About Me

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Wife (to Shaun), Mother (to Danni), Dog walker of Archie the JRX, improving cyclist, reformed gym bunny, broken runner Collector of exercise DVDs & equipment. Cake is my weakness together with cider (Westons only thanks)and brandy. Noisy spectator of running & cycling events. Owner of Tribby the campervan

Friday, 24 August 2012

Good News Keeps on Coming & Then Someone Bursts the Happy Bubble

Two bits of good news in two weeks - diagnosis of problems with hubby's knee and Danni's GCSE results!

Firstly hubby's hospital visit following an MRI scan to ascertain the reason for the pain in his left knee.   Shaun has some history with his left leg; in 1989 he went into hospital to have an arthroscopy as it was thought he had cartilage problems.  Unfortunately after the procedure not producing any results further investigations were carried out and a giant cell tumour was found eating into his thigh bone - about the size of a melon - so yes not much bone left.  We were told at the time he was lucky that the leg hadn't broken, which would have resulted in amputation - not the best news 1 month after you've got married in your mid 20's!   He was referred to a hospital in London which specialised in the treatment of this type of illness and had his thigh bone rebuilt with a new kind of bone cement.  When Shaun started having massive amounts of pain and problems walking recently we were both concerned that we had a repeat illness on our hands.  The NHS have been brilliant in getting this diagnosed quite quickly, luckily when he visited the consultant last Thursday it wasn't as serious but he was told that he had torn the tendons around his knee joint.  There was apparently already a weakness around that area following the work done previously so it was just a matter of time before he needed something doing.   Keyhole surgery will be done to reattach the tendons and "tidy up" the remaining cartilage within the next 3 months, hopefully meaning only 2 weeks off work!

The second on the list is my daughter's GCSE results.  They couldn't have been better and we're so proud of how well she's done, especially as we now find out that they've changed the way the exams are marked and grades are down by 37% countrywide - her total swag came out at 4 As (two were Distinctions in IT), 7 Bs and 2 C grades, plus an E for RS!  We can now breathe easy for a couple of weeks in the run up to starting college in September and at least two more years of hard slog to attain AS/A Levels in Biology, Chemistry, French & Psychology.

Today my heart is sad - one of my cycling heroes, Lance Armstrong, has given up the fight against his long standing doping allegations.   Whether this is an admission of guilt or just a man who has lost the will to fight against a "witch hunt" I do not know and as I don't have all the facts and figures I would not dare to go either way - so I am sitting on the fence.   If it is an admission of guilt then this could potentially be damaging for a sport I have loved and supported for 28 years, if it's true that he didn't use drugs or performance enhancing procedures then it's a travesty for Lance.   The 10 who have testified against him will never be identified and could potentially still be racing and at least one of the riders who will benefit from taking one of Lance's Tour titles is himself a returning doper who only served a 6 month ban. Let's hope that cycling can now move on.  Dopers are still being caught and personally I think that sanctions against them are not brought quickly enough or last long enough, but that's just my opinion.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

South Coast Run Series - Seaford, Sussex

I have wanted to do the South Coast Run 10k for a couple of years but for one reason or another not been able to.  This is a local event which actually takes in most of my training ground.

My training has been a bit rubbish in the run up to the event but I'm not going to dwell on it - I did what I could and I'm continually reminded that no training run is rubbish!

I'd received my entry number in an email during the week and was instructed to register either on Saturday afternoon or on the day.  We were both interested in seeing how the triathlon event is set up and the dog needed walking so we killed a few birds with one stone and walked over to Seaford to spectate and register.

The Triathlon was very well organised and when we arrived at about 11 o'clock there were lots of people running and cycling with others going through transition from the various start groups. It was great to see all the different types of bike, kit and helmets on the bike section.  I managed to spot @Diminutive Runner who was taking part in the Sprint and just coming out of Transition to start her bike section. It was lovely to be able to give her a quick hug, she looked very nervous but for her first tri did very well with a 2hr finish.   Registration for the runs opened at 12 so I went straight there and didn't need to queue; a race number, bottle of Gatorade and a packet of porridge oats in a plastic drawstring Asics bag later and we were back up for some more spectating, lunch in a nearby pub & bus home.

This morning I was up early to take a cool shower and have some porridge, it was already 20 degrees!  We made our way to Seaford for the 9am start.   Only about 300 runners taking part in 5k, 10k and Half Marathon.  As the race starts on the unclosed road there were continual announcements about runners being disqualified if found to be using Ipods etc. The course was mainly flat road and promenade apart from the start which was grass and an incline onto the road and the turnaround/finish was down a gravel slope and then grass. The only drawback with this race is the fact that it's laps, one up and back for the 5k, 2 up and 2 back for the 10k and 4 up and 4 back for the HM - luckily there is lots to take your mind off the tedium, lovely views out to sea, old people on motorised scooters, families with kids on bikes/scooters/just running loose, people walking dogs, people riding bikes/running/walking slowly lots of people wandering on and off the beach and fantastic marshalls dotted along key points to keep the motivation going.  The other thing which was disappointing was the lack of support especially at the 5k turnaround (only a marshall shouting instructions), thank god for the family because I really don't think I could have completed the race without them.  They definitely won the "Best Support Team" Award at this event.
Coming into the finish!
When you get to the finish line there's no-one there apart from the organisers and your own support - not many people hanging around after they've finished. We did wait to cheer in the first male and female finishers of the Half Marathon.

Pretty pleased with how it went overall, missed my PB by 1 minute finishing in 1hr 10 mins which has called for a few "what ifs" like stopping to swap drinks bottles, walking so that I could calm my breathing down at 8k, it not being as hot as it was.  I'm pretty pleased with the time, it was way too hot for a PB, today was about finishing & learning.  All in all a good day and at least at the end of a massive effort I got this :-
Having checked the results I came in 39th out of 45 women in the 10k event, two men came in after me, and that doesn't include all those that were registered for the 10k but stopped at 5k.

Next stop 8k Undercliff in October!

Friday, 3 August 2012

It's Been a While!

Wow, can't believe it's been over a month since my last post so much has happened since the end of Juneathon that this post may be a little long!

The biggest event was my holiday to Tenerife which had been booked since January!  We haven't been to Tenerife since Dani was 6 so we were expecting a few changes but luckily the hotel complex we had booked looked the same as it did 10 years ago (not sure if that's a good or a bad thing).

 It was lovely and hot whilst we were there, between 35 and 38 degs every day with only one day when cloud refused to clear for most of the day.   I did take my running kit with me and got out for 4 runs - all done in the morning before the temperature rose above 25 degs.   I would have liked to have gone out more but late nights and alcohol consumption are not conducive with early mornings.   There are no photos of me running but I here is a photo of my running ground - the furthest point I ran to can just be seen in the far distance where the tall buildings are behind the lamp post!

The first run was only 2 miles out and back from the Hotel as I wasn't sure how far I could go before getting lost.   It turns out that the next run with a little more confidence meant I pushed on to the end of the promenade to Los Christianos and back for a respectable 4 mile run a few days later.   That promenade was very busy at 7.30 to 8am and again between 8 and 10 pm with the running fraternity.   One thing I will say was there wasn't a lot of runner's love out there - only got 1 single hi and a wave on the last day!
Here's my Garmin entry for the second run of the holiday.
We didn't do much else on holiday apart from visiting the Jungle Park (which was renamed from Eagle Park when we were there last time).   I'm not a great lover of zoos but this one is fantastic as it has a fantastic flying display.   One by one the keepers set free a group of birds including eagles, hawks and other exotic birds.   It's great to see them flying free for a change.

We also visited the waterpark.  I'm not a great lover of waterparks either - they're expensive, busy and I'm too much of a control freak to throw myself down a water shute for the sheer hell of it.  A bit fed up to get our tube of Jambon Pringles confiscated at the entrance (no picnic policy!)   What they didn't find further down the bag under a towel was a selection of sandwiches and some apples and tins of fizzy drinks.   It was a great day out and I did throw myself down a few rides, a couple I regretted as the next morning I was stiff as a board! This caused a problem for my 3rd run of the holiday as I could only manage 3 miles and my 4th run was shorter than I would have liked, although it was 4 miles I had hoped to extend it by a couple of miles but never mind.

All in all a great holiday - lots of sun & heat which is what I needed.

So what else has happened?  Just before I went away I entered two competitions one on Twitter for Weightwatchers and one on Facebook for Health & Fitness Magazine - which I won.   I am now the proud owner of a Davina DVD Boxset (which I've wanted to buy for ages but didn't think hubby would appreciate me adding to my ever growing exercise library) and some Weightwatchers Curry Paste Pots.
Having now completed the Cardio Buff section I realise I need to do some work on my fitness!!!  I have had great trouble walking downstairs over the last couple of days!

We also went to the Olympic Road Race on 28th July - I've been a massive fan of road cycling, especially the Tour de France, for the past 20 odd years and to see our Team GB boys in action was something I wouldn't have missed for the world.  Shaun and I travelled to Hampton Court where there was a chance to see them twice, in the morning on their way to the Box Hill Circuit and in the afternoon on their return to the Mall.    As we all know things didn't quite work out the way they should but  Shaun and I had a great day and met some wonderful people on the way.   I have to say that travelling via train was brilliant - couldn't have been better so well done to the transport network so far.

And as I'm writing this Brad Wiggins is now the Olympic Time Trial Gold Medallist - a fantastic day for us all!  

Next stop is the Seaford 10k and Danni's results day a few days after.    See you soon