Running Challenges for 2021

Unlike a lot of runners I know, we don’t do a lot of “in person” events because I don’t like having to get up early to travel too far, or too long, so most events changing to virtual in 2020 was great for us. I think Adam and I earned more medals in 2020 than we did in the previous 5 years. Wait, I’ll just need to work that out now …

2020Elvington Flyer 5 mile2019Elvington Flyer 5 mile
2020York to London (virtual challenge – 237 miles over the year)2019Interstellar 10K
2020Lockdown challenge (set your own challenge for the lockdown medal)2019Ribbon Run 5K
2020Run2York virtual runs – North Yorkshire2019Chocolate 10K
2020Run2York virtual runs – East Yorkshire2019York 10K
2020Run2York virtual runs – South Yorkshire2019Yorkshire 10 mile
2020Run2York virtual runs – West Yorkshire2019Gunpowder Plot 10K
2020Run2York Seaside Series – Blackpool2018York 10K
2020Run2York Seaside Series – Bridlington2018Yorkshire 10 mile
2020Run2York Seaside Series – Saltburn2017York 10K
2020Summer of Running 10K2017Yorkshire 10 mile
2020Ribbon Run 5K2016York 10K
2020Day of the Dead 10K2016Yorkshire 10 mile
2020Chrimbo Bingo challenge2016Disneyland Paris half marathon
Total medals in 202014Total medals in previous 4 years14

Not quite 5 years but we equalled the number of medals we got in the previous 4 years. Our previous best was 7 medals in 2019 and 6 medals in 2015 which is not on this list. it’s all thanks to See York Run York.

Anyway, on to this year’s long virtual run challenges. See York Run York have created 2 challenges which you can do by counting your distance over the course of 2021. You can also choose how you want to make up your distance – run, walk, cycle, swim etc. I entered Adam, The Man and myself in to both of the challenges and created gift vouchers for them to give to Adam and The Man for Christmas presents.

We even got a downladable number

The first of the See York Run York challenges is a 644 mile virtual run (and, in our case, walk) from the start of the Boston Marathon to the finish of the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC. Along the way you run 5 different marathons, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and the Marine Corps marathon, as well as running in between. As this is over 1,000km, we are going to include our walks, as long as I record them in Strava/Garmin, if Adam and I walk together. Otherwise, it will all be running. If I run without Adam I’ll be counting those miles too. For the Man, I’m going to include his steps, as long as he has done more than, say, 5,000 steps in a day as he doesn’t get out running as often as he’d like.

The second challenge from See York Run York is to run the London Underground. This is split into the 11 lines of the London Underground network. The total distance is 346km and we are going to only use running for this challenge. The longest line is the Central Line at 53km and the shortest is the Waterloo & City Line at 2km. We have decided to complete these in alphabetical order so have started with the Bakerloo Line which is 22km.

I have also entered us for another challenge but this one we are doing as a team. We are walking and running Route 66! This one has been entered via My Virtual Mission/The Conqueror Virtual Challenges and, thanks to being able to link our Garmins/Fitbits we are including all steps taken to contribute to the distance. We are aiming to complete all 2,280 miles (3,669km) in a year. We started on Christmas day 2020 and aim to finish by Christmas Eve 2021.

We will, hopefully, be doing the York 10K this year as our entry from last year was transferred to this year. I’m also looking at 3 events which See York Run York have planned, as actual “in person” events, for later in the year. Here’s hoping we will be able to run with our running buddies soon.

Run2York Challenges – Round Up

As I stopped writing this blog in June (28th June was my last post before 31st December!), I thought I’d do a round up of the Run2York challenges.

Here’s a quick re-cap of the challenge(s):

The wonderful people at See York Run York set up a number of virtual running challenges for us in 2020 and one, or four, of them were the Run2York series which involved running, virtually, from a town or city in each of the 4 Yorkshire counties to York. When I stopped writing, Adam and I had completed North and East Yorkshire runs from Whitby and the Humber Bridge and had just started the South Yorkshire leg from Sheffield.

Fortunately, I did keep a weekly photo record of the South and West Yorkshire runs, as follows:

Amazingly, South Yorkshire only took 3 weeks to complete!

When I planned the challenge, I’d thought we’d struggle to finish each leg in one month as 50 miles (80km) was a tall order for us back in April when I signed Adam and me up. Somehow, thanks to lovely weather and not working, we ran further each week than we ever had before and finished all 4 runs in 3 months!

After the success of the Run2York challenge, See York Run York released the Seaside Edition of the challenge. This time, we were running from 3 seaside resorts, Blackpool, Bridlington and Saltburn. So, needing another challenge, of course I signed Adam and me up.

Unfortunately, I stopped creating the update posts for Facebook after the Saltburn Week 1 picture due to lack of time as I had gone back to full hours at work. However, we completed the full Seaside Edition of the Run2York series on 29th October 2020. That was another 188 miles in 3 months!

Now for this year’s medals. I hope you agree that they are amazing and are one of the reasons why I keep on signing up for See York Run York events.

This year Adam and I have completed the following events, unfortunately all of them were virtual runs:

  • Elvington Flyer 5 miles
  • Run2York (Yorkshire series) – 200 miles in 3 months
  • Lockdown Challenge – set our own challenge of running 500km during the first lockdown. From 23rd March to 27th July 2020 we completed 502km.
  • The Sean Coxhead Ribbon Run 5K – raising money for Macmillan Cancer
  • Summer of Running 10K
  • York to London – virtual run starting at York Minster and running to the start of the London Marathon and completing the London Marathon course for a total of 237 miles
  • Run2York Seaside Edition – 188 miles in 3 months
  • Day of the Dead 10K
  • Chrimbo Bingo – a challenge for December 2020. Choose your own challenge to complete a line or two or go for a full house.

I had an amazing year of running in 2020 year and am looking forward to the new challenges which I have already signed up for in 2021.

Still Here and Plodding On

Oh dear, I’ve done it again. I started writing regularly and then … stopped. I don’t know why I keep doing that because when I write, I enjoy it. I guess it’s because it takes up time that I don’t always have. Anyway, you can tell when I went back to work after being furloughed because the writing just STOPPED!

Anyway, I am still here and I’m still running with Adam. We even finished the Run 2 York challenge and added the Run 2 York Seaside Series on to it. If I have time I’ll write a post or two about all of the running challenges this year.

It has been a very strange year, as it has been for everyone. One day Adam was doing really well with his work placement at a local café 3 days a week, having a job coaching session with his coach once a week and going to a social care placement once a week and then, like most people, nothing. He was at home full time and I became a full time carer overnight. There is more about that in my Carers Week post in June.

I returned to work after furlough in July. It was part time to start with but I have been back to my full hours (still part time) since either September or October. The weeks and months have all merged together so I’m not entirely sure.

Adam went back to social care for one morning and one afternoon session in September and will be changing to 2 morning sessions from next week as my working hours have changed. However, he is still at home the rest of the time as his work placement, being in a café, has not restarted.

There have been some positives to come out of this year though:

  1. I have spent a lot of time with my husband and son.
  2. I have run further in one year than I ever have before, thank you See York Run York and your virtual challenges!
  3. I have eaten less takeaways and cooked from scratch a lot more. I’ve always cooked at least 4 or 5 meals a week from scratch but now it is at least 5 and sometimes even 7.
  4. My husband has learned to cook more meals. He’s added Toad in the Hole and fish cake dinner to the burgers which he learned how to cook last year. The fish cake dinner is just putting pre-made fish cakes and potato waffles in the oven and cooking peas to go with them but it saves me having to do it!
  5. I have started reading regularly, again.
  6. I started cross-stitching again.
  7. I was one of the lucky few who had their annual holiday before lockdown and the restrictions which came with it.
Here’s to a better 2021

Run2York Challenge – South Yorkshire

Last weekend Adam and I finished the second of our Run2York challenges, from the Humber Bridge to York Minster. We started our third challenge, South Yorkshire, which will take us from Sheffield Station to York Minster last Sunday but I decided to have an extended week 1 rather than a one day week as I did previously.

The run for the South Yorkshire leg is 52 miles (83.2 km). This week, we ran a total of 28 km (including 3.6 km last Sunday).

Last Sunday was a short, slow run as Adam and I are supporting The Man on his couch to 5K. This means that some weeks we will do extra runs and some weeks we will include the couch to 5K sessions in with our runs. So, last Sunday was a bonus run for us.

This week, Adam and I ran on Tuesday and Thursday with The Man so our routes were a little different. We started off with a run round the estate, which is flat, for The Man’s couch to 5K and then continued our run to Acomb (and the bakery) on a slightly amended route. The Man was on week 5 so this included 2x 8 minute intervals on Tuesday and a 20 minute continuous run on Thursday. In the heat we had this week, it wasn’t easy.

Thursday was hot and sweaty!

Saturday was a cooler run, thanks to the light rain we had when we started running. Saturdays are supposed to be a short, parkrun length run but, thanks to this challenge, I keep making them longer. I even made Adam run the length of our street so we could make it up to 8 km!

This morning was a bit of a bonus run for us as we took part in another little challenge from the See York Run York chat group on Facebook. At the beginning of the month we did a 1 mile time trial and today was the day we had to run it again to see if we could improve.

Well, we did improve, by 13 seconds. Not a lot but considering that I didn’t put in any specific training to ensure we got faster that was ok. Also, it was windy and Adam was still talking to me and there was a car coming along the road every time we needed to cross one. It was 9.30 on a Sunday morning, I wasn’t expecting that many cars. Well, those are my excuses for the not much quicker time and I’m sticking to them 😂.

So, here we go for another week. This week should be good although, again, slightly different as I am back at work, albeit part time, from Wednesday. I’ll be working from home and still working as Adam’s full time carer so we’ll still be able to go out running.

We are taking part in the Run2York 200 challenge to raise money for the Snappy Trust.

Run2York – East Yorkshire – Completed!

Oops! I forgot to post an update last week.

Anyway, we have completed the East Yorkshire leg of the Run2York challenge in just over 3 weeks. I have records for 4 weeks of running because day 1 was on a Saturday and my week runs from Monday to Sunday.

It’s been a mixed bag of running over the past couple of weeks, weather-wise at least. We’ve had rain, we’ve had sun, we’ve had cloud. Usually all in the same run. Although this is Yorkshire (or this is England, or this is the UK) so what do we expect?

We’ve stuck, predominantly, to the same routes for our Tuesday and Thursday runs but have changed up the Saturday run a little bit so that we are only running a short section of the service track of the York Racecourse and then running behind the stands and down a path which skirts round the Racecourse. This has proven to be a little bit quieter and the users of the path seem to keep left, and single file, a lot better than those using the service track.

We have also been out a couple of times with The Man who has started to follow the Couch to 5K programme and has just finished week 4. We will be keeping him company on his runs as he progresses further with day 1 of week 5 tomorrow. This coming week his runs will be on the same days as ours so there won’t be any extra mileage for the challenge but on weeks where his running days are different we can definitely clock up those miles 🙂

So, for week 3 we completed 23.3 km to take our total up to 51.9 km. We needed to complete 24.9 km this week to complete the challenge and we ran 25 km!

We have now completed 98 miles of the 200 mile challenge and will be moving on to our 3rd leg – South Yorkshire – which will be a run from Sheffield Station to York Minster. I don’t think this one will take us just over 3 weeks. I’m aiming to complete the 83.2 km in 4 weeks.

We were originally aiming to complete the Run2York 200 mile challenge by 31st August 2020 but I am now changing that to 16th August 2020 which gives us 8 weeks to complete the remaining 102 miles (163.2 km). We have set a deadline for the challenge as we are raising money for The Snappy Trust who are continuing to provide much needed care for disabled children and their families.

Carers Week 2020

As a Carer myself, I know how hard it is to care for someone every day of the year. Those who choose to go into a profession where they are caring for other people on a daily basis are amazing and I take my hat off to them. I couldn’t care for a stranger the way they do.

So, firstly, THANK YOU to all of the employed Carers out there who are still working and caring for those who need it.

However, Carers Week is about the Carers, like me, who are unpaid and do what we do for love. To be honest, I’ve never really seen myself as a “Carer” as I am just looking after my son, and that’s what parents do, even though my day to day parenting role has gone on a lot longer than most parents.

This year, I decided to write a post in support of Carers Week due to the times we find ourselves in. We are 12 weeks into lockdown and Carers, like parents of school-age children, have found themselves having to care for the people they care for 24/7 without any respite or assistance from outside sources. In many cases, we are trying to work from home as well as the additional caring duties.

In my case, Adam is usually out of the house from 8.15 am until 4 pm-ish Monday to Friday. He was doing a work placement on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. He was at a day care centre for adults with learning disabilities on Thursdays and then had another placement on a Friday. He also had English and Maths lessons within this timetable. Then, on 23rd March, we were told that everything was stopping and he couldn’t carry on with any of it.

When we become, or continue to be Carers, we do it knowing that we should be able to get some support and respite during the week so we can have a little bit of time to ourselves to go to work, do the shopping and maybe even have a date night. It’s the same for parents, when you have a child (or children) you know that you are likely to need to look after them full time until they are 4 or 5 but once they get to school age you expect to have school hours free to either go to work, meet up with friends, do the shopping etc. We are now caring for our children, trying to encourage them to do their school work and keep them busy while not being able to go out and about as much or see family. We are having to do this while, in some cases, also trying to work (either our paid jobs, from home, or running our businesses from home) and having distractions from ALL family members being in the house at the same time 24/7.

We are lucky in that Adam isn’t hard to care for but that doesn’t mean that it has been easy. Twelve weeks, and counting, of lockdown has seen lots of frustration and shouting but it has also brought with it a lot of family time and laughter. Fortunately, we have been able to go out as we don’t have to shield or isolate due to medical conditions. So, we have been out running and walking when we’ve needed to go shopping. We have been to the shop (cafe) where Adam was doing his work placement each week to keep him in touch with the people he was working with. Hopefully, he will be able to go back when the cafe connected to the shop opens again. Adam has also had a weekly Zoom call with his Job Coach and has recently started having his English and Maths lessons via Zoom too. We tried doing the English and Maths by having the work sent though to me and then I attempted to go through it with him. That really didn’t work well so we changed to having Zoom lessons instead. That is working so much better and it means that I get a little bit of time to sit at my computer and do some work while Adam is doing his lessons in the kitchen.

So, to finish, to all Carers out there you are amazing! As are all the parents who are now finding themselves trying to be all things to all people. Take care of yourselves and don’t compare yourselves to others. You don’t know what they are going through behind the smiles or the tears.

Take care and be kind. Sending hugs to anyone who needs one.

One final thing, I thought I’d share a blog which I wrote for parkrun last year when they were asking for Carer’s parkrun stories.

Journal Jar: Do you have a favourite author?

It’s a while since I pulled a prompt out of my Journal Jar and I was sat at my desk finishing off a blog post for my Fiona’s Beauty Box blog and thought I’d write a quick post here too. But, what to write? Cue, Journal Jar!

So, do I have a favourite author? I don’t have a single favourite author but I do have authors who I read more than others.

At the moment, I’m reading quite a lot of crime fiction and have recently discovered the DCI Ryan series of books by L J Ross. I have only read the first one and am part way through the second but so far she’s looking good as an author to go back to. I am also working my way through the Jack Reacher books by Lee Child.

Other authors I will go back to time and again are John Grisham (I read A Time to Kill and Pelican Brief before I watched the films and they are so much better!) and Anthony Horowitz (I loved the Alex Rider books, not just for teens).

I don’t only read crime fiction though. If I want something quick and trashy, i’m not above reading a rubbish romance novel. I have also been reading autobiographies and personal development books.

Run2York – East Yorkshire – Week 2 completed

Adam and I had a very good week of running this week and even had a bonus run today as we are taking part in another little challenge from See York Run York (more about that later).

We started our East Yorkshire leg of the Run2York challenge last Saturday, 30th May. this is a nice short leg of 48 miles (76.8 km) and all of my pictures show the distance in kilometres as I always use kilometres rather than miles to record my runs. As with the North Yorkshire challenge, this was classed as Week 1 of the East Yorkshire challenge as our running week goes from Monday to Saturday. So, last week we completed 5.9 km.

Moving on to this past week, 1st to 7th June, we had some lovely runs and one not so lovely run.

Tuesdays run was lovely in the sunshine but a bit slower than we have been due to the warmth. Having Adam ask me “is it warm?” every time we have a walk break, so every 4 minutes or so, is a bit much even for me. Anyway, including our warm up walk, we still managed to average 7:30/km.

Thursday was great! I love the Thursday route and we changed it up slightly near the end in the hope of extending it a little, and avoiding more people as we approached Acomb. Unfortunately, the alternate route only added about 20 metres! We did avoid a lot of people though and Adam has agreed to amend the route a little more next week to see if we can make the route closer to 8 km.

Yesterday was non-parkrun day and we set out earlier than we have been doing on a Saturday morning. Leaving home at 9 am was a mistake! The Knavesmire was so busy! Next week we’ll go back to our 9.30 am or 10 am start. Anyway, apart from that, Adam and I ran to the Knavesmire where we met up with The Man ,who had left home to walk up there while we were still getting our shoes on. The Man is doing the Couch to 5K programme and we agreed to do the first session of week 3 with him round the service track of the Knavesmire and then run home, while he walked. The weather was very windy but at least the rain stayed away until we got home. We extended the run by running a longer way home and so ran 7 km rather than the usual 5.9 km.

Including our bonus run from today, details coming, we ran 22.7 km this week. We have now completed 28.6 km (17.9 miles) of the East Yorkshire challenge.

Finally, today we had a little bonus run. See York Run York, the people behind a lot of our challenges at the moment, set up a challenge to run 1 or 5 miles this weekend as a time trial (you can do both if you wish) and record your time. We will then do a bit of training, in our case it will just be continuing more of the same with a little bit of The Man’s Couch to 5K training thrown in, and then run the 1 or 5 miles again during the last weekend in June to see if we can improve.

Adam and I went out to do our mile this morning. We started with a 5 minute walk then ran the mile, yes we ran the whole mile none of our usual run/walking, and finished with a 5 minute cool down walk. We ran 1 mile in 9:43 which, considering our times have averaged 11:35/mile (7:15/km) so far this year I think is pretty good. Hopefully we will improve in the next 3 weeks.

Adam and I are aiming to complete all 200 miles of the Run2York challenges by 31st August 2020 to raise money for The Snappy Trust. Depending on how well we continue to progress with the East Yorkshire challenge, I may bring the deadline forward by a couple of weeks to 16th August 2020. If you feel so inclined, please sponsor us via our JustGiving page. Even £1 will help Snappy to continue to provide their essential service to the children and families they support.

Run2York 200 – North Yorkshire Completed!

We did it! We finished the North Yorkshire leg of our 4 part Run2York 200 challenge. We even managed to run an extra mile or so.

We finished the North Yorkshire run on Thursday, with a running day to spare, so started part 2 (East Yorkshire) on Saturday. The East Yorkshire leg goes from the Humber Bridge to York Minster and is only 48 miles (76.8 km) so we will hopefully finish this run before the end of June and be able to start South Yorkshire a little early as that one will be 52 miles (83.2 km).

Oh, and we received some bling! Our medals for the Ribbon Run arrived last week and the North Yorkshire medal arrived yesterday.

Adam and I are aiming to complete the Run2York 200 challenge (200 miles) before the end of August 2020 to raise money for The Snappy Trust.

Run2York 200 Challenge – North Yorkshire – Weeks 3 and 4

Technically, I guess we have only completed 3 weeks and 1 day but as I start my running week on a Monday, and the first run of this challenge was on a Saturday, I’m saying that this is week 4. As I forgot to post an update last week this is for both weeks 3 and 4.

Week 3

After what was, for us, a large increase in distance during week 2 we reduced the runs back down again this week. The Tuesday run was back down to 5.5 km. We did, however, decide to keep the new, longer, route for Thursdays so that was another 7.5 km. We also kept our new route for the not-a-parkrun on Saturday and completed 5.8 km.

In total we completed 18.8 km (or 11.8 miles) to make a total so far of 45.9 km (28.7 miles) so only 34.1 km (21.3 miles) to go.

Week 4

This week we, once again, kept our Tuesday and Thursday runs the same, 5.5 km and 7.5 km, but added an extra run on Wednesday. The Man has just started the couch to 5k so we decided to go out with him to help him to keep his pace down as he has a tendency to go too fast too soon and then has to stop running due to a recurring niggle in his ankle. It was a nice, little 3.3 km to add to the week’s total.

We also ran a little bit further on our Saturday run, 6.2 km, as we needed to incorporate a ribbon for our Ribbon Run.

In total we completed 22.5 km (14.1 miles) this week to make a total so far of 68.4 km (42.7 miles). We only have to run 11.6 km (7.3 miles) this week to complete the first of our 4 Run2York Challenge runs.

We are taking part in See York Run York’s Run2York 200 Challenge to raise money for The Snappy Trust. You can find out more about why we are doing this in my earlier blog post.

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