Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Cross-training with the kids

We had a very active weekend which didn't include much running or biking (although my little 3-miler on Sunday took my weekly running mileage to a respectable 23 miles).

On Saturday we drove about 17 miles into the countryside to join a group of orienteers. We went orienteering a couple of times in Scotland, but since we moved over a year ago, we've never quite got round to it down here. At last we were lucky enough to find an event nearby, and on a morning when we had nothing planned - hooray!

We decided to do an 'Orange' course (no paths!), having previously tackled 'White' (shortest and easiest) and 'Yellow' (longer and more difficult). When we picked up our map and dibber (a peg with a chip in, which you punch into each checkpoint), we were told it was a challenging course, and it was certainly a lot tougher than ones we had done before. But that made it a lot more interesting and fun!
Emma's in charge of the dibber
It was extremely muddy, as although it was a dry day thank goodness, we've had constant rain for the last few weeks, and the ground was sodden. The kids wore wellies, but managed to splash mud all over their jeans and coats, and they both fell over a few times. Most of the course was in woodland, but we also went across a very wet open field, and over a stream. We really had to pay attention to where we trod, as a lot of the terrain was over tree roots, bracken and uneven ground. No wonder Robbie and Emma kept tripping over! The woodland was really beautiful though.

Unlike our previous experiences, we actually struggled to find some of the checkpoints, although we completed the course eventually. We saw a lot of serious racers on the course, but no young children, so I think Robbie and Emma must have been the youngest to tackle the orange course.

We got to the last checkpoint, and then the finish. We handed in the dibber, and were given a printout with our time - 82 minutes! I think we were the slowest on the Orange course, but I hadn't realised we'd been tramping about the woods for such a long time! On Sunday morning, my legs were aching, so it must have been from the hard-core walking in the country!

After my run on Sunday, we went swimming. Since the summer holidays, we've been going most weekends, and I've been improving each time! In July, I wouldn't put my head under the water, but since then, I've learned to overcome my fears, and am catching up with the kids. Pete has been teaching me to swim a proper breaststroke (which I've never done before), with my head in and out of the water. I've been practising my breathing, and finally on Sunday, I managed to swim a whole length (25m) of breaststroke!

It was scary and not easy, but after I'd done it, I did it again 7 more times! So I swam 200m altogether - allbeit with a rest between each length! It felt really good, and I'm really looking forward to going again and doing more proper swimming.

After swimming we went out for a late lunch. Both Robbie and Emma have been doing really well at school lately, and as they both achieved success last week, we decided to take them out for a treat. We had a big, long meal, including ice-cream, and then went home to watch the film 'Madagascar' on tv. Cuddling up under a blanket on the sofa was a great end to a busy weekend!


  1. Look at you guys being so adventurous - how cool was that! I bet your kiddos had a great time. Love that you guys wear wellies... I always want a pair but it never freaking rains here! Ha.

    Great job on the swimming - you are getting stronger and stronger :).

  2. Good for you on the swimming! And it sounds like your kids were really up for the Orange course despite the difficulty. Nice memories you are creating for them!

  3. That is awesome fun and quality time together. My son would love something like that. Yay for the swimming!

  4. That is SO good about swimming!

    I can't swim..it was actually a summer goal of mine to get lessons and try and get more confident at swimming. Didn't exactly work out, but I'd still definitely like to do it one day.

  5. Well done with your swimming. In Australia swimming is often part of the school curriculum so most kids learn to swim when they're quite young. It's great when it finally comes together and you can coordinate the arms, legs and breathing.

    The orienteering sounds like a lot of fun.

  6. Sounds lovely. I've always been curious about orienteering. It seems like a great activity to do with kids & get them outside, active, and learn some great navigation skills.

  7. Great job on the swimming. Do I see a tri in your future? And that looks like a fun activity to do with your family.