Tag Archives: running

Chocolate 10K

I’m a little late with this update as I wanted to write about my 6th parkrun anniversary last week and didn’t want to post too many posts at the same time.  I mean, I can’t get you used to a more regular blog from me, can I?

Anyway, last Sunday, 11th August, was the Chocolate 10K.  Having run the York 10K the week before in a fairly reasonable time and not running during the week, I wasn’t expecting too much from myself.  Also, part of the course is on grass and I don’t run very well on grass.

The Chocolate 10K is organised by See York Run York and, like the Elvington Flyer and Interstellar 10K, there was chocolate, cake and an amazing medal for everyone at the finish.

The Chocolate 10K is held at the Knavesmire/York Racecourse and Hamilton Panthers (football club) open up their clubhouse and serve drinks and snacks (I saw a bacon butty but as I was running decided not to have one).  The organisers used the clubhouse as their HQ for runners to go and collect their numbers and ankle chip timer thing.  After getting our numbers and going to the toilet, Adam and I met up with a few running friends and walked over the road to the start/finish area.

The weather forecast kept changing last week with a threat of rain all week!  When I looked online before we left home on Sunday morning, it was supposed to be cloudy but dry.  However, there was a little bit of light rain while we were waiting for the start.  It cleared after about 5 minutes and was quite a nice, refreshing start to the run.

The course starts on grass at the top end of the Knavesmire and then runs parallel to Knavesmire Road before joining the service track of the Racecourse.  We then ran “the wrong way round” the service track.  It’s not really the wrong way, it’s just the opposite way to parkrun.  We ran round the service track and then it was back out on to the grass to run round the triangle bit of the Knavesmire back to the start/finish line.  That was 5K so we had to do that twice!

It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be and it was nice to run 3k of the 5k lap on the service track.  I made sure we made up as much time on there as possible.  We finished in a slower time than the York 10K but at 1:08:33 it was only 31 seconds slower than the York 10K which is all road.

At the end, there was a fab medal – designed to look like a kit kat – chocolate and cake.  The cakes were, as always, amazing.

We now need to decide whether or not we want to enter the next 10K event on 3rd November – the Gunpowder Plot.  It is 2 weeks after the York 10 mile so I suspect we may just be doing that too.


parkrun Anniversary

Today is my parkrun anniversary.  I completed my first parkrun 6 years ago … today.  When I ran, yes I ran the whole 5k that day, that first parkrun I did not think for one second that I would become hooked on parkrun or that I would actually enjoy running.  Nor did I envision walking my 199th parkrun as tail walker, with Adam, on the 6th anniversary of the first one.

Thinking back to my first parkrun in 2013, I had only gone because a friend of mine wanted as many people who were attending her wedding the following day to go so I signed up to parkrun and went along.  Back then, I wasn’t a runner and really didn’t like running.  I had trained every Summer to take part in the York 10K to raise money for Snappy but I didn’t really enjoy it.

As I had completed the York 10K the week before, with the same friend, and had run the whole 10K at what was, for me, a comfortable time of 1:15:10 I decided to see how fast I could actually run 5K as I’d never been timed properly before.  Anyway, I finished that first parkrun in 33:15 and was 172nd out of 182 parkrunners.  Today, I finished in a time of 58:57 in 512th out of 512 (that’s the job of the tailwalker 🙂 ).  I also have a PB of 29:21 with an age grade of 53.21%, which I achieved in 2015, but my highest age grade rating is 53.98% with a time of 29:42 which I achieved last year.  Age grading assesses your time based on age and gender to enable runners to compare their results to other runners who are not in their age category.  You can find out more on parkrun’s website.


To top it all off, we also had a visit from the Co-op truck today and everyone was given a #HealthySwaps box with olive oil, basmati rice and curry powder 😀

Next week is parkrun number 200 for me and 180 for Adam.  There will be cake and biscuits at the end for anyone who comes down to York parkrun.

York 10K 2019

This is the one where Adam actually kept going all the way to the end without asking for extra walk breaks and I was flagging. It was still a fab run though.

Waiting for the toilet before the York 10K

I love the York 10K. I’ve completed every one since they started back in 2009 so this was York 10K number 11. Since 2014, Adam has run with me and every other year, we’ve got to about the 8.5km mark and he’s wanted to walk. Not this year though, this year he kept on going, pulling me along with him.

Waiting with Adam at the start of the 10K

It was a warm one, not as warm as last year but warm nonetheless. There was no breeze either which I think made it harder.

This year, we started closer to the front, in between the pacers for 1 hour 5 minutes and 1 hour 10 minutes. It still took us about 10 minutes to reach the start line after the gun went off. It’s ok though because, unlike parkrun where all times are taken from the “go”, events like these are chip timed. While we were running, the 1 hour 10 minute pacer went past us about 2 to 3km in and I decided to try to keep with them until we’d past half way and then increase the pace for the second half. It worked. We completed the first 5k in around 35 minutes and then increased the pace for the second 5k to finish in a time of 1:08:02. It wasn’t a PB but, according to Strava, it is my 2nd fastest York 10K 😀.

The Man ran this year too and beat last year’s time by over 2 minutes. I’m so proud of him.

I love the design, and colour, of this year’s t-shirt. The medal isn’t bad either 😉.

So, this year’s York 10K is done and, as there is a big discount for 24 hours, we’ve already entered next year’s event.

Next week is another See York Run York event – the chocolate 10K. There is always chocolate and cake after their events anyway so maybe there will be more? I’m also looking forward to seeing the medal as their medals are always amazing.

It’s worth it for the medal!

I started typing this post on my phone weeks ago but never quite got it posted.  The 10K run was actually on Saturday 6th July 2019 and I started writing this on Sunday 7th July 2019.

Yesterday the Man, the Boy and I took part in the Interstellar 10K. This was an event organised by See York Run York and, like the Elvington Flyer which we did earlier this year, it was a lovely small event with an amazing medal, chocolate and cake at the end.

The Boy and I ran together, leaving the Man to his own pace. As it was an out and back course we did see him for a high five about 500m after the turnaround point. The course started in an underpass next to the Park and Ride site and then went out and back along the solar cycle route towards Selby. Along the route are models of the solar system and, if I hadn’t been feeling so good in my legs, I may have stopped along the way to take photos. I’ll have to take a run or a walk down there to take pictures.

As the route was on a cycle track I had been a little worried before the start that it wouldn’t be wide enough for Adam and I to run side by side as we normally do. I needn’t have worried. All of the other runners were really supportive and we all moved into single file when necessary to let others past. There were 3 different distances – 10K, half marathon and marathon. The 10K was out and back once, the half marathon was out and back twice and the marathon was out and back 4 times! The out and back once for the 10K was enough for me but the course was nice enough to do twice if I ever decided to put the training in for a half marathon.

Adam decided that, as we have been regularly running intervals of 5 minutes we’d reduce our run intervals to 3:30 minutes instead of our usual 3. As a result, because I have been running more during the week than him, his legs started hurting at about 8k and I could have carried on faster. I need to get him out running during the week. Anyway, we also got a 10K PB although my Garmin/Strava records won’t show it as my Garmin measured the distance as 9.98km!  This could have been due to the start/finish area being in the underpass.

It was well worth it for the medal – it has a different design on each side and spins!

Couch to 5k Finished

I did it! I actually finished the couch to 5k programme. I’ve started it a number of times but never got further than week 6. I said in a post a while ago that I would run parkrun, without walk breaks, when I completed the couch to 5k so today was a continuous run parkrun.

It was hard going, for me, and, as usual, Adam was running with me asking questions like “is it nice weather for running?” or “are you ok?” He also asked if it was a slow run! It wasn’t. The pace was actually similar to our pace a few weeks ago but, obviously Adam is able to go a lot quicker!

Anyway, we were going along nice and steady when Adam decided he wanted to take a walk break. I think he was just bored rather than needing the walk but it meant that I ran the last 1.5km on my own.

According to parkrun, I finished in 30:49. Adam finished in 32:10 so I think he must have walked for at least a couple of minutes.


As I have already said, the pace and time is similar to what we have been running recently. However, as we are training for 10K events in July and August, we will be going back to run/walking. I will be increasing the running intervals during parkrun and training though so when we do the events and reduce the run, and maybe the walk breaks, we can, hopefully, finish in a faster time.

We were lucky with the weather yesterday too. It didn’t start raining until we’d run home.


Elvington Flyer 5 Mile

Happy Mother’s Day! Or Mothering Sunday if you prefer. This will be published in a few days as I just realised that a post I wrote earlier this week was still in drafts so I have posted it before writing this one.

This morning, the Man, Adam and I ran the Elvington Flyer at Elvington Airfield. I only entered to get the medal.  Look at it, who wouldn’t run for this:
I ran with Adam and, as usual, he kept me going with his usual repetitive questions/statements. I could have done without him asking me if it was hard every minute of so as we were running about 2 miles into what I’m sure would have been a gentle breeze if we hadn’t been on an airfield. It was a lovely run with one little lap, about 1 mile, followed by one large lap, 4 miles. The windy part was the return straight of the second lap, about 2 miles.

As my runs have been going well and most of my parkruns this year have had an average pace of under 6:30/km, I was aiming for a finishing time of 56 minutes or an average of 7:00/km. We actually finished in 53:03, according to my watch. As I have never done an actual 5 mile event before, this is a 5 mile PB 😊.

Couch to 5K, again!

I’ve tried to complete the Couch to 5K programme a number of times but never seem to get past week 5 or 6 because I have found that I complete parkrun, or any other event come to that, faster if I “jeff” (run, walk, run method from Jeff Galloway).  I mean, I achieved my parkrun PB of 29:21 in February 2015 by running for 4 minutes and walking for 1 minute.  So why would I want to run the whole thing?  Actually, I can I just can’t keep up the running pace for as long without the walk breaks so my times are about 2 to 3 minutes slower.

Anyway, I digress.  This year I have decided to try the Couch to 5K programme again but this time I’m going to complete it and when I do I’m going to run all the way round parkrun.  The completion of the Couch to 5K is going to be some way off as I am only completing one, maybe two, runs from the programme each week as my third run of the week is always parkrun which I am still “jeffing” and doing incredibly well at if I do say so myself.  Take a look at my times for this year!

parkrun results for 2019

Apart from a couple of weeks, each week has been faster than the previous one and the times slower than 32 minutes were when I ran with the Man.

If the Man is off on one of my running days during the week then I will run with him rather than doing my Couch to 5K run.  So, despite starting the Couch to 5K programme in January, I  am only up to week 5.  My next run will be my first continuous run so on Tuesday I will be running for 20 minutes.  We’ll see how I get on.

I won’t be doing a fast run at parkrun next week either as I will be volunteering as a run/walk pacer before the Man, Adam and I complete our first running event of the year.  We’ve entered a 5 mile run at Elvington.  It should be good and the medal looks amazing 😀

York 10 Mile 2018

Wow! That was hard!  I think I said that last year too but I’ve slept a lot since then so I can’t remember.

So, today was the Yorkshire Marathon and 10 Mile event and Adam and I entered the 10 miles.  Let me start by saying I didn’t put as much training in for this as  I should have so, needless to say, found it very hard going for the last 2 to 3 miles (especially as there is a long-ish hill at the end).  My training had been going great for the 10K earlier this Summer and I did quite a few 7k+ runs.  Then Summer happened and, as I work at what is effectively an out of school club, getting the time to get my runs in was harder, not impossible, but harder.  Also, the days that I would have done my long runs, the Man was on his rest day so I ended up running with him on a shorter, slower run.  However, that is just an excuse.  I mean, I could have continued to run after he’d finished I just didn’t.  After the Summer holidays, we had 3 weeks before we jetted off on our holidays and we got back with a week to go before today’s event so only time for a shorter run.  It was my own fault.  I had good intentions and trained well up to the 10K in August and then got lazy and let things slide.

Anyway, the first 5K was easy, after all that is just our usual run in the parkrun.  The second 5K was OK, there was a steep bridge over the A64 during this section (between miles 4 and 5) but we got up it OK.  After about 6 miles (10K-ish) the route merges with the marathon and that is where, like last year, I started to struggle.  Not because I couldn’t keep going but because it is so hard to get past other runners as we are constantly reminded to keep to the right of the road.  That’s fair enough as the marathon runners don’t want to try to get around the slower 10 milers.  However, today it was raining!  Not just a little drizzle, which would have been nice, but a proper “you’re going to get soaked” rain.  Rain = puddles, lots of puddles, and where were most of the puddles?  On the right side of the road.  So, very wet (soaked to the skin) and feet which felt like they were swimming in my trainers which meant my feet started to feel very heavy.  I was fine until we got to the 7-mile marker and then my legs decided they were fine when I was running but my hip started hurting when I entered the walk break. Huh?  Unfortunately, as Adam needed the walk breaks, I needed to take them.  I think Adam would have been fine to continue running but if he has walk breaks built in he has to take them (except in the final km).  My breathing started to get the better of me in the final mile but, thanks to Adam, I kept going and finished in our slowest 10-mile time yet – 1:55:53.

After we finished, my hands were so cold I couldn’t open the packet which had the silver blankets in.  Fortunately, a running friend was also in the finish area and she opened Adam’s blanket for me.

Last year, we hung around to watch some of the marathon runners and the last 10 milers come in as well as take photos.  This year, we went straight to get the bus back to the city centre and then another bus home – we were so cold and wet.  Lesson learned, if it is raining take a spare set of clothes to change into when you’ve finished.

I told Adam that that was my last 10-mile event which is unfortunate as when I asked if he’d like to do it again (regardless of my decision) he said he’d like to keep doing this event.  Ah well, I have time to change my mind, IF I get the training in I might do it again next year.  If I don’t then I won’t be putting myself through it again.

Now that we are home, warmed up and fed – got to love the slow-cooker – I am finally sat down writing this and will take some time to review the draft posts I wrote while we were on holiday.  Disney posts will be coming in the next few days.  I think there are 9 in total.  Some are more or less written, others just have bullet points in so I could remember what we’d done.

So much more than running

Last Friday was Undiagnosed Children’s Day and I wrote a post about Adam’s achievements in the past few years.  My step-daughter shared it on Twitter saying that it was the best blog she’s read in ages – she obviously doesn’t have very high standards if she thinks that – because it was about The Boy.  If that is her reasoning then, I’ll let her get away with praising my blog.

Anyway, it gave me an idea for another post about Adam and his achievements.  More specifically his achievements at parkrun.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays I try to go running with a group of people who I met at parkrun.  They are mainly retired or semi-retired and I am easily the youngest amongst them but they are a great group of people and very supportive.  Anyway, last Thursday I was running with a lovely gentleman who was taking it easy after completing the London Marathon last week – he’s now completed 275 marathons and wants to get to 300 before he finishes!  We were having a lovely chat and he happened to mention that he remembered how much I had to persuade, cajole, encourage and bribe Adam round the 5km when we started parkrun.  Now, I’ll either leave him or he’ll leave me because he, and I, have more confidence.  I remember to first time I decided enough was enough and left Adam to walk to the finish with the thought that I would go back and get him when I’d finished.  I didn’t get very far back down the course because my running buddy’s wife had caught up with Adam and told him to start running again!  As he does with everyone else, Adam left her behind with about 200m to go.  I was very grateful to her because it confirmed what I already knew, our parkrun family would look after Adam and help him on his way.

My running buddy also mentioned how much he enjoys it if we start behind him because he knows that Adam will catch up with him and say “Hello” with a big grin on his face before running away.  Adam will also let anyone he knows know he’s coming because he’ll be telling me, very loudly, who he can see.  They get plenty of warning that Adam will be coming to say hello and then pass them.

This happened to another running buddy of mine on Saturday.  We were only about 800m from the finish when I caught up with her and Adam had left me at about 3.5km to make his run for home.  When I caught up with her, she mentioned how much confidence Adam has gained, especially in the last couple of years, because more often than not he’ll run the last 1km to 1.5km on his own.  If I’m doing run/walk pacing for someone else, Adam will even run the full 5km either with another parkrunner or on his own.

parkrun has contributed more than confidence in running though.  Going to parkrun every week has also given Adam more social interaction, team-working, communication skills and the chance to try a variety of volunteer roles.  Now, he will go and talk to people he knows, and even drag them over to say hello to me!  He will do a volunteer role while I run because he feels safe in the parkrun environment.

Finally, last week we got a box from the Co-op as they are now an official partner of parkrun.  I knew they were going to be at York parkrun but didn’t know we’d each get a box of goodies to take home.  It’s a shame my husband wasn’t there too, we could have had 3 boxes to bring home 🙂  I was pleasantly surprised with t he contents of the box too:  a 500ml bottle of olive oil, a tin of chopped tomatoes, a tin of cannellini beans and a jar of crushed chillies.  Adam immediately said that we can use the tomatoes in our mince next time we make bolognaise.  We could add the tin of beans too although when my husband saw the box he said he could use the beans in his salads for lunch.  I guess he can have one and we’ll use the other.  Oh, we got a £3 voucher to use when spending £3 or  more at Co-op too 😀

REDJanuary is over

It’s done, January is finished and with it my exercise challenges. At the beginning of January I signed up for REDJanuary – run every day. I didn’t plan to run every day, but rather, I planned to exercise for at least 10 minutes every day including running, walking and yoga. 

Guess what? I did it! I exercised every day! I ran at least 3 times each week, sometimes 4 and recorded 74.5km of running on my Garmin. On the days I didn’t run, I walked for at least 10 minutes. I also completed a 30 day yoga journey True with Yoga with Adriene.

As I am more interested in improving my fitness rather than losing weight, weight loss wasn’t a goal. Just as well really as I didn’t lose anything. However, thanks to the regular exercise, I have actually lost inches round my waist, hips and belly. Actually, my hips and belly are the smallest they’ve been for 24 years!

So, what now? Do I just stop because January is over? Tempting, but no. Now I’ve got the consistency of exercising every day, I want to keep going. I am aiming to run 2 to 3 times a week and keep up the daily yoga practice. I’m also going to add one strength training session each week with a long term goal of strength training twice a week. One small change each month should make them easier to incorporate and maintain in my everyday life.

Today was a good start to February with a 4k run. 

Did you reach your January goals? What are your goals for February?