Saturday, 29 September 2012

100K Challenge Complete and a little SURPRISE!

This is the best blog post to write as I have finally finished my 100k Challenge and I have a little surprise.

Firstly, sorry for the last 3 runs all being blogged together but there's a couple of reasons.  One is that I've had issues with the internet not allowing me to upload pics to blogger, the other is a little interesting detail about times!

I did Huddersfield parkrun on 8th, 22nd and 29th of September and my times were 37:56, 39:45 and 37:58.  Anyone notice anything unusual?!?!?  Yes my times are far slower than my PB, getting slower every race and YES there is a reason!

At the end of July, 40k into my challenge, came the news we were least expecting! We were expecting! We couldn't believe it, a little miracle. So there's my surprise!


I can now tell you all how my 100k challenge really went!  At 40k we did the Chernobyl Challenge and even though I had a cold I had an amazing race, nearing that elusive sub 60 time.  After that we had our fabulous news and then the runs just went downhill.  I was still keeping up to my training for a good few weeks but found Idle Trail race impossible as I was so worried.  Worried I'd fall like many others around me, worried that whilst we were pregnant we didn't know it wasn't another ectopic, worried that I'd not get to the end, so all that made for a tough race. 

Next challenge came the Escrick 10k; the one in the blistering heat with people passing out.  "Whatever you do" said the DR "make sure you keep your pulse under 140 and don't overheat"! Ha Ha! I had to walk at times during that race because the heat was so intense.  At 1 hr 18 minutes (when I still wasn't back) Jonathan was thinking about running backwards through the course to find me, but fortunately there I was coming in at 1hr 20.

I've followed that up with the remaining 5k's, mostly at Huddersfield though other notable performance was at Littleborough where I was last! Actually, really, totally and utterly the last person back! How mortifying, because I couldn't tell anyone that I was the first pregnant woman back and I even won a bottle of wine that I couldn't drink for being last place! Ha Ha.  The Parkruns at Huddersfield have been a challenge as I've been really ill with nausea and sickness.  Given the run passes the bins and cafĂ© twice it's been fun!  As the more vigilant will see as well, my parkrun time has gone from 30 minutes to nearly 40 minutes.  Who would think such a little miracle could have such a big impact!

From not running a mile in January, to running nearly 200 miles by October, between training runs and the challenge.  I'm really proud that even though I've been so ill in early pregnancy I've dug in and carried on and finished, albeit slightly slower than I started.   It's time to hang up the running shoes now though I think.  The runs are getting increasingly challenging, I'm struggling to get my breath and feel like I've got a big bowl of heavy jelly in my tummy (that because of the sickness wants to escape) – definitely time to finish!  I'll start again next year sometime because I have enjoyed that running high and it's been a great way to get fit.

So that's it, the 100k challenge is complete; I can't believe I've done it.  If anyone still wants to sponsor me but hasn't had chance I'll be keeping my Virgin Money Giving page open for a short while.  Please feel free to visit, as any funds you give will be greatly appreciated by the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust.  In addition it's been lovely to be asked to write an entry for the Ectopic Trust Fundraiser Diary so feel free to pop over for a read.

I'll leave you with one last hilarious picture!  Today I was the Parkrun bunny (a runner who gets to dress up in mahoosive fluffy shorts complete with a pink tail and fluffy matching ears).  So here's my picture dressed up as the Bunny complete with baby Bunny on board.
Time for me to sit with my feet up for a little bit now, back to sewing updates soon.

Keri x

Monday, 3 September 2012

Busy Birthday Week

This week has been super busy with another 10k completed (2 runs), a little birthday break, a cocktail party and Scarecrows too!

The first run of the week was the Littleborough Lions 5k which was a lovely local race with quite small numbers (45) running but really friendly.  It wasn't too bad in that it was only 5k though there was quite a climb through mile 2 so that was a challenge.  It has to be said though that it was a lovely view that greeted me as I came down from Hollingworth Lake into Littleborough for the finish.  A not great but not awful time of 33:21 and I even won a spot prize of a bottle of wine!

We then had a lovely couple of days away for my birthday chilling out by the pool in the hotel and managing to squeeze in a little shopping too.

Friday night saw Jonathan and I do our first Freedom Parkrun at Huddersfield as we had a busy Saturday planned so I knew I'd struggle to make the Saturday Run.  The Freedom runs work on a system that if you have previously run at a Parkrun event then you are able to track your own time round the course and then have it recorded with your other results.  We both ran and decided it was great being able to still do the 5k run even though we weren't available Saturday but that without competition we were both a little slower (I ran it in 35:15).  That said to end the week with another 10k under my belt and only 15k to go is great.

Saturday was a busy day with stage class and a party for Bella then prep for our once a year cocktail party.  We had a fab night with friends and I finally got chance to wear my latest project from sewing class.

Then to wrap up my busy week we went along to the Norland Scarecrow Festival and then had a nice relaxed afternoon and family meal for my birthday.

Next run is the normal Huddersfield Parkrun on Saturday which will take me to 90K!  I can hardly believe that I'm nearly done!


Saturday, 25 August 2012

More Parkrun Fun

Today I was back at the good old Huddersfield Parkrun and for once it wasn't red hot!  Didn't seem to help my time of 33:24 but it was nice to run on a damp day after last week.  Feeling a bit defeated about how sporadic the timing can be but then I've looked at the stats for the top 2/3 guys who are reasonably consistent and super fast and their times can vary by 1-3 minutes so maybe that's just how it goes!

These next few updates are likely to be short and sweet as apart from the Littleborough 5k on Tuesday the remaining runs for my challenge will be Parkruns so no lowdown on the route etc.  Nearly there now with 3/4 of the runs completed.

I'll leave you with the usual results evidence along with a lovely picture of my glowing complexion, whats that phrase, women don't sweat they glisten!! is me 'glistening' like a shiny tomato! Ha Ha!


Monday, 20 August 2012

Sunburn Run - aka Escrick 10k

I'll explain the sunburn later but firstly, a big cheer as I have finished my final 10k from the Challenge!  Woo Hoo!
The final 10k was in the beautiful Escrick Park Estate.  It was a fab event in that it was extremely well organised (though 7 toilets for 6-700 runners plus supporters was a little interesting), had brilliant marshalling and support ALL the way round and a lovely village get together for the spectators.  It was a lovely flat course on roads, paths and bridleways which took us through the Estate grounds then into open fields and through beautiful woods. 

So, now I've finished detailing the beauty of the event and surroundings, lets get on with reality - it was HOT!  When I say hot I don't mean summer dress weather, I mean bikini weather (don't worry I didn't)!  From the minute we got there it was scorching!  We had about 45 mins before the start so set off to collect numbers and for a convenience break given the long drive.  It was manic busy (see previous comment re loo and imagine 6-700 people collecting numbers) and so we never had chance to get back to the car to apply sunscreen - big mistake.

The start was crazy with so many runners but we soon spread out and set off into the open fields.  I didn't have a great start up to 4k and was still quite a way off usual pace with the heat, so was glad to enter the woods at 4k and even happier to see the drinks station at 5k.  Maybe it was the heat but the woods were very disorientating (see map below) and I began to think I was never going to get out of them.  People were dropping like flies with the heat, plenty walking and I have to say at 7k I had to join them for a little as it was so hot I felt ill.  The last 2k was back out in the open fields in the blistering heat again and I can't even tell you how glad I was to see the car park and know I was 1/4 mile away from the end.
My time was terrible 1:20 (official results not out yet) but that said I wasn't in the least surprised.  Jonathan said that he had also had a bad race, lets put it this way he didn't finish the race with the same amount of breakfast inside!  Someone had been seen by the ambulance at the end as they passed out over the finishing line and there were so many just walking at the end because the heat was too much.  Look how happy (and Red) I am, see I promised embarrassing pictures!

After a couple of bottles of water refuel and a little something to eat (shame it was so hot as the cakes looked delish but I couldn't manage one) we set of back to the car and this happened!  I was not impressed, where was this during the previous hour?
It was still 24 degrees, though the rain had cooled it some, so who knows what temp it was in the middle of the race.  It is fair to say we were both pretty sunburned on our shoulders and both felt rotten for the rest of the day.  Oh well you live and learn!

Anyway that's the last 10k done for now - what a relief!  Next week Parkrun, then I might do a sneaky evening 5k Bank Hol week as there's one not too far from us.  On the home straight now and fundraising is up to £547 with gift aid, so going in the right direction for my £750 target.


Friday, 17 August 2012

Olympians Away

A short while ago I spotted the Ron Hill Sale Sizzler 5k race and having met the man himself at a previous run thought we'd give it a go.  The Sale Sizzlers are a series of four 5k runs but the final one last night was very special as they had past and present Olympians in attendance.  It was a lovely atmosphere with a fun 'Mr Motivator' workout at the start and plenty of opportunity to get photographs of the Olympians such as Dr Ron Hill MBE, Diane Modahl, Jeff Norman and Stuart Stokes who was fresh from London 2012.
It was a nice easy flat course though a hot night which left me with a time of 32:43 so not brill but what an honour to have run with such great Olympic heroes.  Dr Ron Hill posted a time of 25:43 which in the V70 category is amazing and another Olympian Jeff Norman ran 21:02 in the V65 section - talk about inspiration!  There were some unbelievable times with the first runner back in 14:32 which I believe broke the course record and the team course record was broken as well!  It was also great in a field of over 600 people that started (there were only 510 on the results so not sure how that worked) to bump into a friend from work at the start line - small World!

This run took me to 60k and with Escrick 10k Sunday I'll be at 70k by the end of the week which is great progress.  Sorry I didn't get any of the usual embarrassing pictures of me at the end of the race, I'd been so taken with getting ones of the Olympians we realised in the car home that we'd forgotten!  I'll get some Sunday I'm sure.


Saturday, 4 August 2012

And so it continues

Today I completed my third 5k at the Huddersfield Parkrun, taking my total to 55k.  I had a bit of a mare as I forgot my barcode which is how they track your placing and time!  Fortunately as Jonathan also does the parkrun sometimes I could grab his barcode and run as him, though that's going to skew his figures a little but at least it meant I would have my time recorded.  So I got Jonathan to take pictures to prove I was in the race and then if you were in any doubt you could look at his time today which is about 10 minutes slower than his PB! Ha Ha! 


Here's the official time from the website, note the 'pb stays at' box, oooops! Jonathan is going to look like he's made a significant improvement next time he parkruns! Ha Ha!  Apparently though I was 6th male back in my cateogry!  Not Bad eh!

It wasn't a great run today though, I'd love to say it's probably because my rotten cough will not go away, but in truth I think it was partly that and partly that I was just not 'feeling it'.  That said I know Jonathan's time can vary by a minute or two (or even 10 now) so maybe that's how it goes.  Time will tell as I'll be back at Huddersfield for the Parkrun again next Saturday, then I've hopefully got the Ron Hill Sale Sizzler 5k on the 16th and the final planned 10k at Escrick on the 19th August, to take me to the 3/4 point of the challenge.

I'll leave you with my glowing red after picture - until next time...............


Sunday, 29 July 2012

Half Way There!

It's true - 50k of my Challenge is complete after today's race, though what a race it was!  In truth the really amazing thing that happened today was that I got to meet a super running hero. 

I had heard that the famous Dr Ron Hill MBE (former European and Commonwealth marathon champion) had previously attended the Idle trail race.  Having been amazed by his achievements couldn't belive how lucky I could be to be running in the same race and maybe even to meet him!  I was beside myself with excitement when I approached him to ask could I have a photograph as a memento and he agreed!

In the end up he (obviously) finished way in front of me, not surprising given his running credentials and the fact that he has a 'run every day' streak that is almost 50 years long.  This was truly the highlight of my day as the rest of it was a disaster!

Given that today I reached the half way point of my 100k challenge I should be jumping around with glee and I am so proud to have reached this stage.  The reality is though that I've been so ill this week with a cough and cold that I barely made it round the 10k Idle Trail route.  It's a real shame as I'd decided a few weeks ago, that given the race would definitely not be a PB route (more about that later) I would just enjoy this one.  With 15 races making up the challenge I thought it would be nice to just have one race that I could enjoy, not stress about time, not worry about people chasing after me or trying to catch those in front.

Well I couldn't stress about my time as I coughed and spluttered my way round.  The race was definately a trail race taking in a stretch of the canal bank but also running through cow fields, over stiles, through woods and up more than a fair share of hills.  If I had been in any doubt whether I was better suited to road racing I'm clear after today, I am NOT a trail runner, road is my bag! I got to one part which where I was directed up a set of steps which led to an uphill track through the woods and wondered what on earth I was doing there - raising funds for the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust I reminded myself, keep putting one foot in front of the other Keri.  You can see some pictures of the route here and picture 11 shows the steps that defeated me!

I finished in a rather slow 1:15:53, so it was a good job I'd said I wasn't worried about time today!  Jonathan also did the race (56:04) and my friend Wendy who is training for the Great North Run (1:07:35) so congrats go to them.  Official results are here.

So not a great race for me personally but it was an extremely well organised and marshalled race with plenty of St Johns ambulance support plus the most amazing cake stall!  Jonathan also managed to get his hands on the Olympic Torch so everyone was happy.


Onwards and upwards now with the second half of my challenge, 2 parkruns for the next two saturdays and then the final 10k of the challenge on 19th August.  Don't forget if you want to sponsor me then the details can be found here.


Sunday, 15 July 2012

Chernobyl Challenge

Today saw a very sniffly family Wood journey over to Preston ready for the Chernobyl Challenge 10k.
I felt like I was coming down with a cold yesterday and have a strange foot arch niggle so didn't have high expectations of the race but the sponsorship keeps me committed so (with lots of whinging from me) we set off.

It was a late planned race with us only entering 5 days ago when we realised that other commitments meant the Harrogate 10k next week was a no go.  I'm keen to stay on track with the runs so wanted to get another 10k under my belt hence the road trip.

The reviews on Runners World said it was a nice undulating course and by comparison to Rochdale it was flat really, with only 2 notable inclines which were both for no more than 30 seconds.  It was a lovely race, plenty of shade to balance out the periods of sun (how is it in the wettest summer ever, every time I race it's red blumin hot)!

I noticed from my watch that I'd done a 9 minute first mile then 10, 11 and 12 minutes for miles 2, 3 and 4 respectively so felt pleased on the way round that even with a cold I'd still be back not too long after an hour.  Mile 5 was hard but that's when I pull out the thoughts that every step forward is a step towards raising the funds for the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust and that usually gives me enough willpower to keep going (there's always a few that seem to flag and walk at this point).  I was so pleased to see the 6 mile sign and with a little sprint was greeted with Hubby (finished in 50:04), Bella and My Mum (who watched Bella while we raced).

I was given a lovely little medal and most importantly some water and was told that the race results would be available in 10 minutes so we hung around.  How pleased I was to see that I'd finished the race in 1:03:56 and 12 positions from the end rather than my usual 8!  Brilliant, even faster than last two, which is great considering how ill I'd felt.  Perhaps instead of red bull, all runners should consider Beechams powders as a preparatory drink!

A couple of weeks training now and then the Idle Trail Race hopefully on 29th July which will take my challenge to the half way point of 50k.

Oh and here's the usual before and after shots......

Before - The Ectopic Trust kindly sent Jonathan a T-Shirt to wear when he comes along to support me.
Me looking very pleased with the printout of the results and my new PB!  Getting closer to that 1 hour mark but who know's whether I'll get there!  I'll keep on trying!


Saturday, 7 July 2012

Rochdale 10k Quick Update

Rochdale results have changed from Provisional on the site so I'm assuming they have been corrected though I'm still showing as coming in behind a lady and I was definately seconds behind a man! Oh well, my time is still showing as 1:05:30 so I'm really pleased with the time.  The photographer (Mark Walker) also managed to get a picture of me, so in the spirit of continuing to share my adventure here you go (I did ask him on the night and he said that I could use any pictures).  See it's a full on action shot and I'm even smiling though that's probably because it was at the 2 mile rather than 6 mile point!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Torches and Tired Feet - Second 5 & 10k Race Update

I thought I'd leave the next 100k update until I had another couple of runs under my belt so here it is.

Saturday was looking decidedly sunny so another hot run was the order of the day at the Huddersfield Parkrun. My friend Caroline joined me for this 5k which had a 'The Best of British Huddersfield' theme with a couple of local torchbearers turning up to run with their torches and kindly let people have photographs with them.  This is us at the end of the race with Rob Morris who carried the torch into Huddersfield.

I'd been determined to take it sensible for this run given that I had a 10k planned for just 3 days later but somehow I came in 7 seconds faster than the first run! This felt great given that on the Thursday night I'd done a hard 5 mile training session including quite a few hills (I've been trying to avoid them but realised that it was unavoidable).

Next up, after a couple of days rest was Rochdale 10k.  This was my second 10k, was classed as undulating and it definitely was!  It was also my first (and last if I have a choice) evening race.  The evening race starting at 7:15pm meant that tea was at 9:30pm and between that and the exercise it's fair to say I suffered through the night so will be trying to stick to daytime races if possible.

The race was populated mainly by club runners and seemed to be quite a big field, 200ish I'd guess.  The first mile soon passed and led way to a long straight section of road which felt like it went on forever.  This was not helped by the absence of a 2 mile sign so I was feeling very defeated when at 25 minutes in I felt that I'd still not reached 2 miles.  All was not lost though as all of a sudden I happened upon the half way point (with a marshall that was the double of Bobby Ball) so I pressed on.  Aside of the undulating hills aka '1/2 mile long slogs' the race was mainly flat with a few downhills, though the drags slightly uphill at 4.5 and 5.5 miles were cruel.

This race had a finish that seemed to never come.  You could see the park and finish from about 1/2 mile out but then had to do a massive loop around the park before you were done.  I was really glad to reach the finish line and get my souvenir socks and a well earned drink of tea before the drive home!
As I write this results aren't yet out and it was too busy for them to give results on the night unless you were in the top 100 (here's news......I wasn't, ha ha)!  I'll post them as soon as I have them along with the link to pictures as there was a photographer present. I tried my best to do a 'happy that I've just run up a hill at the 2/3 mile stage' face - that should be funny!

Worth a mention that I had a lovely moment just before the race where a lady stopped me and said that in the 24 years since her own ectopic pregancy she has never, ever seen anyone fundraising for them at a race and that she'd be cheering for me.  It just goes to show how little is known about the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust and so I wore my vest proudly, thinking that at least tonight another 200+ people had seen the logo, so another little step towards helping raise awareness.  Thanks to all those who have sponsored me so far, the total raised currently stands at £355 (including gift aid) and with £150 finishing bonus I've also been promised from people that takes me to just over £500 so far - amazing!

Onwards and upwards, I'm going to have a couple of days to rest my tired feet after 15 miles this past week then will be doing some more hilly training runs, another 5k and hopefully two more 10k races in July too so keep popping back for more updates.


NOTE:  Provisional results for Rochdale 10k are now out, though still waiting on pics but here's what they currently say - 1:05:30!  So about 3 minutes faster than the first one!

The results are apparently being reviewed and corrected over the next couple of days.  I knew on the night there was some issue with the top 100 but figured that by the last few runners they'd have been able to catch us accurately.  I think (hope) the time felt right according to my watch but the order is wrong as I came in just after a man who looked about 35/40 but there it shows me coming in after a woman (he did have long hair)?!  If the results stay correct though then it seems my placing is 8 from the end!  I've done 2 10ks now and I was 8 from the end in both races!  Oh well no shame in propping the back up, I'm improving slowly, I'm running all the way (there were plenty that walked a bit) and most importantly I'm raising much needed funds for the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

First 10k Race!

Today was my first 10k race; both the first one I've ever done and also the first one for my 100k challenge.

We set off from a rainy Halifax at 8:00 bound for the Staveley Stampede.  The early start was so that we could stop en route to collect Grandparents to look after Bella as J booked to run this race for support, so it was a family affair.
Staveley is a beautiful little village in North Yorkshire and we were greeted with a friendly welcome at the village hall, which did a great line in buns and bacon sandwiches - not for me though (well not til the end)!  So this was it my first 10k.......All I needed to do now was get round the course, try not to be last and hope for a time around 1hr 15mins based on my training.

At 11 we were off after being told that the first half mile was fine then it got a bit tricky through the nature reserve up to the end of mile 2 and that the overall course was just over 10k, 6.3 miles.  That was an understatement, as the grass at times was almost waist high and given the floods that we have had in the North I wouldn't have been out of place running in my wellies!  After a muddy first 2 miles, mile 3 went okay, though I was desperate to see the halfway marker and water table.  At the halfway point I was faced with trepidation at running as far again, but the thought of the sponsorship for the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust kept me going.  Imagine if they didn't have funds to keep the helpline that was so vital for us last year going.  With that front of mind, I pressed on.

I'd been hoping for a cool drizzly day, given how the weather has been all weekend but was greeted with a little breeze in between bursts of sunshine which according to the car temp at the end of the race was as high as 19.5 degrees!  All that made for a very hot and bothered 3-5 miles, with mile 4-5 having a slight incline (hubby's comment not mine!) though nothing like the hills of Halifax so bearable.  It's fair to say I was super relieved to see the 5 mile marker and even tried to step up my pace a little for the last push. 

As I neared the wonderful view of Staveley church I wondered what time the clock would grace me with.  I'd glanced at my watch half way and thought it said about 35 mins so given I'd likely be slower second half had convinced myself that I would be lucky to achieve my hoped for 1hr 15mins.  J having finished in a very respectable 50 minutes (well done) said he was most surprised (and in his words bursting with pride :)) to see me careering down the final straight to the line with a clock saying 1 hr and 8 minutes!  I couldn't believe it and am really pleased with that time for the first attempt, well, very pleased and very tired.

All in all a succesfull first attempt, I did make it round, I wasn't last and the time was better than I had hoped (I joked that I'd not be doing 10 minute miles but it worked out at 10:51 a mile so not too far away).  It was a lovely race to do with excellent organisation, marshalling and support and a fab BBQ afterwards.

Next up is the Huddersfield Parkrun again on Saturday to complete my 20k for June so I'll be on target.  Off now to have a well needed rest a treat for tea and look to get booked on the next 10k race for July.

Here's the official results via the link on the newsletter, (I was feeling very pleased with my time but my 71st place was a definite reminder that the 10k's will be mostly sub 1hr proper runners)!

Oh and here's the embarrassing photos as promised!


At the finish with my souvenir mug and banana! Told you I was tired!!!!!                          

  Very good BBQ - perhaps not the best post race snack but it worked for us! 

Saturday, 16 June 2012

100k Challenge - First Stage

As promised I said that I would keep my blog up to speed with progress against my 100k challenge.  If you want to know more about the challenge you can read it here, but in short I've pledged to run 100k in timed runs and races between now and the end of 2012.  I started in March, training to do some kind of sponsored run for the Ectopic Trust and couldn't run a mile without stopping at that point!

Today was the first stage of my challenge with my first local timed 5k, the Huddersfield Parkrun.  Prior to this official timed run, I'd been slowly improving my times over 5k/3m from a 12 minute mile pace down to the best pace that I'd recorded at 10:36 minutes a mile (yes I know but I did say I'd not be breaking any Olympic records)!

I turned up for my first-timer briefing and after a short walk in the rain to the start I was poised, ready for the off at 9am.  Not surprisingly it was a wet and windy morning (it is the British Summer after all) but that suited me fine as it's better than running in the sunshine.  The run is around Greenhead Park in Huddersfield and is undulating but without any of the major hills typical for Calderdale.  The atmosphere is lovely with lots of supporters cheering you on and keeping you going.  The route comprised of one small loop around the start then twice round a wiggly figure of 8 type of route through the park.

I set of at probably too fast a pace (how hard is it not to get swept along by everyone's crazy dash at the start) but soon settled into a comfortably challenging (for me) pace that I'd hoped would at least be on par with my training runs.The first lap wasn't too bad but the repetition of the 2nd lap proved a little more challenging and it's fair to say I was glad to see the finish line!  As the run is timed I'd decided to just focus on the run today and not time myself strictly, so I had an idea that I'd obviously not been sub 30 minutes but hoped within 35 minutes.  After a short wait at home, punctuated by me asking every 30 minutes 'are the results there yet?' they finally arrived.........................

I came in at at time of 30:25 which when I searched online puts me at a pace of 9:47 a mile!  Woo Hoo! I have wanted to break the 10 minute mile mark for ages. so it's great to do it on the first run of my challenge and it's a good start to try to further improve on with the 5ks.

Next week is the 2nd run of my challenge and is my first 10K (I'm not expecting to break 10min miles there)!  It's in a village called Staveley near Knaresborough so that will be a lovely little adventure for us all and I'll update you once I have some results.

I'll leave you with the 'embarrassing photo' as promised in my previous post - this is the after shot just as further proof that I did do it (and that it is possible to have a face as red as a beetroot!)


Friday, 15 June 2012

100k Challenge for The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust

Today I'm doing a slight diversion from my usual crafty Blog Posts, which will be the first of a series of posts on a challenge I have set myself to run 100k timed runs/races by the end of 2012!
I have started to run (ha ha as if, I mean jog) this year with the plan to do a sponsored run for The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust who gave us amazing support last year. 

When I started, given that I had to 'run a lamp post, walk a lamp post' to even run a mile, I had thought I'd work up to asking for sponsorship for a 10 kilometre race.  I then had an idea, as this week I noticed that I'd nearly reached 100k of training runs.  How about I make it more of a challenge worth sponsoring and aim for 100k of runs rather than just 10k!

So, a little research later and it appears it might be possible, though not all at once obviously!  I'm planning on doing ten 5K runs and five 10K runs between now and the end of the year.  There is a local timed 5k run (Parkrun) which I can do regularly (started today - start as you mean to go on) then I've begun to register for local 10k events (first one next week - Staveley Stampede 24th June).

To keep it all official - I'll have an Ectopic Trust Sponsorship Form and will be wearing their official running top for each run. I've also set up a Virgin Giving page directly linked to the Ectopic Trust so that people have the option of sponsorship online as well.  As the 100k will be made up of 5k timed runs and 10k races they will all be recorded so that I can publish the times (I'll not be breaking Olympic records).  I also intend to write a blog post after each run/race giving details and I'm sure some likely embarassing photographic proof. 

If you'd like to know more about the difference that even £5 makes to the Ectopic Trust then you can visit their site here.  I'll also be creating a special craft item for sale with the majority of proceeds going to the Ectopic Trust but I'll save that for a crafty post!

So 100k by the end of the year!  Crazy challenge maybe, but one which I'm committed to as you'll see from the 100k Challenge - First Stage Post'!


Sunday, 10 June 2012

An Amazing Act of Kindness

This post is a long awaited Thank you to an amazing person and a post to also restore your faith in humankind.

So what may you ask has happened to initiate this post!  A rare act of amazing kindness from someone who doesn't even know me and one for which I can't even express my gratitude enough.  It has also been real proof that if you do a kind deed for others it will be repaid  - only in my case it was a few little good deeds that were repaid in a massive way.   Lets give you a little background.................

I have posted before about post pals the wonderful charity that asks volunteers to send post to children who are really ill and their siblings.  Among some of the post I send I also send little feeding tube pads which have an overlocked edge - a nice way to use my sewing skills to help others.  A while ago I applied for one of the much publicised enterprise nation grants as I have wanted to have an overlocker, to help make these pads more professional, but don't have the funds available.

The scheme is on the face of it a great little help but has been a victim of it's own success because the high level of applicants now means that each month there was only a tiny window of opportunity for people to vote for your idea.  I feared it may take a long time to get the funding but even so had asked friends, family and the Post Pals families if they would try to vote for me.

This is where the amazing act of kindness comes in.  A fellow Post Pals volunteer shared the details of my grant idea to ask her friends and family for support.  In an amazing act of generosity, her Sister offered me a spare overlocker she had to put me on, until such time arrives that I either have all of the funds myself or obtain the grant.  Lets replay that - Someone who has NEVER met me, gave me an overlocker! WOW!  How thoughtful for the fellow volunteer to share my request for support and how amazing for her Sister to respond in such a selfless way.

This is amazing, to think that someone who has never met me would just give me something like this really shows that if you show a little kindness and generosity to others it will be repaid somehow.   I can't thank this lady enough as the overlocker is so much better than struggling to do the button pads on my domestic machine.  Once I've mastered the trickery of corners on an overlocker then you can all be assured that a great big batch of feeding tube pads will be on their way to some very special children!

So, kind generous overlocker donating Lady, A Million Thank You's! I hope that by sharing this with those who read my blog it will restore a little faith in the fact that good things do happen and that there are some truly generous people out there!


Tuesday, 15 May 2012

While I wasn't blogging.......

I was crazily sewing........................Oh dear, a month without blogging what can I say! Sorry!!!

I have been so manic as I have been trying to manage making up orders, along with trying my best to sew up a Summer wardrobe for my little one! I also have been teaching a couple of 1 to 1 sewing lessons, wrapping up my day job to take some leave over Summer and my Dad has been quite ill, so I've become very familiar with the local hospital.

I know I had a time like this before last Christmas where I'm so busy creating that I never get time to post about it.  So, until I have time to put in a proper post (I'm thinking of a tutorial for the bubble dress and shorts outfit pictured below) here is a sneak peek of what I've been up to.  This is just the sewing for my little girl, on top of this I've made 2 maxi dresses for myself along with a simple summer top a cool A-line skirt and I'm soon to finish a fab summer dress too.  As soon as I can get 5 minutes without me looking harassed and my hubby is free to photograph I'll pop some photos on too.


I'll be back soon I promise with some more posts!

Happy Sewing


Saturday, 31 March 2012

And the Winner is...........................

Drum Roll Please....................................................Jane!  I believe now the rafflecopter widget on the post should show this for validation but here's my pic of the screen too just so everyone know's it was fair.

Congratulations to Jane who chose to enter using all of the options and left a lovely comment about her favourite post:

"Loved Happy Holidays and Magic Disney Moments, love the dress and the idea that something can be made for a fraction of the shop bought cost"

The wonderful goodies will be in the post first thing Monday, I hope you enjoy them and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone for entering. 

Keep your eyes peeled for more blog posts in the coming weeks (I've deliberately not posted since the giveaway so it was easy for you all to find it and enter)!

Thanks again for your support,


Friday, 2 March 2012

Giveaway - Bella Boutique Blog is 1!

Hi All,  sorry it's taken a couple of weeks to sort this giveaway out, my little one was poorly just after I announced it and so that caused a little delay but we are ready to go now so here's a look at the things you could be winning.

I really wanted this to be a giveaway which acknowledged others that I have met on my crafty journey, a giveaway that kept giving if you like, as I have bought items that will help to contribute their crafty success.

The first item is from the fabulously talented Caroline Lovis - Caroline has a blog over at Redneedle Sewing and helped me out with some sewing machine tutorials on the FME and Zipper machine feet.  I have selected for the giveaway a beautiful hanging heart from Caroline's collection with the word family on it. 

Next up is a beautiful needle case from the home of Pickle-Lily, it's made from the softest felt and has a super cute bird appliqued on it.  I have had wonderful support from Jo throughout my blogging days and I think if I recall Jo bought the very first item from my etsy shop.


Next gift in the giveaway is a stunning ring from the world of Chic-yCow - I met these ladies at a craft fair some time ago and am a massive fan.  Their products are such a high quality and massively original.  I had a beautiful bespoke handbag and purse made for Christmas, (in purple with butterflies -my favourite) and it easily stands out above anything else in my bag colletion (even the Mulberry and Louella ones) as totally unique.
Next up a little gift from one of my favourite suppliers - Crafty Ribbons - 1m of this beautiful butterfly ribbon, it's so delicate it's almost as fine as butterfly wings.  Crafty Ribbons have an amazing selection of ribbons and lots of buttons too plus a wonderfully inspiring blog.

I also wanted to give something from somewhere that's been really important during my sewing journey -  Word of Mouth Crafts and Supplies, where I have my sewing classes.  It's a great place full of inspiring products and fun classes. I have even been given the opportunity to run my own sewing machine feet class and have been assisting my super talented teacher Helen recently too.  This fabric catches my eye every time I visit, so I thought it would be good to include a FQ with the giveaway.   

I have met some lovely friends through the sewing classes and one has the prestigious title of Editor at Popular Patchwork, so to support her magazine, I'm also going to include the March issue.  The picture below has a preview of some the projects that are going to be included in that issue and the magazine is filled with useful articles and free patterns too.

Then finally I wanted to just include a couple of things that I liked - some wondeful mostly purple butterfly stickers and also some little nibbles for eating whilst you craft!  I particularly love the Mikado biscuits with their little biscuit part at the bottom, so you can eat whilst you sew and not risk getting chocolate on the fabric (yes I am officially crazy hey)! 

The giveaway is open from 1st to 31st March - so how do you enter I hear you ask?

I'm using Rafflecopter for the first time so you have the opportunity to get up to 6 entries by following the prompts in the rafflecopter box below (if you can't see it click on 'read more'- fingers crossed it all works ok or I could be counting lots of entries on 31st March!

Want to read more................

Click on older posts above to read more posts