Rain and Mud

It’s 1.59am and I am currently sat downstairs with a wide awake Phoebe who is having a bad night, could it be the introduction of Soya milk, her cold or just a bad dream, who knows but why not use this time to update you on my latest run!

After a rocky start to the week where I had a few of my “episodes” shall we call them, people sneeze, I can pass out, you know completely normal occurrences! Don’t panic I am under a specialist to try and figure out what on Earth it could be! Anyway after a few of these at the beginning of the week I was feeling like I needed to get out and do something! When I started this challenge I was worrying I wouldn’t fit in something in March so I booked whatever I could find which happened to be Wednesdays event, the fact that in the mean time I had completed a 10km the week before is by the by!!

This was a timed trial again back at Dinton Pastures. 6 hours to run as many laps as you wanted and let’s be honest it was the promise of a chocolate goody bag at the end which really attracted me. I wake up Wednesday morning to find it is pouring with rain and doesn’t look like it will stop any time soon. Knowing how muddy Dinton was the previous week I knew after another few days of rain I was in for an interesting time, I could have decided there and then to not go, I had done my event for this month really! But no, on what can only be described as the wetttest and coldest Wednesday this March I set off at 8am. Even when I was stuck in crazy traffic looking at the rain I still continued. I made it with minutes to spare, said hi to some lovely fellow Reading joggers (I keep up with the group on Facebook but haven’t been for so long because of the timing of training) pinned my number and bar code on and listened to the briefing. I looked around, everyone had waterproofs on, most had trail shoes and some looked like that had more layers than the Michelin man! I had a vest top, thin trousers and my normal trainers assuring someone and myself I get really hot when running!!!

We set off, it was clear a lot of people were there to run the marathon distance and some even more so I felt in awe of these and inspired. The mud was vile, when it splashed in my face after running through a puddle which felt like it came up to my knees I knew it was going to be a hard run. My feet were wet within seconds, I was wet right through within minutes and it was hard. I only had to do one lap (3.3miles) to get a goody bag but there was no way I could do that. I started the second lap, by this point as you had to double back you were constantly meeting people on their next lap running so fast!!! This didn’t put me off as I have learnt that runners are kind, caring and most of all encouraging to fellow runners so words of support were offered by everyone you passed. Lap 2 and I was getting into my stride, may have been the jelly babies at the turn around point that helped! I was soaked and very muddy and anyone who knows me well knows I don’t really do rain or mud or mess but this felt strangely liberating. I had paced myself well to be able to complete a 3rd lap, another couple of jelly babies and I decided I was going to go for the 4th to get the half marathon. I needed to do this psychologically after Reading being cancelled and also having signed up to Southampton half. I was also acutely aware I only had a limited time in the car park!!

I did it, 4 Laps, 13.2 Miles, 2hours 33mins. It wasn’t my fastest half marathon time but in those conditions I was so happy. I was soaked to the bone and I was cold!! I collected my medal and more importantly my chocolate goody bad (Cadbury’s too even better)

I got in the car (so unprepared was I, I only bought a jumper to put on!) the heating on high and the heated seats on. I phoned my mum and dad, those who know my dad well know he is a seasoned runner, cross country, athletics, marathons. When I first started running he helped me so much, he got me round my first half marathon though he still stands by the fact it was the hardest thing he has done running wise as a man who once ran a whole marathon in 2hours 58 had to slow down considerably for me! Nonetheless it was amazing to run with my dad, I know he is proud of everything I do but he gets running and therefore I always felt he may be slightly prouder of that! Dad on the phone sounded super impressed (not a fake impressed) a genuine disbelief I had run in such horrendous conditions but that I had gone on to do a half marathon and not stopped at the 10km which I said was my aim. With all the mud and wet I felt like a proper runner.

I celebrated my run with a couple of Gins with friends Wednesday night, a great recovery remedy. Pre children I would have spent the next day a bit more chilled etc now it was a trip to Legoland on Thursday instead! Kept my legs going I suppose and so I didn’t feel too warm and dry another day of being soaked through!

I’m really enjoying getting back into running, not only is it helping the weight loss it’s giving me some time to be me. Of course I have the best job in the world as mum to George and Phoebe but sometimes being Jen is fab too.

Well that was a long one today. It’s 2.24 and Phoebe is still awake. Andy has taken over so I’m going to get some sleep. Thank you once again for taking the time to read this. I am contemplating a 10km in two weeks April 15th and this time it’s not Laps! I need a change. If not I’m counting down to the Southampton half on the 22nd.

I’m going to enjoy lots of chocolate on Sunday as a day off slimming world and I hope you all have a wonderful Easter break.

If you feel inspired to sponsor me I would greatly appreciate that. Thank you.

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

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One Down…..

This week has been a bit mad, both George and Phoebe have colds, I left a lot of my assignment for my distance learning course until the day before deadline, my poor mum ended up back in hospital with cellulitis and I had to make an Easter bonnet for George’s Easter parade, anyone who knows me knows I’m not arty in the slightest, thank goodness for Pinterest! See the photo for the finished product with help of course from my amazing mummy (before she went back into hospital I may add!)

Finding time to run while juggling the two children is tricky, thankfully I have a very understanding and hands on husband who encourages every run I do and does dinner, bath and bed times on his own at times so I can run. He probably thought that once the half marathon was over that would be it, surely he knows me properly by now!!! Pleased to say he is on board with this challenge, will report back on his enthusiasm in July, 5 months in!

Today saw me take part in the first event! I only signed up in the week thanks to a friend pointing out I had read the date wrong, I say thanks, not sure that’s how I felt when I got up this morning after losing an hours sleep!! Who does that?

I will let you into a little secret, I have completed all my training runs on the treadmill, hours I’ve spent in the garage watching trash on my iPad in order to run and run, I even ran 12miles on it the other week. This meant I was actually really nervous about today, the first run outside since October and this time on my own! Stood at the start line the butterflies were taking over and I was freezing!! The gun went and off we did too, it was a very busy run in very muddy conditions, I’m not good in mud especially not running in it!! There were 5km runners mixed in with those of us stupid enough to then do another lap! Every km was signed with the first and second lap distances so at 3 when I saw 8 also I nearly just bowed out and did the 5! But no I continued, got muddy and crossed the finish line being cheered by an amazing friend and Hubby, George and Phoebe. 1.00.38!! Those pesky seconds but do you know I’m super happy with that, it was a hard course and my first “real” run! It was made even more worthwhile when George comes up to me and said mummy you were brilliant before running off to the trophy table and stealing one to give to me! Such a cute thought and we said how wonderful he was before putting it back in its place! Bless him.

So that’s one down and 9 to go though I actually think some months I’ve got two events planned. I’ve had some amazing comments from fantastic friends and it’s all of you who keep me going, thank you.

So it begins again

Last Sunday 18th March I was supposed to run the Reading Half Marathon. My cousin had persuaded me to do it back in November after I had completed the Great South Run. I thought why not, it’s only another 3 Miles! Well Christmas came as did life and I didn’t start training again until 8 weeks ago! I found a training plan and for once I stuck to it running 4 times a week and completing all the distances it recommended. I felt ready.

Imagine my frustration when it then started snowing, surely it wouldn’t settle, two lots of snow in two weeks never happens. My cousin had travelled down from York, we were ready.

We woke up Sunday morning, one look out the window confirmed my worries that it would be cancelled as there was a lot of snow! Sure enough at 7am we had official confirmation. I didn’t realise until I wasn’t eating my porridge (which I detest but convince myself on race days is the best) that I was actually really gutted this was cancelled.

Having once again suffered with PND after Phoebes traumatic birth the running has really helped my mental health while helping me lose the baby weight. So rather than sit around and be happy it was cancelled I decided I needed another challenge!

As many of you know I am also a trustee for ICP Support, a charity close to my heart as I have them to thank for the safe arrival of both my gorgeous children. I know some friends and even family still don’t get why I am so involved with the charity but anyone who has faced a diagnosis where there may be a risk to your much wanted and unborn baby will realise why I do what I do. Not only this we know now through research that Phoebe will be likely to be affected by the condition. So while I have my perfect family I’m working hard to ensure Phoebe doesn’t suffer the same and for all this women who will also be diagnosed.

This brings me back to me sitting here last Sunday in my pjs not running a half marathon setting my next running challenge. Those of you who followed my 500km feat three years ago will know I am stubborn and determined. Not happy with just entering another half which I have done in April I have decided I will compete in at least one event per month for the next 10months. I’ve created my fundraising page (see link below) and I intend to blog throughout.

Thank you if you have read to the end! I don’t profess to be good at writing (in fact this was probably my weakest subject at school) I’m no comedian either but if you want to follow me then that would be amazing.

Jen xx

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