Rain, hills and more rain

Picture the scene, a bank holiday weekend in August, no children for over 24 hours and a lot of rain, the old me would have enjoyed more gin last night when we went out and would have still been asleep at 11am!! But no, since I hadn’t run my second event in August and I’m not going to give up on my challenge instead we were eating porridge at 9am and venturing out into the pouring rain. The Englefield 10km is thankfully only down the road but I had forgotten how hilly the estate was!!

I had entered Andy to run with me as I didn’t really want to do it on my own!! It was absolutely pouring with rain so we were soaked before we even started! It was super hilly, very uneven underfoot and hard work so I am extremely happy to report I managed a time of 1hr 3mins. I do have Andy to thank for keeping me going. So that’s event 12 completed. 12/20.

I was more nervous about today as I haven’t really managed to run since the 10km at the beginning of August. I developed a horrendous headache which just got worse and worse and appears to have been caused by my blood pressure medication so I’ve currently come off that before I see my consultant to work out where we go from here. In addition it’s been a long month with the children. Phoebe appears to have hit the terrible twos early, demanding certain clothes in the morning and learning how to have a temper tantrum in the street are all things she seems to have perfected in the last few weeks!

I’ve got to admit I’m actually looking forward to starting work in September!! I’m not sure many teachers will say they are happy about the start of term! Phoebe has had two nursery visits and seems to love it, she has one more this week where she stays for longer and I think she will be just fine.

In addition I’ve been doing slimming world since the beginning of August, properly, actually being weighed in a group on a Saturday morning! I’ve lost 11lbs so I’m very pleased.

I could have easily stayed in the warm and dry this morning, trust me part of me wanted to but then I remembered why I’m doing this challenge, I’m doing it to raise money for ICP Support, in the last week I’ve helped two local women who have been diagnosed and it brings it all back to me, the fear, the itch, the battle to be heard. It’s not what anyone wants but particularly when you are pregnant. When I hear that there are midwives locally who have no idea about the condition, doctors in units that just brush it off it makes me so angry and even more determined to work hard with the charity so we can raise awareness, fund more research and ensure that every little itch is born safely and that women automatically have access in all hospitals to the correct information and to professionals that instil confidence at this scary time.

Please if you can have a look at my page and if you can donate to this worth cause. It means so much and you just don’t know who may need the help if ICP Support.

Thank you

https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/jennyhastings3

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How did I get to 11?

As I sit down to update my blog I am shocked to realise I clearly wrote nothing in July, events 9&10 passed with no posts. Apologies to anyone who is actually following this properly. Well here goes….

I did indeed complete event 9 and 10 in July, the first being the Thames 10km at Beale Park, it was awful, the heat was stifling and I struggled but managed it because I’m stubborn! George then finished school for the summer. July 6th and I had 9 weeks ahead of me!! Also how had my boy finished reception class, what a year it has been, many ups and downs. Holidays are always a struggle for George as the normal routines go out the window and he has to adapt to the many changes. We knew it wouldn’t be easy but the first couple of weeks were harder than we thought. Event no 10 was the third in the Dinton Series and I had the privilege of running with my amazing friend Alice as she completed her first running event, I was so proud and it was a fantastic achievement. Also I was excited to have reached half way, I’m not sure when I decided on this challenge back in March I realised just how difficult it would be but I am determined to finish and try and raise what I can for ICP Support.

A week in Cornwall with beautiful weather meant I didn’t manage to run, just over indulge in food and alcohol!! We then headed straight to France where we were incredibly lucky to be staying in our friends chalet, it was a wonderful week but again no running!!

Fast forward to Thursday 9th August and event 11! It wasn’t your typical Thursday, I had answered an ad a while ago about vintage prams, basically my mum had one she used with Andrew and myself and I had made her keep to use with my children, seems these are becoming fashionable and so we are going to appear in the Daily Mail!! It meant we had hair and make up done Thursday before a photo shoot at the house with myself mum and Phoebe!!! Really what I wanted to do Thursday night was go out with Andy for dinner, instead I put on my running vest and headed to Dinton.

I was petrified, I hadn’t run for a month and hadn’t completed 10km for over a month!!! But I wanted that medal as the four of the series create one!! Plus anyone who knows me knows once I set myself a challenge I don’t give up!!! My gorgeous friend Alice knew I was worried so came along to support me as did Dad, Andrew and Millie. The support was immense and I couldn’t have done it without them. It was tough, it poured with rain in the first ten mins so I was soaked and got a blister early on!! But thanks to a lovely running friend who I met at the first of this series we ran together and finished together. Event 11 complete.

In other news my medication has been doubled as they cannot increase my blood pressure enough so I’m eating lots of salt too!! Phoebe potty trained herself while we were away!! However she has become a very headstrong pickle. My mum just appears to sit back and laugh muttering the words I can’t think where she gets it from 🙈 George is doing much better and enjoying the holidays now and I’ve escaped to Cornwall with my bestie and the children for a few days. I joined slimming world properly and on my first weigh in today I lost 3lbs. I need to book event 12 and I also need to start training again properly! I also took my dad to the Athletics World Cup in London, I upgraded our tickets to include hospitality and it was the best evening, what a way to watch the Athletics and so wonderful to be able to enjoy it with my dad who has devoted his life to the sport.

I am currently helping to organise a particularly exciting event for ICP Support, more details to follow. Don’t forget if you would like to sponsor me literally every bit helps, as a small charity which helps people all over the world we rely so much on our fundraisers and I’m just pleased I can do my bit.

https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/jennyhastings3

Panic over and event 8!

What a month it has been, I don’t think either Andy or I had realised how we had been feeling and how worried we had been since the consultant said I needed a pacemaker within a month!! Let alone the disruption with being unable to drive and living in the middle of nowhere! Fast forward a month and I was referred to a consultant in London as Reading really didn’t know what to do!!

On Wednesday I met Dr Lim, amazing guy and incredibly specialised which was what we needed, the best news ever, I don’t need pacing!! It appears I have ridiculously low blood pressure, he took it three times as even he couldn’t believe it (and that was after two days on medication) but that’s what’s causing all the problems! So the answer, medication and eat more salt!! This is a foreign concept for me, having taught for years how to reduce salt content in the diet etc I rarely use it and I certainly don’t add it at the table!! Now I have to consume at least 10g a day Including 5g in a shot in the morning, two days on and it’s definitely the most vile thing ever!! But it’s not surgery, it’s not a pacemaker and it’s not something that will mean a change in lifestyle so I couldn’t be happier and I’m so relieved. I skipped out of the appointment on Wednesday feeling like a different person. I would lie if I said it hadn’t got to me the last month, not only not being able to drive but also the worry and fear of what I may need. Andy has been amazing, I couldn’t have got through it without him and family and friends (you know who you are) have also been by my side the whole way and physically helping by driving me everywhere!!!!

So now no excuse not to finish this challenge!! Running has taken a bit of a back seat as I’ve also had a hip injury but hoping I’m sorting that as the next two Thursdays I have my July events which are supposed to be 10kms!!! In this heat too!!

I’m looking forward to a weekend with my amazing family as the last three I’ve been away from the children at weddings and an event. Phoebe though is being a little pickle, stroppy and demanding (andy says he can’t think where she gets it from)

George had his school report today and we are so proud of his achievements this year, every day at school is a challenge for him yet he works so extremely hard and has progressed so well. Fingers crossed for a smooth transition into Year 1. Again we are so lucky with his staff, classmates and their parents, we feel so supported and the parents particularly are amazing with George. I can’t believe my baby finishes reception next Friday.

Last Saturday I travelled to Bath to not only catch up with a very good friend but to also complete event 8, an obstacle colour run, it was so hot but absolutely brilliant fun and we had a great time.

So 8 down and 12 to go, thank you so much to those who have sponsored me already, it means so much and is massively appreciated, makes this crazy challenge even more worth it and keeps me going!

Here’s to a hot and happy weekend

A 5km Pb and a Pacemaker

Well I’ve learnt tonight that you can lose a lot of fitness in a month!! But what a month it has been. Our half term was a bit crazy, we went away and poor George struggled so much, sensory overload and a fear of Phoebe walking made for a very stressed little boy whose fight or flight mode was definitely fight. He was also poorly towards the end of the week which is very unlike him and again anything like that knocks him off big time, a haircut really was the final straw on the Sunday to send our gorgeous man into an epic nightmare. Going back to school was the most challenging it’s ever been and I was heartbroken to hear he had four horrendous days, thank goodness the Friday which saw us going in for a teddy bears picnic with Phoebe saw our beautiful boy return to his usual self and we ended the week on a positive. Two weeks of a over stimulated, fighting, anxious, intense George makes for a very exhausted mummy and daddy.

Phoebe has mastered walking since my last blog post which means she is now into everything and has completely mastered the stamping her feet in temper 🙈 independent is one word for her, stubborn is another!! She now chases George around the house and giggles as she goes. Quite cute really.

Finally me, since having the heart monitor implanted all was going well, then the week before half term I had three “episodes” a phone call from the hospital on the Friday evening informed me that my heart rate had dropped to 26 bpm in the events and that’s incredibly low!!! They straight away said I couldn’t drive and they would be back in touch. Half term was no problem not driving but when we arrived home I realised our village has no bus and we live in the middle of nowhere!!! It has been a challenging two weeks, my mum and Dad and friends have been amazing and like a personal taxi service, I am so incredibly lucky but it’s so infuriating. I heard from my consultant this week and seems a pacemaker is the option, I went from relief because it means I can drive a week later to when it’s sunk in a little bit of shock and worry. It’s my heart, it’s quite a vital part of me and it’s not doing it’s job properly! I associated pacemakers with older people but there are so many young people with them, seemingly the only issues will be airport security and our Induction hob (which we don’t like anyway 🤣) the recovery process is long in my eyes, no lifting for four weeks, try telling Phoebe that!! I’m going to have to be careful though and do as I’m told for once!!

However even still I managed to do my seventh event tonight, the second summer event at Dinton, I did the 5km tonight and it was hard work!!! I cracked 30mins though so I’m happy. 7/20 done, I may have to walk a couple due to the impending operation but I won’t be beaten!

My next event is next weekend, a colour run in Bath and I can’t wait.

Don’t forget not only am I doing these events because I’m quite enjoying them I’m also doing it to raise awareness and much needed funds for ICP Support, the charity which ensured I have to healthy gorgeous children.

Here is the link to my fundraising page.

https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/jennyhastings3

A bank holiday and the Birmingham 10km

When I started this challenge back in March I didn’t really think it through properly, the Reading half had just been cancelled because of snow, I like the cold, I like running in the cold, I’m not great in the heat and well as for running in it that’s a whole different story! The Southampton half was hot but today was even hotter. Thankfully it was 10km and not a half marathon but it was a much later start of 11am!!

We travelled up to my in laws in Kenilworth yesterday which is always a nice break away. George is super relaxed here and after the most horrendous week both at school and at home we needed a comfortable George. We cannot work out what happened this week because usually if we have a hard week at home he has had a good week at school but he struggled in both places and we have had several large meltdowns and lots of tears from all of us! It was a risk going away for the weekend as it’s another change etc and Andy and I were both apprehensive but thankfully he is being brilliant.

A lovely walk into Kenilworth yesterday with the promise of an ice cream started the bank holiday weekend well. Feeling the heat as we walked I just kept thinking forward to today and running in it!!!

This morning came and I ate my porridge bar (I detest porridge so when Quaker bought out a bar with the promise of as many oats I jumped at it) I got the train into Birmingham and I was already hot!!! I met up with Jenny and Ian, for those of you who don’t know Jenny is the founder and CEO of ICP Support and one of the the most inspirational women I have ever met not to mention hard working. She is also on the same wave length as me and therefore we hit it off and have become great friends. Ian was running today so we walked towards the start. I was actually really nervous again! I wasn’t chasing a Pb I just wanted to get round as it was just crazy hot. We set off and I really struggled with the first few km, I had stupidly left my running belt in my bag and so had to carry my phone and it’s sounds crazy but it really affects my running and it’s not good, lesson learnt!! I managed to get into a pace and settled into a speed I was happy with. The children with water pistols were amazing and the showers at about 6.5km were even better as it was tough, the heat was intense and we were running towards the midday sun. The atmosphere and support was fantastic and helped enormously today to get me through. But who on earth puts a flippen great Hill from 9-10km! Jen was on the home stretch and that helped and then a women who came up beside me could see I was flagging so ran with me the last 400m, she was amazing, her speed was super fast but she stayed with me, she could have gone quicker but she didn’t and I am so thankful to her as she helped me get in under the hour. That’s one thing I have to say runners are the kindest, most polite and friendly bunch of people you will ever meet I’ve decided.

Train Home and Back to reality, George decided this time because I had a medal I wasn’t rubbish after all!! A lovely walk in the woods this afternoon with the two monsters and a happy and peaceful dinner bath and bed time meant a relaxing dinner with a very well deserved glass of wine.

Currently I’m sat in my FIL amazing massage chair which I reckon is the answer for the end of every event!! I’ve now completed 5 of my events out of 20, that’s a quarter of the way there, the next is Thursday, didn’t really think the timings through for May!!

Thank you so much for those who have already sponsored me, if you haven’t and would like to then that would be amazing, I’m running to raise awareness but also much needed funds to ensure every little itch is born safely like George and Phoebe

https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/jennyhastings3

Girls, Gin and The Great Escape

It’s been an up and down week really, I seem to have spent a considerable amount of time on the phone to various different people as we have appealed the result for George’s EHCP. For anyone not down with the lingo this is a plan that children with Special needs should have access to and it should be personalised for each child, it works in conjunction with their school so that everyone can work together to ensure they have the best access to education in order to succeed. As you can imagine anything set out and governed by the local council is never going to be a smooth process and after being rejected again for even an assessment we are appealing.

We are very lucky to have the most amazing support network around us of family and friends who are helping us at this time because I can tell you now it’s not easy. Every step of the way there seems to be something else to fight, another battle to have, more forms to fill in and more evidence to provide. Without the support of these people Andy and I would have probably crumbled by now, each day is a challenge anyway when you have a child with Special needs but to have all these obstacles thrown in the way makes it that bit more challenging, but we will get there and we will fight for George no matter what. Anyway sorry I presume you were intrigued by the title of this weeks blog not expecting a story of woe about the week!!

I felt so good after the half marathon, slightly sunburnt but I was able to walk on Monday even up and down stairs and my calf wasn’t in so much pain, my chest however was a different matter! I tried to run on Wednesday and it was so painful that I did a long walk instead. I presume most people who have heart monitors fitted don’t run half marathons 5 days later and I think I would now recommend it is not advisable!!

On to my title, this weekend was the hen party of ” one of the eleven” as we are affectionately known by my family and other friends. Steph was also my house mate for a few years and as we were all so fortunate to have been apart of the surprise proposal it was even more exciting. Starting with a gin masterclass is always going to be a winner though I have to admit neat gin is not my preferred way to consume the spirit!! Trying a variety of gins both neat and with tonic and additions was so much fun, I learnt a lot about botanicals and confirmed that I do not like liquorice in drinks! Lunch followed which was probably very well timed to mop up the gin and bubbles which were going down extremely well. It’s also so lovely to get together with the girls and I count myself the luckiest girl in the world to have these 10 by my side. We will celebrate our 25th anniversary next year, how many people can say they have 10 best friends they have known for that long?

We moved, some staggered on to our next activity, an escape room, divided into two teams I was lucky enough to be with the hen and our team entered “imaginarium” a room based around Alice in Wonderland. That is all I will say apart from the fact we escaped with 8mins to spare. So much fun and brilliant to work in a team. The evening saw more bubbles, lots of laughs and fun and games. We all did admit however as it got towards midnight that our stamina for big party nights is certainly lacking now!

Brunch this morning together was the perfect Sunday morning treat and a brilliant way to finish the weekend. Roll on the big day in June. Back Home to reality and my two monsters and Andy. George had the most amazing week at school which has meant a really tricky weekend, this isn’t unusual and Andy found a brilliant video that likened it to a Coke bottle and in school it gets shook up as the day goes on then opens when at home and explodes, poor Andy has had the explosion. I did however manage to get out and run on the treadmill this eve. Wanting to do 10km I started and was so pleased to not be in pain. I ran faster than I have ever run on the treadmill this evening, starting at 10km/hr up to 11.5km/hr for the last two km. Pulling the emergency stop cord half way through wasn’t the smoothest move ever but thankfully I still finished in under an hour and felt fab. Nice way to sweat out the gin!!

It feels odd not to have completed an event this weekend but I am pleased to say I have one next Sunday where I will be part of Team ICP at the Birmingham 10km and I can’t wait.

A Hot and Hilly Half

When you read the description of a half marathon and it’s says undulating, that just means hilly, as I found out yesterday. When the Reading Half was cancelled I decided I couldn’t let my training go to waste and within an hour I had booked Southampton! I didn’t think much of it when it gave that description, I don’t know Southampton very well, well that was until I ran 13miles around it!!

Not only did I sign up for Southampton I set myself this next challenge, two events a month. This half was my second event in April and the 4th so far. I was really lucky to be going with our neighbour and we decided to stay down on the Saturday night to be able to have a little more sleep rather than leaving early Sunday morning. The hotel was lovely and a 5min walk to the start, brilliant, the hail, thunder and lightening before we went to sleep wasn’t so great! Nonetheless I still managed a good few hours though when the alarm went off it was a bit of a shock. I was so nervous going into this one, more so than any others. It may not have been helped by the fact I had my heart monitor fitted Tuesday in hospital and needless to say it’s caused a bit of pain, they said I could still run but I wouldn’t advise it!!

Breakfast consumed and off we went to the start, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the atmosphere in the race village was buzzing. My amazing parents had left Reading at 6am to come and support me which was just fantastic and so much appreciated. Having found them we sorted our bits and set off for the start. There were marathon runners mixed in with us half runners, I got talking to a fellow RMR (Run Mummy Run) member and it’s such a small world she was from Reading and went to Little Heath! Before we knew it the race started. 3mins to get over the start line and then we were off.

Well the hills started from 0.5km and they continued throughout the course, it also got hotter and hotter, I look like a beetroot in seconds anyway so this wasn’t the best temperature for me!!! As for the course who on earth built the Itchen Bridge?? Anyone who knows this particular bridge will know what I mean, it just seemed to go up and up, thank goodness for Jude and John to cheer us on half way along.

I was in quite a lot of pain at the beginning and did worry if this would continue but thankfully it eased after a few miles. I got into my stride and felt much better than I thought I would, we saw mum and Dad again at mile 6 which was so encouraging.

The best bits were the people outside their houses with hose pipes spraying at us and of course those with jelly babies and wine gums! The downside was the heat and the fact the water bottles had tops on! That wasn’t easy to open when running!! Looking at timings I was hoping to come in about 2hr 22 and I could see the end in sight, mum and dad were on the home stretch and I finished in 2hr 21

I was so relieved it was over as the heat was too much, the non alcoholic beer at the end was so welcome and of course the medal! Super happy with my time for this one.

The journey home did consist of an ice pack, chocolate buttons and squashies which was perfect. Time for a shower then Andy suggested walking to the pub to finish off the afternoon which I think was actually a nice warm down!

Pleased to report I can still walk this morning and feel really good. I will confess that even though it was hot and hilly I loved it, it’s such a buzz running in these events and I really enjoy them. Roll on number 5.

I was so pleased to be running in my ICP Support vest as that’s also the reason I’m doing this crazy challenge so if anyone would like to add to my page then please do. Thank you.

https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/jennyhastings3