Fi's Mutterings

Disney, running, swimming, living with disability, challenges…


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York 10 Mile

Today was Yorkshire Marathon day and, as they have for the last two years, the fantastic team at Run for All events added a 10 mile run for those of us who wanted to experience the atmosphere of a marathon but don’t want to run that far. The previous 2 10 mile events were fantastic and this year’s event was just as good.

This year we got to the start area in time to see the start of the marathon. We then had 30 minutes to walk round the university campus (the start and finish is at University of York) and go to the toilet before the start of the 10 mile run.

As usual, due to wanting the toilet, we started at the back. Next year I think we should at least try to start a bit further forwards.

For the past few weeks, we have been running parkrun using 5:1 run/walk intervals so reduced the run interval down to 3 minutes. The reduced running interval was really comfortable and we averaged just under 7 minutes per km which was just over 11 minute mile pace. We were doing really well and I had hope to be able to pick up the pace a little from the 7 mile mark – it’s only a parkrun to go when we get to 7 miles 🙂 Unfortunately, at 6 miles the 10 mile route merges with the marathon route and we had to keep to the right side of the road to let the faster marathon runners through. This wasn’t a problem from 8 miles or so but before that the road was a country road and quite narrow making it hard to pass other runners. As we walk at regular intervals, I don’t like passing runners if we’re going to walk within about 30 seconds if they don’t have enough room to get past us easily. So the pace slowed a little for a couple of miles. Still, it was a fab run with a lot of support round most of the course.

As I have for the past 8 years, with Adam since 2014, we were running for Snappy Want to sponsor us?

Bring on next year 🙂

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Getting Back On Track

I am slowly getting myself back on track with regards to exercising, weight management and general wellbeing.  My year started out OK with the usual post-Christmas weight loss and push back into exercise but then it stalled.

As I hadn’t been going to the gym, and I couldn’t really afford to keep paying for it anyway, I cancelled my gym membership.  As a result, I stopped doing strength training.  I really have no excuse for stopping.  I mean, I can do body weight exercises and I do have resistance bands and a kettlebell at home.  So, why don’t I use them?  For some reason, I don’t like getting dressed for exercise at home, unless I’m going out for a run, and when I come home from a run I don’t have time to do anything more than a post-run stretch.  Actually, the reason is probably more along the lines of I don’t have time when no-one else is at home – I don’t like being interrupted while exercising.

I have been running quite a lot this year though.  However, that also stalled as I started the year doing a lot of run/walk pacing at parkrun and running with my husband.  So, while I have been getting out running 2 to 3 times peach week, my running didn’t improve.  That is until I took a week off parkrun and Adam ran with a friend of ours at parkrun and ran the fastest 5k he’s run in over 2 years!  The following week I ran with Adam and our friend and ran my fastest time since April 2015 when I set my 5k PB of 29:21.

At the beginning of September, I went to get weighed at Weight Watchers hoping that I hadn’t put on so much weight over the 6 weeks of the Summer holidays that I’d have to pay for the first time in over 3 years – yes, I’ve been a Gold Member for over 3 years!  Fortunately, I didn’t.  I put on 2.5lbs in 6 weeks but I am still within 5lbs of my goal weight 😀

Last week, my Weight Watchers Coach gave us all a goal setting piece of paper and said we could fill it in if we wanted to.  I decided that as I was on a roll with getting my exercise back on track, I started a 5k to 10k training plan using an app from Active.com, and was starting to feel good that I would fill it in.  I shared some of the information on to our meetings’ facebook group and thought I’d also share it here:

Milestones for 2017 (so far)

  • Ran my fasted 5k since 2015 – now sub-32 minutes
  • Maintained my weight for a 3rd year

I am proud of myself because …

I returned to meetings at the first opportunity after working all of the Summer holidays rather than waiting a week to see if I could lose a bit of weight first

Goals for the next 4 weeks

  • Lose 1/2lb per week
  • Run the York 10 Mile on 7th October 2017
  • Attend the Weight Watchers meeting EVERY week

Goals by Christmas

  • Lose 7lbs to give me an extra “cushion” for Christmas
  • Run sub-31 5k and maybe even get back under 30 minutes

To be more successful in my journey I need to …

Write down everything I eat, as I eat it!

Since writing my goals, I have achieved one of them – I ran sub-31 minutes at parkrun yesterday 😀  The York 10 Mile is next week and Adam and I will be running for SNAPPY, again https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/adamsefton


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Running Events Review of 2016

Last time I wrote about running was in May 2016 so here is, hopefully, a quick recap of the events we covered last year and what is planned for 2017.

R U Taking the P? 5K

On Fathers’ Day, Adam once again took part in R U Taking the P? 5K.  As it is a men only race to raise awareness and fundraising for male cancers, I wasn’t allowed to take part.  This year, Adam’s dad wasn’t at home to run it with him but, even knowing this, Adam asked if he could do it anyway.  It was the first time he’s ever run an event from start to finish on his own.  I was so proud of him.

There were a few people who we know from parkrun there and they kept an eye out for him which was great.  In fact, he got a mention on the York parkrun Facebook page and was featured in the parkrun newsletter in September.  I am so proud of him.

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York 10K

We entered the York 10K in August.  Not as good as previous years but we completed it.  Adam’s hat blew off while we were running down Nunnery Lane, just before we got to Micklegate.  We finished in 1:10:38.  Not bad considering we didn’t run between January and April and had only run up to 5k in training which was very hit and miss.

Disneyland Paris Half Marathon

In September, Adam and I went over to Disneyland Paris for the weekend so we could take part in the inaugural Disneyland Paris Half Marathon.  It was AMAZING!!!  I don’t know what our time was as both of our running watches ran out of battery at around 13k (out of 21k).  This was an event to take part in rather than run for a time though and it was so much fun.

Unlike other runDisney events which start at 5.30am, the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon had a start time of 7am which meant we didn’t have to get up too early.  The one thing I didn’t like was that there were no toilets once you got into the coral, waiting for the start.  We were waiting for over an hour from the last toilet to actually going through the start line.  Needless to say, I needed to go to the toilet when we started.  Ah well, there are plenty of toilets in the parks and we, and lots of others, peeled off as soon as we got to one of the ones backstage.  As usual, there was only 3 toilets in the ladies and the men had 2 plus 3 urinals.  A group of ladies, including myself, decided that we’d risk the wrath of the men and ran in to the men’s loo.

We ran through Walt Disney Studios and Disneyland Park.  There were lots of characters to meet and have a photo taken with but we only stopped to meet Chip and Dale as the queues were too long for the others.  After about 5k, we left the parks and ran through the French countryside before returning the Disneyland Paris and running through Hotel Santa Fe and Hotel Cheyenne to get to the lake and run past Sequoia Lodge and Newport Bay.  The last part of the run was through Disney Village.  Adam and I had started flagging a bit, I think it was because we didn’t have our intervals to keep us on track, when we were running through the hotels but as soon as we got to Disney Village, Adam got his second wind and was off.  I was happily chatting to someone from the UK (another parkrunner) when Adam decided that he was going to start his run for the finish line!

After the finish line we met Daisy and got our medals.  They are heavy!  The run was worth it for the bling, lol 🙂

York 10 Mile

Once again, the team behind the Yorkshire Marathon decided to include a 10 mile run.  Adam, of course, decided that we should run it even though it was only 2 weeks after the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon.  As last year, it was a great run with lots of support round the course.  I think the lack of training and the fact that we’d done the half marathon 3 weeks before caught up with me because I didn’t think I could carry on at 8 miles.  I managed even though I had to reduce the run/walk intervals.  We finished in 1:53:46, 3 minutes slower than last year.

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What’s coming in 2017?

At the moment, there is only the York 10K.  If there is a 10 mile to go with the Yorkshire Marathon, I’m sure we’ll enter that again but they haven’t released details of it yet.  Adam is going to be running R U Taking the P? again.  This year he will probably be running with his dad, or at least starting with him.

Now that I have completed 100 parkruns, I’m planning on volunteering at least once a month but will still be running 2 to 3 parkruns each month, unless the horses are using the track 😉 (York parkrun uses the service track at York Racecourse so is cancelled if there is horse racing).  My fastest time for parkrun was 31:52 in 2016 and I would love to get back under 31, or even 30, minutes in 2017.


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100th parkrun Completed!

I haven’t written on my blog for months!  Since May 2016, in fact.  Sorry, life got in the way a little.  I’ll catch up with everything that has happened in the 2nd half of 2016 over the next couple of weeks, I hope.

First though, I completed my 100th parkrun this morning!!!   I ran in the heavy rain and hail with the wind blowing it horizontal on Christmas Eve and then ran Christmas Day parkrun just so I could do the 100th one this year.  It’s been a long time coming, I’ve been doing parkrun since August 2013 but took about 3 months off earlier this year while it was cold and wet and couldn’t be bothered to get out of bed, lol.

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Over the past few months, Adam has decided that he’d rather volunteer than run (his dad is now volunteering as the photographer most weeks) so he needs to do another 15 parkruns to get his 100.  He’s well on his way to his volunteer 25 t-shirt though.


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Disneyland Paris Half Marathon

After last year’s runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon that ended up being a 7 mile run instead of 13, I did my sums and decided that Adam and I could do the inaugural half marathon at Disneyland Paris in September 2016.  I’m sure it’ll be a lot of fun.  The only downside being that my husband will probably be away working so only Adam and I are booked on the trip 😦

Today, I finally did the last thing which I needed to get done/booked before we go so I can now relax and not panic, well not much anyway, until September.

So, I have booked the Disneyland Paris hotel, the Eurostar (from London to Disneyland Paris), the hotel in London for the day before Disneyland Paris and for the day we return from Disneyland Paris, trains to and from London (so happy that if you register with Virgin Trains you can book your tickets up to 6 months in advance rather than the usual 12 weeks).  I have also bought our half marathon entry and tickets to the inaugural party at Walt Disney Studios.  I’m so excited!  The amount Adam keeps talking about it, I think he’s excited too – I had to tell him so that I can get him out running/training for it.

One thing which is different about this run is that unlike other events where you can sign a waiver, under French Law, you have to get a Medical Certificate signed by your doctor to say that you are fit to enter the race.  I finally organised the Medical Certificates for Adam and me and picked them up today.  They are now uploaded to the registration site and we are ready to go.

Now we just need to put in the miles and the time in training for it.  At least we still have over 4 months to go 🙂

I managed to get a longer run than I anticipated this morning due to forgetting to pick up the Medical Certificates yesterday.  I was planning on running a 3km loop but had a phone call (which I didn’t answer) when I was half way round.  I looked at the caller id which came up with “No Caller ID” – when my doctors surgery calls it comes up with that – which made me remember I needed to pick up the Certificates.  So, I decided I’d extend my run and run to the doctors surgery.  I’d done 4km of consistent running, no walking, by the time I got to the doctors so decided to pause my Garmin and then restart it when I got going again.  I ended up with a, not quite constant, run of 5.55km in 36:15!  It’s not the time or the distance that I’m happy with (well, I am because it’s the fastest I’ve done for a while) but more the fact that, apart from the stop at the doctors, I ran without any walk breaks for over 35 minutes 😀

Bring on the York 10K – yes, we’ve entered that again – and the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon.  We may add the Yorkshire 10 mile if they do it as part of the Yorkshire Marathon again.


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Walking, lots of walking

This past weekend, the sun finally shone and was warm enough for me to take off my hoodie and agree to go for a long walk on Sunday with my husband and son.  It was lovely.

We took a picnic and walked from home down to the river.  We then walked along the river path to Bishopthorpe and then on towards Acaster Malbis.  We stopped short of Acaster Malbis and crossed over the bridge to have our lunch.

After lunch we walked from Naburn to Fulford where we stopped off at the Designer Outlet so I could go to the loo, before carrying on to Milennium Bridge to get an ice cream from the Two Hoots ice cream boat.  The queue was really long, we waited 30 minutes, but it was worth the wait for a blueberry ice cream – yum! (the photos of ice cream and the ice cream boat are from Friday when it wasn’t as busy)

I actually remembered to start, and stop, my Garmin for our walk and, in total, we walked 18km in 3 hours 32 minutes!  No wonder my feet were sore!

In other news, Adam and I ran/walked at parkrun for the 3rd week in a row 🙂  This week I beat him, mainly because he decided he’d had enough after 3.5km and decided to walk while I kept running.  I finished in 34:10 which is the fastest time since coming back so I’m happy with that.  We also increased the running interval to 2 minutes 30 seconds.  We won’t be at parkrun next week due to another commitment and the horses are using the racecourse the week after but we’ll be back at York parkrun for their 200th event on 28th May 😀


Virtual Running – Run Blog Hop

Virtual Running UK Blog Hop LogoThis Month’s Blog Topic

Spring Marathon Season has arrived! For this month’s blog hop we’d like you to share a post about your marathon experiences. Whether you are a seasoned marathoner, or you are training for your first 26.2 miles, or even if you’ve never run a marathon in your life but have a story to share, then share it here – we’d love to hear from you!

Well, I’ve never run a marathon, nor am I planning to.  Then again, I said that 10K was far enough for me and I’d never to a half marathon either, so you never know.  I think it is unlikely that I will ever run a marathon though purely because I know that I don’t have the time to put in the miles that you need to do to be able to complete the marathon.  Training for a half marathon is hard enough when I have to find a time that both Adam and I can do as he can’t go out to do the runs on his own.  Before the 10 mile and half marathon (which turned into a quarter marathon) last year we did get into a good routine of running after college but that was before the clocks went back and the dark nights set in.  Also, we never actually ran more than 10km in training.

If you want to read about the York 10 Mile, which we somehow managed to complete with only 9km as our furthest training run and 4x 10K events or the runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon which turned into an 11km (7 mile) run instead of 13.1 miles, click on the links.  They were both great events to be part of and I would definitely do the York 10 Mile and a runDisney event again.  Who knows, when Adam finishes college and we can plan holidays during term time we may have to start planning our Disney trips around runDisney events.  Think my husband may have something to say about that though.


TheTraining for the 2016 Events Has Started

I finally got round to starting my running training for the running events which Adam, and I, want to do this year.  We are both doing parkrun and I am doing an extra run, or two, during the week.  I went on to myasics.co.uk and created a running plan for the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon at the end of September based on never having run before.  I chose this option as Adam and I didn’t run at all for near enough 3 months and Adam finds time very tight after college to go out running.  Also, our 10K events aren’t until July so we’ll increase his running after half term and increase it again when he finishes college at the end of June.  Anyway, because I chose the option of starting from scratch, the first few weeks of runs are 1-2 miles at 16 minute mile pace which is what he does to walk to college.

At the moment, as well as the half marathon, we are only planning to run a couple of 10K events.  York 10K on 7th August – I’ve done every York 10K since they started in 2009 so I can’t miss it.  The Great Yorkshire Run is moving from Sheffield at the end of September to Harrogate on 24th July so we are looking at maybe doing that one too.  Adam is also wanting to enter the R U Taking the P? run on Father’s Day.  As his dad won’t be here that weekend, he’ll be running it himself – his first official solo event – as it is a men only event.  I may enter on of the Race for Life events the following week but I haven’t decided yet.  If the York 10 Mile returns with the Yorkshire Marathon, we will also run that too as we really enjoyed it last year.

We went to parkrun yesterday and it was great.  The puddles had cleared so no soggy feet this week.  It was cold and windy though, but the sun was shining so that made it bearable 😉  I increased our running intervals to 90s with a 60s walk break and we managed it very well.  Adam was still talking to me all the way around so I know he’s doing OK.  With about 350m to go, Adam decided to he was going to make a run for the finish line.  He knows that if he wants to beat me and not have me catch him on the line, as I did last week, he has to make a long run for home.  I think he must have overtaken about 8 or 9 people in that last 350m, I overtook 4, to finish in 35:07.  I finished in 35:26, over a minute and a half faster than last week and Adam was almost 2 minutes faster.  Think it’ll be back to 2 minute run intervals next week 🙂

parkrun 16-04-16 - finish line sprint

Parkrun finish on 16th April 2016 (not this week): Why does Adam look like he’s just finishing a stroll in the park and I’m trying so very hard?!?  I just caught him on the line.


Finally back to parkrun

It’s been a while, and I apologise, that thing called Life got in the way.  After the very soggy parkrun in January, Adam and I only managed one more (on 30th January) and then didn’t run at all until this morning.

After the very wet feet which led to white, numb toes and fingers, I decided that maybe running when there was a chance of having to run through a lot of big puddles wasn’t a good idea.  So, not a lot of running on Saturday mornings.  On the other Saturdays, either Adam was sick, I was sick or I had to be at work by 10 am instead of 11 am.  Whatever the reason, we haven’t run in over 10 weeks.  What? 10 weeks?!?  That’s ridiculous!

Anyway, this week, I decided that we were going back regardless of the weather and the possibility of huge puddles across the track – there were 3 big puddles which you had to run through or pick your way through the mud, we chose to get very wet rather than very muddy.  Fortunately, the sun was shining this morning so it was fairly easy to get out of bed and, more importantly, get Adam out of bed.  I’m sure Adam would have tried to stay in bed for an extra half hour if he could but, as he really wants to run the Great Yorkshire Run in July, the York 10K in August and the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon in September, we had to get back out there.

As we haven’t run, at all, for over 2 months, I decided to take us back to the beginning and do run:walk intervals of 1:1.  I knew it would be easy and slow but I wanted to give Adam something very manageable.  However, at the start there were so many people, and 2 big puddles to go through, that the first run minute was actually a walk (to get to the start line!), so we ran for 2 minutes to get us back on the right intervals – I can’t have my watch telling me that it is a “walk” when it’s a run or vice versa.

After the initial 500m or so, the pack of runners had spread out, especially as we were taking walk breaks after every minute of running.  The first km was just under 8 minutes but we managed to speed up for the other 4 km to finish in just under 37 minutes.  Not bad considering we haven’t done any training for 10 weeks.

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I really enjoyed this morning’s run and am looking forward to next week when I’m going to increase the run interval to 1m30s 🙂  Slowly but surely, we’ll get back to our 5:1 intervals and I may even get back to being able to run the full 5K when training on my own.