Fi's Mutterings

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


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.


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parkrun – big puddles and soggy feet

It’s Saturday and that, usually, means parkrun for Adam and me.  Unfortunately, there was no parkrun last weekend due to a very flooded York Racecourse.  It looked more like a lake.

Anyway, the lake has gone down now to leave a lot of puddles.  The ones on the grassy area of the Knavesmire look like ponds dotted around but the service track which we use for the parkrun was, more or less, clear.  There were, however, about 4 puddles which went all the way across the service track and we had no choice but to run through them.

From York parkrun 9-1-16

Adam and I going past one of the little puddles at York parkrun

As Adam and I knew that they were there and we would get wet feet anyway, we decided that we wouldn’t pussy-foot our way through but run through the deepest parts which everyone else was trying to avoid.  The result?  We finished in under 33 minutes for the first time since August 2015.  It would have been faster (maybe even under 32 minutes) if we hadn’t had to stop and do up Adam’s silly shoelace which came undone at the 3km mark.

I have to just say thank you to my trainer (even though he won’t be reading this) who, during my bonus training session on Thursday, decided that I should do kettlebell deadlifts, kettlebell swings and 3 minutes of 30s sprint (12km/hr) 30s fast walk (7km/hr) x3 as part of my session.  I also did single leg step ups with the step half way between my knee and my bottom!  The leg work must have done something because my legs were feeling really good today even with the cold.

Also, today was York parkrun’s 4th birthday so there was cake at the finish line 🙂  What more could you ask for when you have cold, soggy feet?  Lemon drizzle cake, yum!  Everyone else had finished the big chocolate cake before we finished otherwise I would have had that one instead.

That is also Day 8 of Janathon done!  Bring on day 9 – more walking to Tesco me thinks.


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Another Week, Another Parkrun

It’s Saturday and that can only mean one thing, it’s parkrun day! 😀

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I didn’t write a report last week as Adam and I decided to volunteer as tail runners.  Although we did finish with quite a respectable time of 41:34.  I have to say that I enjoyed being the tail runner and, because the person at the end of the run was running, we ran the first 2 km.  Just after the 2 km mark, someone was finding it hard and decided to walk.  She tried to tell us to go on but I said that we were the tail runners and had to finish last.  She then tried to say that she wouldn’t carry on but I said that if she wanted to just walk it all then that was fine and we would be there to help/encourage her as much as she wanted.  She did continue and we had a lovely chat going round the last 3 km and she even put in some good running intervals.  Her boyfriend was also running last week and he came back for her after he had finished so she then picked up her pace and carried on without us.  I don’t know what time she finished in but it was faster than ours 😉IMG_0309

This week was a different story.  I decided that as Adam isn’t keeping up with me, because he didn’t want to rather than he couldn’t, I would reduce the running interval back down to 4 minutes.  It worked.  Today, Adam stayed with me until the last 500m or so when he ran ahead – he obviously doesn’t work as hard as I do to get round!  I finished with another sub-31 minute time to continue to consolidate my pace and Adam got a new PB with 31:18 😀  He celebrated with a cup of tea from the Poppy Coffee van.

In other news, we managed to get places for the runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon in Disney World in November 😀 😀 😀  Places sold out within half an hour but we got in!  We are just a little bit excited.  Now I just need to work out how I’m going to get the long runs in with Adam because I really don’t think he’ll make it on just one parkrun per week.  Also need to work out long run nutrition.

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Parkrun – 7 March 2015

I love parkrun and everything it stands for.  It is a wonderful community and the York parkrun is getting bigger and bigger every month, or even week.  Where else can you go and run with 400+ people (runners and walkers), be timed for completing 5 km and know that you won’t finish last because there is a tail runner?  And that is just in York!  Worldwide, there are almost 100,000 people registered with parkrun.

From parkrun’s Facebook page on 9th March 2015

I took part in my first parkrun in August 2013.  A friend of mine decided that she wanted to try and get as many of her friends as possible to run with her the day before her wedding.  As I’d been thinking about doing parkrun for a while, I went along.  I completed my first parkrun in 33:15 which, at the time, was the fastest 5 km run I’d ever done.

A couple of weeks later, I went back and took my son with me.  I decided that as he’d never run before, and has a disability which affects his mobility a little, we’d run for 1 minute and walk for 1 minute.  We finished in 42:58.  After that, I steadily increased the running interval by 30 seconds each time he got faster – thank you Garmin Forerunner 10 for having the ability to do that.  I think we increased the run interval every week for about 6 weeks as my son kept completing the runs faster!  He did finally plateau and we settled at 4 minutes running, 1 minute walking for a while.  We are now on 5 minutes running and I think we will be sticking with that for the foreseeable future.

In the past 19 months, I have broken my PB 5 times with the most recent one being last week when I ran on my own, as my son decided he wanted to stay in bed, and I finally broke 30 minutes and took 1:11 off my time.  If you’d like to read about it, you can find a post on my personal blog.

This week, I was back running with my son and I finished in 30:32 which, as it happens, is the same time as my previous PB.  What I learnt from the run today, following last week, is that it is a lot easier to run past people when there is only one of you to get through the other runners.  It is harder when two of you need to get through, especially at the beginning when we have over 400 of us bunched at the start.

Never stop dreaming. You don’t know how far you can go 🙂

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I Got a PB!

This morning was my 46th parkrun and I wasn’t sure that I would actually get Adam out of bed to go as it was snowing a little. There wasn’t much but it was either going to get Adam out of bed to see it or cause him to snuggle down even further. I can’t say I blame him. Anyway, he did get up and we walked up to the Knavesmire.

We were still on our 5 minute run intervals and today we started just in front of the 30 minute pacer. My goal today was to try not to lose sight of him. Today, for the first time, we also had a 32 minute pacer who passed us when we took our first walk break. That wasn’t unexpected as our first km is always around 6:40 while the, ever increasing, number of runners starts to spread out. We caught, and passed, the 32 minute pacer fairly easily and I told Adam that the aim was to stay on front of them.

We got through 2k in around 12:40 and I still had the 30 minute pacer in my sights. However, at around 2.5k Adam decided that he didn’t want to run anymore so I said I’d see him at the finish line and kept running. He caught up with me when I was on my next walk break but as I only had 10s left of the walk break he didn’t want to keep running with me.

So, from 3k I was completely on my own and could still see the 30 minute pacer but, with at least one more walk break, I knew I wouldn’t catch him. I did push it though and finished in a new PB of 30:32 😀 Adam finished in 34:03 over 3 1/2 minutes behind! I am still proud of him though as he has grown in confidence so much since starting parkrun. So much so that I now don’t mind leaving him at 2.5k. I’d even let him run his own race for the parkrun if he wanted to as it is now familiar to him.

Finally, I’d like to say thank you to all of the wonderful volunteers who got up early on a freezing, snowy Saturday to marshall, timekeep, scan tokens etc so that over 400 mad people like me could have a timed 5k run.

As today is Saturday, it is blog hop day with Virtual Running UK and this is my entry for this week.


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Janathon Day 5 and Jantastic Day 1

I had a plan for this week and, of course, it changed on Day 1!  I knew it would as my husband is at home and I didn’t want to go to the gym for a swim without him, we had a delivery due today.  So, when I got up I put on my running kit.  I find it so much easier to get out and exercise, be it running or swimming, if I am ready to go as soon as Adam has left to walk to college.  That’s not to say that I leave the house at the same time as him because I rarely do – I don’t want to run around kids walking to school so I usually leave it 20 minutes or so before I go out.

I find it a lot easier to exercise in the morning because I need to be at home for Adam after college and, much as he enjoys running, the last thing he wants to do in the dark (at the moment) after walking to and from college (15-20 minutes each way) is go out again for a run with me.  Also, we are busy on Wednesday and Thursday evenings and, because we run on Saturdays, we don’t want to go out on Fridays or Sundays.  I also work from home on Mondays and Tuesdays so I usually exercise while Adam is at college on those days.

It’s tough but I’ve got into a routine, sort of, and as long as the exercise gets done it doesn’t really matter which days it gets done on.  In fact, it’s probably better to shake it up a bit so that my body, and my brain, doesn’t get too used to doing the same thing on the same days every week.  Of course, there are some days which will always be the same – Saturday parkrun and walking to work on Wednesdays for example.

Anyway, on to today.  I had planned to swim on Mondays and then run on Thursdays but, like I said, I didn’t want to go to the gym without my husband so I decided to run today instead.  I’ll go to the gym for a swim on Thursday after Weight Watchers instead of running home.

I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to do today.  I set off as if I was going to do a 3k loop with the option to extend the loop if I felt I wanted to.  I did extend it, I decided to go through Woodthorpe on my way home instead of turning right at the roundabout and coming straight home.  It was a nice run, even with 2 railway bridges, and I used the 5:1 intervals which I have been doing with Adam at parkrun.  I mixed it up a bit though by running through the 2nd walk break and was going to run through the 4th walk break as well but I got an awful stitch at 23 minutes (4th walk break) and had to walk to try to ease it a little.  It didn’t really help so my final km was really quite slow compared to all the others – 6:44 instead of 6:15-ish.  I had thought about trying to increase my distance a little and do around 5.5k but decided to go towards home instead.  The final loop was 5k and I finished in 32:35 so actually wasn’t as bad as I thought.  It gives me something to work on next week.

So that is Janathon day 5 done and 1/3 run/swim workouts done for Jantastic.


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New Year’s Day Parkrun

It was one of those days today where if it could go wrong, it did.

First, Adam decided that he didn’t want to get up and come to parkrun with me 😦 so I had to run it on my own.  Then I left home about 10 minutes late which meant I wasn’t at the start when the run actually started – I started from the car park, and had to catch up with the tail runner before I even started!

As it was a cloudy morning, my Garmin didn’t get my location either so I was running “blind”.  I can’t believe how much I actually rely on it.  Not only for the intervals but also to let me know my pace and 1 km splits.

So, I think I went off far too fast/hard and paid the price for it after the first 2 km or so.  As I didn’t have my interval beeps on my watch, I decided to see if I could run the whole 5k.  Due to going off too fast, thanks to having to catch up with the tail runner to start with, I needed to walk at around 2.5 km.  I passed the finish line (2 km) in 12 minutes!  I can just about run a 6 minute km but it is usually from 3-4 or 4-5 not the first 2 km.  Walking was a mistake, my legs really didn’t want to go again after that walk break.  I think it is partly psychological.  I’d told myself that I was going to try to run all of it but then I didn’t.  I’ve found this before, if I run set intervals and I know that I’m going to do them it is easier to start running again after the walk break.  Needless to say, after one walk break I needed to take another couple.

Somehow, I managed to finish in under 32 minutes – 31:52.  Just imagine what my time would have been if I’d started at my usual place within the crowd.

On 1 January 2014, I finished the parkrun in a time of 35:51 having got a PB of 31:59 the week before Christmas.  This year, I finished in 31:52 and got a PB two weeks before Christmas.  I can’t wait to see what the rest of 2015 will bring.

I then walked home and stretched, or attempted to my legs really didn’t want to know.  My calves and shins are still sore, I think it is time to invest in some new running trainers 🙂


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2 Parkruns and a PB

I meant to write this last week, or at least over the weekend, but it didn’t happen.  It’s that time of year when almost everything goes out of the window except thinking about Christmas.  Anyway, I have now finished for Christmas and if I haven’t bought it, we aren’t having it!

Anyway, this is about the past two parkruns which Adam and I did.  I’ve already written about the first parkrun of December when Adam got another PB and missed a sub-31 minute time by 3 seconds.  Now, what happened over the next two weeks?

Well, I increased our run interval by 30 seconds to 5 minutes, with 1 minute walk.  I’m guessing that the extra 30s wasn’t as hard for Adam as I thought it would be because, guess what?  He only got another PB!  And, thanks to a silly shoe lace, he also beat me by 7s.  I got a new PB too, by 1 second!  Woo hoo!  We are now both sub-31 minute runners.  Next goal is sub 30:30 and then sub-30 minutes 🙂

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As you will see from the parkrun screenprints above, this week’s run was slower than last week.  Well, we can’t keep the pace going all the time.  Also, we started further back in the pack than we did for the previous two weeks.  However, we did finish in under 32 minutes which is still fab considering we seemed to be stuck at the 33 minute mark for so long.

I’ve always said that I would increase Adam’s (and my) running interval every time he gets a PB but, as he got 2 PBs in consecutive weeks, I think I’m going to continue with the 5 minute running interval until I get a PB and then increase the interval to 5:30.  I like the fact that my Garmin allows me to set my intervals in 30 second increments 😀

If you don’t already know, I was nominated in the Virtual Running UK Blog Awards and would be grateful if you would take the time to vote.

IMG_0112  Virtual Running UK Blog Hop Logo


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My 40th Parkrun

This morning was my 40th parkrun 🙂 and Adam’s 37th. It was a gorgeous morning, it was cold but the sun was shining. After last week’s run, and my good run on Monday, I decided to keep with the 4 minute 30 seconds run and 1 minute walk intervals but really push the runs a little faster. As long as Adam was talking to me I knew he could keep going.

The result? Another huge PB for my boy! He missed going sub-31 minutes by 3 seconds and finished in a time of 31:02, a whopping 41s faster than his previous PB 🙂 Oh, and I pushed him so hard throughout the whole run that he didn’t run away from me at the end and I beat him by 1 second! My time of 31:01 is only 12 seconds slower than my parkrun PB of 30:49 😀 So, a good run all round.

Photo from York Parkrun’s Facebook page – parkrun event no 131

We are taking part in the British Heart Foundation’s Chase the Pud Santa run tomorrow morning. We’ve just entered the 3k rather than the 6k and I’ve told Adam that I’m going to try running all of it. As it is going to be on the same track as our parkrun, I’ve told him that he can borrow my watch to do the splits if he wants to but he said he’ll try to run it all with me. Should be fun! I’m hoping to finish under 20 minutes.
https://www.justgiving.com/adamseftonbhf/

Finally, it’s Saturday which means it is Virtual Running UK’s Blog Hop Day.


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And the Nominations Are…

Virtual Running UK have launched their first Annual Running Blog Awards and I’ve been nominated!  I wasn’t sure that I would qualify for a nomination as the rules were pretty clear

The blog must be primarily about running, although may cover other related topics.

My blog isn’t really a running blog.  Sure it includes posts about running, quite a few recently, but I do cover a lot of other topics too.  Apparently, I write enough running posts to qualify :D:D:D Woo hoo!

On a running note, I went out for a run this morning, I had to make up for missing the parkrun on Saturday, and ran sub-32 minutes for 5K – on my own!  I haven’t done that since April 2014 when I ran my PB at parkrun, without Adam.  I’ve only gone under 32 minutes with Adam once, on 1 November and under 33 minutes with Adam twice (not including the sub-32 minutes run).  I ran intervals of 4:30 run; 30s walk.