Thursday 5 December 2013

November Rundown and a Magic Bunny

Weeellllll, November's running wasn't AMAZING, but at least it was an improvement on a sorry injured October. My ankle injury meant I'd only managed 2 runs of about 6 miles that month, and in November I kept building up the runs, slowly but surely.

Ran - 15x = 58 miles
Cycled - 2x = 15.6 miles 

Parkruns - 3

So I've been sticking to short distances but increasing the amount of runs. My ankle still bothers me occasionally, so I'm not overdoing in, and besides, with work, kids and moving house, I haven't got the time for any real long runs at the moment.

Last Saturday we had a pretty good parkrun-day. Emma had been chosen as her class 'Star of the week' - for 'perfect behaviour and great maths'! This meant that she got to bring a toy bunny home for the week, and was expected to keep a diary of fun activities we'd done with 'Magic Bunny' over the week.

Here she is reading him a bedtime story for example...

Naturally on Saturday, we had to take Magic Bunny along to a parkrun. We posed with him before the run, and then Pete had the bright idea that Robbie and I should take Magic Bunny with us on the run.

So I ran round with Magic Bunny in my hand. He actually turned out to be rather helpful as whenever Robbie was flagging, I told him that the Bunny was going to overtake, and put him by Robbie's shoulder. That made Robbie sprint off for a bit!

He had lots of little surges of speed, then he would say he was tired. Another of Magic Bunny's tricks was to put a spell on Robbie's legs to keep him going. This also worked!

As we approached the finish, Robbie took Magic Bunny, and for once, Robbie didn't manage to sprint fo the line. In fact he had really pushed himself during the run - he ran 32m22s, which was a massive 52-SECOND PB!!!

Clearly we could do with Magic Bunny's spells to help us every week...

Friday 22 November 2013

New House

Well we have been busy. Just 6 months after getting an offer accepted on a house, we have finally got the keys and the previous owner has moved out. To say it dragged on a bit would be an understatement, and we finally completed on Friday afternoon - the final day of our mortgage agreement - just a few minutes before close of business for the day.


Then it turned out that the previous owner had left the house in something of a state. It was full of old rubbish and absolutely filthy. Luckily we aren't moving in yet, and he has to cover the cost of removing the stuff he left behind.

What the living room was like when we went in!
So we have spent the week trying to get things sorted. We've had the rubbish removed, and today we are getting the whole place deep-cleaned.

Meanwhile, I haven't had time for as much running as I'd like... But my parents were here last weekend, and that meant that on Saturday, Pete, Robbie and I could all do parkrun! Mum and Dad looked after Emma while she played in the park; Pete ran with Robbie and I ran at my own speed for the first time since June!

As I'm pretty unfit at the moment, after missing runs with my ankle injury, I was curious to see how fast I could run 5K. I hoped to run under 27 minutes, but I actually finished in 26m01s. I was pleased with that.

It was a lovely sunny morning and a nice run. Pete and Robbie finished a few places behind me, and Mum took some nice pictures.

With his finish token
Dad and Emma spectating

Monday 11 November 2013

Hail, thunder, sunshine

In my last post I mentioned that we have had loads of rain recently. Nothing has changed since then, although there has been the odd dry spell in between the wet.

Last week Pete was on holiday, which meant that although I was working, he did all the cooking and picking up kids from school, which made things much easier for me. I also had 2 days off (as usual), and on Tuesday, we took the opportunity to go to the cinema - yes - in the daytime! First time we've done something so decadent for at least 8 years... We saw Captain Phillips, which was pretty amazing.

On Friday, my other day off, I simply insisted that we do something more worthy, so we decided to have a bike ride together. I can't remember this ever happening before. We biked to the coast, did the crossword over a leisurely coffee, then biked home (in the rain). It was a really nice way to spend the morning.

Not at work = beard
On Saturday it was of course parkrun-day, but Pete wanted to run, so he did it with Robbie while Emma and I spectated. They set off on a course covered with puddles and us girls had a wander round the park.

After seeing them at the half-way point, we were on our way back to the finish when there was a huge clap of thunder. It was so out of the blue it came as a surprise, and Emma was a bit scared...

It started to rain, so we walked a bit quicker, and then suddenly the skies opened and there was a HUGE hailstorm. I've never been out in anything like that - the hailstones were fairly big and it just went on for ages. We got totally soaked to the skin - I mean I literally couldn't have been wetter if I'd jumped in the lake - and we ran to a bus shelter to wait for Pete and Robbie.

Not happy
They eventually emerged looking like drowned rats. Apparently the barcode scanner didn't work because everything was so wet, so all the results were worked out manually - thanks volunteers! It was an incredible downpour.

Hailstones and water everywhere
On Sunday though, such a change! It was a lovely dry, sunny day - much more my kind of weather. We took advantage with a family bike ride. All 4 of us got on our bikes and went a coule of miles up the local trail. There were LOADS of people about - clearly everyone was sick of being indoors during the rain and had come out in the sun.

Emma managed to cycle really well, and although Robbie fell off his bike after skidding in mud at the end, we all had a good time.

It's rained all day today, and the same is forecast for tomorrow (when I'm planning a longish run). Will the mud ever dry out? Bring on the cold and frost!

Tuesday 5 November 2013


It's been a while since my last post for a number of reasons...

Firstly, I was lacking in enthusiasm brought about by my ankle injury and not being able to run. I was feeling a bit blah...

Secondly, last week was half term here, and with the kids off school for a week, we went on holiday for a few days, staying away from home.

Thirdly, when we got back, out internet connection wasn't working, so I was without access to the internet for a few days - nightmare!

So here are some things I've been getting up to since my last post;

1. My ankle is not entirely better, but I'm back running. Just short distances so far, with my longest run being 5 miles this morning. Yay!

2.  I've run 3 more parkruns with Robbie - he's now done 14!

3. October finished with me having run a spectacular 6.35 miles (2 parkruns). At least I also cycled 34 miles.

4. We had a lovely break in Buxton. It's a beautiful town in the Derbyshire countryside, and an extremely picturesque area.


Pavillion Gardens, Buxton
5. I spent 2 days being put up in a posh hotel in London for some teacher training. The food was great, the room was lovely and I met some really nice people.

6. I had a last-minute meet up with my sister (who works in London). We has a lovely dinner and a rare chance to chat without being interrupted by children!

7.  I went to the gym in the hotel and had fun playing on the treadmill, bike and cross-trainer. This was a gentle test for my ankle.

8. On Friday morning I went for a run around London! It was a scenic run, involving 2 bridges across the Thames, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament and the Millenium wheel. I loved it!

9. I missed Halloween. However, trick or treating went ahead without me:

10. For the last few weeks it has hardly stopped bloody raining! It's very mild, but I could do with some dry, sunny days as I ease back into running again.

The best thing about rain
So hopefully I'll be back into running in the next few days and weeks, and regain my enthusiasm for blogging and all things running related!

Thursday 17 October 2013

No running but still busy

It's been almost 3 weeks since I hurt my ankle and 3 weeks since I last ran. For 2 weeks I didn't do any exercise at all.

Although this meant I missed 2 weeks of parkrun, I did take the kids along to marshal one Saturday, and the following week, Pete ran round with Robbie!

Ready to direct runners

It was Pete's first ever parkrun, but of course Robbie's 11th, so he was able to show his Dad the way! Emma and I spectated and cheered people on, and did a little bit of pointing the way as a few new runners almost got lost by the play park where we were hanging out.

Happy runners
They finished in just over 33 minutes, with Robbie doing his usual sprint to the line to finish ahead of a parent!

Sprint to the finish

This was the 3rd race (after the 10K I should have run in) that I had spectated at while not being able to run - I've pretty much had enough of that now!

Last Saturday, after parkrun I was working in the afternoon, so I decided to cycle to work. I hadn't been on my bike as I thought it might affect the ankle, but I was fed up with doing nothing, and it was a lot better than before.

So I biked 10 miles, and it was a bit sore afterwards.

On Sunday we all went swimming, and while the kids were practising their dives with Pete (bellyflop for Emma and legs-akimbo for Robbie), I swam a few lengths. I don;t think swimming caused any harm to my ankle at least.

Last Tuesday I had enough time to squeeze in a workout, so I did another bike ride. It was a beautiful autumn day and I had a sunny ride along the cycle path.

It was one of those bike rides when I stopped off for a coffee, a read of my kindle and a pastry. In fact I must be putting on weight as I haven't cut down on my eating at all while I've been languishing on the injury list.

I haven't tried running yet, but my ankle feels almost back to normal - there's just a niggling pain when I've been on my feet all day. So I'm planning to run parkrun this Saturday. I'll jog round with Robbie so I won't be pushing it. Hopefully I'll be back to normal soon!

Friday 11 October 2013

September Rundown

I was having a great month of running in September, right up until the point when I got injured. The kids went back to school which left me with a lot more time to fit longer runs in, but I also went back to work, which stole a lot of my time too.

Robbie and I continued to run parkruns together, and he ran his 10th last month. That was our original target, but he wants to carry on doing them - yay! I ran my fastest ever mile, so I clearly had some fitness at one point. And I ran a great fun race along the cliffs and up and down a big hill at Firle 10K.

Ran - 15x = 81.2 miles
Cycled - 2x = 31 miles 

Parkruns - 3
Race- 1 
DNS - 1 

I was enjoying building mileage each week and really looking forward to running Bexhill 10K for the third consecutive year when I got this damn ankle injury. I don't even know what happened, it just got sore and swollen. The Doctor diagnosed torn ligaments and prescribed rest, anti-inflammatories and a long tubi-grip bandage. It's much better now, but I haven't run for 2 weeks and it's not completely better yet, so I daren't do too much too soon.

tubi-grip fun
There's a 10K at the end of October I was hoping to do, but it's another hilly one and I don't want to damage the ankle. I had been aiming to run 1000 miles this year, and I was just about on track, but these 2 weeks off has scuppered my chances. Still, even if I manage 900 miles, that would be a personal record, so I'll just have to see what I can do.

Let's hope this ankle is all back to normal soon...

Tuesday 1 October 2013


Ah it was all going so well until this weekend. This is what happened.

Last week a running friend of mine from Scotland let me know that she was coming to visit her sister, who lives about 16 miles away from us. So we were emailing and arranging a meet-up, and I mentioned that I was registered for a local 10K on Sunday. To my surprise and delight, my friend made a spontaneous decision to sign up too! I was really excited - what better way to catch up than to run together?!

On Friday morning I ran a very slow and easy 5 miles, clear that my priority was the 10K, but wanting to keep up my recent good weekly mileage. Later that day I felt a little discomfort around my left ankle, but nothing much. In the evening, I noticed that it was very tender to the touch.

Robbie's birthday cake
On Saturday morning, I woke up with it feeling quite a bit worse. The ankle was hurting now, and I had to walk with a limp. However, Friday had been Robbie's 8th birthday, and we had a long-standing plan with another family to spend the day at Legoland! So that's what we did.

Hunky Lego dude
I spent the whole day on my feet, and most of it walking up and down the theme park, sometimes rushing to get to a show. My ankle got worse and worse, and when I sat down in the afternoon, I looked at it and saw to my horror, that it was swollen beyond all recognition. As the say went on, I was aware that I wanted to take my shoe off and not put anymore weight on that leg, but of course that was impossible.

By the time we left, I couldn't drive because I could hardly bend my foot.

By the time we got home (about 9pm), I couldn't walk at all or put weight on the foot. Pete had to give me a piggy back to the front door! It was blindingly obvious, even to a runner-in-denial that there would be no running the following day.

I felt so bad that my friend had paid for and registered for the race and now I had to pull out! I was also particularly gutted because I've done this race for the past 2 years and I really like it. I wanted it to be my first ever 3rd time at a race, and the kids have also done the children's races too. Anyway, on Sunday morning, we went to the race start as planned so Robbie and Emma could run. In the end my friend persuaded her husband to take her place so we could catch up during the race. She said she was feeling a bit concerned anyway, as she had a baby in March and hasn't run as far as 10K since then!

So Robbie and Emma did the 500m, along with my friend's son and her nephew. Then I watched the 10K-ers set off. I must admit, it was pretty sad watching them all run the race I should've been in, especially as the weather was good too. Still, it was great to see my friend and her family.

More medals!
I rested the foot for the rest of the day, and by Monday morning I was ok to drive to work. Today I've been to the Doctor, and he said it's probably a torn ligament - I was relieved when he said it was unlikely to be a stress fracture - phew! He gave me a long tubi-grip bandage and anti-inflammatories. It's much better than Saturday, but still swollen.

The most frustrating thing is that I don't know how I did it! I am going to get some new trainers though, just in case. The doctor said at least 2 weeks off running, so that's going to be pants. At least the rest of the family is still running...

Sunday 22 September 2013

Back to routine

Well the kids have now been back at school for 2 1/2 weeks and I've been at work for 2 weeks, so we are right back into the swing of things. Last week I had to finish writing some exam questions for another job as well as my teaching, and then I was asked to cover a class on Friday too.

This meant that something had to give, and yet again it was a planned bike ride. Although Monday was a day off, I spent the whole day writing on the laptop at home, only interrupted by the joy of food shopping - yay.  Then on Friday the weather was lovely and sunny, and would have been a great morning for cycling, but I could only look out of a classroom window and sigh...

But I managed to get loads of running in instead. On Tuesday I had a great long run of 8 miles - my longest distance for months. It was fine weather, and I really enjoyed the run. This was despite my thighs burning from Sunday's 10K. I was never sure if the agony of DOMS was from running uphill or the lethal downhill.

Anyway, it was a relaxed enjoyable run, and as I was plodding along, I suddenly realised how nice it looked. I was just running through a housing estate, and there is a big hill in the background which I've just got used to seeing all the time. It just dawned on me how pretty it was so I stopped and took a photo!

Nothing stunning, just a good, relaxing view!

Then on Saturday it was Robbie's 10th parkrun! As a junior, this means he will now receive a free t-shirt, and it's a little landmark in his running. Pete and Emma volunteered as marshals for the occasion, and we ran past them just before 2K, which was fun. Robbie was quite tired - he'd had PE and then swimming after school on Friday, and he was running around before the run started.

There was a another boy who looked a bit older than Robbie, and he was in front of us for he first half, then kept stopping to walk. Everytime we caught up, he started running again, as if he didn't want to be beaten. I hoped Robbie could beat him by running the whole thing, but Robbie just seemed totally oblivious! He just enjoys himself and doesn't worry too much about who's behind or in front of us, which is a great attitude really.

Anyway, we eventually passed the other boy with our slowly but surely approach, and Robbie told me at the end that he was glad he beat him, so perhaps there's a little competitive spirit in him after all!

It was a really nice run as lots of other runners and marshals really cheered Robbie on, saying things like 'Well done young man!'. A few regulars spoke to us at the end and congratulated Robbie, and I felt a real sense of community and friendliness.

I was hoping that I might get a chance to run one at my own speed soon, (all under 11-year-olds must be accompanied by an adult), but Robbie seems to want to carry on doing parkruns and I'm certainly not going to stop him! It's just great that he's so keen.

Despite it being a busy week, I ran 22 miles in total, which is my biggest for a while. It's about time I did some more focused training. Next week is going to be really busy too though, including a friend's birthday party, and then Robbie's birthday on Friday. I'll be trying to fit in a bike ride, and plenty of quality running...

Monday 16 September 2013

Firle 10K Trail Run

Over the last few weeks I started to feel right in the mood to do a race. The last one I did was at the end of June, which was starting to seem like far too long ago. So I did a bit of googling, and eventually signed up for a local 10K.

The Firle 10K last Sunday was an accompaniment to the main event of a Half marathon, and there was also a 5K. The 'running festival' was held in the grounds of a stately home, and was in the middle of the South Downs - our local range of chalk hills and cliffs.

This meant it would be a very scenic trail race with beautiful views, with an obvious drawback - hills! This was probably the hilliest race I've ever run, and perhaps the steepest and longest hill I've ever attempted to run up in a race. I say attempted because I ended up walking quite a bit of it. This was the evil elevation:

When we arrived, it was a really lovely sunny morning and the atmosphere was great. The Half marathoners set off 30 mins before us, and we 10k-ers had time to enjoy the warm sunshine and the pretty scenery before our race.

Taken by Robbie
The race set off through the grounds of the home and was on a path at first. The path gradually became more gravel than concrete, and was tricky to run on in places. We ran out on to a road, and the climb began.

It was subtle at first - little ups and downs which were quite manageable. Then the hill got steeper and steeper. I kept running as much as I could, even when I was bent double and going slower than walking pace, I maintained the illusion of running.

But eventually it got the better of me. That hill was STEEP and LONG. I started to walk, and once I had, it was very hard to get back running again. I walked all the way up the road until we reached a drinks station, and the grass on top of the cliffs. While some suckers stopped for water, I broke back into a shuffle, and started to pick off some of the people who had overtaken me.

But as the hill started to even out as we reached the top of the cliff, there was a new problem - WIND! It was very blustery up there and it was right in your face all the way along the top of the cliff. The views were great though - the sea to our left and the sprawling countryside to our right.

I seem to be standing still!
In the above picture, there's a woman in red and she was running with a clubmate in the same vest, and they had passed me on the way up the hill. As we ran along the top of the cliff, I was getting closer and closer to them. Another woman in purple caught me up and we ran together through a field of cows. They were all sitting down and we had to run right past them up close, it was a bit scary.

At the end of that field there was a gate which we had to open, and the 2 women in red, the purple one, and me all went through it together. Just after that - finally - it was DOWNHILL time! I was desperate to make up for the time I'd lost walking, so I absolutely threw myself down the hill. Within a few metres I was way ahead of the purple woman and one of the women in red. At this stage half-marathoners were catching us up too, so I kept hearing footsteps behind me, which made
me keep speeding!

I really went for it down that hill, and I'm just glad I didn't fall down it. It was punishing on my legs, and when we got to the bottom, I realised how tired they were.

One of the red women was in front of me, but suddenly she stopped and waited for her clubmate, shouting encouragement. As I ran round the muddy paths back into the grounds where we'd started, I knew they were behind me but I didn't know how close. I tried to put on a burst of speed, but for once my legs did not respond! They were completely knackered!

Smiling at Pete and kids
As I turned a corner towards the finish shute, I saw Pete and the kids waving and shouting at me. At this point I tried to sprint for the finish, and while it wasn't much of a sprint, I did manage to accelerate a bit. I beat the women in red as you can see above, but the faster one probably would have beaten me if she hadn't waited for her friend.

As I ran past, Pete got a photo that makes me look fast. Trick photography!

At the finish there was a canvas bag, a voucher for a local running shop, a medal and a cup of tea - lovely! It was a really well organised event, and the official results were out that evening. I came 46/99 runners; 8/51 women and 5/21 vet women. My time was 59m06s (slowest 10K since my first one in 2009), but the time is irrelevant really as it was so hilly. I'm really happy with 8th female, although I think I could have stopped walking and started running sooner on the hill!

Nice medal!
We were lucky with the weather (the black clouds were gathering as we left and it rained in the afternoon), and it was a really well-organised event. I would probably do it again, but I might need a bit of hill-training first!

Thursday 12 September 2013

A Magic Mile and runs with the kids

I've been a listener to the Marathon Talk podcast for a few years now, and every year around September, they have a Magic Mile contest. The idea is to train for and then record 1 mile as fast as you can run. There are no prizes and the competition is just there to motivate you - it's all about fulfilling your own potential.

The first time I tried this was 2 years ago, when I recorded 1 mile in 7m26s, then last year I managed 7m08s. This year I wasn't really expecting to go any faster, as I haven't done any speed training for ages. I've been running quite sluggishly and not enough, and all my shortest runs have been at Robbie's pace - a good 2-3 mins per mile slower than my fast pace.

But I just had to have a go, so last Thursday (the last day of our lovely summer, it turned out), I jogged to a local park. It was really hot and there was no shade in the park, but at least it was more or less empty of people. I started my Garmin and ran as hard as I could.

All the time I was mentally rehearsing my excuses for running slowly - it was hot, I hadn't trained, I'd jogged too far as a warm-up, I was on grass etc. But I kept going and when my Garmin beeped and I stopped it, I couldn't believe it - 6m56s!!! I never thought I'd go under 7 minutes so I was delighted. I was on a high all day after that! Now I'm wondering what I could do on a track with some training...

On the following Saturday it was parkrun as usual, and this was Robbie's 8th. Due to a fair being set up for later that day in the park, the route was a different one - an out and back run on the path. This is also known as the PB route, as there are no sharp turns or muddy grass banks to negotiate. It was also much cooler, as summer had begun to disappear by then - sigh.

Anyway, it proved to be a PB route for Robbie - he shaved 34 seconds off his previous time with 33m18s - Whoop! Only 2 more runs and he gets a t-shirt....

Then we found out that at the fair later that day, there would be a 'Junior parkrun' which was only about 1km. Emma is always wanting to join in our runs, but at 5 years old, she's a bit young for the full 5K. (She also often moans that she is tired when we walk 0.5 miles to school...) So at lunchtime we were back in the park ready to run again.

It turned out that it was really for children aged about 9-11, but they said Emma could run if I ran with her. I was wearing jeans and normal shoes, but at least they let me leave my handbag behind for the race! It was pretty funny - a group of older boys sped off and then all stopped and walked after a couple of minutes. Robbie ran his second parkrun in one day, and Emma managed to run the whole thing without stopping to walk - unlike the 11-year-old boys!

It was just a shame the event hadn't been publicised - I'm sure a lot of kids whose families are usually at parkrun would have come if they'd known in advance. I'm glad Robbie and Emma see running as fun, and something they still want to do - proud of them as usual!

Sunday 8 September 2013

New toy!

A couple of weeks ago it was the end of an era when my beloved old Garmin Forerunner 305 finally gave up the ghost and had to be replaced. Pete had bought it for me in December 2009 and it was invaluable as I trained for my first marathon the following May.

After the marathon I had got so used to it, it became unthinkable to go for a run or bike ride without the Garmin to accompany me. I like to record all my training and the Garmin is just the easiest and best way to do it.

Anyway, after a run 2 Sundays ago, I got home and the run data just wouldn't upload. Of course this was quite usual with my poor, aged, unreliable Garmin, but what was unusual was that I tried over and over again with no success, in fact it almost always stopped at 85% done. It was odd that it got to the exact same stage each time, and I began to see that something was wrong.

Then I found that it wouldn't turn on unless I did a 'hard reset'. This happened every time I tried. I still managed a couple of runs where it worked fine during the run, but I had to upload it manually. It seemed just a matter of time before it conked out altogether, so I started browsing online for a replacement.

A few days later, this arrived:

It's fab so far, and I love the way it looks.

Advantages of the FR10 over the old 305:
1. It uploads in about 5 seconds as opposed to 2 minutes.
2. So far, the computer recognises it when I plug it in and doesn't claim 'No devices found'.
3. It doesn't keep crashing the computer.
4. It sits happily in the cradle for uploading and recharging, so I don't have to (for example) balance a chair leg on it to hold it in position.
5. It's smaller and neater on my wrist.

1. It doesn't have a multi-sport mode. However, I can easily use it on a bike ride and change the info from 'run' to 'bike' on Garmin Connect when I've uploaded it.
2. You can only see a small amount of info at one time, so if I want to see my pace or what the time is, I have to push a button. Not a big deal.

There were lots of other functions that the old 305 had of course, but I never used any of them, so I won't miss them. I really just want something to measure pace and distance. And I like to see a wiggly line on a map of where I've been. 

So, so far so good. There were so many problems with the 305, I just hope the 10 keeps working as efficiently and brilliantly as it has done up to now.

Farewell, old (and really rather knackered) friend!

Tuesday 3 September 2013

August Rundown

Despite it being the summer holidays and having most of my time taken up with entertaining the kids, I did actually manage to get a fair amount of running done in August. There was one week when I only ran 12 miles, but that was when we went camping, and spending each night lying awake in a tent with the kids left me too tired to run. Apart from that though, I did ok:

Ran - 18x = 76.3 miles
Cycled - 2x = 20.6 miles 

Parkruns - 4
PBs - 1 (For Robbie!)

So I was pleased to keep the running ticking over last month. The 2 bike rides were both commutes to work as I went in for 2 Saturdays, and that's the only way I could get out on my bike recently.

Robbie and I ran 4 more parkruns which means he has now done 7 in total! He's still enjoying it, and on 10 th August, he ran a PB of 33m52s! I tried to push him a bit as we ran, and I think it was the promise of 2 pieces of cake if he beat his previous times, that really spurred him on. He's really not a competitive person at all, so I was surprised the following week when he asked if I could push him on again. The next 2 weeks he ran under 35 minutes, which was better than all his previous times of over 36 minutes. 

Unfortunately I had to work last Saturday so we missed parkrun, but we're hoping to do the next 3 weeks, so he'll reach the milestone of 10 runs.

Now it's almost back to school time, and I'm kind of looking forward to getting back into a routine, and building up the miles. I've got a few races I'd like to do, so it'd be good to get stuck in again!

With Granny and Grandad

Thursday 29 August 2013

The Joys of Camping

A couple of weeks ago we had a short break and spent 3 nights under canvas. We just went about 25 miles away to the village of Hartfeld, which is where A.A. Milne set his Winnie-the-Pooh stories.

The Original Poohsticks Bridge
It's near the beautiful Ashdown Forest, so we had a few good walks in the woods, a picnic, and there was a LOT of tree-climbing, mostly by the kids rather than the adults.

Beautiful forest walk
Although I didn't really get much sleep, it was lovely to be away from home, and have nothing to do with tv or internet. The kids were never bored, and had great fun exploring, swinging on a tree swing, clambering over logs and trees and generally just being outdoors.

We had a real fire outside the tent every night, which was lovely, and we all stayed up late just watching the flames and prodding the fire with a stick.

Toasting Marshmallows

I know a few Mums who hate the idea of camping, but it was just so rewarding, and so so good for the kids to be away from technology for a few days. We are all dying to go again before it gets too cold!