All over the UK

When I first fell pregnant last year Dan and I agreed that it was time we stopped travelling around the country to see friends and family.  Instead we decided that it was time they came to see us, or that we met in a mutual location, we saw them less often or all of the above.

We do feel really settled in our little town in Northamptonshire, but when Dan and I took the leap of moving in together we made the unwise decision to move halfway between both Dan’s family and mine so that one of us would never be a four hour journey from their friends and family.  All it actually means though is that we end up traveling ALL THE TIME!  Every time one of our nieces or nephew has a birthday, it requires four hours of driving.  Each time we fancy going out for coffee or a beer (or in my case a hot chocolate or wine) with our best friends it becomes a proper long trek, normally tied in with an overnight stay at parents’ houses, fitting in visits to as many people as practically possible during the time that we are back.  The task is made much more difficult now that Oscar is on the scene too.

Of course we have both made fantastic friends in our new area, having lived here for nearly seven years, but that has added to our growing list of commitments!

Over the past two weeks we have attended a wedding in Birmingham, been to celebrate a friend’s son’s first birthday party in Norwich and then headed to Huddersfield for another friend’s son’s first birthday party…

Sarah and Treble's wedding - Oscar in braces(The Pearsons looking all smart for our first wedding of 2017)

Dinosaur cake for Charles' birthday at the Dinosaur Park

(Check out that cake for a first birthday bash held at the Dinosaur Park in Norwich!)

…In our house we’ve managed to touch up final coats of paint on ceilings, doors, architrave and walls, and move furniture to have the carpet laid upstairs.  (Finally.  No more floorboards!)… Oscar's nursery bedroom(Oscar’s nursery when we first moved in)Oscar's nursery bedroom(And Oscar’s nursery now!)

…We’ve bought a new sofa and armchair set for our lounge and we’re about to take up the carpet in our lounge/diner to reveal the parquet floor underneath.  (Please let there be nothing wrong with it.  I want this house to be DONE!)… Angelic sofa from Dfs(Angelic sofa from Dfs)

…Dan and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary on the 9th August.  I bought Dan a new leather wallet and he gave me a gorgeous leather-bound notebook for my writing.  We stayed at Rutland Water for a night the following week with Oscar, who we took on a walk to Bugtopia the following day.Leather bound notebook for our third anniversary(It’s so lovely I’m not sure I want to spoil it with my handwriting!)

…Oscar also managed to knock my phone off the bed a fortnight ago and I have been phoneless ever since.  It has been sent off for repair, but I’m not sure how much longer I will be without, especially as it has been away during the Bank Holiday weekend.

The first time my phone failed to turn on I shrugged it off and was like ‘Meh.  I’m due an upgrade in November.  I can last until then.’  But actually there’s been several times I’ve wanted to take pictures and not been able to, I’ve fallen madly behind with my emails again and I haven’t read any blogs for days.  I could really have done with my phone over the weekend when Dan and I spent eleven hours in a car over three days attending childrens’ birthday parties!
I hope I get it back soon.

Our home computer is all in pieces at the moment as well, as we moved everything out of our office so that the carpet could go down and I’m waiting for Dan to put up our new desk before constructing the computer again.  I’ve still been out running, but the computer isn’t there for me to sync the runs from my Garmin to Strava at the moment.  I’ll have to do a big batch of them all next week.  Then I can add stats to a post about my snail-killer run, my all-the-paths-with-streetlights run and the run where I ran the same one mile loop on repeat for an hour.

Can you tell I’m about done of lonesome night-time running?!

How long could you survive for without a phone?!
Have you had a busy Summer?
When was the last time you bought new furniture for your house?

That time I was egged whilst out on a run

Oscar and I travelled over to Norfolk to stay with my parents at the start of last week.
I obviously packed my running clothes for the trip(!)

The nights seem to be getting darker and darker at the moment.  Is this even Summer at all?!  It certainly doesn’t feel like it!  I had aimed to head straight out the front door on an easy 6 mile run on the Monday night after putting Oscar down to bed.  We have Oscar’s routine perfected when back at home; tea at 6pm, followed by bath, book, boob and bed.  He’s in bed and asleep somewhere between 7-7:30pm each evening, and then there isn’t a lot that will wake him until morning.

It’s a whole other story when that routine changes though…

I had hoped to be out of the house by 8pm at the latest, having already changed into my running clothes and armed with my Garmin, ready to go as soon as Oscar’s head hit his sheet.  Oscar had other ideas though, and refused to be put down in the cot in the corner of my old bedroom.  I gave up after a solid 40 minutes of fighting him and returned to the lounge where my Dad sat watching TV.  After repeated attempts to calm Oscar, he did eventually begin to settle and so my Dad offered to take Oscar on his lap until he fell asleep.

It was almost dusk already outside and the idea of running alone round the quiet villages in the middle of nowhere with very little signal on my phone didn’t sound too safe to me.  Instead, I grabbed a fluorescent jacket from the coat cupboard and drove the eight miles to Fakenham, the town where I went to school many years ago, where there would be streetlights and people nearby.

The run started off like any other.  I rang Dan as I set off.  I had an easy six mile run on the plan, to be run at 10:50-11:40mm pace.  The change of scenery was nice.  Because so often Oscar has to come out with me on my runs back at home I’ve been running along Stanwick Lakes a lot lately.  The tracks there are wide and car-free, ideal for buggy running.  Also ideal for when I want to hit paces during speedwork.  Boring however, when you end up running the same route for 80% of your runs each week!

I ended up being on the phone to Dan for the first four miles of my run.  As he hung up I debated whether to turn right and run the remaining two miles of my run out past my old high school, or to turn left and take a shortcut back to my car, as the quickly-darkening sky was clearly threatening heavy rain at some point that evening.

I wimped out and took the left turn.  I could always make up the extra couple of miles somewhere during the week and although I hadn’t heard anything from my Dad by this point, there was always the chance that he was getting rather fed up of Oscar’s whinging by now!

I’d parked in the car park at Tesco in the town centre and as I made my way back towards my car I felt a sudden hard pressure on my back and was thrown forwards as I ran, my head dipping down towards the road.

It took me a little while to realise what had happened.  Initially I thought somebody had come out of the pub I had just run past and tapped me sharply on the back.  I glanced up as a white-grey van with dark writing sped off in front of me.  Perhaps they had seen what happened?

I reached my arm behind my back and pulled it back round in front of me, feeling slime between my fingers.  The base of my back really stung in several places and I came to the realisation that somebody had thrown a handful of eggs at me from the passing work van.  Confirmed as I pulled my hand round for the second time, this time complete with small pieces of egg shell which had stuck to my back.

eggs

I was upset and angry – mainly at myself for not realising what had happened in time to catch any of the details on the side of the van.  I angrily posted a tweet and Facebook status on the Run Mummy Run private Facebook page, describing what had happened, incase anybody else was unfortunate enough to be in the area, and also to have a little rant.

How dare somebody spoil my weeknight run which I had been enjoying so much.  How dare they throw eggs at me from a work van?

It was at this point that the rain began.  Lightly at first, but it was soon pouring down.  I ran the remainder of the journey back to my car, my adrenaline pumping – and then made the impulsive decision to drive a lap of town on the hunt for the van.  The rain was heavy by now though, and nobody was out at all.  It was a wasted mission it seemed, so I turned my car back in the direction of my parents’ house and headed for a much needed shower.

On returning to my old home I discovered my Dad asleep in an armchair, my Mum asleep on the sofa, their dog asleep on my Mum and Oscar asleep on my Dad!  On the way to the shower I stopped in my brother’s room, who confirmed that there were indeed several dark red raised marks at the base of my back.

By the time I was out of the shower, Oscar had woken everyone else up (and then went on to stay up until 3:30am! :( ).  My Dad, along with several of the commenters on the Run Mummy Run Facebook post convinced me that I should report the incident to the local police, and so, perhaps an hour after the event took place I found myself on the non-emergency police line, detailing what had happened.  I fully expected there to be nothing that could be done, but they seemed to take the incident seriously, giving me a police case number and marking the incident as an ‘assault’, even calling me back a little while later to confirm extra details.

I must admit, the incident doesn’t make me want to go rushing off for a run around Norfolk on my own any time in the near future.  Which is a shame, as there were lots of trails I was hoping to explore this year.

Have you suffered from abuse on a run before?
If so, how did you deal with it?

A slight change of marathon plan

So my goal marathon for 2017 has always been Mablethorpe.  I’ve run the race three times now (2013, 2014, 2015), the route is pancake flat, the race always seems to attract other runners from our club and I know where to buy the best milkshake from after the race(!)

But, there were a few snags with my target marathon being Mablethorpe this year.

  • It falls just one week after the half marathon I won a place at (Ealing half).
  • I will be returning to work full time in September for one month – finishing two days before Mablethorpe marathon.  I have been working full time since May whilst juggling raising Oscar, training, blogging and keeping on top of housework and family life, but a teaching workload in September will be much greater than one in July.
  • It will be just a few days after Oscar’s first birthday (27th September – added purely so Dan remembers when it is!) and we had wanted to hold a get-together on the Saturday for close family and friends.

Recently, after a long discussion with Dan we made the decision to have Oscar Christened.  Because both of our families are a two hour drive from where we live it made sense for us to combine Oscar’s Christening with his first birthday celebrations and the date suggested to us by the Vicar was October 1st – conveniently a date all three Godparents could make too.  Something we thought might be an issue, knowing how busy the weekends in all three calendars get!

So Mablethorpe is off the cards.  If I did rock up to the start line for 9:30am on September 1st, I doubt very much that I would be able to run 26.2 miles, shower, change and drive the 90 miles back for the ceremony at 10:30am.

No, the easiest thing to do would be change my target marathon so I’ve decided to run Chelmsford marathon again.  Which to be honest (don’t tell Dan) I’d already decided to do anyway.  Partly as a backup in case I fell short of my target at Mablethorpe, and partly to tick off another marathon from the list, getting ever closer to that magic 100 marathon number.  I used Chelmsford as my backup marathon in 2015 after my Mablethorpe sub 5 attempt didn’t go to plan.  (That year I literally returned home from Mablethorpe, searched for nearby marathons that were taking place a fortnight later and had booked Chelmsford within minutes of waking the following morning.)  In that scenario the plan worked, and I ducked under the sub 5 bracket by 6 minutes.

This time I want more.

Chelmsford marathon falls three weeks later than Mablethorpe did.  On the 22nd October.  Swapping my target race will allow me to run hard at Ealing half marathon towards the end of September and still recover enough in time to race hard at the marathon.  (That’s the plan anyway!)

I am kind of sad that I won’t be running Mablethorpe again this year (and also missing the opportunity to add another marathon to my tally), but I will be back.  It’s a lovely race with great marshals and a super flat course.  You run right alongside the beach twice on the route and last time I ran, there was somebody there handing out little bags of seaside pic ‘n’ mix.  Winner!

The last couple of weeks of marathon training have been a bit sporadic so having those extra three weeks now is reassuring.  The final week of term was a fairly busy one for me and I was working late or attending leaving dos most evenings.  The Saturday of that week I headed to Rushmere parkrun (new course for me!) before a friend’s hen do, and the following week saw Dan, Oscar and I all end up with food poisoning following some dodgy chicken during a meal out.  Rubbish!

Quick recap of the Rushmere parkrun, as I’ll kick myself if I don’t write about it and there were some pretty nice pictures on their Facebook page too.

Rushmere parkrunRushmere was my 86th parkrun and 13th different course.  I ran with Laura and as per most parkruns we just chatted our way round.

Rushmere parkrunDan has promised to take Oscar on a Saturday morning soon though so that I may run a parkrun hard once more!

Rushmere parkrunLaura and I had an afternoon at Go Ape planned as part of a friend’s hen do, and I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to heights so I needed to save a bit of energy to get round the high ropes course at Woburn!

Rushmere parkrunRushmere is a lovely off-road two-lap course, with friendly marshals providing banter rightthe beginning at the event briefing.  The absolute best thing about the Rushmere parkrun though is that it has a PB gong!

{Official time: 35:05   Position: 143/187   Gender position: 53/74   Age grade position: 11/13}

Technically it wasn’t a parkrun PB for me, but it was a course PB (having never run the course before, so I leapt at the chance to ring the gong!  I think the gong should be part of the mandatory kit when a new parkrun course starts up.  I’d want to run faster just to have the opportunity to ring it at the end  I wouldn’t have a clue where to start looking when it came to buying one of these though!

After parkrun, it was Go Ape.

Go Ape for Steph's hen do(I survived!)

And After Go Ape it was time for a quick flick with the wet wipes and a dress thrown on before getting glammed up for Afternoon tea.

Afternoon tea for Steph's hen do

I’m a jam then cream kinda person.

Afternoon tea for Steph's hen do

This week I’m back on target with my training again.  I even made it out to a club training session on Thursday night which I haven’t been able to do in ages!  (Baby logistics as Dan doesn’t return home from work until 6:20pm and club starts at 6:30.)

I’ll sit down with my training plan on Sunday and tweak it slightly to reflect the extra weeks I have now gained before race day, and also the week of training I missed when I was ill.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to stick 100% to the Hanson’s Method when I started training, but the elements I’ve incorporated have definitely been doing me some good.  Not only have I PBd over three different distances just lately but I generally feel stronger and healthier.  I’m looking forward to seeing what else I can achieve during this training cycle!

Have you visited Go Ape?
Jam then cream or cream then jam?!