Sleep running

That’s Hector, not me. We set out to gymnastics and, just as we headed up the hill, he fell asleep. I felt a bit lost and did try and wake him, knowing that he will be most annoyed at missing his class. He didn’t stir at all. So I ran on a bit and did a loop then, as I was quite near the knitting shop, I popped in and bought myself these little lovelies:

Some circular knitting needles so I can tackle the little hat pattern that Edward gave me. If football is featuring so highly in our house over the next month, even when England are not playing, then I will need something to keep me occupied!

I also ran across the brand new crossing near the park.

A seemingly uninteresting landmark, but it has taken a few years of campaigning to get this installed. Crazy when you consider that children have spent years risking life and limb to cross a very busy road at a bit of a blind corner corner. I enjoy slowing the cars down.

So far today we have spotted 51 England flags fluttering from vehicles. Seven of those were on one lorry!

Stats for Juneathon Day 15

Type of run: Pushing a running buggy

Time: 34 minutes 34 seconds

Distance: 3.05 miles

Average Pace: 11.20

Best Pace: 8.25

Calories: 284

Sloooow, it was very windy!

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Let the Juneathon begin!

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It’s June, I’m a runner, I blog so it must be Juneathon! You know, Juneathon. I did attempt to do this run-every-day lark last year, but found it really difficult to get out some days with all the playing/etertaining I do each day, but this year is different. You can see the rules here, and JogBlog has given a list of all the Juneathonites here (I will try and add links here sometime, when I get the chance).

It’s been almost three weeks since I ran. I am much, much better now, having dosed up on antibiotics, but I still can’t hear in my right ear. It’s very odd and I have no sense of how loud I am talking, so keep talking really, really quietly. I will be relieved when the ear goes ‘pop’ and I can abandon this floating around in water feeling.

As you can see from the Juneathon rules, you don’t need to run every day this time, just take some form of exercise, but I am aiming to run. I also got a bit excited by this on Hauling My Carcass’s blog. Sit-ups and press-ups. Now, I used to go to a boxercise class that was run by a complete sadist and I could do sit-ups and press-ups until I was blue in the face (literally) but I am very weak and squishy in those areas these days, so this sort of challenge might be just what I need. Ok, I will get down right now and see how many sit-ups I can do in one go…50! Not bad. I gave up when I started to lose form, I think I’ll focus on good form. Press-ups, hmmmm, let’s see…12. Oh, I have a long way to go! These were girlie press-ups, by the way, with my knees on the floor (I used to do full-on hardcore press-ups in the olden days). So, I will gradually build this up during the next month and aim to do 200 sit-ups in one go and 100 press-ups. Ha-ha-ha-ha.

Juneathon Day 1

Sit-ups: 50

Press-ups: 12

I am going to go out for a run later, bit hot right now. Happy Juneathoning everyone!

PM UPDATE!

I got out and ran, and boy was it hot! I wouldn’t normally run on a Monday because I like to run in the morning, and we go to ‘Musical Mondays’ then Hector sleeps. So, I had to fit the run in in the afternoon and also had to buy, wrap and post a birthday present. To get around all this I decided to run through the park, over to the hell that is Wood Green, negotiate the children’s department of H&M with a running buggy whilst dripping with sweat, head back over to the park, wrap the present, go to the post office then run home again. Phew! Not having run for a few weeks I felt a bit ‘urgh’ but not too bad, I’m sure the heat contributed to it and also running quite close to lunch (cucumber and melon are major repeaters). I think I might run all my errands from now on, Wood Green is so much easier when you just run in and out in a flash 🙂

Time: 40 minutes 1 second

Distance: 3.83 miles

Average Pace: 10.27

Best Pace: 8.09

Calories: 382

This post contains nuts

I said to Edward yesterday morning: ‘Am I allowed to say I don’t feel like it today?’ and he said ‘You can say it but…’ then gave me a look. I’m glad he gave me that look, that said: ‘There’s no way you are getting out of it, what’s wrong with you? You love running!’

I did get out in the cold, damp, grey morning and headed over to Finsbury Park. I never really mention my asthma as it’s generally not a problem, but I was feeling it as I set out. I think the combination of damp and cold just got to me and set off a wheeziness. This soon eased as I got warmer and into my stride a bit. On Saturday it rained non-stop all day, so there were huge puddles everwhere and boggy grassy areas and, like the wuss I am, I stuck to the path.

Heading down Green Lanes I was struck by how many people were out and about: it was like a weekday. I guess it must be Christmas shoppers, but I thought the shops didn’t open till late. The park also had a fair share of folks plodding, dog walking and footie kicking, and I slipped in amongst them to do my thing. As i pumped my arms to get up the hill I was taken by the sound of what I imagined must be a steam train coming up behind me, then I was corrected when I saw a man legging it ahead of me. How dare he?! Now, if there’s one thing that p*sses me off when I’m running, it’s over-takers, but over-taking on a hill, now that’s just plain rude! A wave of warm smugness washed over me when he stopped at the top, doubled over and gasping for air and I glided past ‘effortlessly’ (well, use your imagination there).

I did a few circuits then decided to head home to my bath. Edward and Hector had gone out to a different park, so I looked out for them – apparently they saw me and were whistling, but Edward should know I don’t respond to a whistle – he was lucky I didn’t get out my middle finger.

snacks

After my long(er) Sunday run, I like to gather together a few things: some nuts, two glasses of water – one while I stretch one side then the second one while I stretch the other side, a cup of tea for the bath and the Neal’s Yard bubble bath oil to ease my muscles – it smells dodgy but has arnica in it, so must be good.

Now I had achieved my goal of getting out there, I could get on with the things that were trying to keep me at home in the first place, one of which was the Christmas pudding. We all gave it a stir and made our wishes.

pud

If it’s as good as last year it’ll be a winner, Nigel Slater really knows what he’s doing. Food god.

Time: 1 hour 6 minutes 14 seconds

Distance: 6.58 miles

Average Pace: 10.04

Best Pace: 6.44

Calories: 699

Sluggish

That’s how I felt when I set off this morning, but I’m happy to say the running did the trick and I battled on through to run four and a bit miles 🙂

I can definitely put my state of mind and physical lack of oomph down to my periods having returned after a two year break. I hadn’t realised – because people don’t talk about it – that you can continue to miss periods whilst breastfeeding and (if you’re really lucky) this break will last for as long as you continue to feed (I guess Hector must have gradually cut down on his feeds without me noticing). Something else I didn’t realise is just how horrible they are when they do return: I spent Sunday feeling like I’d been kicked and have been super grumpy to go with it (sorry Edward!). Anyway, I am one of the lucky ones, so I should stop whinging and thank my lucky stars I have been able to breastfeed for such a long time without any problems.

It was pretty nippy when we set off, but I won’t be donning my tights and long sleeved tops for a while – I’m hardcore and only bring those out in the thick of winter or at the point where my arms are about to drop off through frostbite. Hector on the other hand was wrapped up in various layers and – at last – got to wear the woolly hat his uncle knitted for him when he was born! We had the company of the shiny red tractor again, I wonder why they keep cutting the grass so often, maybe a build up to the winter grass-cutting break. We also saw lots of lovely dogs and got a comment from the lady with the elegant greyhounds: ‘that was a fast loop!’, which gave me a little boost as I felt like I was going  r e a l l y   s l o w l y.

Time: 47.13

Distance: 4.61 miles

Average Pace: 10.14

Best Pace: 8.25

Calories: 536

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!

Perception

I often forget, as we run around the park, just how odd/different/interesting we must look: you don’t see many people running around with their baby in tow. We often get smiling glances and positive comments and this reminds me that people view me differently now I am a mum…gone are the days of white-van-man shouting ‘fat arse!’ out of the window (hopefully!). This morning a young woman approached us on her walk and said ‘You’re great!’ and a friend we bumped into as she walked her dog said ‘Good on you!’. I do wonder if it looks harder than it is, maybe people imagine that the buggy is difficult to push, when in fact it’s really light. Of course, it does slow me down and change the way I run but it’s not a hardship apart from on the big hill. I do notice myself swapping hands: changing the hand I use to push Hector along and pumping away with the other and sometimes I do a ‘push-glide’ sequence on the flatter, smoother bits so I can move both arms freely for a while. The little games we play whilst running.

Yesterday the weather was so still and clammy that I felt like I couldn’t move without breaking into a sweat, but today there is a fresh breeze which feels like a relief, although slightly challenging to run against!

Last night I watched a programme about Colin Jackson on BBC1 – he had undergone various tests to try and establish whether or not he has a natural propensity towards fast movement or whether he has simply trained hard to achieve his success. It was interesting that he seemed to want proof that he had a special body, a body that gives him a head-start, when I would have thought it is more impressive to have trained hard and pushed yourself from the same starting point as anyone else. I liked the way the people of Jamaica celebrated and pushed their young athletes, and the suggestion that this is what helps to produce such a high number of medal winners. How wonderful it would be to see such support in this country, to see those with a natural ability, like Colin, being carried to their success by the crowd.

One of the things they discussed was the ability to bounce back from failure, something that Colin Jackson had in abundance and this made me think about Hector and his huge learning curve.  As I watch him exploring his surroundings he often stumbles and falls, usually sustaining a bump or graze, but every time he gets back up and tries again. So what happens along the way to make us either retain this ability or retreat and become afraid of failure? I hope Hector never loses this desire to succeed; it’s a joy to watch him overcome an obstacle and steady himself after a wobble. Leaps and bounds.

Time: 32.39 minutes

Distance: 3.17 miles

Average Pace: 10.17

Best Pace: 8.13

Calories: 394

Up Tempo

At last, my chest feels better and I had my first run for a while without a large obstruction blocking my airways. I decided to have a rest yesterday as I felt well and truly knackered: even though Hector is waking slightly less in the night right now, he is still insisting on getting up at about 5am and it’s tough.

We were out a bit later today and felt the force of the sun’s rays – lashings of sunscreen all round. With my chest feeling better I had more energy and generally felt like I was able to push a bit harder. When you follow a schedule it mentions things like running at ‘tempo’ and I do feel a bit like a one-pace-wonder with the running buggy to push, but realise it’s important to try and vary the pace if I am to get faster and stronger (though I know I will never be fast, fast).

We were asked on the way round if we are off to Beijing next week – another man (maybe the same man actually) asked the other day if I was training Hector for the Olympics and I guess seeing your mum running around and passing by all these other fit people en route must be as good a grounding as any.

Time: 32.21

Distance: 3.20 miles

Average Pace: 10.07

Best Pace: 8.45

Calories: 395