Sunday, 21 February 2016

marathon #3

Last night I took part in the moonlight challenge. It is a night time challenge run where you have 8 hours to run as many 6.62 miles loops of farmland as you feel able to. I went down with 5 others from the running club to take part.
The six of us from the running club ready to set off! We partnered up based on how far we were aiming to run/ how quick we wanted to complete the challenge in. I ran with Bianca as we are a similar pace.

It was a little muddy;

we ran through this mud on each and every lap, it was the first section  of the race. It is the muddiest bit but all of it was muddy most of the way, being on farmland. I definitely need to invest in some trail shoes before the next one of these! I wore my older pair of trainers for this, and I am so glad that I did, they are currently in the washing machine. I hope they survive ok!

This is Bianca and me on the run we were on our second lap in the dark picture so around 9-10 miles in. The second picture was us in the barn, at the end of the lap we popped into the barn to refuel and let the organisers know we were still there and keeping going. 
During the 3rd lap Bianca had a lot of pain in her nip and could barely lift one of her legs- she hurt it a couple of weeks ago. So we slowed right down and walked the majority of the fourth lap as she really wanted to get to marathon distance before stopping. We had been going really well until this point and though we might be able to make the full 33 miles of the challenge. However, once Bianca got into difficulty we re-assessed and decided it was not worth it. We discussed splitting up as Bianca felt bad that I would have to stop before I was ready but as much as I was enjoying the run it is a small event and people were spread out widely. I knew if I went it alone I would not enjoy it and would feel very vulnerable. It was pitch black and we were in the middle of no-where. I don't like the dark and have a vivid imagination. So we stuck together and finished together. If it had been day time I think neither of us would have minded if we had completed the 4th lap together and then I went out on my own for the final and 5th. Next time! Admittedly at the end of the 4th lap I was shattered, I had aches everywhere. It could have been where I had started to get cold or it could be that I, like Bianca am just not ready for the super distance yet. Time will tell...

My certificate and medal. I completed 26.45 miles. As a marathon is 26.2miles and an ultra is anything above marathon distance I can claim to be an ultra marathon runner now- although it feels slightly cheaty to do so! 
This is my first of the challenge hub events. I really like the friendly atmosphere of these small events. It is different to the larger events, you chat to the organisers at start and end as well as get a few words of encouragement each time you check in before heading for the next lap. You get a bit of a joke and encouragement with the volunteers who marshall and man the aid station out on the course as you pass them so many times. Whilst as a smaller event it can be mentally tougher as there are less people along various stretches those that you do meet are friendly and supportive. It is definitely a run not a race atmosphere- I like this a lot. I spoke to many other along the way. Some inspiring in the sheer volume of these events they do close together, others as they are using them as a training run for even more challenging events such as one chap we spoke to who is training for a double iron man in  a couple of months- amazing!

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Family day

I booked in a day with my brother back at the beginning of January- with my work and his work it can be tricky to get a day off together! So yesterday was that day. We met in a nearby town for a wander around the old shops and into the museum with Stephanie.

Playing an old game

Brass rubbing with her uncle.

We had a nice day browsing the charity shops and the museum. We then popped in to see my sister and her family on our way back to mine. Home to watch a film and enjoy a pork sandwich (slow cooked whilst we were out).

Lots of fun and giggles all round. Just what the doctor ordered- a gentle restorative day!
I hope you are all enjoying your half term break.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Can't believe my eyes

Now before anyone thinks this is a single girls rant against Valentines day I can promise you that it is not, I have never liked the pressure when in a relationship to buy the best present/have the best evening etc all because of the date.

I popped to the shop this afternoon for our weekly shop once the boiler engineer had been and made my house toasty again. While in the supermarket I noticed that they had 3 apples packaged into a heart shape for you to have a healthy treat with you valentine- for £2!! It was 3 apples.

On the way out I noticed the reduced price Valentines flowers- originally at £15-£20 on half price. I like to have flowers in the house but these weren't anything special just bulk standard bouquets that you would usually see in the supermarket for  fraction of the cost- they just had a red/pink cellophane.

I wasn't going to post all of this until I just signed into my email and found this:

Get a grip! It's a car I would NOT buy a valentines present for a car. If you want to try and sell me things for my car DO NOT package it up as a valentines gift.

It surely can't only be me that things are going way too far??

What a boring grump I must come across today- sorry. Sunshiny post tomorrow?

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Half term fun

Half term is jam packed with busy-ness. Yesterday was an easy day. I took Stephanie to her final ice skating lesson then dropped her to spend a few days with her dad. Which left me free to have a run then spend the evening on the sofa.

Today I met with a colleague, we are off on a school trip in a couple of weeks so we had to go and do our pre-visit check for the risk assessment or we won't be allowed to go. We had a lovely time wandering around the farm and museums then had a leisurely lunch in the cafe. It was a lovely day, whilst in the cafe we had general life chats as well as a discussion about our learning for next term. It is not often we have time to sit and chat in our job so it wasa  lovely surprise. We sat down about 1pm to eat and all of a sudden it was 4:30! Still lots of ideas discussed the children should enjoy our trip back in time next term!

Tomorrow I am supposed to be spending the day with a uni friend by the coast before a much awaited girl's night in at my house. I may not make it down the coast though as when I got home today I discovered the boiler is broken. I am now waiting in on a 24 hour call out for a repair.

Tuesday I am meeting up with another colleague then Stephanie comes home in the afternoon.

Wednesday my brother is comin over for the day and I expect my sister and her children will visit.

Thursday am meeting up with the colleague from today so we can write the plannign for next term. Then Stephanie's friend is coming for a sleepover.

Friday is a day out with Stephanie's sleepover friend.

Saturday I have an evening race 6pm-midnight.

Sunday I will be sleeping.

How does your half term look? I am off to find my duvet and snuggle down to watch Call the midwife.

Monday, 8 February 2016

A story of an incredible adventure, book review.

At the library the other week I picked up this book on a whim. It caught my eye as I walked past a bookcase. I am so glad that I picked it up now, I loved it!
I have been reading this book over the last couple of weeks. I have loved it!
It tells the story of Mike who packs up his bike and travels right around the coast of England. He is witty in his retelling and honest. I had difficulty in putting this book down. It has made me want to do something similar. Oh for less money worries/ commitments :-D

What a great adventure he has. I would recommend this book if you happen upon a copy somewhere the tales of the people he encounters on his journey really did make me laugh out loud. His descriptions of the landscapes makes you want to go and see them for yourself. Some of the places we have been lucky enough to visit, meaning I could understand what he meant in certain places.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

An appreciated present

Remember I said that I had booked Stephanie a block of 6 ice skating lesson for her Christmas present? I am very relieved to say that she has loved them.
I was apprehensive as to how she would take to them- I know from experience that ice hurts when you fall on it!

Her first lesson she was (understandably) nervous, she had never been on the ice before. By the time her half hour lesson finished she was hooked! It turns out that after her half hour she then gets to go on the ice for the public skate session which is several hours long. We have been at the ice rink for around two hours after each lesson whilst she skates with the friends she has made there. I now take a book with me! Oh and several layers of clothes, it's cold as a spectator. I wear my snow coat and still feel a little chilly.

To have the lessons they get given boot covers. I wraped them up and gave them to her on Christmas day, look at her confused face!

During her first lesson

Bruise! from falling over.

There is just one lesson left, she found out today that she has earned a certificate and will receive that during her final lesson next week.

The lessons have been super value at a cost of £60 for 6 it turns out it is cheaper than taking her for a public skate (which she gets included in the price!) To go for a public skate it is £11 including skate hire.So I am now trying to work out if there is anyway I can book her on for another set of 6 lessons. Finances to work out!