Achievement

I’m sitting here looking at the pouring rain and thinking I’m rather glad I got my run out of the way earlier! I am finding that my running has been slightly neglected lately, not in terms of frequency, I am still getting out at least four days a week, but in terms of distance. When I go to the gym, I tend to rush my run so I can get there and get stuck in, so I have been running around three miles at the most. Today I decided to give the gym a miss and run a bit further, just to make sure I still can! A quick run to school with speedy bike boy and up the hill I went, turning for a moment at the summit of Blythe Hill and admiring the gorgeous view (I must take my camera some time) then carrying on along the Waterlink Way, taking a breath at the far reaches, while a passing walking lady said: ‘You’re not running back?!’ then reaching home at the five-mile point.

I found it interesting that this walker was surprised that I was turning and ‘running back’, since she had no clue as to how far I had already run. Maybe she was taking her clues from my panting and my dripping brow, but to her this appeared to be an achievement in itself that she felt she should comment on. I have recently been talking to a fellow school-gate mum who also runs, the difference is though that she has three children, one of whom is just ten weeks old! She has far more in her life to juggle in an attempt to fit a run in, so I wasn’t surprised to see her passing our house this morning as we ate our breakfast. Last week I saw her in the park and we ran part of the way together. She was telling me how she had measured herself and found that her waist was now 27 1/2 inches, I dream of such neat girthage! So, she sees me and admires the fact that I run a little further than she is managing right now, I see her and admire the fact that she is a master juggler who is back in her skinny jeans just weeks after giving birth and other parents at the gate admire us both for getting out at all!

Soon we will be enjoying the spectacle of the Olympic Games, admiring those who are achieving international greatness in their chosen field then, further into the summer, we will admire those athletes who have overcome disability to compete in the Paralympic Games. I’m beginning to tire of the negativity being shown towards the Olympic Games, when I see many positive outcomes such as celebrations at school where the children are given the opportunity to try new activities, enthusiastic sports days at the running track (I heard loud cheers this morning, even though the rain clouds were coming in) and a little group of pre-school children in the park earlier with Olympic flames made out of tin foil and cardboard. If the presence of the games in London increases participation in sports at all levels and encourages otherwise inactive people to get out and try something new, it has to be a good thing.

Distance: 5.07 miles

Time: 50 minutes 51 seconds

Average Pace: 10.02

Best Pace: 5.23

Calories: 267

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More running, less blogging

Yes, I’m still here, still running, but not so much blogging now Juneathon is over. I must admit, I have felt mightily out of sorts since it finished the other week, feeling unmotivated, a bit low and a tad blue. The thought of a post-Juneathon get-together this weekend has given me a boost and I have been out running again this week, back to the usual routes, but wishing to go further in anticipation of the upcoming half-marathon in August.

At the weekend, we went to a gorgeous wedding in West Sussex and I wished I had taken my running shoes with me, but instead I enjoyed a saunter around the little lake with Hector on his bike, taking in the fresh country air and wandering through fields filled with hopping rabbits and swooping birds.

Tomorrow is the local Sure Start Children’s’ Centres’ ‘Mini Olympics’ and picnic, I guess it’s a little sports day for smaller people. Now, there seems to be a trend for giving everyone a medal or prize, no matter how well or not so well they do. I agree that a child’s confidence and self-esteem should be boosted, but I do think it’s ok to learn about losing at an early age, that’s life! I was thinking back to my own school sports days, and I didn’t really consider myself one of the sporty gang, I was self-conscious and didn’t want to draw attention to myself in that way (though I would happily stand up on stage and strut my stuff with immense confidence!), but we had winners and we had losers and that was just fine. We knew what to expect, and to see a fellow pupil excel in something made us feel that we could do that if we tried a bit harder, or feel happy for them and enjoy and celebrate their success and natural ability.

I had high hopes for Hector in the running race, he is incredibly fast for one so small and takes great joy from just sprinting until he drops, but he said today that he would like ‘to just watch, then go home’. If there was a jumping from a great height category, he would be first to take the mark:

So, a little run yesterday and another short run today, though I think my Garmin has played tricks with me here, because this is a run I do most Wednesdays, and it usually comes in at just over three miles. Oh well.

Tuesday:

Time: 30 minutes 57 seconds

Distance: 3.09 miles

Average Pace: 10.00

Best Pace: 7.30

Calories: 305

Wednesday:

Time: 28 minutes

Distance: 2.60 miles

Average Pace: 10.46

Best Pace: 8.37

Calories: 259

Off the beaten track

Today’s run was billed as a ‘5 x 400 mile pace’. There is a handy little running track painted onto the grass in the park at the moment, I guess for school sports day, but I can’t see myself legging it round there with the running buggy in tow! I decided to just run for about half an hour and pick the pace up a bit here and there; I suppose more of a fartlek session. We did stroll over to the ‘track’ at the end and I took Hector out of his buggy so he could also stretch his legs…in the direction of the kids doing stunts on their bikes, he is totally obsessed with wheels right now!

Edward said this morning ‘why do you keep saying it’s going to be hot today?’ and I suppose he was right to wonder when the sky was overcast and grey with little sign of sunshine but, by the time we headed back home after our run, the sun was beating down and it was scorching.

Time: 32.04

Distance: 3 miles

Average Pace: 10.41

Best Pace: 4.35

Calories: 394

(I imagined a faster average pace after all the bursts of energy, but I guess the best pace gives a hint of how fast I was going at times!).

Sports (rainy) Day

(see photos here) 

Well, off we went to the Hackney Marshes for the Artists’ Sports Day. After the hot weather of the previous few days, I had been a bit anxious about getting too hot and had packed lots of water and suncream but, as Edward and I made our way along the canal, we realised it was a good job we had brought the brolley as well!

The event went really well, not as many people as I had imagined, but it was quite a hard spot to get to and people are definitely put off by a bit of cloud. Those who were there were very enthusiastic, and Ellie and I got lots of people signed up for our Sports Day Artists’ Dance-Off. Due to some overlapping of events, our Dance-Off was split into a few sections, which was good in some ways, because we got to see what else was going on. I don’t think standing outside in the cold, but dressed like it’s hot, is good for a 35-and-a-bit weeks pregnant lady, and I caused some alarm with my blue lips, thankfully someone had the foresight to bring a kettle and tea bags, which sort of did the trick.

As the afternoon went on, we enjoyed an ‘odd egg’ and spoon race, a stilletto sprint, a butoh 400m and some gymnastics with a difference. Unfortunately, before we held our final rounds of the Dance-Off, it started pouring down, so we had the final competitors dance under umbrellas! All in all, it was a lot of fun, but I did feel well and truly knackered by the time I got home, and I think it didn’t help that I had walked miles to get there in the first place! A nice hot bath was very welcome on my arrival home, thank you Edward.

On Sunday, I found some more energy to go for a swim! It wasn’t too busy, and I managed 30 lengths – I wasn’t pushing myself because things were aching, and I think my body is now well and truly being taken over by relaxin, so I need to take care not to injure myself. Regarding the pregnancy, I now only have four weeks to go but, realistically, that could mean two weeks or maybe even six weeks. I have been continuing with the gym ball kneeling and all-fours stretches and it’s paid off – when I saw my midwife this week, she said that Eric has turned into the optimal position! I’ve just got to keep him happy there now, so no slouching and lots of kneeling. Good lad.

Sports Day Artists’ Dance-Off 2007

Join Sports Day this Saturday 26 May on Hackney Marshes in east London for the most anticipated event of the sporting calendar – the Artists’ Dance Off 2007.

16 brave contestants will battle it out in a series of head-to-head knock out dancing rounds. They will have 30 seconds to impress the audience with their most outrageous moves, to out dance their competitor and make it one step closer to lifting that much coveted Dance Off trophy. To sign up please arrive from 13:00 on the day or contact Sports Day in advance. Remember if you have a particularly favourite song; please bring a CD with you. The event starts promptly at 14:00. For map and further details please visit the Grunts for the Arts website.

This event takes place as part the Artists’ Sports Day organised by Grunts for the Arts, which aims to act as a protest of sorts against the recent siphoning off of 35% or the Arts Council Grants for the Arts funds in order to pay for the 2012 Olympics.

Why not take a look at – and sign – the petition here.