Tag Archives: ParkLives

Back on it – a weekly round-up

16 Jun

Hello again! I feel like I’m finally getting back on top of things, so here’s a round-up of my week…

Saturday – Volunteering at parkrun

For the second week in a row, I was a volunteer at parkrun – this time as a Run Director.

Southampton parkrun 10 June 17

Because of building works, we’re currently on an alternative route at Southampton parkrun that starts near to The Cowherds pub. I quite like Run Directing with this start as there’s a bench for me to stand on. There was also some excitement as our long-awaited PA system has now arrived, so I now longer need to rely on my teacher’s voice projection!

RDing at parkrun

That’s what 767 runners looks like © John Grant

 

Sunday – Southampton Tri Club event

On Saturday afternoon, Stu and I finished sorting out our bike trailer, so that M is able to go out cycling with us. I recently traded in my beautiful Fiat 500 for a Citroen Berlingo that we affectionately refer to as ‘the mum bus’. It’s not a beautiful car, but it’s comfortable and there’s plenty of room for bikes and more. Stu reconfigured the car to fit all of our kit in, but we learnt the hard way on saturday night that Baby M is allergic to peanuts. This meant that we didn’t manage to join Tri Club friends for a social bike ride on Sunday morning. We could have joined in with the run, but were shattered after a long night.

STC BBQ

©Darryl Marcus-Hanks

Stu took part in a sea swim, whilst I sun-bathed and played with M on the beach. We then had a lovely barbeque. Southampton Tri Club is such a friendly club and this was a great opportunity to meet some of the new members. After a few burgers, I went off for a walk by the beach huts.

Calshot beach huts

 

Monday – swimming

The Quays

I finally got myself back to the pool on Monday night. I think swimming will always be the hardest part of a triathlon for me. I prefer open water swimming, but it’s hard to get to the lake and reasonably expensive, so I need to make sure that I attend tri club sessions at the pool.

It was the first time I’ve swum since I got me new watch, so it was interesting to see what data it would show me. We did quite a few 100m sets, including some with fins. Coach Steve called me over and explained that he had identified the problem with my front crawl – apparently my stroke looks like a bear crawling along and it’s basically my strength that gets me through as my technique is awful. Steve had a new torture device swim aid that he got me to try – a Finis Forearm Fulcrum Positioner that “holds the hand, wrist and elbow to position the forearm optimally”. It definitely felt different, but I still don’t think that I can visualise what correct technique should be – it doesn’t come naturally to me!

I positioned myself at the back of the lane for the swim as I’ve not been swimming for a while, which meant that I didn’t feel too much pressure. We covered just over a mile in the session, which was enough for me!

 

Tuesday – Run with Sarah

At lunchtime I went for a run with my work colleague and friend, Sarah. It was quite warm, but we were out for nearly an hour. I had M in her buggy and that combined with the humidity and my asthma/hay fever made for a challenging run. Sarah and I kept the pace slow so that we were able to have a much-needed chat. I love running for keeping me fit, but I also love it because it really helps to keep me sane. Some people might swear by a glass of wine at the end of a hard week, for me nothing beats a chatty run with a friend 🙂

 

Wednesday – Buggy Mums and Mile of Miles

On Wednesday, I went to Buggy Mums, which is one of the highlights of my week. It was a hot and sunny day, so we did a mix of intervals and exercises in the shade. It was lovely to see some mums that I know from elsewhere (Sing and Sign and my running club). Unfortunately, I didn’t get to participate as much as I had hoped to as M wasn’t in her happiest mood and my hay fever was playing up.

On Wednesday evening, Stu, M and I walked down to the Sports centre to take part in Mile of Miles, which is a 10 x 1 mile track relay. Southampton Tri Club had two teams: a fast team and a fun team. Stu was originally on the fast team, but he’s been under the weather, so switched to the slower team. I was on leg 8 and Stu was leg 9. I did a brief warm up, but my hay fever and asthma were making breathing difficult, so I knew that I would find it hard. I also struggle to pace myself on the track and the relay format meant that I wasn’t running alongside others, which usually helps to push me.

My final time was 7:29 which is quite a lot slower than my recent PB of 7:10. I had thought about doing the Lordshill Magic Mile on Tuesday evening, but decided against it as I wanted to save my legs… however on Tuesday I was feeling well and on Wednesday I was shattered. Hopefully, I’ll feel better by the next mile event as I would love to achieve 6:59. My splits were all over the place: 1:41; 1:59; 1:55; 1:54!

Tamsyn at the track

© Di Mattingly

Tamsyn at the track

© Di Mattingly

Tamsyn at the track

©Paul A. Hammond

Tamsyn at Mile of Miles

©Paul A. Hammond

Tamsyn at Mile of Miles

©Paul A. Hammond

Tamsyn on the track

© Paul A. Hammond

Tamsyn running on the track

© Paul A. Hammond

Tamsyn at Mile of Miles

©Paul A. Hammond

Tamsyn at MoM

©Paul A. Hammond

Tamsyn on the track

© Paul A. Hammond

Tamsyn at Mile of Miles

©Paul A. Hammond

Tamsyn at Mile of Miles

©Paul A. Hammond

Tamsyn on the track

© Paul A. Hammond

Tamsyn running on the track

©Paul A. Hammond

STC at Mile of Miles

©Paul A. Hammond

Tamsyn at Mile of Miles

©Paul A. Hammond

Tamsyn running at Mile of Miles

©Lois Elliott

Tamsyn running at Mile of Miles

©Lois Elliott

Tamsyn running at Mile of Miles

©Lois Elliott

Tamsyn running at Mile of Miles

©Lois Elliott

A rare pic of me with my baby © Paul A. Hammond

STC at Mile of Miles

Thursday – run at Weston Shore

I drove to Weston Shore early on Thursday as I was keen to be there ready for Buggy Mums. I had a bit of time to answer some emails when I arrived, before going over and chatting to friends. After a short while, one of them looked on Facebook and saw a message saying that the class had been cancelled 😦 All was not lost as one of the others agreed to go running with me. We did an out and back – one direction was easy, but the other was into a headwind. I did just over 4.5km, but couldn’t motivate myself to make up the extra distance with the wind!

Sadly, I’ve heard that there won’t be any more sessions at Weston Shore… however, they will be replaced with sessions at Riverside Park, which is a bit closer to home.

 

So that’s my round-up of this week. Southampton parkrun is cancelled tomorrow, so I’m looking forward to going to Lee on Solent parkrun. My friend, Sarah, lives nearest to that parkrun, so hopefully I’ll get to run with her. Also, I’m going to meet up with a few Hampshire-based running and tri bloggers, which should be fun. Then I’ve got some really exciting events planned for next week, including an aquathlon in a stunning setting.

What are you looking forward to next week?

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What I’ve been doing

6 Feb

Busy, busy, busy! I’m still managing to exercise, but it’s so difficult for me to find time to blog, which is very frustrating. I thought I’d do a quick summary of what I’ve been up to recently…

Sunday 22nd January

No running for me today. Stuart, baby M and I headed out into the New Forest to marshal a race in the local cross-country league.

We had been positioned on one of the first marshal points, so we saw the start of the race and were then able to move to another point to watch runners heading towards the finish, before we walked back to the finish.

It was a crisp and cold day and as usual, there were lots of New Forest ponies around.

cc6-marshalling-1

You might not be able to tell from my photograph, but the water below was frozen solid and remained that way all morning.

cc6-marshalling-3cc6-marshalling-2

I feel so lucky to live in such a beautiful area and am looking forward to being able to get back on my bike and cycling in the forest.

Tuesday 24th January

I went for a long run with Pete around Chilworth. We left in daylight, but the sun started to go down as we headed down a very long hill. We paused to look at a beautiful sunset and to take some photos… but I hadn’t dressed adequately (just a t-shirt and shorts), so I quickly started to feel cold.

We ended up running around 10 miles, but it was hard going as my hands were so cold.

Wednesday 25th January

Baby M and I went to Buggy Mums on The Common again. We ran some laps around the model boating lake before heading up to the top ‘field’ part of The Common where we did some paired exercises. As usual, it was a lot of fun.

Thursday 26th January

The following day, I went to Buggy Mums at Weston Shore.

Last week the weather had been beautiful, with warm sunshine and no wind; it was the complete opposite today. Just before leaving the house, I decided to put on a base layer. I was so grateful that I had. I kept on my base layer, long-sleeved top, jacket, Buff and woolly hat for the entire session. Towards the end, I took my gloves off for a short period of time, but not for long!

buggy-mums-collage

I really like the Thursday sessions as they are less busy than the ones on The Common and there are more opportunities to chat to people.

buggy-mums-weston-shore

Saturday 28th January

It was my turn to run on Saturday. I met my friend Teri who is recovering from injury. She has to follow a walk/run strategy. I agreed to join her as I thought it would be nice to do a steadier-paced run… however, Teri is fitter than I am, so he run intervals were quicker than I usually go and the walk breaks were very short, so I barely had time to decelerate before we were off again.

In the end, my time for the run wasn’t much different from my usual result.

Southampton parkrun 28th January

Sunday 29th January

The following day was Sunday Runday – a training run for Southampton half marathon. It was my turn to run, so I was able to choose which group to help. Part of me was tempted to go with the 11 minute mile group, but I know that I need to push myself, so I joined my friends Pete, Kate and Malcolm in the 10 minute mile group.

It’s interesting to refamiliarise myself with the route for the half marathon (as well as learning the new parts). The race is being run in the opposite direction from last year.

Monday 30th January

The following day, I decided to return to Southampton Tri Club for my first swim since having my baby. It was a logistical challenge as Stu swam in the first session from 7-8pm and I swam in the second session from 8-9pm. Stu finished his swim a little early, and then met me outside the changing rooms at 7:55pm. I passed him Baby M in her car seat and my car keys; in return, Stu gave me his car keys.

There were lots of new faces in the swimming session, so Coach Steve had to rearrange the lanes a bit. I was asked to move into Lane 2, but I pointed out that I no longer have any stamina. I swam in Lane 2 just for a bit before Steve rearranged us again and I went back to Lane 1. There’s now quite a lot of disparity in the ability of the swimmers in Lane 1 as some people find it tough to do more than a length or two at a time.

Steve had planned an interesting session that included some core work on the pool side. This was quite challenging, but good fun.

In the end, I did the majority of the session, but I finished nearly 10 minutes early. This was because the pool was so busy that I didn’t want to have to queue for a shower as I needed to get home quickly. The changeover seemed to work well, so I now need to get myself back on track ready to take part in Swimathon. I think I swam around 1600m (1 mile), so I need a lot of training!

Tuesday 31st January

I had originally intended to go for a long run with Pete today, but I had completely forgotten that I had booked onto a cycle maintenance for women course at my local Giant Store, so we rescheduled for Thursday.

I know that some people will think that it’s not necessary to run separate maintenance workshops for men and women, but most of the women who attended seemed to be quite nervous and didn’t want to made to look stupid in front of men.

My friend, Lou, has recently bought a road bike, so she had also booked to come to the event with me. When we arrived, we were divided into three groups, as there were three members of staff, each of whom was running a separate 30 minute workshop.

giant-store

The first workshop was about bike cleaning. This was a simple topic to start with, and didn’t really warrant a 30 minute timeslot. One of the most interesting points was when we were shown the difference between Muc Off and a cheap alternative, which was quite eye-opening:

The second workshop was led by Nigel, the store owner. He was covering dealing with punctures. I’ve fixed punctures in the past and changed an innertube, but I think it’s always good to refresh this knowledge and there’s always something new to be learnt. Nigel showed me some tricks that make it easier to replace an innertube and tyre without using tyre levers. It was easier, but as I have delicate thumbs, I will probably continue to use levers!

Lou raised an interesting question about the need to pump up tyres after filling them with CO2. I hadn’t heard of this before and neither had the others. Later, Lou proved us wrong by sharing the scientific information that she found online!

The third and final workshop was the most technical one of the three as it was on brakes and gears. Whilst I understand the theory of all of this, I’m still nervous to adjust the gears on my own bike. We’ve had a few problems with the brake on M’s running buggy, so I asked a couple of questions and should now be able to fix the problem.

Overall, I think the evening was a great success. The staff were helpful and friendly and each participant was given a goodie bag, including a lanyard, button badges, a New Forest cycling map, some dry lube and a puncture repair kit. Apparently there are plans afoot to run more events in future, which would be really good.

Wednesday 1st February

On Wednesday, I went to Buggy Mums. My mum had come to visit, and I needed to drop her off before the session, so I ended up parking on the opposite side of The Common and had to dash to the start of the session.

We did a warm up on The Flats, so I ended up travelling back towards where I had parked. We then went back to the play area for the main part of the session, which included some pull up and chin up preparation as well as lots of tricep dips and press ups on the benches.

buggy-mums-on-the-common

Thursday 2nd February

I had so much to do and was feeling tired, so decided not to go to Buggy Mums and to save my energy for a long run with Pete.

I ran down to meet Pete on The Common. As I was cold last week, I decided to wear a long pair of tights that I had got out for Buggy Mums, as well as a t-shirt and jacket. I took off my jacket when I met Pete, so it immediately started raining. Fortunately, the shower was over quickly.

Yet again, Pete had planned a lovely route, which took us all around Ocean Village. I think it would be a lovely route to walk in summer, but it was quite windy and the water looked rough.

Part way around, we stopped for Pete to have a ‘comfort break’, which gave me a chance to put my head torch on. I was grateful that I had it on as we got to the east side of Riverside Park. The river was overflowing and all of the paths were covered. Pete and I took an alternative route for part of it, but in the end we just had to go through the water. It was ankle-deep and cold 😦 This meant that we had cold, wet feet for the final part of the run.

We headed up Bassett Green Road, which is a long hill. Pete had intended for us to go all of the way up to the top, but about 3/4 of the way up there is a short cut that leads towards my house. I was starting to get tired, so I suggested we took the short cut.

In the end, we covered about 13 miles. I’m finding the long runs tiring, but am not struggling with DOMS afterwards, which is a good sign.

Saturday 4th February

On Saturday, Stu, Baby and I headed to parkrun with my mum. My mum has never completed a parkrun before, so I agreed to walk it with her. I didn’t want to push her too hard, so we took it very steady:

Southampton parkrun 4th February

I’m now hoping my mum will take part in a parkrun near to her in future.

Well, that’s all of my recent training summarised. In the last few weeks, I’ve also been testing out a variety of products, so I’ll be posting about those this week.

What have you been up to? Are there any events that you’re training for?

Back on track for a spring marathon

20 Jan

Time is passing so quickly these days. There is so much that I want to blog about and never enough time!

I had intended to go to Buggy Mums on Thursday last week, but the weather forecast was very bad. I knew that the venue (Weston Shore) is quite exposed, so I really dithered about whether to go or not – in the end I didn’t go as I thought it wouldn’t be fair on Baby M. I felt disappointed about it, especially as the weather wasn’t nearly as bad as predicted in the end.

On Saturday, I went to parkrun. I was feeling ready to push hard and as I wasn’t running with anyone, I knew I wouldn’t be chatting much. Unfortunately, I had forgotten my Garmin and as Stu was planning to walk, he hadn’t bothered to bring his. I tried hard and thought I had finished in quite a good time. I asked the people who were immediately behind me in the queue what their times were – one said 27:37 and the other said 28:02, so I felt confident that I had got another sub 28 minute parkrun time. In the end my official result was 28:08. I was a little disappointed, but with 916 runners, the timekeepers have a very hard job.

parkrun 14th January 2017

I was 103/349 females and 17/53 in my age category.

As I ran on Saturday, it was my turn to walk on Sunday. On alternating weeks, Stu and I help to lead sessions for Sunday Runday in conjunction with ABP Southampton Half Marathon.

There’s a great group of leaders, most of whom have helped out for the previous two years

Sunday Runday Run Leaders

© Rees Leisure

Sunday Runday Run Leaders cheering

© Rees Leisure

The schedule for the slowest group was 4 miles at a 12-13 minute mile pace. I was confident that I could walk that quickly, but if not, I knew that I could get myself back

Speed walking

© Rees Leisure

Sunday Runday tail runners

© Rees Leisure

I really enjoyed my speedwalk and also liked getting to meet new people, including Sarah who blogs at Effing and Jeffing to the Stones. Thanks to Sarah for taking a great selfie of some of our group.

Sarah's Sunday Runday selfie

In the evening, I went out for another training session with Lou and Mel. They’re doing Couch to 5k over 12 months instead of 12 weeks to guard against injuries (they’re spending a month on each weekly schedule). I took baby M with me. The Couch to 5k programme consists of short intervals with walk breaks. I couldn’t quite keep up with the others when they were running, but maintained my pace during the walk breaks, so that I started each interval with them. We did just over 4.5km in the dark.

Speedwalking with Lou and Mel

Monday was an easy day with just a 3 mile walk to a mother and baby group (and 3 miles back).

Buggy walking on the Common

On Tuesday, Stuart came home from work early so that I was able to go out for a long run. Unfortunately, I had lost track of time at a friend’s house and had to rush home and change really quickly. I then had to run down the The Common (a couple of miles away) to meet up with my friend, Pete. He’s very kindly agreed to do long training runs with me for Southampton marathon, even though he’s a much better runner than I am.

I wasn’t sure what to wear as I knew it would get dark whilst I was out and it also seemed quite chilly. In the end I went for a t-shirt and shorts with my new Sport Art calf sleeves and a headband. I also wrapped my head torch around my wrist as I didn’t want to start my run with it on my head.

SportArt compression calf sleeves

SportArt compression calf sleeves

Pete had planned a lovely run that took us around much of Southampton, including a lovely waterside path that I’ve never been on before. It’s not easy planning a long run route that doesn’t include a lot of the Southampton marathon route, so Pete did a great job.

We had a couple of minor pauses for clothing adjustments and road crossings, but I only walked once. There is a very steep section by Woodmill that is only about 50m long. I knew that if I walked that section, I would have enough energy to run the rest of the route.

First post-baby long run

First post baby long run Garmin shot

It wasn’t quite 10 miles (nor was it quite 90 minutes), but I don’t think my pace was too bad for my first run of that distance since June 1st!

It was back to Buggy Mums on The Common on Wednesday. It was a mild day, so there was another large group of about 22 people.

Buggy Mums on The Common

We did a variety of exercises using exercise balls and resistance bands.

Exercise balls and resistance bands

Yet again, we were able to work to our own ability. I was surprised that I wasn’t stiff after my long run the night before.

The following day, I got myself organised to go straight to Weston Shore for another Buggy Mums class. I wasn’t sure where the group met, so I arrived early. I had plenty of time to stroll along the waterfront, which was just as well as I had parked at the opposite end of the park from where everyone met.

Walking along Weston Shore Beautiful Weston Shore Wrapped up at the start

I’d had to scrape ice off my car before I left home, so I’d layered up… it was a pleasant surprise that the sun was out and it was quite a few degrees warmer than my home on the other side of the water.

Sunshine on Weston Shore

The group on Thursday was much smaller than the previous day. There were just 8 of us. We did a warm up along the front and then a variety of bodyweight exercises using the low wall, including tricep dips and press ups. We also did some step ups and mountain climbers.

Further down the path we did a circuit session with some squat jumps, jumping jacks, and inchworms before heading off again to the ‘beach’. I was dreading going onto the shingle as I always manage to get pebbles in my shoes. This week I got a pebble in my slippers. I was indoors. They are boots. How?!

We did a variety of intervals on the shingle, including a number of reps going backwards. Then we did some core work lying on a smooth part of the path.

I particularly enjoyed this class as the sun was out and I had a chance to chat to a couple of the others.

Afterwards, I enjoyed a steady stroll back through the park.

A lovely bench by Weston Shore Baby M in the sunshine at Weston Shore Happy selfie at Weston Shore

Tomorrow is another parkrun day before marshalling a cross-country race on Sunday.

What have you got planned for this weekend?

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Training with my baby

11 Jan

ParkLives logo

Today I went to my first ever Buggy Mums session. I’ve been looking forward to it ever since I learnt about its existence in November. It’s run by ParkLives, which is an initiative by CocaCola to bring free sports activities to city parks across the UK. It fantastic that I can exercise with M (instead of leaving her at home with Stu as that’s only an option outside of his working hours) and even better that it costs nothing!

I was a little nervous about attending the group – not because I thought it would be too strenuous, but because I find it difficult meeting groups of people that I don’t know.

I arrived a minute or two before the class started, so I was able to hear the instructor’s introduction. Our warm up was a brisk walk (or jog) to another area of The Common, followed by some side steps and more walking.

We made use of a gravel path on The Common and were asked to line up opposite a partner. Quite a few of the others seemed to know each other, but I just lined up opposite someone else who seemed on her own. We parked the babies and were asked to run up and down weaving through the buggies, which is harder and more tiring than it sounds. It was then onto a circuits session. The instructor was fun and friendly and very good at giving variations of exercises for people who needed gentler or more challenging versions.

It was breezy on The Common, so some of the babies woke up and started crying, but M was quite cosy in her snowsuit. She woke up and looked around for me, but after I pushed her buggy backwards and forwards a bit she fell asleep again.

After 40 minutes of circuits, we headed back towards the paddling pool where we initially met.

Stretching at the end of Buggy Mums

Stretching at the end of Buggy Mums © Christine Saunders

When we got there we did some stretching and I had the chance to talk to the mother who had been opposite me. I had hoped that people might stop for a drink at The Cowherds of The Hawthorns, but everyone seemed to rush off very quickly.

I’ve signed up for another Buggy Mums class in a different location tomorrow, but as stormy weather (including snow) has been forecast, I might not attend. Previously, it wouldn’t have bothered me too much, but I don’t want M to be cold and miserable. I’ve also signed up for both classes until the end of February as I enjoyed it so much.


I also want to say ‘thank you’ to Stephanie Nicoll who shared one of my old blogposts on the Women for Tri Facebook group. As a consequence, my blog has had more hits in a single day than ever before!

WfT facebook group

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Up and… walking

24 Nov

It’s been a while since I posted, and for good reason:

Morgelyn

Unfortunately, things didn’t go quite to plan, so my baby was born nearly two weeks late via emergency caesarean. She’s thriving, but I’ve had some ups and downs and was readmitted to hospital. Hopefully, that’s behind us now and we can start moving forward.

ParkLives logo

I’m not allowed to run, swim, cycle or drive until 6 weeks after M’s birth, so no sports until 10th December 😦 However, this does mean that I have time to do some planning. I’ve signed up for ParkLives which offers free outdoor fitness classes in a number of parks across the UK. I’ve chosen to sign up for ‘Buggy Mums’ which takes place at 11:30am on Tuesdays on Southampton Common and 11:30am on Wednesdays at Weston Shore. I’m not sure whether the classes are exactly what I want to do, but they are free and are somewhere that I can meet other mums:

“Buggyfit fitness classes for mums and children are an hour long, and usually involve a 3 mile route in total. Classes start with a moderate warm up walk, moving into a power walk or run to raise our heart rates. Each session includes group exercises specifically to the individual selected to strengthen particular muscle groups, and enable us to cope with the demands of motherhood. We finish off with a cool down and stretch.”

A week after M was born, we went to our first parkrun, but we didn’t take part, we just watched and cheered others on. The following weekend, we missed out on parkrun as everyone in our house needed a lie in, so last Saturday, we finally got to take part in our first parkrun together.

When choosing a buggy, Stuart and I opted for an Out N About Nipper Sport. It is primarily a running buggy, and although it is not possible to run with a baby under 6 months old (or before they have enough strength to support their own head), this buggy can be used to transport babies from birth.

Out N About Nipper Sport

It is quite a large pushchair, but it is light and suprisingly manoeuvrable. Possibly the only downside is that it is forward facing, so I can’t easily see my baby whilst exercising.

My view when walking with my buggy

I agreed that Stuart would complete parkrun at his own pace and I would walk it. I knew that this would mean that he would complete the run and be able to join me for my second loop.

It was difficult to know what to wear for this parkrun. I usually run in shorts all year around, so I thought I would be OK wearing leggings, however, it was really cold, so I ended up layering up with tracksuit trousers, a hoodie and a running jacket. I also added a beanie and gloves for good measure… this turned out to be too much, so I had to remove several items of clothing whilst walking.

This was also the first chance that I had to try out my new trainers. Millet Sports sent me a pair of Hoka One One Bondi 4 to try out. Although I can’t run, I thought I could at least find out how comfortable they were by wearing them for walking in. So far, I’m very pleased with them – I’ll post a full review later when I’ve been able to run in them.

Hoka One One Bondi 4

For much of the parkrun, I was with the tail runner, who was surprised by how quickly I could walk. However, there were times when I managed to pass other people, who were able to overtake me on the downhills (as they were able to run and I’m not allowed to).

Stuart ran past me on his second loop and I saw him in the finish funnel as I passed it. He was then able to join us for the second loop. In the last 20m of the event, I was passed by some other participants, so I was the final finisher, however my time wasn’t too bad. My aim is to do the next event in 45 minutes, if possible.

Morgelyn's first parkrun

Morgelyn’s first parkrun

My Decathlon 5k race number

The following day, I took part in the Decathlon Running Series 5k on Southampton Common. Stuart was able to run it, and I persuaded my mum to walk it with me. My mum doesn’t usually walk a lot, so I thought it would be a good challenge for her.

Decathlon 5k route

Decathlon 5k route

The start of the Decathlon 5k

The start of the Decathlon 5k

My mum and I were comfortably ahead of another family with a baby when the tail cyclist joined us. Apparently, the other family had decided to take a short cut. We pressed on and thought the marshals were really good and supportive. As we got within 500m of the finish, the other family had rejoined the route, so I urged my mum to walk a bit faster so that we would not finish last… we just about managed it!

Sandra after Decathlon 5k

This was a good free event. Each participant received a free t-shirt (yellow for men and pink for women). The sizing was a little skimpy, but they were OK. Also, after the event we were able to claim free drawstring goodie bags containing a bottle of water, a pineapple drink, a chocolate cereal bar, a sticker, a catalogue and a lanyard.

Decathlon 5k goodie bag

I had thought that it would be fun to do some parkruns at Christmas and New Year in Cornwall with my family, but the nearest parkrun (Penrose) is not doing any additional festive events. Hopefully, we’ll get to run on Christmas Eve and/or New Year’s Eve. I’m hoping I’ll be able to persuade my mum to join us for a walk.

I had hoped to sign up M for baby swimming classes, but I’m not allowed in the water until December and the times that are available are not convenient for Stuart, so I guess we’ll have to wait until 2017. I’m confident that even if M doesn’t get to the classes, she’ll learn to swim before adulthood!

I’ve also started planning my cycling adventures for 2017, but I’ll need a road bike, so Stu and I have paid another visit to Vankru. I’d really like a Tifosi bike, but the colour scheme that I admired at the Cycle Show isn’t available on the website, so I’m considering a Canyon.

What have you been up to whilst I’ve been off-line? Do you have any tips for exercising with a new baby?