Sunday, 23 November 2014

My 50th parkrun!

It was drizzling when we left the house on Saturday to head to parkrun, but that wasn't going to put us off! I made a mad dash back into the house to fetch caps and a raincoat for William just in case. The rain had cleared by the time we got to the park and no sign of it as we got to the bandstand. I dropped the bag of cakes off there before we started.

We'd had the offer from friends to run with William instead so that I could have a run on my own, but William decided he wanted to do my 50th run with me so that's what we did. Andy and Sam were on spectator and camera duty, something decided a little last minute as Sam hadn't had a particularly good week (permanent teeth coming in) and didn't look in the mood for running.

We did our usual jogging/walking/playing games round most of the course and a friend came to run with us on our last 1/2 lap. I had the pleasure of arriving at the finish line in last place (although 3rd in my age category as I later found out!) with William a second ahead. Having scanned our barcodes it was then time for the most important part of a 50th parkrun....cake!!

Andy had very kindly made me a parkrun cake and also a batch each of brownies and welsh cakes. Although still chilly, the sun had come out and was shining down on the cafe!  Looking around me it was lovely to see so many friends to share that special morning with. Thank you all for your encouragement and support since running my first parkrun back on the 2nd March 2013! It's been wonderful getting to know you all and seeing the parkrun 'family' every Saturday.

Photo by Darren McSweeney

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Brampton to Carlisle 10 Mile

The boys and I dropped Andy off in Ulverston early Sunday morning so he could head up to the north of the county for the 63rd Brampton to Carlisle 10 mile road race. It was the longest distance that Andy had signed up for (since about 1989!) and he'd not had much chance to train so was a bit nervous. Seeing as this race was not an 'out and back' run, we thought we'd let Andy have a day to himself so he joined up with the Hoad Hill Harriers on the coach they had arranged.

The coach set off at 8am, and stopped for a short while at Tebay services on the way to the finish at Carlisle. Once at Carlisle it dropped off shoppers and the runners were able to drop bags off and secure them in lockers at the sports centre before heading back to the start at Brampton.

At 11.30am, over 600 runners headed off towards Carlisle. The weather was overcast and cool but not wet or windy which made for good running conditions. Andy said he felt quite good during the run. The run itself was fairly flat with a few little hills, one in particular seemed to go on for quite a bit toward the end (or at least seemed to in his head he said!).

He was hoping to finish in 1 hour and 40 minutes but in fact managed it in a fab 1.30.48! Really proud of him. Not sure the race memento was something people were expecting though, a 2015 running/cycling diary and 2 pairs of running socks!! Not quite something you can hang on a medal holder, but very handy nevertheless!

After the run, Andy joined fellow local runners at the local pub for a meal and drink before the coach brought them back to Ulverston.

Whilst Andy was headed up north, the boys and I certainly didn't slack. We joined the Wind Cheetahs for the 3 mile Sunday morning run cubs run from the Abbey Mill coffee shop. It was a lovely, mild morning for a run out (especially for November!). The boys even ended up in short sleeves! Think William started finding it a little cold eventually when having a double Thunder and Lightning ice cream cone back at the Abbey Mill!!    

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Windmill 10k

On Remembrance Sunday we ventured out to Lytham St. Annes so that I could run the Windmill 10k, organised by Fylde Coast Running. We arrived in Lytham at about 9.30am and headed towards the iconic Windmill landmark where race HQ was set up. After picking up my running number there was plenty of time for some pics with the Windmill and to spot the other Wind Cheetahs who were also turning up to take part. It was a lovely sunny morning, although very cold! I kept my jogging bottoms on over my shorts and my hoody on till it was time to head over to the start.

We were all called to the starting funnel at about 10.45am where we listened to the reading of a poem, 'Why do I wear a Poppy?', followed by the customary 2 minutes silence at 11am. Once the bugler had finished we all set off. It was a very fast start with everyone bunched up quite close together. I knew Andy would be waiting with the boys on Lytham Green for me to pass so I made my way carefully over to the right hand side of the path, ready to wave and be waved at! He spotted me just in time for a photo! 

I managed to keep up with the majority of runners until we got to Fairhaven Lake, near the halfway mark. Here, the runners seemed to spread out a bit more. I had a real boost though as the path looped back on itself for a tiny distance and I spotted two fellow Wind Cheetahs ahead of me. They gave me a wave and cheer and I didn't feel too far behind at that point. Once we'd gone round the lake, we headed back towards the Windmill via the prom. I really enjoy running by the sea, it's hard work and yet relaxing at the same time! 

I still don't know how I did it but I managed to get back to the Windmill at more or less the same pace I'd gone out at. The only mentally torturous bit of the race was running past and in full view of the finish line at the 9km marker, knowing I had to run .5k out then loop back again to the finish! But I did it. I was cheered in by Andy, the boys and the WWC and set myself a new 10k PB in the process.... 1.05.04... far better than I had ever expected! 

This was a very well organised event and the medal is probably the loveliest one in my collection. The marshals were friendly and encouraging. The only downside was that my finishers Wagon Wheel was snatched away and devoured by my sneaky, chocoholic sons before I could get my breath back! Must remember to hide it next time!