Saturday, 6 February 2016

#CountryKids at Fell Foot Parkrun

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Our local Parkrun at Fell Foot was effected by Storm Desmond so they have had to create a temporary course that just uses the pathways and avoids the temporary bogs and damaging waterlogged grass. It does mean that we get to run along the shore of Windermere 4 times as we go around the course now:

My son helped me warm up before the briefing before the event. Being a regular fell runner he knows how to get our heart rates raised and to do dynamic stretches (especially important on a cold day!). Then I located another regular runner with a similar time to him to run the course with (being under 11 he *has* to be with arms length of an adult for all the race) as I am far too slow... Then is was time for the Run Director to give out course and safety information:

Parkruns are perfect for all ages and today the age range was right from age 4 to over 80 (plus one baby in a back carrier and one toddler in a buggy!). The temporary course makes it a lot more sociable as you loop around several times and pass runners at varying points (or in my case are passed - including by my son!):

It is great to see how all the different ages and abilities support each other and encourage runners who are struggling. I received a shout of "Run Mummy Run" from a lady from my Facebook running group! For some children it is the first time they have ever attempted to run 3 miles but they receive encouragement from their parents, other runners and the perennially cheerful marshals. As an adult its great to be told "you are doing great" as well.

My son helped me on my last lap as he had finished his run in his second fastest ever time! He makes for a fabulous running coach and I even managed a sprint finish up the last hill. It turned out he was 23rd overall and 2nd in his age category (the other boy was 1 year older) whilst I was much further down the field in 74th place (although I was 26th female!). 

When my phone had recovered from the cold I took this snap of us being pleased with our times:

I can certainly recommend Parkruns as a perfect way to combine outdoor fun and fitness together for families!

Friday, 5 February 2016

Fitness Friday: Brathay Half Marathon training week 5 #ThisGirlCan

This week we haven't had any medical crises so I have managed to fit more of my marathon training schedule into the week! I would like to do some form of fitness every day in February in order to keep me on track and make best use of my gym membership.

So on Monday I headed across to the leisure centre for a 30 minutes on the cross trainer to kick start my week. Its such a great feeling to get those endorphins pumping after a stressful weekend!

One of my difficulties has been getting a longer run in each week. So on Monday I plotted an 8km / 5 mile route using the Run Go app so that I had a loop of the right length.  The route combined hills and level bits for variety and I listened to an audiobook on the history of England to keep me going:

I think I was pleased with myself:

As Wednesday is my son's running club I was out for a couple of kilometres of stop/start running. Just enough to count as exercise but not a proper run!

Yesterday I decided that I needed to work on my stamina. The training programme said an easy 40 minute run but instead I aimed for a non-stop 5 km (something I hadn't managed yet this year!). Again I plotted a route on Run Go, so that I had no excuses for cutting it short, but tried to avoid hills so that I could plod on. Very pleased that I not only didn't walk at all but a) kept a steady pace b) ran my fastest 5 km of the year so far (still not back to my PB from this time last year...):

My end of run grin was even bigger:

Today I have been to the cyclone spinning class at the leisure centre for some cross training. Boy is it hard work "and up another quarter turn.."

All of the hard work this week has paid off with a decent 1.5 pound weight loss! Yay. So its onwards and downwards with the weight and upwards and faster with the running... Let's see what happens tomorrow at Parkrun..

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Reasons to be Cheerful: Good riddance January! #R2BC

Reasons to be Cheerful

The lovely Ojo's World has handed back the reins for the blog hop for February so I hope I can stay organised enough to be ready (writing this at 11 PM!). The month of January was not a particularly fantastic one for my family so I am so looking forward to a new month which has to be better... Here are the reasons I am cheerful this week:

1) Snowdrops

Its always such a delight when these delicate little beauties appear:

2) A successful Dry January

My now annual month of abstinence from alcohol has been successfully completed despite many days that were extremely stressful! As a late breaking update (a donation came in as I was typing!) I have raised £13 for Alcohol Concern. Hopefully this will all help people who can't give up alcohol for whatever reason:

3) Pot of savings 

Monday, 1 February 2016

Thank you NHS

The events of the last fortnight have made me extremely grateful for the free at point of access National Health Service and its hard working staff. I can't imagine how much more stressful an ill child must be if you have to worry about being able to either pay for seeing a doctor or whether its covered by your insurance. Whilst trying to resolve my daughter's abdominal pain we have made use of:

  • A trip to the GP.
  • 2 nurses at the Westmorland General Primary Care Assessment Unit.
  • 2 paramedics and an ambulance to transfer to Lancaster Royal Infirmary.
  • 2 nurses, 2/3 doctors (I lost track!) and a surgeon in the Assessment Unit at RLI.
  • A nurse, a student nurse, junior doctor and a consultant in the inpatients.
  • A trip to the GP to get prescription changed to tablets.
  • A return visit to the GP.
  • Another nurse, junior doctor and consultant back in the Assessment Unit at RLI.
  • Overnight a nurse in the inpatients.
  • Nurses, student nurses, junior doctor, consultant, junior surgeon, surgeon, ultrasound nurse, ultrasound doctor on the Saturday.
  • Overnight a nurse in the inpatients.
  • Consultant on the Sunday morning and nurses.

All of this is covered by our taxes so that we can just get ourselves and our children well again without panicking about the cost - I dread to think how much that would have all been in the USA!

Through all of these the staff despite being busy and working long shifts were so patient and calming for both my daughter and me. They always spoke to her directly and treated her like a responsible human being and responded well to her politeness and clear responses. Yes there were long waits between finding out what was going on but the staff were doing their best for her.

What struck me was how badly behaved and rude some of the other patients and parents were to the staff! They were vocally unhappy about following the rules of the ward. In a children's unit I was disgusted by some of the language from other adults. The way they spoke to staff was totally disrespectful. Some of their behaviour was more appropriate to the Jeremy Kyle show rather than a room with sick children in!

I am so glad that my daughter didn't talk to nurses in the way some of the other girls did! Yes there were times we weren't happy about things but it wasn't the fault of the nurses on the ward who are just doing a difficult job in sometimes trying circumstances.

So here is a big THANK YOU to all the hard working, underpaid, under appreciated staff of the UK's National Health Service!

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Fitness Friday (on Sunday!): Brathay Half Marathon training week 4 #ThisGirlCan

As I was back at hospital with my daughter on Friday I am a bit late with my normal Friday post! A combination of work, bad weather and a poorly daughter has paid havoc with my exercise but luckily I did manage to run on a couple of days. First up on Monday I went for a long run on my own following a route I did with my running club a fortnight before:

I was pleased to do the route faster than I did with the club even if not by a lot! Nice to have a few PRs for sections of the route too. 

I didn't get out to running club due to the wild weather so I missed out on a probable 4 mile run... Instead I went out on Wednesday morning and combined a trip to the bank with a 4 km run. On the way home I did some fartleks (walk/jog/run/jog/walk) using the lampposts along the canal path:

In the evening it was junior running so a few short quick runs but not a major workout!

On Thursday I went to a Meta Fit class at the leisure centre. This is high intensity exercise with short recovery sessions. Nice way to get sweaty!

Here's hoping I can squeeze in more running next week as my marathon is getting far too close...