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!


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