Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Just a quickie

Been busy, busy, busy here what with half-term holidays, tired children etc etc...  but have been managing to get the runs in (in between the ongoing awful weather). At the end of half-term we went to CenterParcs, Longleat, for a family occasion, so I took my running gear with me in order to fit in at least one run through the beautiful and traffic-free terrain. 

The weather was not looking favourable except for on the Saturday, so I took my opportunity to go out for a long run whilst hubby took the children to the pool (hooray for a wonderful husband :-) Not only did I get glorious sunshine, lovely scenery and as much time as I wanted, but I also managed to keep going and complete what is my longest run so far - just over 16km in just over 6min/km pace, so I was very very pleased with myself :-)

I have to admit that my legs did really feel it that evening and a bit the following day, but the run really allayed my fears of not being able to complete 13.1miles as required for my half-marathon. Now I know I really can do it, and hopefully in a decent time too.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

My Garmin's first race, and finally a little scrapping too :-)

So despite all that rain that we though was never going to end, I had the Woodley 10k race to run on 13th May so I just had to get out there and train in the rain. Surprisingly, I quite enjoyed it at times, just not when it was cold as well as wet, and I really felt for my cousin Anna, who braved possibly the worst rainy weather of the year on the last Sunday in April to complete the Stratford-Upon-Avon half-marathon (her first HM) in just 1hour and 44minutes, still managed to say she enjoyed it, and as a result has signed up to join me in the Oxford HM.

During previous runs I had begun to have some problems with the GPS on my Mapmyrun app on my mobile, ie it was not correctly tracking my distance and therefore pace. Having wanted a GPS running watch for a while and been given some money towards one for birthday and Christmas last year, I finally took the plunge and bought a Garmin Forerunner 110, and I love it! So simple, and accurate. The only problem I have is remembering to switch it off at the end of a race!

I love my Garmin :-)

So Race Day arrived and I was pretty well prepared, training had been fine, and I was sure I could manage to improve on last year's time of 57:40. I was still nervous, as I always am at the start of a race.  I started near the front as I like to, and though I tried to hold back it was still a very fast first km, well under 5mins! From there on my pace slowed a bit and settled, but I could tell I would definitely beat last year's time, and I came in nearly 4mins quicker, official time 53:50, my 2nd quickest 10k (beaten only by my Dorney Dash 2011, a notoriously fast, flat race.) Needless to say I was very pleased :-)

My usual little mascot, my son, was at a party whilst I was running, so was unable to be with me for the post-race picture, so here I am without him, after getting back home:

Since then, I have been trying to run 3-4 times a week, with one run being a longer, slower one (10k+), to try to build my distance rather than pace, which is easier said than done for someone like me who usually likes to work towards time targets. Once I did manage to slow my pace though, surprise surprise, I was able to carry on running a lot further, simple as that! I have also been going to parkrun when possible, which I cannot "Big-up" enough.... a free timed race, lots of great people who also love running, but essentially just racing for yourself. I love checking the results and scouring the stats - where I have come amongst the other women in my age category, where I have come out of all the women, and also what my percentage age grading is - yes, I'm possibly becoming a parkrun stats geek!

With this weekend being the Diamond Jubilee weekend, at Reading parkrun we had not only the usual race on Saturday, but also an extra Jubilee run this morning. Lots of people wore red, white and/or blue, and some people brought along cakes for after the race. As usual there was a great atmosphere, so I really enjoyed it, and I am getting ever closer to my  parkrun pb of 26:04.

My final word today regarding running is that I have, at last, got my Race for Life 2012 website set up, so please, if you can, take a look and give a little to the great charity that is Cancer Research.

Finally scrapped!!!!

 As I didn't start scrapbooking until about 6 years ago, and I like to scrap most of my photos, I have a huge backlog of of photos to scrap which can be very daunting.  One scrapping friend suggested I try a different way, and start scrapping photos from some of the more recent events so that I can still remember them easily. So I have taken her advice, and have also started to scrap using smaller albums, which can be more manageable with my limited space and time.  I enjoy a subscription to Scrapbook Magazine, and the paper packs that come as free gifts with the magazine ideal for these smaller projects as they contain most of the components I need, so no need to get lots and lots of stash out on the table every time!

Using the lovely Teresa Collins Birthday/party papers that were a free gift with the magazine Issue 63, I decided to scrap my son's recent 6th birthday celebrations which included a bowling party.  The colours are just right for him and I'm using a Bazzill scalloped 6" album. These pages are the first 2 completed, which just involved a little bit of ink edging and journalling, and the first page shows the birthday card we made for him with a photo of his favourite soft toys on the front! 

Simple, but effective, I like to think :-)