Friday, 2 October 2015

Fitness Friday - a return to form

A combination of teacher training, school holidays and being ill had pushed my running fitness right back. At the beginning of September I couldn't even run 5k without lots of rests and I was 7-8 minutes off my PB. So I started trying to run every day once the children had gone back to school. Most days this was 5k and I found that eventually I could run the whole distance without needing a break but I was still well off my best...

Therefore I needed to try and gain both speed and stamina. I did a couple of days using the 10k runner app and ran 6k or more on both days. However I had pushed myself too hard too fast and when my leg hurt for an entire 5k I decided to take a few days off.

This Monday I felt fit again so thought I would try out Jeffing (Jeff Galloway run-walk) as some of my online running friends had found that it worked to speed them up. I set an interval app to 5 minute:1 minute sections and headed off for a 5k run... it seems counterintuitive to walk to go faster but it works! I ended up just over 3 minutes faster than when I first did the route:

I managed a similar run and time on Tuesday with which I was very pleased. On the Wednesday it was my son's fell training on the Helm so I was helping out so didn't do a long run but there was quite a lot of elevation:

Then we came to the start of the month and the Ron Hill Challenge to run at least 1 mile every day for the whole month. It was nearly a bad start as yesterday I was at work all day and then couldn't out until 7:30 PM. I didn't have long so I thought I would just try and find a mile long route and leg it! Of course I had no idea where to go to achieve this but luckily I found a way to do a mile and end up back close to home. I went off like a rocket and was briefly under 5 minutes per kilometre pace. I knew that was too fast to keep up but I managed to average under 6 minutes per kilometre to get my second faster 1 mile time!

Today is the only chance of a long run so I wrapped up in my hi-viz jacket and headed out towards Sedgewick along the road. It turned out to be a lovely route and with the odd minute of walking every couple of kilometres I reached the river and the 5k point in 33 minutes and 15 seconds - nearly faster than my flat 5k in town! Then it was an off-road route reversing the walk we had on Sunday.

It was interesting having to negotiate stiles with tired legs! When I got back to the start my phone said I had run 8.5k and I decided I felt good enough to carry on to complete my Run Mummy Run She Cracked It virtual 10k. I quick diversion up Natland Mill Lane and back down Burton Rd and I did it:

According to Strava my 3rd fastest ever 10k although I know that 3 of my races have measured just under the 10k and were a little bit quicker! Afterwards I found myself contemplating the Brathay Half Marathon for May 2016...  Meanwhile will my legs work for Parkrun tomorrow..

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Reasons to be Cheerful: October is here #R2BC

Reasons to be Cheerful

It's a new month so Jo (Ojo's World) is having a well earned break from hosting and handing back to me! Here's hoping I can do as good a job as her for the month... At least I should have plenty to be happy about as its my birthday and my daughter's. Here are this week's reasons:

1) Photography

I entered an online photo competition on Instagram with UK Pic of the Day and was publicly voted the winner for this photograph:

I am amazed as I've never won any photo comp before - it may only be for kudos but I'm happy with 841 Instagram likes!

2) Macmillan Coffee Morning

We had a successful coffee morning at our house and raised over £20. My son kept adding money from his wallet to boost the total! One of his friends also went home and came back with some cash. Big sister had helped bake the cakes for her contribution.

3) Operation House

One of the key areas needing sorting was the storage in my bedroom. Being a teacher I have a tonne of stuff I need to keep handy and my room has to act as my office. My dad put up these Ikea shelving units this weekend to make it all a lot more organised.

4) Clever girl

One of my daughter's favourite subjects at school is art and she has been involved in a project for Kendal's Comic Art Fest. She has helped to create this fabulous fox (and a badger too):

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Reasons to be Cheerful 

Sunday, 27 September 2015

#CountryKids A sunny September stroll to Sizergh Castle

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

It was a glorious September day in Cumbria today so I rounded up two protesting children and dragged them out for a walk! I have been wanting to find out how far it is to Sizergh Castle from ours on foot and it seemed to good a day to not try it (whatever the children thought about it!). The footpath starts not far from our house just along Natland Rd:

The beginning of the route was through a little woodland and it was really peaceful and cool walking under the trees:

Then the route opens up in the farmland which runs over the old Lancaster Canal. At times you would only know that it was a canal because of the beautiful old bridges that seem quite random in the middle of a field:

It was tempting for my children to pretend they were going to jump into the water as we passed underneath them though:

Friday, 25 September 2015

Reasons to be Cheerful: Seeing the light #R2BC

Ojo's World

The lovely Jo at Ojo's World is handing back to me for October so I am going to have to be more on the ball! Please go over and see the super reasons she has to be cheerful. Meanwhile here are mine:

1) Bye bye hedge

My mum made major inroads on the overgrown privet that was blocking light and making it hard to be neighbourly. We helped her out by shifting the cuttings but ran out of room to finish the job (2 green bins filled and a heap at the end of the garden!)! It has already made our downstairs loo lighter and enabled conversations with the neighbours:

 2) Drive in movie

As a thank you for marshalling at Torchlight we were given a free ticket to the drive in movie at Grizedale Forest for the AND Festival. A surreal experience but a lot of fun for the 3 generations that squeezed into my car. We watched Moonrise Kingdom which is a bittersweet comedy with an impressive cast list:

3) Parkrun Milestone

My son received his official Parkrun 10 t-shirt this week. He is rightly proud of his now 12 runs and is hoping to improve his PB yet again:

4) Macmillan Coffee Morning

Today we have hosted a coffee morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer. Lovely to have a range of friends over and to raise just over £20 with coffee, cake and books! This is the cake my daughter made:

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Friday, 18 September 2015

#CountryKids at the Hodder Valley Show

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

My son had a championship fell race at the Hodder Valley Show in Yorkshire on Saturday so he and I went on a mystery drive down south powered by Google Maps. It was a relief to make it on a wet and misty day. As it was raining we headed straight into the main marquee to check out the stalls. My son spent quite a while building a dry stone wall at the Forest of Bowland stand:

Hodder Valley Show

Once the rain paused we went outside to see what was happening in the main show ring. Being an agricultural show there were a lot of competitions for various farm animals including cattle:

Hodder Valley Show

One of our favourite parts was the sheep section as we could get up close to a wide variety of sheep breeds: