Northamptonshire Athletics Network 5k – Corby

Another weekend, another 5k!  I’ve raced quite a few small races just lately!  Here’s my medal for today’s…IMG_7190bI don’t like that the medal is exactly the same for all three of the races in the NAN series.  I only ran two of the three races, but I already have one exactly the same as this from the Northampton race.  Boo!

Breakfast was a bagel with peanut butter.  I’ve used up the last of my peanut butter now.  I hope I remember to restock before the marathon next weekend!

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I arrived to this race the same as the last NAN event – not sure where to find the start of the race.  There were no signs directing runners anywhere but at least this time there was a postcode to find the HQ.  I pulled up in a nearby carpark having seen a few runners jog past (albeit without numbers on!) and headed in the direction they had gone, hoping that they weren’t just out for a Sunday morning amble!  Luckily, they were racers and led me straight to the start line with 5 mins to spare!  I really need to start travelling to races with other people!  I chatted to a couple of other runners from our club before we were directed to the official start-line out on the road.

The horn blarred out not long after and I had managed to place myself quite well, with not too much weaving in and out to begin with.  I didn’t really go into this race with a game plan as such, not with the marathon a week away.  I intended on just running as I felt and seeing how I got on…great plan huh?!

The route was quite nice.  One large loop of 1.3 miles (ish) and then a smaller loop which was repeated so we ran it twice.  I did think it odd that we never actually ran around the boating lake but just around the road surrounding the car park though!  It was a relatively flat course, with just a little hill towards the end of each lap.  The first mile felt quite easy but afterwards I realised I had set out a little too fast as I wasn’t planning on a PB today.  My first mile ended up being at 8:50 pace after I tried to slow down towards the end of the mile.  I had a couple of rubbish middle miles, around the 9:30 pace, and then my last little nubbin (someone called it that the other day, I can’t remember who, but I love that!) or 0.1 mile I ran at a 6:29 pace!  I tend to be quite good at my sprint finishes.  If only I could run my whole 5k that fast!  Our top female finisher did!  Well, she came in at an average 6:34 pace!  I faded in the middle of the race and didn’t push myself as much as I would have done had I not got a marathon in just 8 days time now and had I not been planning a 6 mile run this afternoon.  It was still an OK time at 28:21.  I laughed about this on the phone to my Mum afterwards, as I would have been ecstatic with this time a year and a half ago, and now anything over 9mm average is just an OK time for Me!

IMAG0716 I returned home by about 11:30 to discover that Dan STILL hadn’t risen so I set about making myself a mega cheese sandwich for my lunch…

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Cheese, grapes, green pepper and the last of my bread rolls.  Cheese rolls or milk really are the perfect recovery go-tos for me.  Protein and some carbs right here!  :)

A plan for a week

The Healthy sELF challenge for yesterday was to…Make a meal and workout plan for the week.

These are my scribbled notes in the back of a notepad yesterday whilst back at my parents.

IMG_7183This is my plan for this week…!  Nothing is set in stone, but it feels good to know that I’m sorted an organised for the week.  Hopefully there will be no getting home at 8pm this week asking Dan what he fancies for tea!

Day Breakfast Lunch Snacks Dinner Exercise
Monday Grapefruit, yoghurt and cinnamon *Treats* (as Mike forgot them on Fri he is bringing them in on Mon instead) 2x tangerines Spaghetti bolognaise with peas 5k before school.  30 Day Shred Level 2 after school
Tuesday Egg and beans on one slice of toast 2x graze boxes Apple Pesto chicken salad Speedwork with Group four at running club
Wednesday Yoghurt, fruit and cinnamon Carrot sticks and almond butter None Vegetarian pizza and eton mess (heading out for a birthday meal with some girls from work) 5 miles before school
Thursday Egg and beans on one slice of toast 2x graze boxes Apple Pasta bake with salad Group five tempo run with running club
Friday Fruit, yoghurt and cinnamon *Treats* (my turn so I shall make them as healthy as possible) Grapes Remainder of pasta bake with roasted veg 5k before school. 30 Day Shred Level 2 after school
Saturday American pancake with fruit Jacket potato with cheese and beans Grapes Roasted veg and salmon 5 mile walk
Sunday Egg and beans on one slice of toast Salad sandwich Grapes Sausage casserole 5k walk and 50 crunches

Norfolk for 11 hours

Yesterday ended up being a last minute decision to head to visit my parents in Norfolk for the day.  Since Mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer just after the start of the year I have tried to head back at least every fortnight.  It is about a two hour drive in each direction and so much more achievable now than when we were living in Stafford when it would be four hours each way.  It’s been about two and a half weeks since I last went back and I knew I wouldn’t be able to visit next weekend (I have my marathon), the weekend after (I am attending Write This Run) or the weekend after (I have training planned on the course route with Kev for my Ultra) (although I will probably head back for a night mid-week after school at some point) so thought I would head back to surprise her.  I checked with my Dad first that they were going to be in.

Mum has been a little down just lately as she is now three weeks behind on her chemo treatment due to the white blood cell count being too low for them to administer the treatment.  She now has to have a nurse come round daily to give her an injection to help build up her bone marrow again but this causes her body – especially her legs – to ache, and she is also in a lot of pain from the cancer in her stomach as it has now been a month since she last had treatment to prevent the cancer from growing.  She has lost pretty much all of her hair now and because her immunity is so low cannot get out to many places.  She is also exhausted all the time.  Yesterday she slept for much of the afternoon.

Before leaving I had a quick, boring breakfast of Blueberry Wheats and Strawberry crunch with semi-skimmed milk.

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When I arrived Mum was really happy to see me and I sat in the lounge chatting with her and my Aunt who was round at the time.  Dad brought me offerings of a chocolate covered biscuit and a wrapped low-cal chocolate wafer bar.

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He means well!  Dad was desperate to show me round the new house he had recently bought.  He used to be a builder and he put in an offer for this house six months ago, before Mum got sick, as a new project to renovate and then rent out to provide an extra income.  This is something Dad has done several times now since retiring from building fifteen years ago.  Unfortunately, the house took nearly six months to clear (house buying is NOT a quick business it turns out!) so it has come at the wrong time now that Dad has to spend more time at home looking after Mum.  Although it does give him a project to work on and some space from the situation back home.

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The house turned out to be massive!  It’s a three bed house with so much space in the back garden and a huge mobile room that’s bigger than the whole downstairs of my house at the bottom of the garden.  The mobile room is hooked up with electricity and would make an amazing office or children’s playroom.  After looking around I then went with Dad to walk Blue, my parent’s dog.  I didn’t get to spend as much time with Mum as I had wanted, as she was so tired but I think it took Dad’s mind off things with me being there.

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When we returned from walking Blue we each grabbed a small cheese and ham sandwich and a yoghurt.  Dad told me this yoghurt didn’t have bits in.  He lied.  I ate it anyway!

A little later on, Dad presented me with a choc ice.  Going back to my parents is always a killer for any diet!  I really listened to my body after eating the chocolate earlier on and the choc ice.  I could have lived without either of these items and would not have chosen them myself.  My whole attitude to food has begun to really change for the better this year (I know it doesn’t look like it when I post food pictures from back at my parents, but I feel so guilty when Dad presents me so proudly with ‘fun’ food that I don’t want to let him down by throwing it back at him.)

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For tea, Mum fixed me and her up with some salmon and cheese sauce with sweetcorn, boiled potatoes and some carrots.  She knows I haven’t been that into my meat just lately so pulled the salmon out especially when she knew I was going to stay for tea.  I haven’t had sweetcorn for ages, as Dan won’t touch it and I’d forgotten just how much I love it!  Dad then insisted on cooking cake and chocolate custard for dessert.  This used to be my favourite when I was little and we always had it when my Aunt from Kings Lynn came to visit.  Now it tends to be they have it when I visit!  I did cut the slice of cake he gave me in half as I was just too full by this point.

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After dinner I took some pictures with my zoom lens out of the kitchen window of the birds on the feeder whilst chatting with Mum.  It was nice just to chill and chat together for a little while.

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