Monday, 30 June 2014

Juneathon Day 26

Today Miss H was part of the school team taking part in the Didcot & District Junior School Swimming Gala. It is mostly for Year 5 and Year 6 children, but some of the smaller schools have to add to their numbers with Year 4's!

We headed off in plenty of time but whilst queuing in a line of traffic at a notorious junction, there was a collision between 2 cars as one was trying to nip across the road. Not the best start to the day!  As we were far enough back to not be direct witnesses, it was with pounding hearts that we turned around and retraced out steps taking the longer way to the pool.  We weren't the only ones that had been caught up in the incident and luckily nobody was badly hurt apart from being shaken up.

Miss H and the rest of the team competed admirably against larger teams from bigger schools but we got 4 swimmers into 5 finals. The highest placing we got was a second - Miss H was 4th in the Breaststroke - and we finished 8th overall.

I had gone along as a helper, but as our school was required to provide a timekeeper, I found myself on poolside with a clipboard and stopwatch in hand. I gave me a taster of things to come!

Apart from walking up and down the length of the pool a couple of times, no further exercise was undertaken today. Oops!

Juneathon Running Total = (still) 77.8k

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Juneathon Day 25

Today I spent the morning cleaning out my car as I will be transporting some of Miss H's school friends tomorrow. It now sparkles inside and out but I wonder how soon it will be full of crumbs etc. again! 

Mr D went to watch his cricket team play this evening - even though his sore leg still stops him keeping wicket - as the venue was on his way home from work, so it was getting rather late before I was able nip out for a quick cycle ride.

Juneathon Running Total = 77.8k


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Juneathon Day 24

I always seem to be a day behind writing up my blog entries - so I must make a greater effort to write them up in the evening after I put Miss H to bed.

The Housework Fairy was a bit more productive today - but not much! I do like the warmer days as it allows me to hang the washing out on the line to dry.

I needed to send of a birthday card today. but despite there being a post box about 300m from the house, I decided to wait until Miss H came home from school and we cycled along the road to mail it at the local Post Office. So that added 3.7km to the total.

After Miss H got back from Brownies, Mr D proposed an evening walk. The location chosen to go to was the park. I wonder who's idea that was??

Unsurprisingly we had the place to ourselves and I think a couple of us enjoyed themselves!

Juneathon Running Total = 74.1k

Juneathon Day 23

Monday is normally the day that I "blitz" the house after the ravages that it gets put through over the weekend, but apart from washing a load of towels, I must confess the Housework Fairy was rather lazy today!

As Miss H does Pottery Club after school, I am able to go for a swim in a quieter session than the lunchtime one. I was lucky enough to get a lane to myself, and had planned on just re-swim the 60 lengths I did a couple of weeks ago, but I swam them quite easily, so decided to keep going and completed 80.

Miss H's swim coach was there and she commented that maybe she should join me in the pool next week. I hope she was joking as I only swim 1 stroke at 1 pace and that's not very fast!

Juneathon Running Total = 68.8k

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Juneathon Day 22 - Phew. What a Day!

Miss H has been training with and swimming for Didcot Barramundi Swimming Club for about a year now. It is all run by volunteers - which are of course us parents.

I have recently been CRB checked so that I am able to be a Team Manager at Galas. This means ensuring that the kids are sent off at the right time to swim their races, log times and results, and keep up morale and lead the cheering.

The opportunity also came up to start training to become a Level 1 Gala Judge, and I went to my first briefing today. We went through all the tasks that the role involves - mainly either timing swims or checking there are no rule violations during turns. Now I need to get some experience of actually doing the job at a gala!

After that had melted my brain, the second meeting of the day was the club AGM! For a pretty small club we do produce some good swimmers with this year two of our boys have qualified for the National Age Group Championships - one of which is only 12!

As it is Sunday, I spent some time making sure that bags and shirts and uniform etc. was all ready to start the week, so it wasn't until after dinner that I got the chance for today's exercise. I completed Run 1 of Week 8 which is 28 minutes continuous running. Phew!

Juneathon Running Total = 66.6k

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Juneathon Day 21 - Miss H completes a Triathlon

A few months ago, I entered Miss H into a Triathlon. She had to complete a 50m swim, 2k cycle ride and finished with a 1k run. This was going to be our first experience of a triathlon, so we got to the venue early so we could suss out the course, transition etc.

We settled down under a tree to keep out of the sun and were joined by some friends from swimming. In all there were about a dozen kids from the club entered and it was great to be able to cheer them all on.

So the time came and after racking her bike and laying out her gear we headed into the pool. I waited until I saw her start on her 2 lengths before I raced outside to meet her. After a quick towelling down and attaching her race number over her t-shirt she set off on her bike. I got round to the course in plenty of time to cheer her on before she set off on lap 2.

She was gasping for a drink as she set off for the run, and gulped down a whole cupful which caused her to get a stitch. She kept plugging away and finished in a time of 24.56 minutes. She was really happy to add another medal to her collection!

I briefly considered entering for the Super Sprint event myself (200m swim / 12.5k bike / 2.5k run), but although I can now run the distance, I was never going to be fit enough to do it after cycling!  I am determined to enter it next year though.

With my new resolution in mind, I again headed out on the bike and completed 4.6k before dinner!

Juneathon Running Total = 62.7k


Saturday, 21 June 2014

Juneathon Day 20

I can't believe we are two thirds of the way through the month already. In fact, this whole year has been flying by!

Friday's can be a bit frantic, as Miss H sometimes goes to early morning swim training along with going again in the afternoon. As she has a gala in a fortnight, and will be swimming 200m breaststroke, she is concentrating on her stamina.

For today's exercise I decided to borrow Mr D's bike and ride around the science park next door. Everything was whizzing along until I turned a corner and hit a headwind! There was a frantic changing of gears - but it was easier once I had turned round to come home.

Juneathon Running Total = 58.1k

Friday, 20 June 2014

Juneathon Day 19

I spent the morning pottering about the house doing minimal housework - but which mostly consisted of defrosting the freezer. I love how these "no frost" freezer don't necessarily mean that - but then maybe there is something I should be doing that I'm not. Wonder where the instruction manual is??

Mr D was working from home today and as he had arranged to go out to lunch with Mr C from next door, I dropped them at the pub on the way to the supermarket.

Does anybody else get fed up of the weekly grind of trying to meal plan?  Due to evening activities, there are only 3 nights in the week that we can all eat together. Another day Miss H eats before Brownies whilst we eat while she is out, and then Wednesdays are just crazy as Miss H has swimming and Mr D plays cricket!

Last week I tried out a couple of new recipes both of which were gobbled down in double speed so they will definitely be cooked again.

Mr D took charge tonight but as he didn't let me know his timeframe in advance I had to wait until 8pm to go out for my run! It was still quite warm but as the whole of the country seemed to be watching some very overpaid blokes kick a football about at least it was quiet!

Today was the final run of Week 7 (25 mins) and I managed to run a little bit further slightly quicker than I did on the previous 2 attempts. Yeah!

Juneathon Running Total = 53.6k

Juneathon Day 18 - Sports Day

Today I was going to vary my exercise routine up a bit and go for a bike ride instead of the normal walk round the village, but at the last second I turned right out of the school gates instead of left to come home. I think I knew in my heart of hearts, that if I came home I might not get back out for a cycle! I didn't have my ipod to listen too on the walk but I managed to keep up the pace anyway and get round in my usual time.

After lunch is was back to school as it was Sports Day. The children are divided in 5 houses named after the Continents. They compete in a variety of "field events" (javelin (a foam one!), shot put, long jump, bean bag throws and speed bounce), then more onto "track events" dependent upon their Year (egg & spoon, skipping or obstacle course) and the finale are "flat races" of varying lengths.

Miss H attacked everything with gusto and won her Skipping Race Heat which she was mega pleased about. The smile on her face got even bigger when at the end of the afternoon her house team were named the overall WINNERS!  The very warm afternoon was finished off with loud cheers and cold ice lollies!

Juneathon Running Total = 50k

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Juneathon Day 17 - Plants, plants, everywhere!

I started off the morning with another trip around the village. I have been so lucky with the weather the last couple of weeks that it's been lovely to grab some fresh air before I spend the rest of the day in the house!

A while ago, Miss H had planted some sunflower seeds that came with a DVD of the film "The Lorax" and as they are getting to around 2 foot tall, it was time that they were planted on. I bought a couple of climbing plants with the aim of them eventually covering the fence panels at the bottom of the garden, so I spent most of the day digging holes for them all to go into!

The tallest sunflower was kept back as Miss H wants to enter it into the "Planted From Seed" competition category at the school summer fete in a couple of weeks.

Juneathon Running Total = 47.5k

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Juneathon Day 16

Today I spent the day at my sewing machine finishing the last blocks for the Siblings Together 2 Bee that I am part of on Flickr.

Siblings Together is an organisation which "promotes positive contact between brothers and sisters separated by foster care, kinship care, residential care or adoption".  They hold summer camps where siblings can spent time together and experience some exciting new activities. The children who attend are given a quilt to keep and take home to remember their time by. 

The quilt I am making just needs a couple more blocks before I can get it quilted, bound and sent off.

Miss H was invited out to dinner with the twin girls from next door (they are in her class at school), so I took the opportunity to go out for the W7R2 run. My iPod's battery ran out whilst I was only a couple of minutes into the warm-up, so it was very odd running to no music or instructions! Luckily as it was the same run duration (25mins) as Thursday, I just ran to the same spot before turning home and running back and covered 3.6k altogether.

Juneathon Running Total = 45k.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Juneathon Day 15 - Pooh Sticks

One of my sisters lives about a 45 minute drive away from us. Today both her daughters were home together for the first time in months. The elder of the 2 has just returned from 6 months in South America, and the youngest is briefly home from University before she heads out to work at Camp America for the summer!

We popped down to see everybody, taking some nibbles for lunch which included our freshly picked strawberries (see yesterday's post!).

To help walk off the lunch's excesses, Miss H, Sister T and I went for a walk through the local woods. We made a stop at the park and spent some time playing Pooh sticks in a barely flowing stream. We found ourselves shouting at small bits of wood not at all competitively!

Juneathon Running Total = 41.4k

Juneathon Day 14 - Round and Round in Circles

Today was a quiet morning at home with us all pottering about doing not a lot!

Mr D was up early watching the rugby with Mr C from next door - who brought round bacon butties for them to eat whilst cheering on England. They both headed off to play cricket at lunchtime.

Miss H and I spent some time on our new joint obsession - making rubber band bracelets!  We eventually headed out to the supermarket to pick up some supplies and were planning to visit Q Gardens Farm Shop to pick some strawberries - but we were too late so that will be our job first thing in the morning.

Behind our house is a road that is a bit of a dead end just leads to a few houses, and the distance up and down it is roughly 0.5km. For today's exercise, I cycled 10 circuits whilst Miss H did a few rounds in her new rollerskates.

Juneathon Running Total = 39.2k

Friday, 13 June 2014

Juneathon Day 13 - A Swift Half???

The hours have whizzed by today and by the time tea had been eaten I still hadn't completed my daily exercise challenge.

Mr D then suggested a solution to the problem - a family walk around the village. Unbeknown to me he has an ulterior motive.

4 pints, a slice of strawberry cheesecake (for Miss H) and 4 goals to the Netherlands later sees us leaving the village pub to complete the circuit!

Juneathon Running Total = 34.2k

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Juneathon Day 12

I had the dentist this morning and didn't have time to walk around the village first. 

I have had a real phobia about the dentist since I was picked up and thrown in the chair by one when I was about 10 years old. I had just seen my sister get a filling and he had had to put some sort of contraption in her mouth to do it. I apparently got a bit hysterical and didn't want to get my teeth checked and he lost patience with me! So I have avoided going as much as possible over the years and it was only Miss H cracking a tooth last Halloween that has forced me to go.

Today I had to have a filling - even though there was no visible hole - as pressure from a neighbouring tooth has caused some internal decay. I was hyperventilating and on the verge of tears in the waiting room, but managed to compose myself up to the point the drill was about to go in. I must admit that it was then that the wheels fell off and it was some minutes before the dentist could get on with her job. Thank Goodness I don't have to go back for another 6 months!

This evening I attended a "How We Teach Maths To Your Children" meeting at school. I freely admit to not knowing anything about number grids and chunking so I hope Miss H doesn't want any help with her homework!

After all that I headed out for a late evening run. I completed Week 7 Run 1 which is 25 minutes continuous running (just like W6R3) and I covered 3.6k.

Juneathon Running total = 31.7k

Juneathon Day 11 - Watching Others!

Today dawned warm and bright again so it was certainly no chore to make the daily circuit of the village.  I felt like I was walking a bit faster than normal, but this wasn't borne out when I got home and checked Endomondo!

Juneathon Total Distance Travelled = 28.1k

Wednesday is a swim training day for Miss H. She has recently moved up to a more advanced session which is at a different pool and lasts 1.5 hours. The training involves more longer sets (100m, 200m etc.) plus dive practice and as tonight - sprint relays. Although the change only happened a few weeks ago, there has been a noticeable increase in her speed and endurance.

Mr D has recently started playing cricket again after about an 8 year break. He keeps wicket for Steventon Cricket Club and tonight he was playing his first Mid-Week Match. As they don't bowl off until 6pm, they were still mid match when we got back from swimming. In fact Mr D was just about to go in to bat when we arrived! He was soon back with us as the bowler was on a roll, and scored a hat-trick with Mr D out for a Golden Duck (out first ball for no runs). He wasn't the only one though, as 3 other team members were out for a duck, but they pulled themselves together and won the match in the last over!


Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Juneathon Day 10

Yesterday I had an early visit to Miss H's class at school, and as I had the swim planned, I didn't walk the circuit around the village but I was back out pounding the pavements today. The sun was shining and Lady Gaga was warbling in my ears. So that's another 2.5k added to the Juneathon tally!

In fact, I think I will keep a running total of distance covered over the month. So up to today it's standing at 25.6k (4.5 + 2.5 + 2.5 + 2.5 + 3.6 + 2.5 + 3.5 + 1.5 + 2.5).

Last week I promised all you lucky people a picture of the bunting I was making for Miss H's school. Red is the colour of the school uniform, so I made the flags from a selection of fabrics with red and white patterns - dots, spots, stars, stripes and checks.  I chose white felt for the letters and white heading tape.

It turned out pretty great - even though I say so myself!


Juneathon Day 9 - Back in the Pool!

Throughout my life I've loved to swim. I remember having a couple of lessons at school when I was @10 but in essence taught myself one summer whilst staying with an Aunt who had a pool in the garden!

I became a qualified lifesaver whilst I was studying for my A' Levels, and had a part time job working at the local leisure centre. I must have been in the pool 5 days out of 7.

When Master P was growing up, we always went swimming at the weekends and Little Miss H is carrying on the family love of water by training with our local club - Didcot Barramundi SC - she's a fab little breaststroker!

Over the last couple of years I have taken part in the annual Swimathon. In 2012 and 2013 I completed 2.5k (100 lengths) but this year I decided to push myself and up the distance to 5k.

My goal was to cover the 200 lengths in 2 hours - as I could swim 100 comfortably in an hour during training. It was an early start on the day as I needed to be in the pool at 7am, but with Mr D, Little Miss H and Sister T cheering me on I was overjoyed to finish in 1:58.55!!!!

Today was really the first time I had been back in the pool since then, so I decided that I would ease myself back into training by just swimming 60 lengths (1.5k). Oh My Word!!  I was fine until I got to about 40, and then my arms seemed to turn to lead and I virtually was going nowhere with every stroke. Luckily it eased off a bit and I managed to complete all the lengths but it has made me realise how easily all that upper body fitness has worn off so I need to make an effort to get at least 1 weekly training session in the diary.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Juneathon Day 8 - I am now a RUNNER!

The lovely weather of yesterday continued today, so it seemed a perfect opportunity to get on with some jobs in the garden.

Earlier in the year, Mr D made me a couple of vegetable beds from some old scaffold boards.  Little Miss and I sowed a multitude of salad seeds, but have been having a losing battle against the slugs. They LOVED our radishes and lettuces and at present have a taste for my potatoes!

In my plastic greenhouse I have been growing some red and yellow tomatoes, green peppers and chili peppers. Today was the day I chose to transplant them into the big beds.

I have been out there tonight and although the slugs seem to be leaving my little plants alone, I pulled a myriad of them of my spuds. GRRR!!!

Leaving Mr D and Miss H putting up a tent in the garden, I set out to complete the next stage of the C25K programme. Today was Week 6 Run 3 which consisted of 25 minutes continuous running.

This sounded like a big step up from the 2 x 10 minutes I did on Thursday, but as I always find the first 5 minutes of running are the worst, at least I only had to go through that once tonight!

It wasn't as bad as I thought it might be, and I even felt like I was striding out - like a "proper" runner might do - during the last 5 minutes. I covered @2.5k in the time which is roughly 10 min/k. Not exactly Paula Radcliffe standards but it will do for me.

Juneathon Day 7 - Does Standing for Hours Count?

Today was the day of our village's D-Day 70 year Commemoration Festival.

About 300 yards from my house, is a Memorial Stone that marks the end of the runway at RAF Harwell that was used on the night of 5th June 1944 to take the first troops that landed in Normandy to start the final liberation of Europe.

The day started wet and dull, but by lunchtime the sun was out and shining bright and hot in a cloudless blue sky.

Mr D went off to play cricket, so Little Miss H and I strolled down to the green at the end of the road where all the days activities were being held.

I stood around for about 3 hours whilst she ran and bounced on an inflatable assault course and a HUGE inflatable slide and drove some laps in a go-kart - that she just about fit into!

We then had an hour of standing and waiting for the commemorative ceremony to start and be conducted. Some of the children from school attended and laid poppies along with the invited dignitaries.

 After a quick trip home for dinner, and popping down the cricket club to collect a slightly worse for wear Mr D (his team won!), back we went to partake of the evening's entertainment.  Again there was hours of standing around, but this time at least I had a drink in my hand!

I can definitely say that my legs and feet certainly felt sore and stiff, after a long and hot day.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Juneathon Day 6 - My First Running Event

Today was rather busy so all I managed to fit in was my Round-the-Village walk. Over the last couple of days, I have bumped into Council workers who have been out with their strimmers etc., so it was a real treat to walk along a couple of paths that didn't have me either avoiding a jungle of nettles at ankle level, or ducking to avoid vegetation at eye level!

As a follow on to yesterday's post, I decided early on that I would need to give my running a focus, so I entered for a 3k "Mini Marathon".  As the date was getting nearer and nearer, I was still only running continuously for 3 or 5 minutes. My anxiety levels didn't diminish when these arrived.

I tried to keep a grip on my nerves and as luck would have it (!), I completed Week 5 Run 3 (20 mins running) 3 days beforehand.  I was delighted that I managed to finish the whole session but knew that as I had only managed 2k in that time, that I would have to run for quite a bit longer to finish the "race".

The day of the Mini Marathon dawned clear and bright and it was 25 degrees at the start time of 9am! My Little Miss was keeping me company, and we joined 498 others at the starting line.

I knew that I was going to be slow, trying to keep from being disheartened by being overtaken by toddlers and pensioners, I focused on just putting one foot in front of the other. I decided to listen to the training podcast as I ran, as it would keep me up-to-date on how long I had been going.

At times I was ahead of Little Miss, but once we had rounded the half way point, she shot on ahead and was waiting for me as I crossed the finishing line.

I completed the 3.3k course in an official time of 33.56 minutes (438th / 450). Little Miss was 416th and finished in 31.15 minutes. We were a long way behind the winning time of 12 minutes but we have the knowledge - and sense of achievement - that we RAN the whole way!

We rewarded ourselves with a well deserved ice cream from Bluebelle and have already signed up to a 5k Color Me Rad event at the end of August!

Friday, 6 June 2014

Juneathon Day 5 - Couch to 5k

For a lot of my adult life I have been overweight, and for the last decade I have been what would be classed as obese. Over the last couple of years, our little family have been through huge changes - many of which have been really tough and upsetting on us all - and this has affected my motivation to do anything proactive about losing the weight.

I am now nearing the age that my Dad developed Type II Diabetes and with a family history of early death caused by heart attacks and with a young family to think about, I made the decision that 2014 would be the year I was going to get thinner and fitter.

Things started slowly with me cutting out late night snacking and trying to eat a proper breakfast and lunch. I also decided that instead of just giving one thing up for Lent, I cut out crisps, chocolate, sweets, biscuits and cake!  It was worth it though as I am now a stone lighter than I was at Hogmanay without making a huge sacrifice. BUT I have drifted a bit over the last month, and it is only the increase in calories burnt through exercise that has stopped the pounds piling back on.

Now we come to the point of Today's post!

The only exercise I irregularly did was swimming, but knew I would need something else to help blast the pounds away. I came upon the NHS Couch-to-5k Running Plan which is a 9 week programme that takes you from nothing to running for 30 minutes (and which should eventually mean you cover 5k!)

Being the size of a small couch, I would never have made it through the first "run" if it hadn't been for my Little Miss encouraging me the whole way! Currently I am on Week 6 (though we did repeat a few weeks along the way) and tonight completed W6 Run 2 which consisted of 2 blocks of 10 minutes running separated by a 3 minute walk.

Along with my morning village walk, today's total distance covered was 6k.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Juneathon Day 4

I have decided that my "walk around the village" will be as daily an occurrence as I can manage. There are obviously going to be days where the weather will scupper an outing, other days when I'll go for a run instead and of course times when I have an early appointment.  It will be interesting to see whether I can get round faster at the end of the month than I did on Day 2!

This morning's weather was a bit spit-spot, and it would have been easy to just drop Missy off at school and turn back for home, but this challenge gave me the motivation to "just do it"!

Luckily I missed the heavy showers - they came later - and I burnt off a few more calories afterwards trying to get the house back into a decent state after rather neglecting it last week over half term.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Juneathon Day 3

After this morning's walk around the village, I took myself upstairs to my sewing room to continue with sewing some bunting I have been asked to make by the PTA at Little Miss H's school. I made good progress and I should be able to finish - and therefore post a picture - tomorrow.  I also completed a couple of quilt blocks for a sewing Bee I am part of.

My exercise for the day was to power walk the 3k round trip to the Post Office!

As my Little Miss had been in pain with her foot all day, we decided to nip back to the hospital for the x-ray. Luckily nothing is broken, so we just need to make sure that she rests it enough so that it heals quickly.

Juneathon Day 2 - Late and Uncompleted

Never mind falling at the first hurdle, I managed to trip up at the second, all thanks to my Little Miss!

After school she decided to mess about in the garden. Lately she has been trying to complete a cartwheel with limited success, so decided to move on to handstands. "Oh no!" I can hear you all cry. Yup, you guessed it. She crashed down in a heap with her left foot hitting the ground first and being landed on by the rest of her.

So as a precautionary measure, as it was bruised and swollen almost instantly, off we trundled to the Minor Injuries Unit at the local hospital. Three and a half hours later - they got a bit busy! - we were seen by a lovely male nurse who diagnosed soft tissue damage. He was unsure whether there were any broken/cracked bones and as x-ray closed hours before he couldn't get it checked anyway!

We were sent home with instructions to keep it up, iced, rested (no PE this week) and to manage any pain with Calpol etc. If it gets worse within the next few days we can go back to get it x-rayed and as he'll leave a note on file, we will at least this time, jump to the head of the queue!

So that scuppered my plans for a run before dinner, so this morning I power-walked the 2.5k circuit of the village (in 28 mins) after school drop off.  I will be back later with today's - hopefully less dramatic - highlights.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Juneathon - A Chance for a New Start!

I came across an event called Juneathon that involves undertaking some exercise and blogging about it every day in June.

After a couple of years of sadly neglecting my blog, I have decided to take the bull by the horns, pull myself up the bootstraps, etc. etc. and use this as an opportunity to resurrect it.

I aim to include in my posts, some highlights of what I have been up to since the start of the year, plus what is happening day to day with regard to both my sewing and daily life. 

So what happened on Day 1

It was a lovely sunny day today here in South Oxfordshire. The aim was to go out for a family walk at some point, but as the paddling pool was dug out of the deep dark recesses of the garage, that didn't happen!

So in the end, as dinner was being cooked by Mr D, Little Miss H and I grabbed our bikes and headed out. We cycled a leisurely 4.5k which is not a bad start to the month!

See you all tomorrow