Running club awards evening

Friday night was my running club’s annual awards evening.  It was to be my first proper night out since having Oscar and I was looking forward to it!

I had even treated myself to having my hair put up at the hairdressers beforehand.  Something until now I’d only reserved for doing at my wedding and sixth form leaving ball!  Worth it though, – my hair is in an awful state at the moment.  Something to do with little grubby hands smearing milk and slobber in it and tugging on strands at every available opportunity! Running club christmas doAs we were sat close to the back, near to the food table, it meant that we were first to be allowed up for food.  There was an alarming moment when, after finishing our soup the soup heater behind us burst into flames though!  Luckily we had some quick thinking members who launched past us with a fire extinguisher and were able to think clear enough to turn off the gas tap. Crisis avoided!WDAC Christmas do party table There are a large number of awards given out each year including a ‘Runner of the Year’ for each of the six coached groups as chosen by the lead coach for that group.  There are also awards for the ‘Runner’s Runner of the Year’.  A male and female member of the club are voted for anonymously by the members, who must produce solid reasons for voting for their choice.  The person from each gender who receives the most votes wins the award. Each year I put together the videos for the Runner’s Runner of the Year which are then shown to the members before the winners are announced.
You can see my previous videos here > 2015 > 2014 > 2013
Below is the female video for 2016:

Having not been such a large part of the club this year due to my pregnancy, it was lovely to read through all of the nominations for the award and discover what everyone had been up to.  As always, it left me feeling very inspired and ready for 2017!

WDAC Christmas do partyIt’s a good job Oscar hasn’t inherited the Moore nose(!)

Speaking of awards, it was brought to my attention earlier this week that I have been nominated and shortlisted for awards at both The Running Awards (under category Community > Blog) and also the Run Ultra Blogger Award.  If you have a spare five minutes I’d really appreciate a vote by clicking on the two badges below.  (Many thanks!)

Running awardsRun Ultra Blogger Award

What/who do you find inspires you the most?
Have you been to a Christmas party this year?

The Magic Mile

This week has been super busy.  My maternity leave is flying by and I feel like I’m hardly getting anything done that I wanted!  But, I am getting to see Oscar grow up, and it’s lovely to be able to watch all the little changes in him as the days and weeks go by.  This week he’s learnt to stick his tongue out and it’s all he wants to do.  If you stick your tongue back out at him he smiles, chuckles, kicks his legs and will love you forever!

Last weekend I headed over to Northampton parkrun again with Laura and Oscar.  I still haven’t been able to properly ‘run’ a parkrun post pregnancy, but I’m sure that time will come soon.  Dan had been out at his work do the night before so had stayed over in Cambridge, meaning that Oscar had been with me all night and would be all day Saturday as well as Dan planned on going straight to football in the afternoon on his way home.  I didn’t intend on missing parkrun, so Oscar made it over for his second event.

I arrived super early so that I could get a parking space, planning to feed Oscar once I arrived.  This sounded good in theory, but the cramped space in the car meant that we were both in an incredibly uncomfortable position in the front seat and when I sat him up afterwards he immediately threw up all over himself and me.  Fab start to the day!  Quick change of clothes for him (none for me – perhaps I should also start keeping a spare change of clothes in the car?!) and then I passed him over to Laura so that I could attempt to lug the pram out of the boot.

The plan was for Laura to run as fast as she was able around the two lap course, hopefully finishing as I started my second lap so that she was able to grab Oscar from me, meaning that I would be able to run the second lap.  We estimated that I would take about 30 minutes to finish the first lap, but I have no idea how we worked out that estimate, as Oscar and I actually power-walked round lap number one in just under 24 minutes.  Laura was nowhere in sight!

Just before finishing the first lap, our club Membership Secretary, Alan, jogged back from his place in the run and asked if he could power walk with us, having already completed a faster first mile and not being fussed about his time for the day.

Laura ended up not catching us until less than half a mile before the finish, having run round the course for quite a way looking for us(!)  When she arrived I handed her Oscar so that Alan and I may run on to the finish.  It felt really weird switching from a power walk to a faster pace with my legs!  Kind of like when you spend ages cycling and then try and walk again afterwards.  They did manage to kick in a little though towards the end, but I’m so conscious that my form is awful at the moment.  I feel all lumbery with my style since having a baby.  Really need to work on that this Winter.

We managed to overtake a few people but to be honest, unlike the first time I had walked round with Oscar at parkrun, we hadn’t been at the back anyway.

Garmin time: 41:57
Official time: 
Gender position: 
Age category position: 

By the time we were scanned and sorted it was almost 10am and the Magic Mile was being announced.  Laura had mentioned it to me during the week but I hadn’t really heard much about the Magic Mile before that.  Once a month the Magic Mile is held at the Racecourse and is simply just a mile round part of the parkrun route.  Results are then posted up on their Facebook page and on the website.

Having never ‘raced’ a mile distance before I was interested to see what I could achieve and when Laura offered to have Oscar for ten minutes whilst I practised picking up my leg turnover around the course, I agreed to give it a go.  It would have been interesting to have had a go at this pre-pregnancy to see what pace I had been capable of then too.

A couple of the guys explained the course to me on the walk down to the start line, not that I had any concerns about leading the way(!) and then the organiser took a group shot of us all before explaining some guidelines and detailing how the Magic Mile worked.  I wasn’t the only one who hadn’t run it before.

Northampton Magic Mile December 2016I had no idea what I would be able to run the mile in, although hoped I could still run one in under 10 minutes!  My aim was to run fairly hard, but not to push things as it was still only nine and a half weeks since I had been in surgery having Oscar and I had purposefully been keeping things fairly easy up until this point.

My watch started off showing numbers in the 7:xxs and I knew I was going too fast.  For some reason, despite usually feeling super nervous before short distance timed events, I didn’t this time.  Perhaps because I’d never run the mile before, so knew there would be no pressure.  I had already begun to pull things back by the time I passed Laura and Oscar who had parked themselves by the finish line about a quarter of a mile into the course.

It’s odd because although I feel like I’m doing everything again for the first time, my breathing is fine and I don’t appear to suffer from stitches or lack of breath.  My legs are the ones which struggle – they just don’t move as quickly as they used to!  I can also feel my stomach muscles kick in past a certain point which I guess is due to the surgery.  It’s not painful, it just makes me remember they haven’t been worked in a while!

I managed a rough sprint at the finish and had recovered and was breathing normally again within seconds.  Oscar was having a grumble over on the sidelines so I was anxious about hurrying to note down my time.  Slightly different to parkrun, you are given a finishing token which displays your position.  You then find the corresponding number in a notebook and write down your age, name and club details so that the results can be posted later on in the day.

Garmin time: 8:57.6 (I have no idea how I managed to get it exact, even down to the decimal place!)
Official time: 
Gender position: 
Age category position: 

Magic Mile December 2016As we had Oscar with us, Laura and I headed over to The Good Loaf for hot chocolate and a chocolate orange tart this week.  I posted the above picture of my Garmin with my purchases in the background of the shot onto my Facebook page which ended up sparking a whole debate over ‘treating’ yourself with someone who clearly isn’t a runner, although that’s a story for another day!

Facebook post comments

I am planning on making as many of the Magic Mile events as possible as I think once a month pushing over a mile distance will be a great way to track progress over 2017.  I’ve got my starting point – 8:57.  I know I used to be much quicker pre-baby.  My parkrun PB over 3.1 miles was run at a 8:37mm pace last year.  Now the aim is to get back there and pick up where I left off!

I’m planning on digging out my heart rate monitor this week to start wearing again on runs as that will help me see how I’m improving and help me to judge how hard to push once I start racing again next year.  I’m super excited to start picking things up properly again in the New Year!  Can’t wait!

Does your parkrun run the Magic Mile event?
Have you tried it before?

Christmas gifts

Last weekend Dan and I sat down and bought the majority of our Christmas shopping online through Amazon. I had visions of me having lots of time to stroll around the shops to find the perfect Christmas presents for everyone this year. However, the reality is that getting Oscar in and out of the car seat for frequent stops and dragging him around heaving stores in the run-up to Christmas isn’t really ideal, so Amazon it was. To be honest, we didn’t end up spending a huge amount more than we would have if we had been in town, and it came without the time and stress of having to trawl all of the shops. Bonus!

However, my Amazon suggestions list now strongly features Peppa the Pig and Frozen thanks to my nieces and as the postman has now realised I’m currently a stay at home Mum, I have tended to collect a pile of parcels for the other houses on my street each day!  At least I’m getting to know the neighbours!

Dan is rubbish at shopping for others online because he ends up spotting a million things to buy for himself instead.  In fact, last year he bought a jacket for his brother’s birthday and ended up keeping it!

I like to think I’m much better, and I must be dead easy to buy gifts for, as I’m forever saying “Wow, I really like that!” but rarely do I actually buy anything for myself.

This is me going for the less subtle tact today…I’m loving all of these items and they would definitely be appreciated if they were  wrapped up and under the tree on Christmas morning!  😉

Christmas wish list 2016

Nike long sleeved top – Because you can never have too many long sleeved running tops at this time of year, and if they have thumb holes, that’s a bonus!

This Mum Runs – I’ve still not gotten round to reading any further than a few snatched paragraphs in Waterstones of Jo Pavey’s book.  The ‘Supermum’ who won the 10,000m at the European Championships just months after having a baby.  I’m hoping to pick up a few tips when it comes to juggling children and running though!

Koly Womens Sports Running Headband – It’s 79p.  You can’t go wrong with 79p and I really need something to keep my hair out of my face during training.

Parenthood Listography (Journal) – Another snatched glance in Waterstones but as a self-confessed obsessive list writer I love the Listography books.  So much so in fact, that there are quite a few heading out to friends in their Christmas parcels this year.

Hungry Healthy Happy – Fellow blogger and new Mum, Dannii had her first recipe book published earlier this year.  I’ve loved Dannii’s no-nonsense, easy-to-follow recipes on her blog but there is something about a loved cookbook on the kitchen shelf.

Runner undies – When I was younger I used to have two pairs of day-of-the-week knickers.  Thursday and Saturday I believe.  I have no idea why I didn’t have a full set though?!  I love the idea of laying out underwear in order at the start of the week relating to my training.  Never again forget what training is supposed to be that day!

Bluetooth Selfie Remote Keyring – Selfieme – I never took to the idea of the selfie stick, but as I’ve mentioned in the past, I have been rather frustrated at just how hard it is to get decent pictures which include me in for AHM.  This selfie keyring is a bluetooth operator for the camera shutter on your phone.  Awesome!  It also comes with a stand so that you don’t have to balance your phone against a tree with four rocks held up against it…:S

Cozy Toes fluffy socks – We’re still waiting for a plasterer to board our ceilings, and until the ceilings are done it makes no sense to lay down new carpet.  No/bare carpet = cold toes!

Runner’s wine glass – Also available in beer mugs, champagne flutes and lots of other designs!

Thule Glide Sports Stroller Pushchair – Undoubtedly a little too much money to receive as a Christmas gift, but I can dream…!

Don’t Stop Me Now: 26.2 Tales of a Runner’s Obsession – Vassos Alexander has run several ultramarathons, including the SDW100 which I marshaled at earlier in the year.

Tasty Book – I’ve followed the Tasty Facebook page for a while, but it was only the other day I saw that they had now also released a cookbook.  Another super easy to follow, throw all the ingredients in a big pan set of recipes.  When ordering the book, you order your seven favourite categories of recipes, so if you’re not a big dessert fan, no need to include them in your copy of the book!  (Although lets be honest, who isn’t a fan of dessert?!)

Moving Comfort Womens Ladies Juno Sports Bra – I am in desperate need of some new sports bras at the moment.  As I am breastfeeding my boobs are so much bigger and need so much more support!  I haven’t tried these bras before but they were recommended to me on Twitter and I like the idea that the straps can be adjusted accordingly from the front.

*Some affiliate links included.

What’s on your Christmas wish list this year?

My running club is like a family

On the 18th of November Mathew Hollis, coach and previous Vice Mens Team Captain from my running club lost his battle with a brain tumour and sadly passed away.

Windsor for Mathew shoes

Mat was the first coach I had after joining the club following the beginners course I took up back in 2011.  He was the coach that awarded me the Group 5 Coaches award for 2014 and one of the coaches who was always interested in runners’ lives outside of running too.  He was also the first person I knew in real life to find and start reading my blog.

Group 5 winner

Running was part of Mat’s life and so as a club the decision was made that something should be done to recognise this and remember him the week that he passed.

Last Thursday evening, a huge turnout of runners collected at our usual meeting point in Wellingborough to run Mat’s go-to route around the town, which for the evening was dubbed the ‘Hilly Hollis’ due to the immense number of gradual hills out on the course!

The Hilly Hollis(I’m on the right in bright orange, trying to work out how to make the heart with my hands!)

Although with so many runners in attendance it was necessary to separate for a portion of the route for safety reasons, we all collected at the bottom of the final hill and became a sea of bobbing headtorches as we made our way back up towards our cars again.  I imagine that we were a sight to be seen in Wellingborough that night!

The Hilly Hollis

After having had several months away from running formally with the club on clubnights, heading back to run the Hilly Hollis felt like the right night to return and it was lovely to see so many members; both past and present turn up to run Mat’s route, which we followed by a visit to the pub to raise a glass for him.

Supporting our members and being there for every single person at the club is something which our club gets very, very right.  I hope that Mat was able to see how many people turned out for him last week, because I think that he would have been rather touched.