Friday, 18 January 2013

Run Forrest Run!

I love that film! I haven't seen it ages but absolutely feeling the need to watch it again now.

Well, as one door closes another opens, or so the saying goes. I finally closed the metaphorical door on my mentorship assignment yesterday evening and handed my practice assessment document in at the university today, drawing a big happy line under the chapter of my life in which i spent many evenings staring blankly at a jumble of words and journal articles.

Now it's officially time to open the next door and step into a new chapter in which i shall be braving wind and rain (and apparently, SNOW!) in order to begin training for the Bupa Great Manchester Run.

Yes, today of all days was the date i'd set to begin my training. It snowed overnight here in Manchester so there was a dusting on the ground already first thing this morning and then it's snowed pretty steadily from around 8am throughout the day. I figured it would be a really bad start if i jibbed on my very 1st day of training though so off i went...

Yes, that's me, in actual sportswear! I decided if i was going to have to wear sports clothing then i was going to do it my way- hence the ironic top ;) i also deliberately chose lots of purple and black and avoided anything shiny or alternatively velour, neither of which are a good look for me- although come to think of it the velour might have been handy for staying warm in the snow?!

I'm using the "Couch to 5K" program available through NHS Choices-

It's basically a series of podcasts that you download and listen to and the idea is that you start slowly and build up across 9 weeks to being able to run 5k.  All you need is something to listen to the podcasts on, like a phone or mp3 player, and a pair of running trainers. And you have to commit to the idea of running 3 times a week for half an hour for the 9 weeks.

The first week starts with a 5 minute brisk walk to warm up and then bursts of 60 seconds of running followed by 90 seconds of walking. That section is 20 minutes long and then there's another 5 minute brisk walk at the end to cool down.

My plan had been to 'brisk walk' to the park and then arrive just in time to start the running, do the running around the actual park and then walk home but it turns out- it doesn't take 5 minutes to get to our local park. Well it might if you were pushing a buggy and walking at toddler speed carrying everything but the kitchen sink with you...but brisk walking all by yourself? Not so much! So i had got walked all the way through it to the other side when she commanded i start running but actually it was a good job as i'd begun to panic a bit about the snow. The pavements outside the park were pretty clear but inside they were pretty slippery, i'd even switched to walking on the grass at one point but that was almost as bad. Thankfully the road on the other side of the park is long straight and clear of snow most of the way down it so i ran up and down there mostly before circling the park to head home during the cool down.

I actually felt ok when i was doing it. I'd expected to feel like a bit of a knob to be frank, but that only lasted about 30 seconds, after which i was too busy concentrating on running and not falling and breathing! A random guy did full on laugh at me but that was before i'd even started running so i like to think he was just appreciating the humour on my jacket! I was also followed around the block by some lads in a transit van which was perturbing at first but then they pulled over outside the chippy for a spot of stodge for lunch which made me laugh and nearly gave me a stitch.

Physically i was breathless but i didn't feel too bad until i got back into the house which was boiling with the heating on, and at that point i felt a bit like i was dying so had a glass of water and a banana ( as instructed by the helpful podcast lady) after which i felt much better. Talk about feeling the burn though- my legs are killing me this evening and my hips, which have possibly still not recovered from the PGP i had when pregnant with Rudy.

I did also do a fair bit of walking today though too so it has been somewhat of an onslaught for them!

Because of the snow we decided to collect Toby from nursery early and head to the park with the sledge i bought this morning for him and Rudy. There wasn't really enough snow on the grass for "proper" sledging but it was enough for "toddler/pre-schooler first ever sledging experience sledging!"

Some of those photos make it look like we were sledging in the middle of the night but i assure you it was only teatime!

We had a brilliant time, neither of them wanted to leave when we said it was time to come home so there was a bit of sulking (Toby) and wailing (Rudy) but they seemed to appreciate being back in the warmth once we actually got back, and decided to sledge up and down the living room instead.

Now they're both in bed and i'm sitting and i intend to stay sitting for some time, to give my poor legs chance to recouperate from the day's activities!

Oh and just in case anyone is thinking "Why?! Why are you subjecting yourself to this pain and humiliation?!" and missed my earlier post explaining why, here's the low-down:

A. I'm mad

2. I fancied channeling my madness into something new and positive.  This is the first year in a good many that i haven't actually been pregnant, or have just given birth, or making plans to be pregnant or anything of that sort so i felt like doing something totally different that i'd never normally do.

And finally...

C. I am hoping to raise money for two very special children- Findlay and Iona who have a website-

and a Facebook page-

and if anyone feels so inclined, having seen actual photographic evidence of me in a tracksuit, then they can donate here-

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