Bread and jam

We went blackberrying again yesterday morning. Well, I threw some blackberries in a tub whilst keeping one eye firmly on a lively little chap whizzing around on his bike! As Hector slept I made some jam and then, in the afternoon we made bread together.

jam knead


Bread making with a toddler is just wonderful. Of course he wants to put his hands in everything and swish them around and making bread is all about that. He was also taken by the whole proving thing…and the knocking back.

We also ran.

Time: 27 minutes 2 seconds

Distance: 2.48 miles

Average Pace: 10.54

Best Pace: 8.42

Calories: 264

I was given some music to run to by AudioFuel the other week, but have only just located all the bits and bobs to put it onto Edward’s MP3 player. I will try and run with it in the next few days and see if it does anything for my pace. I have remembered that I am running a half-marathon next Sunday and certainly haven’t been doing anything like half-marathon training. Eek! I guess I will just do what I can between now and then and take it slowly on the day (not what I had in mind when I entered!).


One more sleep!

Until I don this ensemble and strut my stuff on the streets of London.


The letters are ironed on, the champion chip is in place (though I’m always uncertain about wether it’s the right way up or not, panic, panic), my kit is laid out, gels in belt, Bodyglide to hand…I think I’m ready now. It’s been a funny week, feeling nervous, excited, aprehensive, impatient, worried and also having this weird feeling that I don’t want it to be over because I know I will miss it all! I am, of course, nervous about getting there tomorrow, worried that it will be hard to leave the house – this is going to be the longest stretch of time I have been away from Hector – and concerned that I will end up rushing at the other end. I am aslo hoping/wishing/doing some sort of shamanic dance in the hope that I might get a good night’s sleep. For me that would mean not being woken every couple of hours for a feed and then being woken at 5.30am for the start of the day. I know that once I am woken up I will be too excited to get back to sleep…I’ll be the one on the start line with the rather large bags under my eyes and the vacant expression of the ‘mother of a toddler’.

I am at the blue start. This is particularly exciting because that’s where all the fancy pants elites go from – I must point out, this does not reflect my projected finish time! I am also in ‘pen’ number 8, which puts me alongside all the other people who will be aiming to peg it down The Mall 4.30 hours after the start. We’ll see, maybe I will reach that goal, or maybe I will stroll along high-fiving everyone. Apparently the crowds carry you along, so I’m counting on anyone who is supporting to shout out my name and help me along a bit. Please!

Signing out now, with some stats from a little leg-loosening three miler done this week with my ever-dedicated running buddy, Hector.

Time: 30.20

Distance: 2.87 miles (that’s odd, I could have sworn I did three!)

Average Pace: 10.35

Best Pace: 8.31

Calories: 346

And don’t forget, you can still sponsor me for the NSPCC and Childline here.

Up and out

Thankfully today’s run felt much easier than the last two, I just seemed to have more energy and less sluggishness. It was jolly cold though, so I donned my tights but left my arms exposed, don’t want to appear to be a complete wuss in October! Maybe it felt easier today because it wasn’t as windy, or maybe it was the porridge I had for breakfast (I normally have muesli).

We set out quite early to get back in time for our Wednesday morning swim. After last week’s almost tropical temperatures, the pool was freezing again so we didn’t stay in that long, even I was feeling it and that’s unusual. There was a schools gala going on in the main pool and the noise was incredible – Hector kept wanting to be picked up  to see what was happening. In these days of inclusion, there was a section for competitive floating and also competitive splashing, this made Hector say ‘Wow!’ for the first time, it’s been a week of new words: wow, dumper, ball and goal!

Time: 30.44 minutes

Distance: 2.98 miles

Average Pace: 10.19

Best Pace: 8.05

Calories: 372

Sunday Monday

I had the opportunity to run on my own yesterday while (a poorly with a stinking cold) Edward entertained Hector at the sandpit. I felt really, really sluggish though and had to motivate myself to run beyond my usual weekday limit, boy it was tough! I just felt incredibly heavy and like I was dragging my body round the park, but I thought to myself ‘I don’t get this chance very often and it’s something I really want to do’, then pushed myself to six miles and felt a sense of achievement at this. On my way round I noticed Edward was sitting on the swings – ‘hey, just a minute, you’re meant to be entertaining Hector, not yourself!’, so I popped over to see what was happening and there was Hector, all wrapped up in his waterproofs and wellies, fast asleep in the running buggy. Edward encouraged me to keep going and, by the time I had finished, Hector was awake and we all had a play in the sand.

Time: 59.24 minutes

Distance: 6.06 miles

Average Pace: 9.48

Best Pace: 6.52

Calories: 672

This morning I decided to go out again…into the blustery headwind. If I thought yesterday was hard, then this was virtually impossible! I must have looked like I was running on the spot at some points, especially where the running buggy acted like someone pushing me backwards with great force. In the bigger park there were absolutely loads of walkers out today, it seemed at one point as if they were merging as the Chinese Walkers and the Monday Walkers caught up with each other. I wondered if they would stroll together or if there were strict rules about not mingling. After a brief play in the sand (too cold and windy for my liking, though Hector would probably stay there all day if he could) I pushed on up the hill, going over the grass, now that’s tough: into the wind over a bumpy, grassy surface! It was nice to get home and enjoy a pot of Earl Grey and my homemade Bara Brith 😉

Time: 32.30 minutes

Distance: 3.19 miles

Average Pace: 10.11

Best Pace: 8.32

Calories: 396

Step lively

Ooh, it was hard work this morning: I plodded around feeling like it was all too much effort and remembered I had probably only had about three hours sleep. I can’t blame Hector for this, he slept well, but I was kept wide awake by the sound of a mouse gnawing away under the floorboards by my head. Eek! Needless to say I have been frantically mouse-proofing everything in the kitchen and scrubbing all surfaces.

Traps will be bought and the buggers will be killed.

I’m glad my cold weather gear was in the wash because it was actually pretty warm out there and this just added to the perceived effort. In this month’s Runner’s World Magazine it mentions trying to have a quieter footfall, so I listened carefully and was pleased to find that I do in fact have a light pitter patter…but people turn to see who’s coming when they hear my laboured breathing and heavy panting.

It was rather windy out there and we stood watching the leaves blowing around for a while and delighted in the amazing array of colours. Autumn is truly lovely.

Time: 36.26

Distance: 3.52 miles

Average Pace: 10.21

Best Pace: 8.51

Calories: 414

The green, green grass

Was mown. We had the pleasure of a tractor mowing the grass in the park again today, and a red tractor at that! Once I decided to go out for a run and started getting into my running gear, I really had to speed up to satisfy Hector’s wish to be outside in a flash. He bought me my running shoes and tried putting them on my feet. Ah.

I feel good every time I run at the moment, but I do find it hard to change my pace, I would probably put this down to pushing the running buggy. I really should try and get out on my own sometime and test this, see how fast I can really go. In a couple of weeks I have the Women’s 5k Challenge so it would be great to see how I am getting on beyond the 10 minute mile.

Towards the end of the run we stopped by the local sixth form college, where they are resurfacing the car park. It was lovely to watch the team of men in their hi-vis vests working quickly while the tarmac was still warm and soft. Hector was transfixed by the little digger that scooped up the tarmac and poured it into the back of a big spreading machine. I rather liked the smooth, steady movements of the steamroller which gave the surface a clean, black flatness which I would have rushed to roller skate on as a child.

Time: 35.11

Distance: 3.53 miles

Average Pace: 9.59

Best Pace: 8.24

Calories: 432

Back on track

I’ve been away…getting very wet in Wales. There’s a reason Wales is so deliciously lush and green. We went over to south Wales to meet up with Ben and Jackie who live in Pontypridd, then headed over to Pembrokeshire to go camping near St Davids. It is quite amazingly beautiful around there, breathtaking. We did have a lovely time, but our camping trip was cut short by a 5am storm which destroyed B&J’s brand new tent (they did get their money back, thankfully). Then off we headed up north to visit my parents. A wonderful time was had at the Welsh Mountain Zoo and watching Punch and Judy in Llandudno, but not much beach action 😦 We did manage to experience this incredible place on our one hot day:

The Blue Lagoon, a disused slate quarry with sparkling blue water. It features in a lovely book we have called ‘Wild Swim’ so we have now ticked this one off our list. This weekend we had visitors from the Netherlands and spent time showing Mirjam and Bas the sights of north London…here we are picking blackberries in Highgate Cemetary, naughty I know, but what a scrumptious crumble they made:

So, you might wonder when I fitted running in with all this, well I didn’t. I did pack my running kit, but simply didn’t get a chance, what with the dreadful weather and the tight schedule. Today I got back on track and headed out while it was dry – you really do have to time it well at the moment to avoid a drenching! I have looked into getting a cover for the running buggy, but at about 50-odd quid I will have to leave it!

Great joy was experienced all round when we turned in to the park to see a shiny red tractor (or ‘tat-der’ as Hector says) mowing the grass. This provided lots of entertainment as the driver whizzed it round in circles and sprayed cut grass behind him. We saw the usual group of plodders and dog walkers and paused to check out the pigeons and crows. It’s nice to be back.

Time: 30.43

Distance: 3.04 miles

Average Pace: 10.07

Best Pace: 8.30

Calories: 381

By the way, I am super gutted that our telly has decided to conk out on us during the Olympics, this means I am only getting to see highlights on the web…a day late 😦 I did think Paula Radcliffe should have given it a miss, she had a stress fracture for goodness’ sake!