Monday, 28 April 2014

SSAFA 10k Run (And Picnic!)

Had the most tremendous day yesterday! I took part in the SSAFA Cumbria 10km charity run held at Holker Hall. This was my first 10km run since the Ulverston Pudding Run back in December. I'd had lots of training this last few weeks so was very excited about it. There was also the promise of a rather enormous Wind Cheetah picnic for after the run too, so Andy and the boys came along as well, to cheer and eat!

The 'before' pic!

The weather was meant to be cloudy and possibly showery as well so we definitely weren't expecting the sunshine and warm weather we ended up with. I ran with a lovely cheetah friend, Kimberley, and neither of us stopped the entire 10km save for grabbing a cup of water at about 6km. It's the most I've ever run without stopping! We both finished the run in 1.25.18, crossing the finish line together. William ran out from where he had been watching the runners coming in and joined us too. The clapping and cheering that met us there at the finish made me quite emotional and I was trying quite hard not to cry! What a supportive crowd!

Unfortunately the medals had run out  by the time I finished (due to having a BRILLIANT turnout) but the organisers have said they will be posting one out so I'll have that to look forward to!

The boys had a great time as well, playing in the park grounds at Holker Hall, doing a bit of exploring whilst I was running and then they cheered on the runners coming back to the finish line. They also had a good time playing with the other mini-cheetahs who came along for the day.

The picnic afterwards did not disappoint either! Plentiful tubs, boxes and plates containing all sorts of delicious stuff and more than enough to go around. Andy made some sausage rolls, potato salad and brownies for our contribution.

After much scoffing we eventually packed up and made our way home having had a fantastic family day out. I can thoroughly recommend this run for anyone wanting to try a 10k, and we'll be back next year!

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Silverdale Sling and Andy's parkrun Solo!

Andy took part in the Silverdale Sling last Sunday, his first cycle race since last year's Tour de Furness. Organised by the Rotary Club of Lancaster as a charity fundraiser, it comprised of 37 miles starting and finishing near Lancaster and taking in Silverdale, Milnthorpe and Arnside. On an overcast and windy day, he managed to complete the course in a respectable 3:10:18 and then tucked into a complimentary Lancashire hot pot. Andy said he'd definitely recommend the race to anyone starting cycling and will probably do it again next year!

Today we joined in with parkrun as usual but this time Andy was able to run solo for the first time as a lovely Cheetah friend had offered to run with William. I then ran with Sam to let Andy experience parkrun child free! He did it in a fab 31.02 which is pretty good going I think (and a new PB of course)! After finishing he looped back and rejoined Sam and I on our last lap to give me a hand so I think he got quite a good workout this morning.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Cubs Week 2 and Purple parkrun

The boys have had another great week joining in with the Walney Wind Cheetah cubs beginners group. This week we've run for 2 minutes and walked for 3, coupled with more great games like 'stuck in the mud' which William thought was hilarious! Didn't rain on us this week, although it's been quite breezy down by the shore!

They've mostly managed very well keeping up with everyone and of course it does help that the front of the group always loops back to make sure everyone stays together. I took my garmin forerunner to the last session and found that at the back of the group we had run/walked for 3.92 km! Not bad for a Monday and Wednesday evening and certainly more exercise than we were getting before!

Barrow parkrun turned purple this morning in remembrance of Alice Pyne and her charity Alice's Escapes which gives very sick children the chance of a lovely holiday in the lakes. We donned our purple t-shirts and tops (although these got covered quite a bit due to the chilly weather!) and joined in as usual. It was also a special parkrun for our friend Ian who completed his 100th parkrun and another little lad who completed his 10th so lots of celebrating as well.

We are thrilled that Sam got a new personal best of 50.15 smashing his old time by just over 2 minutes! It's still slow going but he is making progress which is fantastic!  After the run we went to the park cafe and the boys had some very delicious looking cakes for a donation to Alice's Escapes. There were plenty of hungry parkrunners about so I hope lots of money was raised!

Looking forward to another week of running!

Sunday, 6 April 2014

M Is For Marshal

We have a little agreement with William that after every five parkruns he completes he marshals once. He really enjoys this and he gets to tick another box off on the parkrun countdown chart we made for him.

He's marshaled three times now and is getting a little more confident each time he does, shouting out a bit of support and clapping the runners as they go by. Now that he's running with the WWC Cubs too he recognises some of our run leaders as they go by and can shout their names out.

William's photo of me.
William's first time as a marshal, modelling the latest trend in how to wear a high vis vest.
I think it's important to show him this side of parkrun, especially as parkrun relies on volunteers each week in order to keep going. It doesn't magically just happen every Saturday morning, but is the result of a brilliant team of volunteers and runners alike. Barrow parkrun has such a great community of runners and volunteers and it's lovely to be part of that. Looking forward to our next stint after another 5 runs!

If you'd like to marshal at Barrow parkrun (or volunteer for one of the other glamorous jobs!) click here to find out more!

Friday, 4 April 2014

Creating Runners

In a bit of a last minute decision last week, we decided to try Sam and William out with the junior section of my running group, the Walney Wind Cheetah Cubs as they start their new beginners programme. It's a gradual programme for under 16s to work up to running 5km in the Walney Fun Run in June.

We know they are capable of getting round a 5km course with a mixture of walking and running as has been proven at parkrun, but the Cubs programme to us is a bit more than just being able to run. Obviously we hope they have lots of fun taking part first and foremost but I am hoping the boys, mainly William, pick up a bit more of an understanding of what it is to be a runner, what training means, how stretching is important, and to sharpen listening skills as they have to pay close attention to our run leaders for instructions and whistles! Plus, as they are under secondary school age and require an adult to run with them, Andy and myself get to join in too which makes it a family activity and gets us all out exercising twice a week on the breezy but beautiful shores of Walney Island.

We thought we would try out the first week at least to see how the boys got on. We certainly wouldn't make them join if they didn't want to. This first week involved alternating walking for 4 minutes and running for 1 minute. There was also a superb games section in the middle of each session which added loads more fun into the programme. They've really enjoyed the first two sessions and for the most part have kept up with all the other cubs. Even when it was a little breezier with some patchy rain on the second session, they were in their element. And William is definitely picking up the lingo, today as we quickly walked into town he asked me 'Mummy, are you power walking?'. He is loving being a WWC Cub!

We will definitely be going back next week and I'm really looking forward to seeing the progress Sam, William and the rest of the group makes leading up to the Walney Fun Run!