Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Friday 31st January 2014..... R is for 'Relight my fire!'



I don't mean to brag but I've been running not once, not twice, not even three times but four times this week. That's four times that my wobbly bits have been squeezed into spandex and dragged along the nearest flat road  (reached by half walking, half crawling up a semi-mountain, this is Haworth after all.) That's four days I have spent scanning the sky hoping that it will rain and therefore excuse my lame efforts at running. That's at least four prayers of 'Dear Lord, I think I'm having a heart attack. Please let me be wearing my non-holey knickers just in case the paramedics need to be called."

It's also four days of basking in the 'I went for a run last night' after-glow. And it's this glow that is keeping me going... well, that and the fact I've promised myself chocolate on a Friday if I run four times a week. Oh yes, Kit-Kats, Curly-Wurly's, Maltesers, Mars-Bars, Galaxy, Snickers, I'm not picky, I love them all equally.

 In total, I have clocked a rather magnificent 16 miles. Some of those might have been spent power walking, some of those might have been spent making a new playlist on my ipod but hey, I did it. Now all I need to do is tell the good people on Daily Mile so I don't register another big, fat zero come 2015... oh, and buy some chocolate of course.  

Monday, 3 February 2014

R is for Resolutions (and Really, REALLY lazy)

Hi everyone, it's been a very, very long time since my last post... and my last run but there are extenuating circumstances, I promise!

Lots have happened since... (pause whilst I scroll through my blog)... May 2012! Blimey, I've been more lazy than I thought! My main excuse though is that I have had another baby. Yep number 3, baby Georgiana, was born last March. Not only does this excuse my lack of running, it also excuses my rusty writing repertoire... bear with me, it'll improve, I promise. Somewhere, in a sea of nappies and breastmilk, of teething and the ancient 'will she crawl/ won't she crawl- my baby is bigger/ has more teeth/ is already reciting her alphabet whilst sitting on the potty chewing a three course meal' debate, I lost the will to live... and to write... and to run...

Nearly eight months later, I decided to put a tentative, running shoe clad foot outside the front door in the form of our local Santa Run. Essentially, I donated money to charity so that they would let me dress up in a horrendously fitting Santa suit complete with ventilation holes under the arms (rips) and an itchy santa beard. Then, as if walking around the park in said suit was not  fashion statement enough, I ran 4 miles through the town centre in the flipping thing. Not only was this a real treat for me, I also managed to drag along the husband and two older children (the eldest of which whooped me and finished in 29 minutes... a fact I remind him of when it takes a whole Sunday afternoon to clean his bedroom.) 

I intended to continue with the good work after this... honestly, dear readers I did. But then it was Christmas and it just seemed rude to leave my hubby to eat ALL of the kid's selection boxes by himself. What can I say... I went to ground.

So here I am. Almost ten months on, after listening to Katy Perry roaring on a continuous loop (my six year old got an i-pod for Christmas, what a mistake to make,)  I'm feeling that old familiar stirring in my shin-splints. I need to get back to it, I really do, and here are some reasons why:
·      I put a whole stone and a half on whilst I was pregnant and managed to gain weight whilst I was breastfeeding. Oh yeah, I took 'eating for two' to a whole new level!
·      I need to get out more. No joke: there are only so many times you can wind that bobbin up before you want to throw it out of the window. If I get out more, perhaps I'll rekindle my love of Old McDonald...
·      Post-natal January blues... it's dark when you get up, it's dark when you go to bed. It's cold, it's windy and has rained everyday for the past 5 weeks. You know me, I'm not one to complain but c'mon, something's gotta give.
·       I need to get fit. As Ms Perry says 'I've got the eye of the tiger, the fighter, dancing through the fire, 'cos I am a champion, and you're gonna hear me roar...' Oh yeah!
·      On New Year's Day I received a very friendly e-mail from the lovely people Daily Mile which briefly summarised all the running I had managed to complete in 2013... and brief it was. I registered a big fat zero! Obviously I knew that I had somehow forgotten to spray on the lycra and dig out the unflattering hat with holes but to see it in print... ugh.

My New Year's Resolution then is to leave the comfort of my sofa for the discomfort of ill fitting spandex and compression socks that cut off the circulation to my knees. When it's put like that, how can I fail.
Coming very soon then my first post- Georgiana running report... I promise!









Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Z is for Zumbathon! R is for RAISE LOADS OF MONEY... YEAH!!!!


Lucky me, I secured a place in the 2012 Great North Run: hurrah/ oh no, what have I got myself into this time?!!!! Not only will I be running 13.2 miles, I will also 'run the risk' (pun intended) of being filmed for LIVE television. The horror! Regular readers will know that I have a tendency towards the calamitous- Can you imagine falling over your own feet whilst being watched by 5 million Sunday viewers? I can. Unfortunately.

Anyhow, probable catastrophe aside, I decided to raise as much money as physically possible for my sponsor charity, Children with Cancer. So I went to see my lovely zumba instructor Kirsty who gave me a totally enthusiastic and resounding 'Yes!' Then she offered to help organise it and within three weeks we had planned the worlds best ever Zumbathon. I am not exaggerating, it's going to be immense!
Dutifully, I set up a Facebook page. However, as my bog standard blog goes to prove, I'm a bit of a techno-phobe. So, because I can at least write on this without my masterpiece disappearing, this lovely little blog will become the Zumbathon notice board for the next eight weeks.
Please comment- anywhere! Facebook if you can, on here if you can't. Join in the fun, let's get the party started 8 weeks early.
Even if your boogie has deserted you, you can still get involved. At the moment, we are in desperate need of helpers to:
·         collect money (and encourage people to give more)
·         run the raffle/ guess the name of the bear competition
·         serve tea and coffee
·         serve water
·         hand out free badges/ pens/ balloons etc
... and probably a thousand other jobs that I have yet to think of. If you are available and willing, please e-mail me using the address above or the Facebook page thingy. Any help would be much appreciated!

Phew, that's it for now lovely readers!
8 weeks to go x

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

D is for Distraction


Okay, so I've been a little erm...distracted recently. The reason for said distraction is sitting in the grass in the above photograph, yep, Fearne the puppy who shall, from henceforward be called 'Fearne the running puppy who sometimes tries to eat my laces when I'm mid stride.'
I read somewhere recently (I think it was on the Internet just after I typed 'how to stop your puppy causing broken bones/ limbs/ ruptured internal organs whilst running' into Google) that you shouldn't make puppy's run too young. The problem is though, that, far from the usual healthy amount of loathing most people show to the noble sport, Fearne actually enjoys it. In fact, she loves it so much that every single walk turns into a run. I'm thinking of shouting 'runnies' instead of 'walkies' when I pick up her lead but it sounds like an unfortunate by-product of eating curry rather than an enjoyable, healthy pursuit. So walkies it is for now- even though this is blatant false advertising.
During the Easter holidays I was due to do lots of long runs to prepare for my up-coming half marathon. Then I realised that Fearne loves running. Then I thought (being the efficient, busy Mum I am) 'what's the point me running on my own then walking Fearne afterwards...why not do the two together?' (Cue light-bulb moment) You can see where it all started to go wrong, can't you!
For the past week, I have run every day. Which is great. Not so great is the fact that my average mileage has only been 4 miles. At least 1 of which has been spent trying not to fall over Fearne when she stops for a laces attack and a cuddle. To say that I'm not ready for this half marathon is an under-statement. My whole training program now rests on the fact that my kids are spending the day with their Grandparents on Thursday so I'll have chance for a 10 miler. As for Fearne? I'll leave her a pack of laces to chew...she'll never even know I'm gone!
Happy Easter everyone xxx
(P.S. For Easter, my husband bought me a book called 'Run Fat Bi**h Run! Should I be insulted?)  

Monday, 26 March 2012

R is for revelation...

Okay. Okay. I know. If you read the race diary at the top right hand corner of my blog, this should technically be a race report. Yesterday morning I should have run the Bradford 10K. Yesterday morning I actually took my daughter to a 5th birthday party and sat drinking coffee with my friends whilst my daughter threw herself around a jungle gym with riotous abandon. We suffered an unfortunate Sunday morning clash: my son took part in the national karate championships (he won silver, very proud mummy) and my daughter simply 'couldn't miss her best friend in the world's party mummy...pleeeeeease.' If you're a mummy (or daddy/nanna/ pops/ big sister... or just a person who has contact with a child under 7) you'll understand that it was simply easier to give in. So I did.
It actually turned out pretty well. The Leeds half marathon is only 6 weeks away and a long run of only 6 miles isn't actually preparing me for a gruelling 13. On Saturday then, the real training began. I ran 8.2 miles, the furthest for a long while. I ran locally in the balmy sunshine. An azure ocean of sky flowed above the lush green pastures of farmland which surround my house. As I ran across the infamous Bronte moors, I could hear nothing but sheep bleating and the insistent humming of busy insects. Twice I stopped just to hear the silence. As my yoga instructor would say, I 'strengthened my line.'
As I was running, I noticed that there were quite a few cars parked up on a specific spot on the moors. People were flocking around a footpath which I had never before seen. The signposts read 'Bronte Waterfalls' 1 1/2 miles. Now, of course, I have heard of Bronte waterfalls. I know they are renowned for their beauty etc. and they are historically significant because it's where a Bronte wrote Wuthering Heights etc... to be honest, I've always seen that kind of thing as tourist bait. And, as with most of the local tourist attractions, presumed it was best avoided. But I recognised some of the locals walking on the footpath so resolved to explore the path as soon as I had some spare miles to run.
Today I had some spare time and a big fat zero on my Daily Mile account. So I explored the path. Boy, what a sucker I am. By avoiding tourists, I have deprived myself of the most beautiful spot... ever! I ran a mile and a half and found, at the bottom of a well worn footpath, a babbling brook of clear water, dotted with stepping stones. Surrounded by Spring's floral offerings and accompanied by the bleatings of what must have been several hundred new born lambs, it rocked. I sat for an hour. Gary beeped at me. He told me I had 'run' a 50 minute mile, he threatened to go onto power save but I was resolute. I sat there, cross legged by the water, face turned towards the sun like a flower until my petals felt like they were burning and I remembered that I wasn't wearing sunscreen! Like an intrepid explorer, I set off on a gruelling cross moor route following my intuition and crap sense of direction... then I ended up knee high in bog water. Never mind, at least I discovered the waterfalls.
Because I wanted you guys to be able to share in the beauty, I returned to the waterfalls with my camera and son for an after school picnic. However, the camera, like Gary, wasn't up to the challenge and, after screaming that it's battery was low, switched itself off. Never mind, I'll be back there soon and will take some pictures for you all. Perhaps I'll start collecting unusual, out of the way routes across Yorkshire and posting them up here so that everyone can share the fun. Well, as long as the kids don't have anything else planned...

Happy, sunny days
xxxx

Didn't want to copy an image to put on here due to Copyright etc... but here's a website if you want to see what I see when I run. (Although when I see it, it is usually raining!) http://www.haworth-village.org.uk/360/360.asp

Sunday, 18 March 2012

One woman and her Garmin... a love story

I don't know how it happened. Honestly, I don't. I was just minding my own business, living my life, a happy-ish underachieving runner when suddenly... suddenly... there he was... Gary the Garmin! Since we met, my life has been a whirlwind of 9 minute miles and hill training. He's revolutionised my life... what a guy!
I'm the one in the yellow jacket looking lovingly at Gary.
Today was the Keighley 10K, a very local race which meant that, shock horror, people I actually knew were also running. This meant two things- 1) I had to wear make-up/ put an effort in rather than looking like I'd just been dragged through a hedge backwards 2) I needed to do okay, as in, not embarrass myself. And that's where my Gary came in.
Nearly there... oh no I'm not. Gutted! 
The route was hilly so I set myself a target time of 1 hour, which, judging by recent runs, shouldn't have caused me any trouble. Unfortunately though, the first half k was on a narrow path which looped a field... I got stuck behind a group which didn't seem to want to move , or run, or, well, do anything really. Gary was screaming '13.45 minute mile... you can do better than this, what the....?' He's a real motivator!
Took this as proof that I can, on occasion, touch my toes. Some of my family doubt my skills- honestly, you just cannot get the staff these days! 
As soon as I was free, I sped off and managed to make up some of the lost time. It was pretty tough going, some of the up-hill running gave me lower back ache and the front of my shin was throbbing pretty badly but I kept going, trying to make up the time on the flat and down-hill stretches. Coming in to the last 0.3 kilometres, I could see the finish arch through a line of trees. Gary was telling me I had 2 minutes to finish the race, I felt confident... until I turned into the park and realised I had a full loop still to do! Aaarghhhh! I finished in 1 hour, 1 minute and 5 seconds. If I swore on my blog, the air would be blue right now, but I don't. Unfortunately!

But hey, on the positive side, today's was a much better performance than the Huddersfield 10K. My back is still aching, my shin is buried under a bag of iced pea's and Gary? He's sleeping peacefully in his case, waiting for next Sunday and the Bradford run. Bless him xx

Happy Mother's Day everyone xxxx

Thursday, 15 March 2012

A is for Another New Arrival!

Well, things have been extremely busy in the Sharp household for the past couple of weeks. As you know, good old Gary the Garmin arrived (and not a minute too soon). Then, just when I thought things couldn't get any more fly by the seat of my pants exciting, Fearne, our new puppy bounded onto the scene! And she is lovely (though not quite as useful as Gary.)
Here is a picture of Fearne- or, to give you her 'Sunday' name(with which she was christened by my daughter and a bottle of Evian)- Fearne Freckles Sharp. Look closely, can you see why her middle name is freckles?

 As you know, I spent a good deal of 2011 bemoaning the lack of a running buddy. Well, now I have one... a cross between a border collie and a whippet, she's shaping up to be a fine runner. She's already very quick...especially when she's tearing around the house with my shoes in her mouth. I promise, right here and now, not to be a puppy bore- I will not tell you how many times she urinated on the carpet yesterday (3) or how many times I got up with her in the night because she was barking (5) or how long it takes her to eat meals (less than 30 seconds, it's amazing to watch.)
For the moment, much to my frustration, she is housebound and I am itching to take her for a jog. According to the vets, the hound can be released in two weeks, just in time for Easter and the school holidays. Yippee! Two children and a puppy... my Easter is bound to be full of peace and tranquillity.
As for the running, well you'll be glad to know that I am still doing it! Hurrah. Despite the fact that I currently suffer from separation anxiety, I am not worried... it soon wore off with the kids! On Monday night, I went for a 4 mile run with the Saltaire Striders, who were as fabulous and fast as ever. Tonight, I am doing my first 'longer' run with them- a 6 mile cross country route with Fartlek training (I tried not to giggle then but... c'mon...Fartlek. Who came up with that name?!) This should prepare (or injure) me for Sunday's Keighley 10K. Hopefully our new addition will allow me to get some sleep before then. Much as I love Fearne Freckles, Gary the Garmin is far, far easier to look after! Yawn...