Monday, 18 May 2015

2015 Challenge Update and Other Good Stuff

Well, I missed the chance to write up about how our challenge was going at the end of April, thanks to the Dalton and Liverpool 10k races! Thought I would take the opportunity to update now and post about other fab things that have happened recently.

As of this post, we have run a total of 607 miles this year between us, leaving 1408 miles left to run! So far for the month of May, Sam is beating the rest of us in terms of mileage, probably helped by the fact that he has been going to his school running club on a Friday afternoon! He's running 4-5 kilometres up to 5 times a week and loving it.

Sam was also picked again to run for the school's cross country team in a competition that took place last week. It was a relay this time so I was even more nervous than before as he'd need to hold and pass over a baton as well as try and run the whole thing. I needn't have worried after all, he did fantastically. Kept hold of that baton and kept running, even when he wasn't holding my hand.

William followed us round the course as well to cheer him on. I heard this little voice about 3/4 of the way round shouting 'I'm still behind you mummy'! I think he is already planning on taking part in cross country when he reaches Sam's year.

We are still taking part in the Walney Wind Cheetah cubs sessions on a Monday and Wednesday evening. The boys are loving the running and the games. Sam has been taking part in the games as well more this year and is even starting to do one of the stretches after the run....progress!

And of course we love parkrun on Saturdays. William got a fantastic PB of 37.14 last Saturday. He worked really hard for that and showed a lot of PMA (Positive Mental Attitude!) which we were really proud of. He's only 5 minutes off my own PB now so I had better get faster, and quickly!

Our final organised race of the month will be the Crazy Cow 10k at Preston where Andy is running the 10k and there is a fun run for the boys to take part in as well. I'm very jealous he'll be rewarded with a cowbell!
Loads of good runs coming up in June as well, in fact every weekend in June is taken up with a race! The Grasmere Gallop, Liverpool Rock and Roll Half Marathon, SSAFA Holker 10k and the Walney Fun Run. Hopefully they will all get us nearer to completing our challenge!

Monday, 4 May 2015

Liverpool Spring 10k and Spring Dash

We had the weekend off to a good start with the Dalton 10k, it got even better on the Saturday when Sam got a PB at last! 46.13, knocking a minute and a half of his best time from last August! Had a great smile on his face the whole way round too.

On Sunday we were up very early to get to Sefton Park in Liverpool for the Liverpool Spring 10k and their children's race, the Spring Dash. We got there shortly before the one way restrictions around the park were put in place so managed to hunt and find a parking space on the outer edge of the park just a short walk to the start/finish line. Unfortunately it had been raining heavily all morning and was raining when we arrived. We had put the boys in their wellies with the intention of going back for their trainers just before their run was due to start. So glad we did as there were a lot of puddles about!

We collected the boys running numbers (which incidently had their names on - a great added touch!) and had a wander about, including a go on the bouncy castle until pretty much the start time of the 10k! Luckily it had stopped raining by this point so I stripped off my jogging bottoms, hoodie and jacket ready to start.

I've never been in such a large race before. I headed to the red start as I'd put my 10k time at over an hour. The crowds were enormous but I managed to spot where Andy was waiting to watch us set off with the boys thanks to the giant helium balloons they'd gotten just before the start! I hurriedly handed him my cap which I'd changed my mind about wearing and waited. We eventually heard the countdown but it took me 2 minutes to reach the start. Not a worry though as it was chip timed and I set my garmin off just before going through the start.

Spot the Cheetah

We were all quite bunched up for a few minutes and I was trying to make my way around those going a bit slower than me. Eventually we started spreading out a little and I managed to get going with a good pace. Just before my garmin hit 5k was the water station, but I didn't stop as I wanted to try for a 5k PB. Didn't quite manage that but came very close!

My legs were feeling like lead weights after that point, but not too long afterwards I spotted a yellow balloon being bumped about and then spotted that it was attached to Sam's raincoat. Seeing them there was a real boost and I found myself speeding up again. The marshals were fantastic, and really encouraging but there's nothing like seeing your family to keep you going.

I rounded the second to last corner and the finish line became visible again and I spotted that yellow balloon again along the edge! I ran in as best as I could, although a sprint finish was a bit out of the question as my energy was just zapped.

Another bonus - free finish line photography! Thank you! (even if I look very worn out!)

Thrilled to have finished with a PB according to my garmin, I headed to the t-shirt funnels to collect my goody bag and t-shirt. It took what felt like an age to get through, but boy was it worth the wait. Fantastic tech t-shirt and gorgeous medal! I later discovered that my chip time for the run was 1.03.12, knocking 2 minutes off my previous 10k PB!

The children's race started after the main race had finished. William wanted to run it by himself which was fine by me. It was only on park paths and I was a little tired. Andy ran with Sam. They set off down the path to a loop in the path and then headed back again.

William didn't stop the whole way and Sam did his parkrun speed which still got him back in within 12 minutes. Very proud of them both. It was whilst waiting for them that the other WWC found me and helped cheer the boys in. The boys both received an excellent medal and the same goody bag as the 10k runners.

Seeing as the sun had come out, we all enjoyed a picnic packed lunch before heading home. Andy and I both agreed it was a very well organised event with a great atmosphere. I hope we'll be coming back again next year.

Dalton 10k and Fun Run 2015

We've had a brilliant weekend of running, so I'll start with the first one on Friday evening, the Dalton Charter 10k and fun run. I took part in this last year and seeing as I had a run on the Sunday afterwards it was only fair that Andy had a turn! So the idea was that Andy would do the 10k and I would run with the boys.

We got to Dalton Cricket Club in record time (handy living just round the corner!) and got the boys registered for the fun run and picked Andy's number up. The weather was a bit of a mix, no rain, but the sun was trying to work out whether to come out or not. It was a bit chillier than last year as well I thought.

Andy got into the start line and they all set off. The route takes you around the cricket field and through Dalton, up Mill Brow and then round the undulating lanes until you get back to the cricket club from the opposite end of Dalton than you run out of.

Once the 10k runners had left the field, the children were called over to the start line. I had hold of Sam's hand and was meant to have William's as well but he suddenly decided to get very stubborn and not listen as five-year-olds do. I was hoping to have caught up with him by the time we left the field and onto the road but he just stayed that little bit too far ahead. Luckily there was a fantastic marshall who stayed with him and couple of the other little boys who were running on their own. I managed to keep him in my sights until he turned at Tudor Square (where a contingent of Hoad Hill Harriers were cheering, thank you!) to go back to the cricket field.

Sam was fantastic holding my hand until we reached the cricket field and I let him go. He continued to run until the finish, where we found William was already getting stuck into his goody bag and attempting to put on his t-shirt reward. I had my garmin on during the run and later discovered Sam had run that first kilometre in 6.37! Goodness knows what William ran it in then!

We waited on the field then for Andy to come running back in. William found some children to play with and Sam set himself up by the finishing funnel, very happy watching the runners sprinting in.
Andy came in at a brilliant 54.35 which was about 20 seconds off his 10k PB and considering his 10k PB was done on the flat I think that's fantastic to be so close to it.

After the last runner came back in, we headed back home to get the boys to bed as it was getting late for them (and we had parkrun in the morning of course!). Another Dalton 10k done and dusted!