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! 

Running, not running away 

So this is new! Well, not new new. Remember when I tried to take up running when Iris was a baby? Remember when I completely failed to even start my local ParkRun? 

That wasn’t actually the start of my running journey. I used to do a little bit here and there back in Bristol. I even did Race For Life (very slowly) one year. I preferred the gym though, and spin classes. Running in the centre of Bristol made me feel self conscious. 

This time, I’m going to do it. I have no gym. There isn’t one for miles, and I’d have to get two buses and find childcare. 

Running is the ideal exercise if you live in the arse end of nowhere, have limited cash, limited time, and two small children who act like the world might end if you leave the room for a second or two. It requires some clothes, and a pair of comfy running trainers. I know trainers can be pricey, and really you would get your gait analysed in a running shop, but there are pretty decent cheapo ones out there. My old ones, in the picture above, are expensive Nike ones that I bought in Barcelona when I didn’t have kids and I went on holidays and bought shoes on a whim. They’re actually crappy. And they don’t fit anymore anyway because I went up a shoe size having babies (WTF is that all about?). 

I’ve got about 3 stone I want to lose, but it’s not coming off. I’ve improved the way I eat times a million since new year. Vegan is the way to live for me, I’ve discovered. I can cook now, and I think about the nutritional value of every single thing I eat. Roller Derby training is going so well and I love it so much. I’m working really hard and learning every single session. Yet the weight creeps on. Not off. It feels so unfair, and it’s had me in hysterical tears so many times. I hate my useless body. It’s so tired and achey and sore, and sometimes just being awake all day and keeping the kids alive is too much. I have yet to figure out what is up with me, but I have finally convinced my GP to run a blood test to check my thyroid function. It’s a start. She doesn’t believe a word I say though, and keeps pushing anti depressants on me. I’m old friends with depression. I’ve lived with it for about 14 years on and off. I am not currently depressed. My drive to get out and do something is higher than it has been in years. I want to do stuff, and learn stuff, and get on with life, and apart from the physical stuff I feel GOOD. 

Running is hard. Really hard. 

I set off one day, running as much as I could but actually mostly walking, and an hour later I was back at my house and I’d covered 4km. I set out again and did the same route, several times, slowly getting better. Running more and walking less. Still walking most of it though. 

Then a Roller Derby buddy invited me to Park Run, so I dragged my terrified self to the park early on a Saturday morning and somehow completed it in under 40 minutes. I had THE BEST time. Park Run is fabulous. The volunteers are encouraging and friendly, the other runners cheer you on too. It’s a bit disheartening when you’re on your second lap and you can see people leaving because they’ve finished already, but you just have to remember that you’re not sitting on your sofa eating toast with your kids so you are already a runner. The high I felt at the end (ignoring the fact that my legs felt like jelly) made it totally worth the lower leg pain that almost made me cry on the 3rd lap. 

I’ve done another Park Run since then, and I ran almost all of it. I added a few minutes on to my time because I walk faster than I run (ha!). 

Unfortunately a photographer took pictures of my second Park Run and I had a huge wobble when I saw them. I don’t look how I was feeling. I look pretty ropey. I have about 50 chins and I’m bright red. My legs felt strong and unstoppable. They looked like wobbly sausages. I’m wondering if it’s acceptable to shout at the photographers to just piss off? I might try it next time. 

A new trainers purchase and signing up for some challenges has helped me to restore my motaivation. With people handing over hard earned cash to charity because of my running, I’m kind of forced to keep it up. 

Today, the first day of May, I began the Out Run May challenge to raise money for Macmillan  Cancer Support. I lost my wonderful Nan to cancer in 2014, just weeks before Iris was born. She told her doctors she was hanging on to meet her new great granddaughter but she didn’t make it. It broke my heart and it still hurts. Everybody thinks of the research charities when they think of cancer, which is obviously a great thing, but the people who actually do the caring get forgotten. Can you imagine being a cancer nurse? I can’t. I’m too emotionally fragile. They are just incredible wonderful people. I’d love to raise £100, and I promise to run as far as I possibly can this month. 

I set out on my first run of May this morning. It wasn’t as early as I hoped, despite being up with the kids at 6am. Trevor slept in and I decided to leave him. He’s tired too and he deserves a lie in. Astrid was up in the night with teeth or tummy ache or whatever (I never can understand when some parents say they instinctively know what their kid is crying about) so what I really wanted to do was drink several buckets of coffee, eat a whole loaf of bread and lie on the sofa watching CBeebies under a pile of small children. Instead, I headed out. 

My first mistake was to try a new route. Today wasn’t a day for change. I didn’t stretch properly because I’m lazy. I wasn’t hydrated. Still, I pushed myself and learnt plenty about who this running version of me is. I wanted to run the whole first kilometre without stopping, and I did. It bloody hurt though. The backs and fronts of my lower legs hurt. I was slower for the second kilometre, and slower again for the third. Then something in the shin area of my right leg began to really hurt, too much to run through. I was about 2km from home and I had to hobble back. It’s not an injury, because it was fine after a little rest and a protein shake. It must be the lack of stretching. 

I will try again tomorrow. 

If you want to sponsor me (please please please – I’m not too proud to beg) you can do it here: Mouse’s Just Giving Page. I need your donations to keep me going! 

I’ve also signed up for the Rainbow Run in Barry Island in a couple of weeks. From the looks of the pictures, I’m going to be attempting to run 5k through a cloud of powdered paint in an attempt to to raise money for Ty Hafan. They are a paediatric palliative care charity, and I can’t think of a better cause. I only have a paper sponsorship for that one,  but please let me know if you want to support the cause. 

It’s 11pm and I’m supposed to be up early for a run tomorrow. Oops. 

Baby Weight Diaries #8

It’s been a fairly good week, food-wise, so I’m pretty pleased with myself. With Trev too, actually. We’ve had some very healthy dinners this past week! Unfortunately I also had cake yesterday. Oops. Being really good all of the time is just boring though, isn’t it? If I deprive myself completely all of the time I’ll get fed up and give up. A little bit of cake is a good thing.

A couple of years ago (almost to the day) I fell over on ice on my way to work. I hurt myself quite badly and spent the whole day in A&E. On my way there I saw a bus crash. I had weeks of pain and (very expensive) osteopath appointments, and now I’m quite frightened of icy ground. So I haven’t yet been running still, as it’s been pretty frosty here. It’s even lightly snowed a few times. I had to do something though, so I started the ’30 Day Shred’. I had amazing results with it a few years ago and it’s good fun too. I’ve done the first 2 days, although both times I had to stop halfway through and start again because Iris filled her nappy. I don’t think she’s a fan of Jillian. I missed a day yesterday because we spent the whole day at the zoo, and today I’m doing the Kangoo Jump class again.
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I finally reached the first of the 10 weight loss milestones this week! I’m pretty pleased with that. I’m 10% done. Woo!
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Weight lost this week: 1.8lb

Total weight loss: 6lb

Weight still to lose: 46.8lb
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I’m pretty happy with how things are going. It’s slow, I know, but slow and steady weight loss is the best kind. It makes it so much easier to keep it off. I naturally lose a bit of weight when the weather gets warmer anyway, and always seem to carry more when it’s cold. If I lose another pound by the end of January and continue to lose half a stone a month I’ll be a very happy mouse. I can see that I’ve slowed down slightly but that doesn’t really matter. As long as the numbers go down and not up, all is good. I already feel so much better and healthier and have a lot more energy. 2015/01/img_1111.jpg
*images cropped from screenshots of the Happy Scale App*

#BloggingToJogging

Baby Weight Diaries #6

It’s been a funny week. Not funny in a good way. However, I’ve been pretty good. I’ve eaten well, avoided snacks, and even done some exercise. I’ve been for my first run of the year, which was spoilt a bit by a big scary Rottweiler chasing poor Seb. It was muddy and wet though, and I kind of like running in those conditions. I’ve only managed just the one run, because I hate to run in the dark and I can’t run til Trev is home. Once the evenings are lighter I’ll start the ‘Couch to 5k’ app up again. In the meantime I’ll just run when I can. I also downloaded an app called ‘Seven’ that has 7 minutes workouts and works on the theory that 7 minutes a day is all you really need to be fit and healthy. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but I do know that it’s easier to snatch 7 minutes than to go to the gym. It’s a good app too. It may have only been 7 minutes long, but last night’s workout left me feeling like I’d worked most of my body.

I’m actually surprised my weight loss isn’t more, because I feel slimmer. I’ve lost that bloated feeling, and I feel lighter on my feet. My jeans aren’t so tight either.

Tonight I’m off to a Kangoo Jump class, assuming Iris and the tooth breaking through her gum can manage without me for a bit. Kangoo Jump involves wearing boots with bouncy things on the bottom and, I assume, jumping all over the place. The instructor claims it burns 1000 calories per hour! I’m trying to find the chest strap for my Garmin GPS/heart rate monitor watch so that I can measure how many I actually burn.

So. This week.

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Weight lost this week: 3lb

Total weight loss: 3lb

Weight still to lose: 49.8lb

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I’ve started from scratch with the Happy Scale app, and reset it to 0lb lost, so my statistics will just be for 2015 now. I’ve changed my weight loss into just 10 milestones this time. They’re small enough. 20 tiny ones wasn’t really working out for me.

*images cropped from screenshots of the Happy Scale App*

Running

I mentioned the other day in my post about Slimming World that I love to run. It’s been a year since I ran properly, for more than about a minute at a time. But now that I’m no longer pregnant and I’m pretty much fully recovered from the birth, it’s time to run again. I say I’m fully recovered, but actually I’m pretty stiff and achey. Trying to make my knees and ankles work properly to walk downstairs first thing in the morning is quite a challenge.

I firmly believe though, that using these parts of my body is the only way to get them working again. Plus I bought amazing new running shoes just before I got pregnant, and it’s about time I used them properly!
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Last year I did Race For Life, and it’s the most fun thing! I highly recommend it. Obviously I skipped it this year, but next year I’d like to do the Bristol one and the Cardiff one, so I really need to get training.
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There are so many reasons to love running. Obviously the main one is the health benefits. It made me feel so strong, yet so light, and fast. I liked feeling fast. It’s an amazing stress reliever too. There’s nothing like bounding along listening to your favourite music to beat the worries out of you. Getting hot and sweaty just feels so good! I’m not a competitive person at all, but I found myself competing with yesterday me, always wanting to beat my best time, always hoping to go a little bit further and a little bit faster. It isn’t always plain sailing though. There was that time my foot stopped bending and went stiff. That hurt a lot.
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As well as running, I love a bit of dancey type exercise and have so many DVDs. My favourite is the 30 Day Shred, although I don’t think I’ve ever got past day 20. When it’s pouring with rain or just too dark to run, getting sweaty in the living room is definitely the next best thing.
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So basically this is me telling you all that I’m going to start again, because if I tell you then it’s real and I have to get on with it. No excuses.
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