Fi's Mutterings

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


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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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 🙂

Screenshot (9) Screenshot (10)

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


Parkrun and More from Day 6 of my September Challenge

It’s Saturday and day 6 of my September Challenges.  It isn’t going badly so far but I haven’t even finished week 1 yet and I usually falter at some point during week 2.

On Friday, I asked Adam about 3 or 4 times if we were going to go to parkrun on Saturday morning.  I didn’t want him to turn round when I woke him up to get ready for parkrun and say he didn’t want to go this week.  If I asked him and he said “yes” every time, he had no excuse.  As it turned out it was just as well I’d asked him because, although he did get up without too much trouble it was raining.  Not a heavy rain but enough to see it on the pavement and car outside.  It wasn’t raining when we left home, however, so we walked up to the Knavesmire.  After Adam’s PB last week, I decided to increase the running interval from 4 to 5 minutes and we started off really slow.  By really slow, I mean really slow the first km took 7:06 but as you can see, we did get quicker.

parkrun summary for 6 sep 2014

I knew it would be a slow run this week as we hadn’t done any running or walking as we have done in previous weeks.  Adam did try to leave me behind with about 100 m to go but as he didn’t really go for it I caught him with about 20 m to go and said that if he is going to try to make a break for it he needs to really do it.  He has a faster pace than I do and I think he could sustain it for longer than I can.  Yes, I have a quicker PB but that is at a slower pace for the whole 5 km whereas when I’m running with Adam the speed is faster.  Below is this week’s lap splits, as you will see the best pace on each split, except for the first one, was around 6.0 m/km.  Last week the best pace was as quick as 5.42 m/km.

splits showing average and best pace

 

Anyway, it was an enjoyable run, in a lovely drizzle, even if it felt harder than last weeks and the 10K at the beginning of August.  Oh, that reminds me of another challenge for September – Adam and I are going to be running the Great Yorkshire Run in Sheffield on 28th September 😀  Is anyone else going to be there?  Obviously, I know there will be thousands there, I meant will anyone who is reading my blog going to be there?  Last year I got a PB for 10K, even though I had to stop for the loo.

While we were walking home, I told Adam that we needed to go to Tesco to get milk and a few other bits.  He asked me if we were walking and I said that we could if he wanted to.  “It’s good exercise”, he says.  We’ve just walked a mile to the Knavesmire, run a 5K and walked the mile plus however far it is to cross the Knavesmire home, and he wants to walk to Tesco which is 0.85 miles too?!?  Who is this person?  So, we walked to Tesco, in the rain.

When we got home, I decided that we might as well stick with the trend that we have been setting for most of the week and have our main meal at lunch time.  Today was beefburgers from the butchers 🙂 with potato waffle and peas for me and baked beans for Adam.  A few weeks ago I started swapping out the burger bun/roll for a sandwich tin in an effort to reduce the number of calories/points (weight watchers) and today I only had one potato waffle too.  This was part of my cunning plan to allow me to have a treat this evening.  As part of the Clean 9 I have 2 shakes, 2 servings of Aloe Gel and a 600 calorie dinner.  So, if I had less than 500 calories for my dinner, I can have a sweet treat, right?  I have some Weight Watchers dark mint chocolate bars which I bought from my meeting last week and they are lovely.  At only 85 calories each, I thought I’d treat myself because if I didn’t I’d probably end up grabbing one of Adam’s chocolate bars out of the fridge!


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Race for Life 2014

I’m not doing very well at writing posts when I actually do my events at the moment but here is my post for the Race for Life which I took part in on 22 June 2014.  The York Race for Life takes place on the Knavesmire (York Racecourse) and always has a large turnout as they have both the 5k and the 10k running together, the 10k runners split off after the first 2k.

We left home at about 10.15 am to walk up to the Knavesmire and I then headed straight for the toilet queue.  It’s just as well I did, it was really long!  By the time I got out of the loo they had finished the warm-up and were walking everyone to the start line.  I saw the banner for the walkers so slotted in the middle of the group in front of that which I hoped was the joggers.

The run actually started on time at 11 am 🙂 and it took me 4 minutes to cross the start line.  I started the timer on my watch and began running, well trotting would be more accurate, from the start line.  My husband and son were waiting for me round the first bend with the camera to take pictures but Rob didn’t see me even though I was dancing and jumping about in front of him!  Adam had to shout at him to let him know I was coming.

The first km was easy enough but was marked early.  The second km was harder and my husband did see me to take photos – I didn’t see him.  The 2km marker was late but that was OK.  After the 2nd km, we were finally off the grass and on to the race course service track which we use for the parkrun (it felt odd going the wrong way round it though).  There wasn’t a marker for 3k but I didn’t mind as I had my Garmin to let me know how far I’d gone.  I wasn’t impressed when I got the 4km marker as my Garmin said 3.75km!  I was so glad that I wasn’t relying on my old stopwatch because I’d be thinking that I could probably finish in under 30 minutes.  As it happened, I finished 4.95 km in 31:59.

 

Race for Life 2014

 


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Another Parkrun :)

I haven’t done any exercise, apart from walking to work and home again (5 km each way) most days, since my last (and first) parkrun on 10th August. I was going to do a parkrun last Saturday but it was the Ebor Racing Festival at the Racecourse so the parkrun wasn’t on in York 😦

Anyway, as the Man and Boy are going to be taking part in the Family 5k at Disney World in February, I decided that they needed to at least try to do a 5k run and figured that the parkrun would be a good place to start. The Man hasn’t done any exercise to speak of for about 4 weeks due to work commitments and the most the Boy ever does is walking – he has been walking with me most days as I work at the same place as he goes for his out of school club.

So, we started at the back, very slowly, and the Man managed about 1 km before his calf started to hurt and he had to slow down for a walk. I left him with the tail runner and carried on with the Boy. I thought the Boy would be able to do OK as we do walk quite fast and the only reason it takes us 55 minutes to walk 5 km is the traffic lights we have to wait at on the way in to and round the city centre. He did so well and I am really proud of him. I am still waiting for the text with the result but I think we finished in around 45 minutes. The Boy didn’t stop to walk at all, although he tried a couple of times as his “leg hurt”. I don’t think it hurt really he just didn’t want to run any more. The course for the York parkrun is the running track on the Knavesmire and we have to run round 1 1/2 times. There is a bend about 50 m from the finish and when we went round it I asked the Boy if he wanted to pick the speed up a bit. Speed up a bit? He proper sprinted! Due to his disability, his sprint isn’t very fast but it was certainly fast enough to increase the speed considerably. The runners who had already finished were great and cheered him into the finish line. I let him finish and collect his finish token first.

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Just received a text with the finishing time for the Boy (41:52) and me (42:58). He beat me by 1 minute! How? I wasn’t that far behind. I guess that is how long it took between scanning his barcode and scanning mine 😉 Still, I am extremely proud of him. To finish that quickly on his first ever 5 km is fantastic.


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Race for Life 2013

It is over a week since I completed the Race for Life 5k in York so I’m a bit slow in writing about it.  Never mind, I’m here now.

Up until about 2 weeks before the run my training had been going really well and I was confident that I could finally break the 35 minute mark.  Unfortunately, as usual, events conspired against me so I missed out on some training time.  I knew I’d lose some in the week before the run as it was half term but I’d planned to get one run in along with plenty of walking which I did.  It was the couple of weeks before that that I missed some as I came down with a bad cold, it was quite flu but almost, it completely knocked me out for 3 days!  You can read more about that in my previous blog.

Anyway, the run.  It didn’t start until 11 am which after the lovely weather we had on the Saturday I was dreading as, much as I *love* the sunshine and the heat I didn’t want to run in it.  As it turned out it was lovely, not too hot but not too cold either.  We got to the Knavesmire at about 10.30 am and listened to the Minster FM presenter up on stage.  The warm up started at about 10.45 am and I didn’t really do it as I’d already walked from home and was pretty warm anyway.  Also, by the time the run started I’d have cooled down again anyway!  The lady doing the warm up was great and if I’d been with a group of ladies/girls I think I’d have enjoyed it more than being with my husband and son.  When the warm up was finished there was a bit of time left and Rachel said that what she really wanted to do as a warm up was Ganglam Style.  The crew from Minster FM found it for her and she led the crowd in a second warm up with that.  It was hilarious! You can watch it on Minster FM’s facebook page:

After the 2nd warm up it was time to get ready for the run and we were asked to go and gather around the flag which was right for us – run, jog or walk.  I went to the jog flag.  The run started promptly at 11 am and it took me 2 minutes to get across the start line.  I started off at a gentle jog and got to 2 km after 16 minutes (8 min/km) that was OK and I was feeling good so I picked up the pace a little.  I got to 3 km somewhere between 23 and 24 minutes and was still feeling good.  I don’t know the split for 4 km but I finished the 5 km in 36 minutes 44 seconds and felt as though I could have carried on.

I didn’t break the 35 minutes but I did beat my previous best of 37 minutes ?? seconds so I was happy with that.  Also, the fact that I felt good and could have carried on bodes well for the 10 km Run for All at the beginning of August.  I got my pacing right this time with 8 minute kms to start and getting faster.  If I can do that for the 10 km I may even beat my PB for that too although with my PB being 1 hour 13 minutes I’m not sure starting at 8 min/km pace is going to work.  Best get the training in between now and then 😀

I got a medal for finishing the Race for Life and my husband also bought me a limited edition t-shirt showing names of all the participants of the 2013 Race for Life in York.

Race for Life 2013 t-shirt          Race for Life 2013 medal and entry number