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

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

A Lazy Weekend

The weekend just gone was a very lazy affair.   After the past two weekends involving some very early starts waking up at 8am on Saturday morning felt quite pleasant.

The day of Bedgebury was an early start and the Sunday after I got up to walk the dog to Seaford to support everyone taking part in Seaford Half Marathon.

The previous weekend was far from relaxing.   On Saturday we were all up early - Shaun to walk the dog before he left for work and Dani and I were off to spend the day in Canterbury looking round Christ Church University.  Whilst Dani has already made her mind up that she wants to do her Psychology degree at University of Brighton we have already visited Reading and Royal Holloway but we needed one more to give her an idea of different accommodation should she decide to study away from home.  Whilst Canterbury isn't overly difficult to get to by road the University made it quite clear that we should not take the car, or if we did to use the Park & Ride facility.   I hate driving and will avoid it at all costs.   Because of this we had to catch the 7am train from Newhaven!  Changing at Lewes and then again at Ashford International meant a train journey of 3 hours.   We had no idea which way to go when we came out of the station, there were no signposts so we decided to head to the city centre and go from there.   Once we'd walked through the centre we found some student helpers who were dressed in eye catching red t-shirts and were very helpful in getting us to the right place.

First on our agenda was to visit the Psychology Department to get some advice on the course and to have a walk round the campus.    After some lunch in the campus cafe we headed back into town to find the University library to attend a talk on accommodation.  Canterbury is a totally self catered affair, unlike Reading and Holloway which also have catered.    The accommodation is also dotted around the City but nothing is too far from campus.   We both liked the rooms we visited and surprisingly, after Dani had said totally outright she was studying from home she was now beginning to think with an open mind and quite liked the size of the rooms and how they were set out, and was planning how she would cope on her own.

After we'd seen all we could take in we walked back through the City Centre and did a bit of shopping, sussing out places she might be able to get part time work and eating places for the days when she couldn't be bothered to make toast or pot noodle.   We both absolutely loved Canterbury and it will be going down on her list as a possible if she decides not to go to Brighton.

The train journey home was easy too - all the changes in reverse but this time it only took 2.5 hours!

Thankfully my parents had come down to dog sit and they ordered a takeaway for tea which arrived in good time after Shaun had got back from work.

Sunday was another early morning - Shaun was taking part in the London to Brighton Bike Ride.  I hadn't quite envisaged being woken up at 2.30 on Sunday morning by a phone call about changing the van they were using for transportation; and at 4 when he got up to get ready to go; and at 5 when he was picked up by our friend Lucy who was taking the "team" to Clapham Common.  I went back to bed and slept til 7!  I had planned to take the dog out for a long walk over the hills as I didn't know what time I would be back from Brighton but it started to rain and Archie doesn't "do" walking in the rain!   I had planned to get the bus in to Brighton at about 12 in the hope that Shaun wouldn't complete the course in less than 5 hours.   It took a while to walk down to the finish and in the process of moving around we completely missed him crossing the line at just before 1pm.   It had taken him 5 hours and a bit.  I'm so proud of him, after all he's been through with the leg over the last few years it's good to see him enjoying cycling.  The rest of the team came over the line 30 minutes later.  Some other friends and my brother were also taking part and came through just before 3pm!   They all had a brilliant day and can't wait to do it again.

Friday just gone turned out to be quite stressful.  We received an email on Thursday evening from Alpha Rooms to say that our BA return flight from Tunisia had been cancelled.  On Friday Shaun spent the whole day on the phone re-arranging our return.  Unfortunately we have to come back 2 days early.  We've lost £180 worth of accommodation plus a night's stay at the Travelodge which we had to rebook. On the upside I'm not changing my holiday from work so will have a few days at home after to spend with Dani before she flies off to Bulgaria for her holiday.  Thankfully it's all sorted now but for one minute it looked like we may lose the whole holiday.

What's next?  Next weekend is a lazy one too, apart from a bit of running and dog walking, and it's our 24th wedding anniversary.   The following weekend (6th & 7th) is the South Coast Triathlon and South Coast Run which I'm running 10k and also meeting up with some twitter friends.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Trailblazer Bedgebury 10k

I had an absolutely brilliant day yesterday - well by my snail runner standards anyway!   Yesterday I ran the Trailblazer Bedgebury 10k at the Bedgebury Pinetum in Kent.   Shaun took these while I was out running.

Excitement had been building all week, not sure why I was so excited, I went out for a couple of runs during the week and felt good, and also had arranged to meet with some fellow twitter runners and BOSH members.

It was quite warm when we left home, by the time we got to Bedgebury it was 2 degrees less and quite windy.  The Event Village was filling quite quickly with only an hour to the first wave leaving.  I signed my waiver and headed to the registration tent to collect my number and wristband.   Whilst writing my runners info on the back of my number Katherine  text me asking where I was.  Tweetup number 1 was brilliant.  Kath and I have been twitter friends for a while now, so it was lovely to finally meet her. 

Shaun and I then had a bit of a wander, checking out the different things available.  The Runners World tent were offering £15 subscription to include a free Camelbak - was very tempted but not really sure I wanted to sign up for another mag so we left it.  Also in the tent were all the leftover goody bags contents - boxes and boxes of all sorts of things.  Photo later to see what we managed to collect!  There was also the Rat Race shop, with some really good deals on all sorts of kit.

Shaun fancied a bacon sarnie and a cup of tea so we visited the food tent, later on they were serving paella!   We watched the first warm up and the first wave went off to the start at 11am.   

A trip back to the car to drop off all the stuff we didn't need and then back to the Event Village to await the return of the first group. We headed to the point which is about 200m from the finish and after 30 minutes the first two men appeared from between the trees, followed closely by the first female.  I had a bit of a 'moment', wondering if I could actually do this run, everyone coming through looked exhausted!

Back to the Village to queue for the loo.  Not sure why we can't queue in front of each portaloo at events, a long, slow moving single line was the days offering.  Following that delight we went up to the finish line.   The last thing I needed to see before I left for the start was someone passed out on the finish line.  The medical team were doing a great job of looking after him.   He was eventually brought back round and led to the first aid tent.  I hope he's feeling ok this morning. 

I then spotted Terry another tweeter and Athon participant who had done Bedgebury the previous year and had just finished.  Tweetup no 2! Unfortunately one Tweet up and Bosh meet didn't happen - the phone/internet signal was pretty dodgy so I didn't get to meet Helen Reardon (@n) or Mary from Bosh.

In the meantime the other 6 waves had warmed up and left and it was finally my turn.  There are loads of photos of me doing the warm up but I've chosen a few for this post

After the warm up Wave 8 was led to the start line.  I'd had a couple of nightmares in the run up to the race that I was the only one in my wave and that Shaun had to rent a mountain bike and come round with me.  Luckily Wave 8 was quite big and I wasn't alone, well at the start anyway!

We stood at the startline for a couple of minutes and given a safety talk by the lovely Helen (Tweetup 3).  Warnings of fallen trees across the trail and keep an eye out for mad MTBers and horses.  At 12.45 we headed off - uphill.  I tried really hard not to stop and walk and kept telling myself to keep going.   It was very hot, not a lot of shade even within the tree lined trail parts.  The trails were very dry and dusty in places.  The scenery though more than made up for it.   I reached 5k in 37 minutes which I was really pleased with as that's only 3 minutes slower than my PB which was set at Eastbourne parkrun.  It all went a bit to pot after that, especially having to limbo under the aforementioned fallen tree (yes I was singing the tune!)  Despite the challenging terrain I was still really enjoying myself.  One girl was playing cat and mouse with me which was a bit annoying - she'd run a bit, and then walk a bit, I managed to overtake her a couple of times in our little game.  Unfortunately she made the mistake of stopping at the water station at 7k and I didn't - hah job done, no way I was going to let her get in front of me again.   At about 1.5 k from the finish Shaun appeared with the camera, it was lovely to see him, and he ran a bit of the way with me (in his walking sandals & backpack!), trying to encourage me to keep running and telling me where to go etc (bless him).
 and he decided to run backwards in front of me!
 He then disappeared to wait at the 200m to go point
 It was a bit dark in there, but at least the ground was nice and soft with pine needles.   I threw passed Shaun my water bottle and carried on for the last 200m to the finish line, a bit more uphill and the official photographer sitting in the long grass.

 and sprinted crossed the line in 1hr 17 mins 59 secs (chip time was 1hr 18.06) .

In the run up to the finish I was spotted by the lovely Paul (twitfam and Athoner) who took some  photos and put them on his Flickr account (tweetup 4!)  The only reason he thought it was me was because I was wearing pink! Lovely to meet him at long last, we have some lovely tweet conversations.

I also spotted cat and mouse girl cross the line after me - she came over and gave me a hug and said thank you for keeping her going (blimey not used to that)!

It was a shame we couldn't hang around, it would have been a lovely afternoon and a chance to see a bit more of the pinetum and have something to eat.  When we got home we sorted out the goody bag/freebie haul

All in all I'm very pleased with how the race went, apart from the wobble before the start at no point did I feel I couldn't do it.  I smiled all the way around, although sometimes it might have been a grimace. It was very hilly course (by my flat running standards).  I think Paul said there were a zillion uphills, Terry said he thought there were lots of downhills.   Everyone did agree though it was a brilliant and challenging course.    It was a lovely day and a brilliantly organised event.  The marshalls around the course were very encouraging which was great, there aren't many places that supporters can cheer you on so having great marshalls was important (for me anyway).

I will definitely be doing it again.

Busy week this week - some early morning dog walks, holiday jabs, runs and I'm starting back at the gym on Wednesday.  I took advantage of a 10 day pass from Groupon at LA Fitness.  I'm really looking forward to going and hope it will help shift some of the weight I've put on.   I've got to shift it now, apart from looking like a blip I'm getting slower and I'm not having that!  Shaun is also doing his London 2 Brighton bike ride on Sunday!