Rainbow Run 5km for Tŷ Hafan

My first medal!! Sort of. I’m excluding the Race For Life 2013 one because that was a disaster and I didn’t run much of it. This is my first medal as the new me. 

I had no idea what to expect. I had an inkling that some of the run was on the actual beach, and was pretty nervous about running on sand. It’s not easy to walk on! Turns out, the whole 5km is on the beach. All of it. In a kind of zig zag down to the sea and back up again, twice. It’s a boring route. It’s basically round and around the same area over and over. If it wasn’t for the paint throwing and the general atmosphere of so many people running at once, you would never choose to run that route. It was bloody hard work. Really hard. The first part was really soft, and my ankles turned over several times. One of the times was quite painful and slowed me down for a while. Then there were hard bits that weren’t too bad. But there were really wet splashy bits too! Despite being quite hard going, it was a lot of fun. There were colour stations dotted along the route, and each station had a bunch of volunteers throwing a different colour of powder paint over you. Some of them even had big paint blowing machines. It goes in your eyes and nose and mouth, and I found myself holding my breath quite a bit to avoid inhaling it!

I caught up with a couple of my friends right at the end, who usually run much faster than me but had struggled with an injury, and they started sprinting so I did too! I crossed the finish line completely exhausted and totally out of breath. The paint all over my face hid the fact that I was bright red though. I was actually mostly orange with yellow hair! 

I’d do the run again in a heartbeat. I had such a good time! We raised quite a bit for Tŷ Hafan too, which makes it all feel even better. I finished in 41:19, which is between my two Park Run times. I’m pretty pleased with it considering the sand was so hard to run on! 

We finished off our day trip with chips and a go on the waltzers! 
PS: check out this video of the run! 


The first 5km 

It’s the morning of the 5km rainbow run in Barry Island for Ty Hafan, and I’m nervous as hell. I keep having to run to the loo, and I’m putting off slipping into my running gear. Instead I’m procrastinating by putting laundry on and writing this. 

I’m still quite a long way off running 5km in one go without stopping to walk, but I’m not going to let it stop me trying. I’ve done Park Run twice now and walked a lot less the second time. I can see and feel improvements with every run, and there have been many runs thanks to #OutRunMay for Macmillan Cancer Care. I set out to see how far I can run in just one month, and to be honest I didn’t think it’d be far. I’ve surprised even myself with how often I can run, even if I’m not running far each time. I’ve gone out before 7am almost every morning this month so far, and I’m actually really enjoying it. Ok, so I don’t actually enjoy the actual running at the time. It’s the afterglow that I love. I crawl through my front door as Trev and the kids are just getting up, and the smug feeling of doing over half of my FitBit step goal before most people wake up stays with me all day. To top it all off, I’ve raised quite a bit of cash for the charity too (you can click here to sponsor me if you want to!).

I find being a beginner hard. I know that seems a bit silly, but it’s the truth. When I’m on my second lap at Park Run and I see the fastest runners leaving the park because they’ve already finished, I find it disheartening. I should find it inspiring, because if I keep going I can be one of them one day. But I don’t. It puts me off. Talk of 10km races and half marathons don’t make me want to keep going. They make me want to hide. I’ve spent a lot of my evenings recently reading stories of overweight exercise-haters (just like me) starting off unable to run up the stairs and going on to run marathons. I like stories that start where I am. Right at the very very beginning. They remind me that we all start somewhere, and that being a beginner is ok. That’s the lesson I need to learn. It’s absolutely fine to be a beginner. It’s more than fine. It’s great! It’s way better than sitting in the sofa eating biscuits. I’ve been reading ‘No Run Intended’ and ‘Run Intended’ by Hannah Phillips (Hannah the Runner) and she’s really inspired me. She’s just down the road too, so the locations of some of her runs are familiar. Somehow this helps me relate to her. She replied to my tweet about today’s run on Twitter, and I feel like I’ve been encouraged by an actual running hero! 

So, here goes. My lift will be here soon. At 1:30 this afternoon I’ll be doing my first (not including Race For Life in 2013 because that was a disaster) race while being covered in powder paint. It’s also on the beach which means running in sand. Oh wow. I’m so nervous. Wish me luck! 

Life lately (again) 

I’ve done this before, returned to blogging after a break only to find it hard to write. There’s been such a big gap, and I know of only one way to record what happened in that time. A list! 

We tried to rekindle our love for geocaching, but it was freezing cold, the geocaching app wasn’t working, Iris fell over, and none of us had any fun. 


Trevor finally finished wallpapering the living room wall. (It only took him a year.) 

Sub Zero ice cream parlour opened and we visited several times. 

Spring finally arrived! 

My migraines returned. I went back on amitriptyline to prevent them. 

We visited the steam railway at Blaenavon. The Easter bunny was on the train and Iris was terrified. 

We went back to Warren Mill Farm Park. Trevor tried to pick up a prairie dog and it bit him. 

We ventured to Barry Island on the train on a really cold day. Just me and the little ones. It was scary but I was brave. 

Iris did quite a bit of cycling. 

Iris started learning Welsh at a Welsh mum and toddler group, but it only lasted 4 weeks before they decided it wasn’t successful. We were gutted. 

We went to stay with my mum over the bridge, and hung out with my niece and nephew at soft play on a rainy day. 

We got the train to Cardiff a couple of times. We visited Parc play centre. Iris liked the sandpit and huge wooden boat. 

We bought a spiralizer and ate a lot of ‘green spaghetti’. 

Iris became obsessed with a book called ‘Cat’s Colours’ that she borrowed from the library. She learnt to recognise red, blue, green, yellow, orange, purple and black because of it. She also started trying count, a skill she uses mostly to count horse poops when we go out to walk the dog. 

Summer arrived. The paddling pool came out, and the sandpit was filled. Iris started painting all of the stones in the garden. 

We went to Barry again, in better weather. 

Life rumbled along nicely in much the same way it always does, and we all got used to Astrid while she got used to us. 

I ate way too much chocolate. 

Barry Island on a Blustery Day

On Sunday, in the rain, we hopped in the car to Barry Island. We love the beach! Especially Seb, who has no fear of the sea whatsoever. In summer we have to find dog-friendly beaches (Newton Bay – Porthcawl is our favourite) but once September starts dogs are allowed on most beaches. Even the really popular touristy ones like Barry Island. IMG_5073.JPG
Obviously at this time of year not much is going on, and even the pleasure park is closed. Frankly I don’t think this is a bad thing. It’s beaten up and worn out anyway. The log flume looks like it might just crumble away, and I’m told it’s been closed for many years. Seems bonkers really, when Gavin and Stacey has made it so famous. IMG_5075.JPG
We weren’t there for amusements anyway. We were there to paddle in the sea and let Seb have a swim. It was raining on our way there (as usual) but we don’t let that put us off. Thankfully the sun did make an appearance, but it remained bitterly cold. IMG_5076.JPG
One child fell over into the sea and the other one took off one welly and one sock (I still don’t know why), and Iris slept. In lots of layers and inside my jumper. She was probably lovely and snug. The rest of us were freezing. Even Seb was shaking like a leaf, but it didn’t put him off. IMG_5080.JPGIMG_5081.JPG
It’s strange now to think back to the days, just a few months ago, when Seb wouldn’t go near water. IMG_5083.JPG
After drying off we headed towards the cafés and arcades and had a Sunday lunch of chips, burgers and chicken nuggets. The kids told jokes. Why did the dog lie in front of the fire? He wanted to be a hot dog! IMG_5122.JPGIMG_5105.JPG
After fighting a few fires and hooking some ducks, it was time to hop in the car and take the big kids back to their mum, which is always our least favourite part of the weekend. IMG_5109.JPG

Pictures of the Weekend #7

IMG_4981.JPG Iris’ first ever train journey – to Bristol!, spotting pumpkins in Bristol Aquarium, baby seahorses, little frogsIMG_5124.JPGFriday night, Saturday morning, designing pumpkin faces, chip shop lunchIMG_5125.JPGPlaying Peppa Pig shop, scooping out the pumpkins, carving, Ta-Da!IMG_5126.JPGAirbrush art, dog walking, puddles, trouble with mudIMG_5127.JPGChasing Daddy, playing dressing up, poo-splosion, nap timeIMG_5128.JPGBarry Island!, our salty sea dog, fetch on the beach, seaside Sunday lunchIMG_5129.JPGThe firefighting game, Gavin and Stacey, trying to pick up a very big stick, drying off

The weather in Bristol on Friday was fabulous, and I hear it stayed like that for much of the weekend. We’re very very jealous. We planned to see a firework display but heavy rain cancelled that plan for us. The rest of the weekend was cold and wet. Obviously we decided this was perfect beach weather! Do your worst, weather. This family will still be having wonderful weekends!