Racing for Life

I DID IT!! I actually did it!! I ran the Race for Life!,

Sorry for shouting but I am so proud of myself for actually doing it! You see I am not a runner. I’m sure most of you have gathered that after my last running post! The problem I have is that I am easily convinced to give in. I start running, then I think “I can’t do this any more! I can’t go any further” and I stop, absolutely convinced that I can’t run any further. While training I have been using interval training so that I don’t have to run that far without a walking break.

I had a bit of a panic the day before the race, wondering what on earth I was going to listen to while I was running as I couldn’t exactly listen to my training podcast could I? Most people suggested I listened to music I liked, while others suggested I listen to other kinds of podcasts. The podcasts I ruled out as I wasn’t sure I would be able to concentrate on them while trying not to die!! Although given the fact that I didn’t die I may try out podcasts next time I go running.

Yes that’s right…I did say “next time I go running”. I am hooked! It was such a fantastic day! I loved it. My mum and my sister came to support me and they brought little lady and baby D with them. Little lady had even made me a banner

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Before the start we were separated into 3 groups – the runners, who planned to finish under 25mins!!!; the joggers, who planned to finish between 23-40mins and the walkers who were going to take 45mins plus. This threw me slightly as I was planning to finish somewhere between 40-45mins (if I was lucky). I decided to just go for it and join the joggers. I actually felt sick walking to the start line. I had no idea what I had let myself in for! I crossed the start line and was surprised by the bottleneck that happened. There was no room to move. This threw me a bit but I have been reliably informed by The Girl that it happens all the time. Once the bottleneck opened up I started running. I was very careful not to set off too fast and in fact the first 1km was my slowest!

At 2km I spotted a man giving out sweets so I made a slight detour to the other side of the path to make sure I was in the queue! He actually handed me the box so I took two (for my kiddies I hasten to add). It was only after I had run a bit further that I realised that I would now have to carry these sweets for the rest of the course as my fan club 😉 were at the finish line waiting for me *facepalm* but then again what else were bras made for other than to carry sweets? It’s not like it has much else to do for me!! So in they went.

In the race pack everyone was given a race number and one to go on your back which says “I race for life for…..” With a space for you to write whatever you want. Here’s what I wrote:

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My dad who I lost to cancer 18years ago and my nan who I lost 15 years ago 😦 As I ran around the course I passed the time reading what other people had written. After a while I realised I had to stop as I was starting to well up. Cancer is such a horrible disease. It does not discriminate and just takes anyone as it sees fit. Even the survivor stories were heart wrenching.

So I stopped reading them and just tried to concentrate on my running. I don’t know whether it was running in a group, being in a race or wanting to do well for my kids but it was surprisingly easy to convince myself to keep running. Now when I say “easy” you must understand that I still had the usual “I can’t go any further or I’ll die” conversation with myself but this time it was easier to say “okay well lets just get to the next km marker and we’ll see”. By the time 3km came round I didn’t want to stop. I had come this far without stopping, surely I could make 4km? If I made 4km I would be extremely proud of myself. And guess what? I made it to 4km without stopping. 😀 I did walk for about a minute at 4km as the course came back into the park there was a very steep drop so everyone was walking there. My legs felt so shaky there that I honestly thought that was it but who wants to walk the last 1km? Especially when I had my fan club waiting somewhere up there for me. Somehow I found the strength to start running again. Once I saw the 500m marker the relief was so great I actually speeded up!

Then I saw them. About 200m from the finish line. My supporters shouting for me. Little lady’s face lit up when she saw me. She was jumping up and down, waving her banner, shouting “Go mammy go!” I rescued the sweets from my bra and threw them on the blanket as I passed. Then I ran! I ran as fast as I could to the finish line.

The relief when I passed the finish line and the support from everyone lining the last 250m or so was so overwhelming I actually started to cry. I was given a medal, a bottle of water and a pain au chocolat. When I made it back to my supporters, Little lady relieved me of the pain au chocolat and the medal(!) then sat on my lap and wouldn’t let me go. That’s why there are no photos of me on this post as everyone of them has little lady in them. She was so proud of me as was both my mum and my sister. Baby D was just happy I had brought him sweets! Little lady did ask me how I had managed to go to the shop on the way round 🙂 maybe that’s why I took so long…..?!

My time? A very respectable (I think so anyway) 38.50m 😀

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As the deer pants

A while ago hubby came home from work with an invite to a 25th wedding anniversary. As we very rarely go out on our own we decided to go. My mum agreed to babysit the little monsters our fantastic kiddies and even said they could stay the night with her.

Then the dilemma came. You know the one. The one, as women, we struggle with at all special occasions. WHAT TO WEAR???

After working in health and social care for 10 years, where I wore jeans and a t shirt most days, then being a SAHM, my wardrobe is rather lacking, to put it nicely 😦

Clothes shopping has become a horrible experience for me recently. I’m not sure why but I just feel that everything I try on recently makes me look hideous and/or fat! I’m not saying that for sympathy by the way, just explaining why I really really didn’t want to go shopping for a new dress. So I did it the old fashioned way! And by that I mean I made one.

Due to my current body/self esteem issues I chose a pattern that I had used before

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I used view A but didn’t use an overskirt and made thicker straps so that I could wear a bra underneath.

After scouring the internet I bought this gorgeous fabric from Sew Scrumptious. Not only is it purple but it has DEER on it! What’s not to like?? Plus the lady who runs the shop is lovely. (She didn’t pay me to say that by the way. This is all my own opinion)

Here I am torn between wanting to show you and the fear of being judged. Judged on what I’m not entirely sure. But I’ll try to ignore that.

So who wants to see my finished dress?

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Running away

I am now well into my race for life training. It’s been a while since I’ve done any kind of running that isn’t the sprint from where I’m sat to the part of the playground little lady has just fallen off, but I am actually starting to get somewhere now. I have been using a podcast to help me with my training and I am getting better. Okay so the “motivational” music leaves a lot to be desired but the actual training is pretty good.

That said there have been a few things I have learnt while out running.

The first thing, is that I have very floppy hair and it drives me mad. It flops up and down as I run, then blows in front of my face, then up in the air, then in my face, then to the other side of my parting – which just feels wrong. My hair is too short to tie up so I am constantly rearranging my hair! Surely other runners don’t get this?

The solution? Borrow a hair clip (a pink sparkly heart one no less) from little lady and with a few added brown hair grips, clip it back so that it wouldn’t move in a hurricane! Good move. Problem number one – sorted!

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Then I treated myself to an armband to keep my iPhone in while I run. Fab little gadget. The touchscreen still works through the plastic and my phone is safe while I’m running. One problem though – the popper is so tight that once my phone is in it I can’t get it back out again! It has started to loosen off a bit so I am starting to be able to do it myself without having to wait til hubby gets home. Problem number 2 – getting there!

Now my hair is no longer bothering me and my phone is safe in my new armband, I have discovered another annoying thing that happen when I run. (Does anyone else find they have too much time on their hands while they run? Nope? Just me then!!)

I have in the ear headphones to listen to my podcast while running but they keep falling out. If I’m not rearranging my hair, I’m finding and relocating my earphones! It’s a wonder I find time to run at all! Luckily hubby came to the rescue with a solution to this problem. He bought me this….

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It is a set of headphones especially made to work with my hearing aids. It plugs into my phone, the loop goes around my neck, I put both my hearing aids to the ‘T’ position and away we go! My own personal loop system. To top it all off, no one can hear my “motivational” music no matter how loud i have it! Success.

So I think I am now ready for the race for life. Don’t expect a good time as I am very slow but I really want to see how far I can run without stopping. I do plan to post my time here after the race so please be kind to me and don’t laugh.

Don’t forget I am running for Cancer Research and you can sponsor me if you wish by using the “sponsor me” button on the right hand side of this page. Thank you.

Sunny days

The weather has been glorious here over the last week. We have been so lucky. I do hope this isn’t our summer though.

Little lady has been asking to go for a bike ride since forever. Well it feels like anyway. Hubby had a few days off last weekend so as the weather was nice we packed up a picnic and got the bikes out. Well actually only hubby and little lady got their bikes out. Turns out we are missing the bit that hooks baby D’s baby carrier onto my bike 😦 so I walked while pushing baby D in the pushchair.

We decided to go down the cycle path that runs from our village to the next. It’s quiet and away from the road so little lady was pretty safe to ride her bike.

We had a lovely time although I didn’t see much of little lady and hubby on the way as they zoomed off ahead of us slow coaches.

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There he is just behind little lady who you can’t see.

Baby D enjoyed stopping to look at the little streams that ran alongside the path and I enjoyed seeing the bluebells out. Although not very many, still pretty don’t you think?

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One we got to the end, just under 2.5m from where we started, we crossed over the road and had a picnic in the field.

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We played some games. Tag is a special favourite although I’m sure there are many other names for it.

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We called in a park, where both little lady and baby D had fun on the swings and the roundabout before making our way slowly – on tired legs – home.

I hope you are enjoying this weather too.

Squeaky clean

Saturday evening we ran out of washing up liquid. Now we should have seen this coming as the bottle by the sink was getting lower and lower. However the last time we bought washing up liquid we bought a HUGE bottle and had been decanting into a smaller one, so we were a bit surprised that we had actually run out! Luckily I remembered reading how the lovely Team Pugh had made some and after a quick inventory turns out we had all the ingredients except the lavender oil which we just decided to omit.

The recipe (which we halved as our bottle wasn’t big enough to hold the volume made by Team Pugh) is as follows:

850ml of boiling water

1 tablespoon of soda crystals

1 tablespoon of grated soap

1 tablespoon of vinegar

2 drops of lavender oil

A squeeze of lemon juice

Here are our lovely ingredients all lined up in anticipation

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The grater is an old one which is not used for food, and the wine in the background was confiscated from my mum after I found out a boy younger than me had given it to her!!!**

So soap grated

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Then all the ingredients were thrown together lovingly mixed in a big bowl.

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We left it to cool down overnight and were a bit worried that we had ruined it when it looked almost set (like a jelly) on Sunday morning. Thankfully a bit of a whisk with a fork and it was fine. Next time however we wont leave it quite as long before decanting it.

Hubby has done the washing up with it quite a few times now and he is pretty impressed. No more shop bought washing up liquid for us here at a lifetime of DIY – homebrew all the way 🙂

**don’t worry about the wine. My mum doesn’t actually drink wine and it was a thank you for giving the boy in question a lift home, saving him a bus trip while on crutches. I am not really that mean! 😉