Sunday 26 May 2013

Running with the kids

Yesterday I found myself down one husband and one car, and in charge of the kids. Luckily it was a lovely sunny day, and I took Robbie and Emma out on their bikes.

I ran along with them, and as Emma went from a confidence-lacking wobble to a happy zoom, my running became a kind of fartlek session.

I stopped constantly but then would suddenly have to sprint to catch them up.

We went along the cycle path (the Cuckoo Trail), as far as a tea-room and craft centre, where we stopped to refuel and play.

In total I only ran 3.3 miles, but it was better than nothing, and it was great fun!

Thursday 23 May 2013

A commute

I'm really still getting used to working more again, having been a stay-at-home Mum last year, and then picking up increasing teaching hours since January. From the middle of April I started teaching 3 mornings a week every week, and that's been plenty, along with the kids and the housework. This week I have been teaching every day, and that has seriously messed up my usual timetable of running and cycling.

As well as having no free days this week, Pete is away on Friday and Saturday, so there's little chance for fitting much in then. So to get a bike ride in this week, I decided to cycle to work yesterday.

Looking grumpy, but actually very happy!
This required a bit of planning. I picked Wednesday because it's the day that the kids have school dinners so I don't have to spend time making packed lunches in the morning! Pete took them to school too, so I didn't have to worry about that, and I left about 20 minutes earlier than usual.

It's just under 5 miles there, and with a bit added on for fun, I cycled a comfortable 11 miles - not bad considering I didn't think I'd have time for any cycling this week.

I'd definitely do it again, perhaps once a week, but only really on a Wednesday - the other mornings are too hectic. It was great to spend the morning looking forward to the ride home, and the weather was pretty good so that was lucky.

There are drawbacks though; I had to leave home early; my pile of books were crammed into a heavy rucksack; I could only take work clothes that wouldn't crumple in my bag; I had to get changed in a small toilet; I wiped the sweat off as best I could with paper towels; I felt a bit stinky and tried not to get too close to any of my students while I was teaching; my hair was kind of a mess; before I left to go home I had to put on the damp sweaty clothes from the morning's ride...

But all of that was worth it to get a nice bike ride in unexpectedly!

Sunday 19 May 2013

A fun weekend

This weekend has been action packed and we are all pretty tired this Sunday evening.

Saturday morning started as it usually does for me these days with a parkrun. I've been going regularly since the marathon, and my time has gradually improved each week from 26m02s on 27th April to 25m10s this weekend. My 5K PB is only about 40 seconds faster, so I hope I'll keep getting closer to that every week.

The day turned out to be quite sunny, and even warm enough to sunbathe when the clouds weren't spoiling things. We got together with a group of the kids' school friends in the afternoon and went to a local park. Activities included football and frisby (everyone), playing at the playground (children), and sitting in the sun chatting (grown-ups).

After the walk home, we had jacket potatoes and watched the final episode of this series of Doctor Who - a perfect evening for all the family!

Then today I had read about a nearby fun run. It was in a village about 14 miles away, and there was a children's 1K, and a 5K and 10K. I was thinking about doing the 10K, and looking at the last year's results, it seemed a pretty small field so I thought I had a good chance of a top 3 place among the females. However, it turned out that the children's race was at the same time as the main races and after some pondering, I decided I'd rather see the kids run than race myself for a change.

I'm glad I made that decision. Robbie wanted to run by himself, but I ran with Emma, juist to make sure she knew where to go and didn't fall over or stop. They did really well.

Ready to run!
It started in a cricket field, and Robbie shot off like a rocket, although I'd warned him not to go too fast at the start! Most of the others did too though. We had to run around the edge of the field before going out along a lane, then turning round and coming back to finish in the field. However, the boys at the start ran inside the cones used to mark the route, and I'm not sure any of us ran a whole 1K!

...and they're off...
After a fast start, Robbie slowed down and we caught him up. At the halfway point there was a table with cups of water, and the children were all stopping for a good break and a drink - it made me laugh to see how uncompetitive they were compared to adults!

As we came back, we seemed to be in front of most of the runners. Emma kept running really fast and I was waiting for her to stop and walk, but she didn't, and she pulled ahead of Robbie for a while. Then she looked back and held her hand out for me and ran back to me - I don't know why, she was doing fine on her own!

Last 200 metres
We got into the field and I kept shouting at the kids to keep going with the promise of a cake at the end. They sped up, and we crossed the line close together, Robbie just a few steps in front of Emma.
Approaching the finish
They got a quite nice medal at the end, and I think Emma was one of the faster girls. Unfortunately later, they only announced the 3 winning boys without mention of the girls, and the results aren't on the website yet. The kids said they really enjoyed it though, so that was the main thing.

Finally this afternoon, we went for a swim. Pete and Robbie cycled the 3 miles to the pool and 3 miles back, so Robbie really has done a triathlon today! He should sleep well tonight. We had a good swim and did some time trials up and down the pool to tire ourselves out even more.

Next week I'm working every day, so I'll find it hard to fit in much exercise - lucky I banked so much this weekend!

Thursday 16 May 2013

Minimal Running

Since Easter and the marathon, work has started to take up more of my time, and running has been relegated to less of a priority. This felt right and proper in the first couple of weeks after the marathon - I needed to recover - but recently I could really do with running more than I am.

I'm now teaching regularly 3 mornings a week, and by the time I've done various admin and the occasional meetings, by the time I get home it's usually time for school pick-up. I can fit runs in before work (but not if Pete's swimming or away), and sometimes after Pete gets home in the evening if it's not too late, but I don't have enough time or organisation then to fit in a long run.

I should be free on Thurs and Fri, so one of those is a bike ride, and the other should be a long run, but last Friday I was away on a work trip, this Friday I'm helping in the kids' school, next Friday I'm covering for another teacher - there always seems to be something.

And at the weekends we have recently been travelling a lot visiting various family and friends, and I try not to do long runs when we could be doing 'family stuff'. I've also been 'parkrunning'every Saturday, but that's only 5K.

It's not so much that I haven't got time to run, I just can't seem to find the time for long runs. Since the marathon - now almost 5 weeks ago - I still haven't run further than 4.3 miles! So I really need to get my backside into gear.

I am doing a bit of cross-training though. Last Monday it was our 3rd netball practice, and something amazing happened - I scored a goal!! I'd ended up as Goal Attack without really wanting that role, and I think it was my second attempt which actually went through the hoop. I was stunned! It was an incredibly windy evening, so all the shooters were really struggling with the stong winds blowing the ball off course, and it was definitely a fluke that mine went in. I should have stopped there, as my further attempts were nowhere near...

Anyway, it was good fun again, and definitely a different challenge for my muscles as I ached like hell afterwards.

And there's also the biking. I'm really enjoying it, as the weather, although pretty iffy in general, has been dry and sunny on my last few rides. Today I cycled to the coast again, then along it to the town centre.

I had to get something in the shops, and found myself wandering, sweaty, smelly and sportily-dressed, in a rather posh department store. I only felt a little self-concious as some smartly-dressed ladies of an older generation couldn't hide their concern at seeing me there. I did take my helmet off at least.

When I'd got what I needed in the shops, there was time for a coffee, cake and kindle moment. Bliss.

Thursday 9 May 2013

April Rundown and Catching Up

Oh I just seem to be too busy these days. April finished ages ago, but I haven't counted up my numbers yet. It doesn't take long as a lot of it was post marathon recovery and heavy on the resting.

Ran - 10x = 60.6 miles
Cycled - 1x = 10.2 miles
1 Race - Brighton Marathon PB!!

Since the start of May, I haven't increased my running mileage much. It's almost a full month since the marathon, but my longest run so far has been just over 4 miles. I think it's about time I upped that a bit, but with no current goal, I'm enjoying lots of easy, scenic, fun runs. I need to start looking for new goals...

Away from running, I did have a great bike ride last week. I had been looking forward to it for a while, and last Thursday I finally had the time for a good long cycle. I headed towards the coast but took the long way round. It was a sunny day and quite warm, and the view by the sea was lovely.

I cycled along next to the beach towards the town centre.

Then I locked the bike up for a while and popped into a cafe with my kindle! I completely undid all my calorie-busting exercise with a huge slice of chocolate cake and a coffee. I shouldn't have indulged really, but it was too good to resist.

Then I got back on the bike and decided I ought to add a few miles on to counteract the chocolate. I took a different route home which went through a park and alongside a lake. 

My bike is such a poseur...

It ended up as 20 miles, which was more than I had planned. I really enjoyed having the time to take it easy and not have to rush.

Now the summer is here, I hope to fit in plenty more long bike rides while the kids are still at school (although I won't always treat myself to chocolate cake...)