirt – thanks Puma!

Shakeout Run

After that, it was time to head back to the hotel in Ealing, carb load and put my feet up for the rest of the day.

Surprisingly, I had a good night’s sleep. I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to enjoy the run. We made our way to Blackheath, where my wave start was. It was lovely to see a couple of familiar faces in the 1000s of people waiting to start their run. I had no expectation of time for this marathon, I only had 6 weeks to train, I was 2st heavier this time so my goal was just to get to the finish line, soak up the atmosphere and not put any pressure on myself.

I was in Blue, wave 15 and a large group of runners gathered at the funnel. We were led to the start line and then began running once we reached the start gantry. I set off really well, I felt strong at the beginning and wasn’t bothered about the other runners overtaking me.

London 2022

However by the time I was approaching mile 9, I was starting to feel unwell. I had period cramps but pushed through till I got to mile 13 and then had to take some painkillers. I had to take a lot of walking breaks which was fine, taking walking breaks doesn’t make me any less of a runner. I called my husband at around mile 15 to say that I needed something savoury to eat. I was a bit sick of having gels and sweets by then.

I saw him again at mile 19 where I was feeling quite deflated and just tired. My whole body was aching especially my thighs, they felt super heavy. He had brought some crisps which I scoffed in the quickest time and they were the best thing ever – really salty and just what I needed after all the sweets. After a pep talk from hubby, I was motivated to get going again. This helped me immensely. Last year during Manchester marathon, I didn’t see him until the end of the run. I honestly didn’t think how much impact it would have on me to see a familiar face and how much it lifted my mood.

London 2022

London 2022

I kept thinking about my friends that were tracking me, my girls who were waiting at home for my phone call to say I’ve finished. I saw every type of runner – different ages, sizes, costumes! We were all being cheered on by the most energetic crowds. There were people giving out jelly babies, chocolates, drinks etc. There was music from an orchestra, dhol players, and fantastic energy from everyone watching. It was lovely to have my name being called out by the lovely Liz from my running club as well as others. I went past a few more familiar faces. As I was approaching The Mall, I saw the sign that showed we were 385 yards away, so close yet so far.

London 2022

The finishing line was in sight and I pushed through to finish strong in 6:01:01! Smashing my PB by over 30 mins and relegating Manchester to history! How is that even possible?

A little advice

What I’ve learnt from my experiences from both marathons:

  • Warm up and warm down is crucial
  • Eating good carbs and drinking plenty of water is essential especially the week leading up to the event.
  • Don’t introduce anything new or different on race day/weekend! That includes food as well as kit.
  • Train your mind as well as your body – I love using tools such as visualisation for this. When you are out on your training runs, visualise yourself crossing the finish line with a smile on your face. Practise this many times.

And that was my London marathon 2022 journey. Would I do another marathon after this one? I would love to, God willing. Watch this space for 2023, maybe I need to start thinking about an ultra marathon!


Bluebbery Muffins


  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 140g golden caster sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 140g Greek yogurt
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 250g self raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 125g punnet of fresh blueberries
  • 1 tbsp flour (to coat the blueberries)
  • Oats/ brown sugar (optional)


Beat the butter and sugar together till light and fluffly.

Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the yogurt, milk and vanilla extract. Beat till everything is mixed well together.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt together and add to the butter mixture and mix till well combined.

Roll the blueberries in 1 tbsp of flour to stop them getting to the bottom of the cake , then add them to the muffin mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon and ensure the blueberries are evenly dispersed.

Transfer the batter to muffin cases and top with oats or brown sugar (optional) and bake them in a pre heated oven for around 20 minutes at 170c fan assisted oven.



I can’t believe I haven’t posted on the blog for such a long time! Well here I am now with a Slimming World friendly recipe which I hope you will enjoy recreating, perfect for breakfast or any time of the day really. If you’d like to, you can have one wholemeal pitta bread as part of your healthy extra B choice with this meal or have it on its own making this a syn free recipe which is also perfect if you are doing an Extra Easy SP day! Hope everyone is keeping safe during these unprecedented times x




Serves: 2

Syns: FREE

Time Taken: 20 minutes

Difficulty: Easy


  • 1cal spray oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 pepper (red or yellow), chopped
  • a few chestnut mushrooms, chopped
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2tsp paprika
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 3 or 4 eggs
  • Seasoning to taste
  • Fresh coriander to garnish


Spray a frying pan with spray oil and fry your onion, garlic, pepper and mushrooms until soft and the onions start to turn brown (add water if needed to stop it sticking to the pan).

Add the tomatoes and all the spices bringing the pan to the boil, stir and simmer for around 5 minutes.

Make wells in the tomatoes with the back of a large spoon to make space for the eggs.

Crack the eggs in, cover and simmer for around 10 minutes or until the eggs are cooked to your liking.

Season to taste and garnish with fresh coriander before eating.

What’s been happening

It has been a while since I’ve written any blog posts. I don’t know about you guys, but these last few months during the pandemic has not been easy to deal with and I sort of lost my mojo when it comes to putting recipes together for the blog and the YouTube channel too. I have lots of content ideas but actually getting it out there has been a struggle but I am hoping to get myself back on track with it soon.

One thing that has not been a struggle for me has been my fitness journey. I have been consistent with running and even signed up with a virtual coach to help me improve my running! I am not going to lie, the sessions set by the coach are tough but having a coach has helped me with being more accountable which is something I struggled with in the past. It is great having someone write up a week’s plan and all I got to do is follow it! It is still early days with the coach so I am not sure how much I have improved yet, but keep an eye out for an update on that.

This month I took part in a virtual half marathon set by Great North Run to raise money for The British Lung Foundation and I actually really enjoyed that run. It got me thinking that I should attempt to run the distance of 13.1 miles more often, possibly once every month or 6 weeks. I am a slow runner, it took me 2h 35mins to run the half marathon and I would love to run it under 2h 30mins at some point, so I guess I need to run more to improve on my time? As long as I keep my plantar fasciitis in check, it should be doable.

Also this month, I took part in my first ever trail run! There was an introduction to trail running session over at Wendover for Global Trail Running Day so it was a perfect way for me to experience that. I picked up some hints and tips on how to run trails and the different terrains and also got a lot of info about choosing the right footwear, nutrition, etc. It was a great session designed to encourage more women from ethnic minorities to take part in trail running. Running is a very much white orientated sport, and trail running even more so, so it was good to take part in the session to learn more. I really enjoyed running trails so much so that I signed up for my first trail race in February! That is still quite a long time away but I am hoping to get out there and run more trails before then. I just need to work on my confidence in running trails on my own and conquer my fear of getting lost in a forest somewhere! Only recently I have conquered the fear of running solo along the canals so I am confident that I can also conquer solo trail running.

Trail Running

Trail Running

So this is pretty much what’s been going on and I thought I’d update those of you that are interested in knowing what’s going on. If you are on social media, do follow me on Instagram @Rahema_m where I am more active on there or even my Facebook page Rahema.

Hope to be bringing you some more content soon. Take care lovelies x

Chocolate Chip Cookies

The kids and I just love these cookies – soft and chewy oozing with chocolate. I always use dark chocolate but you can use a mix of dark and milk or just milk chocolate if you prefer. Hope you enjoy these as much as we do.


  • 225g butter, softened
  • 350g soft light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g chocolate, chopped


Pre heat oven to 160c.

Cream butter and sugar together till light and creamy.

Add eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl to ensure that they are mixed in well. Add the vanilla.

Slowly add the flour and bicarbonate of soda and mix till it is well combined.

Add the chopped chocolate and evenly distribute to the cookie dough.

Spoon a spoonful of cookie dough onto a non stick baking sheet, leaving some space between the cookies and bake for 10 minutes. The cookies will still be soft when you remove them from the oven, let it cool on the baking sheet for a further 10 minutes before cooling completely on a cooling rack.

Ginger Cookies

This is a recipe I found in a supermarket magazine years ago and saved it as it is one of our favourite, slightly crunchy and gingery cookies. For an extra indulging treat, we like to drizzle some dark chocolate over them.
Ginger Cookies

Ginger Cookies


  • 225g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 125g butter, chilled, cut into cubes
  • 100g soft dark brown sugar
  • 100g golden syrup
  • 100g dark chocolate (optional)


Pre heat the oven to 160c. Sift the flour and spices together. Add the cubed butter and combine (by hand) into the flour to resemble breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, followed by the golden syrup. Mix by hand to form a dough. Make small balls with the dough and put them on a baking sheet, pressing them down slightly. Leave some space between the cookies and they will expand as they cook. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. Once baked, allow them to cool on the baking sheet for a further 10 minutes before moving them onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Optional – melt the chocolate in the microwave. Fill a piping bag with the melted chocolate and drizzled over the cooled, cooked cookies.

Easy Biscuits

You can’t get easier to make biscuits than these! A Mary Berry recipe that always goes down a treat with the kids. You can keep the biscuits as they are or if you prefer, you can add some sprinkles on the top before baking, or dip the biscuits in some melted chocolate once they are cooked. The recipe makes 12 biscuits.


  • 100g butter, softened
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 150g self raising flour


Preheat the oven to 160c. Put some baking paper onto a baking tray.

Beat the butter and sugar together till light and creamy.

Add the flour and bring the mix together with hands to form a dough.

Form 12 small balls. Use the back of a fork to slightly flatten the biscuits and give it a nice shape.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Easy Biscuits

Easy Biscuits

Overnight Weetabix

This is one recipe I get asked about a lot for some reason, so I have finally done a video showing you how I make mine. You can replace the Weetabix with oats if you prefer (40g porridge oats is a healthy extra B choice) but I personally do not like overnight oats, hence why I make with Weetabix instead and I almost always have chocolate Weetabix!

You can make this syn free by using a natural fat free yogurt and counting the Weetabix as your healthy extra B choice. You can add some vanilla flavouring to your yogurt to add a bit of sweetness and flavour, I only like eating Alpro yogurts so always have to syn mine. The one featured in the video is 1 syn for 200ml which is not bad at all.

This yogurt can also be eaten straight away after it is made, so if you are not as organised as I am most of the time, I eat this as soon as I make it and tastes great too.


  • 1 apple, chopped
  • Cinnamon powder
  • 200ml Alpro mango yogurt
  • 1 Chocolate Weetabix, crushed


Chop the apple and sprinkle some cinnamon on it.

Crush the Weetabix.

Layer a mason jar with some yogurt, followed by the yogurt and the apple. Continue doing this till you’ve used up the Weetabix.

Place in the fridge till you are ready to eat.

Rajma Curry

Serves: 4

Syns: FREE

Time Taken: 30 minutes

Difficulty: Easy


  • 1 cal spray oil
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tbsp ginger & garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp curry powder/bassar
  • 1/2 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tins red kidney beans, drained
  • Fresh coriander to garnish


Spray a pan with 1cal spray oil.

Fry onions with the salt till lightly golden. Add cumin seeds and fenugreek. Add water to the pan if the onions start to stick to the pan.

Add the ginger & garlic paste and continue frying for another couple of minutes.

Add the curry powder and garam masala. Cook the spices for around 5 minutes, adding water if needed.

Add the tomato puree, cook for a minute before adding the kidney beans. If you want to you can add more water if the curry looks too dry.

Cover the lid and simmer. Cook gently for 10 minutes before garnishing with fresh coriander. Serve with boiled rice.

Funfetti Traybake

Why make a simple school style traybake when you can make a Funfetti Traybake? Super simple to make and a huge hit with kids. If you don’t want to add the sprinkles into the cake, leave it out and you will still have a delicious cake. Serve it with hot custard or if you want to make it more indulging, top it with buttercream instead.

I use a 9×11 inches cake tin.



  • 225g margarine
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 300g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g sprinkles

To decorate

  • 150ml icing sugar
  • Warm water as needed
  • Sprinkles


Cream the margarine and sugar together till light and creamy.

Add the eggs, one at a time. Add a couple of spoonfuls of flour to stop the mix from curdling.

Once all the eggs have been added, add the rest of the flour, followed by the vanilla extract and the sprinkles.

Pour the cake into a greased and floured tin and bake in a pre heated oven for 30-35 minutes on 170c till the cake is fully baked.

Once baked, let the cake rest in the tin for a few minutes before turning it out on a wire rack and cooling it completely.

To make the icing, mix the icing sugar with warm water till it is smooth. Use more or less water depending on the consistency of icing you prefer (if you prefer a thicker layer of icing, then add more icing sugar). Spread the icing onto the cake and quickly add the sprinkles before the icing starts to harden up.