Tag Archives: running

I did it!

I woke up this morning to the sound of heavy rain pounding on the windows.  “Great!” I thought.  I hadn’t factored in adverse weather conditions!  Fortunately, the rain eased off by the time the race started.

My strategy was to plod round the track in my usual, casual running style.  I’d never run 10k before so I didn’t want to burn out early on.  My friend D gave me some great advice, which was not to be tempted to set off at the pace of the others.  It was only last night I realised that I’d accidentally entered a serious race  (part of the Wiltshire Championship series).  When I entered online, I hadn’t read the blurb, but had just seen the words ‘suitable for beginners’.  I now think this meant ‘beginner competitors’ rather than ‘beginner runners’.  I tried not to panic though and kept reminding myself that I was doing it for Jodie and Macmillan, and it didn’t matter if I came last.  In fact, I should expect to come last and any other place would be a bonus 🙂 

So everyone sets off and I start my plod. 

Everyone soon deserts me.  It doesn’t matter though; the main thing is to enjoy it (this is what I keep telling myself!)  I do pass a couple of people that did set off too fast 😉

Here I come for lap 2, cheered on by one of my greatest supporters.  I’m starting to look like a beetroot now.  Still no one else in sight!

Already I’m being lapped by the guys.  I need to learn from their running stance because it’s far more effective than mine 😦

By lap 3 I’ve got a humongous stitch.  A guy who’s running past me asks if I’m alright.  When I yelp that I’ve got a stitch, he tells me to “push it in”.  I’m not sure exactly what he means so I try pushing my hand into my ribs where the pain is.  It doesn’t seem to help much, so I decide to just get on with it and use it as an opportunity to practise a bit of Tonglen 🙂

I even tried to smile for the camera, although it was more of a grimace than a smile :/

I finished the race in 58.22 which is far, far quicker than I’ve ever run in my life.  You wouldn’t be able to tell from the photos, but I didn’t come last either!  I came 156th (out of 182) 🙂  It doesn’t really matter where I came though, because this is what it was all about…

A big thank you to everyone that sponsored me and offered words of support and encouragement.  I am very, very grateful.  At last count, the total raised was £295 which has far exceeded my expectations!  Thank you so much for the very generous donations xx



Filed under Fund-Raising, Running

I’m Running a 10K to Raise Money for Macmillan

In 2008, at the age of 31, my little sister Jodie was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  This diagnosis came only a month or two after our Dad died of cancer.  For 2 years, Jodie fought this cancer undergoing many rounds of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and, in the end, a stem-cell transplant. 

Last month, Jodie reached the important milestone of 2 years in remission.  To mark this important occasion I am planning to run a 10k race on July 17th at Castle Combe race track to raise money for Jodie’s favourite charity – Macmillan Cancer Support. 

For those of you that have read my blog posts, you’ll know that this race will be no picnic for me as I’m rubbish at running, but I just wanted to do something to pay my respects to Jodie and everyone else who has been affected by cancer, and the wonderful Macmillan nurses that provide such valuable support to individuals and families.

If any of my wonderful cyber friends would like to sponsor me, all donations will be very gratefully accepted.  Here’s the link to my ‘Just Giving’ page:


This morning on the way to school, one of Lil’ L’s friends (who’s also 7) gave me some tips and a demonstration of how I could run faster.  Thanks to ‘S’, I managed to run 4 miles tonight with an average pace of 10.5 minutes per mile (compared to my usual 11 minutes) 🙂

As I only have a week until the big race, I decided to pop out for a quick run this evening along the canal.  As I emerged from a tunnel on the towpath, I saw a reflection of a rainbow in the canal water.  I’ve never witnessed such a thing before.  It was incredibly beautiful!  As I ran home, the rainbow was reflected in every puddle I passed. 

The rainbow reminded me of one of the girls in Lil’ L’s class who told me today that she wanted to be a “weather spirit”.  She said that her favourite weathers are rain and cool summer breezes.  I asked her whether she could possibly be a rainbow too as I love them so much.  She said she would… and tonight I saw one of the most spectacular rainbows I’ve ever seen, stretching across the whole of Bathampton. Magical! 🙂

(c) Eric Rolph


Filed under Fund-Raising, Running

Nut Kofta Kebabs… and fitting rocks into a box!

Fresh veg supplies are low in our house, but last night I spotted a couple of carrots and some frozen peas and decided to make some vegetable couscous for our dinner.  For a protein and calcium boost, I made some nut kofta kebabs.  The two went really well together.  Lil’ L loved the dinner and described it as “yummy” and “scrummy”. 🙂  The recipe can be found here.

For his lunch today, Lil’ L took the leftover couscous along with a seeded pitta bread. 

Nut Kofta Kebabs with Vegetable Couscous

 Today, I woke up thinking “I must revise!!!”  I’ve got an important Buddhist exam coming up on July 12th and I need to memorise around 140 pages of text.  If I don’t seriously start revising now, there’ll be no chance of me learning it all! 

A teaching came to mind that I heard last year which gave helpful suggestions on how to prioritise activities in our busy daily lives.  I can’t remember the exact analogy used, but it was along the lines of “what’s the best way of fitting a pile of rocks into a box?” (rocks = tasks we need to accomplish / box = today)  Basically, we need to put the big rocks in first otherwise they won’t fit!  I totally get this now as all week I’ve been trying to fit revision in with the million other things I need to get done.  Revision seems to get squeezed into the hour before school pick up, which is no way near enough time. 

So, today, I decided to put the big rock into the box first… and did 2 hours revision first thing before I started to tackle the smaller rocks.  I needed to go into Bath and buy Lil’ L some bigger daps (in Essex we call them ‘plimsols’) because he mentioned a few weeks ago that his daps were too small and I don’t want to stunt his toes by leaving this rock any longer.  I realised I wouldn’t have time to do any proper exercise today, so decided to “kill 2 birds with one stone” and run into Bath.  (Is there another saying I can use instead of the killing birds one?  I really don’t like it!)

I decided to try out the Adidas ‘running’ rucksack that M had bought me for Christmas.  It’s got lots of straps on it and is meant to fit snugly on your back while you run.  I don’t think I did it up correctly though, as the rucksack kept bouncing up and down and chafing my neck.  In the end, I ran along holding the rucksack down with one hand.  It wasn’t the greatest running style, but I managed to get to Walcot Street in 18 minutes, which is quicker than the bus 🙂

Still got a million things to do today, but at least I got the big rock in (and a few smaller ones as well) 😉

Leave a comment

Filed under Buddhism & Meditation, Dinners, Running

Samosas and St Catherine’s

Lil’ L loves samosas so I thought I’d have a go at making a healthier, more nutrition-packed, lower fat version of the ones you tend to find in the supermarkets.  I managed to cram six different veggies in the samosas, as well as sesame seeds and pine nuts for extra protein and minerals.  They were really yummy and I’ll definitely be making them again.  I served them nice and hot, with side dishes of roasted chickpeas and crispy kale.  The recipe can be found here.

Sweet Potato Samosas with Roasted Chickpeas and Crispy Kale

While Lil’ L was at cubs tonight I decided to go for a run up North End to St Catherine’s, just for a change.  There were some killer hills but fortunately I didn’t have the Garmin watch with me to know how slow I was going. 😉 

In total, I ran for 47 minutes and thoroughly enjoyed it, even when it started to pour with rain.  By that point I was sweltering, so it was quite refreshing to be rained on 🙂 

The views going up to St Catherine’s were incredible.  I stopped at St Catherine’s Court, then ran back down home.  I didn’t have my camera with me, but below are a couple of photos I found on the web.  The house used to be owned by the actress Jane Seymour, but I’m not sure who owns it now.  Rumour has it that Robbie Williams stayed there for a while and played pool in our local pub.  Not sure whether it’s true or not!

St Catherine's Court (c) Roger Cornfoot and licenced for reuse http://www.geograph.org.uk

Aerial view of St Catherine's Court (from http://www.telegraph.co.uk)

Leave a comment

Filed under Dinners, Running

Oatcakes and the Tortoise… or am I a pogo stick?

North Staffordshire oatcakes are one of our favourite breakfast treats.  I was introduced to them at university by a friend who was actually from North Staffs.  I thought they were stunning when I first tried them, and I still love them now.  We usually save them for the weekend, but I decided to surprise Lil’ L by making him some for breakfast today.  He was really excited when he heard and managed to eat 2 oatcakes before school, and then asked if he could have another one as a snack after school!  While you can put savoury fillings in them, we prefer a big dollop of strawberry fruit spread.  I also sneak in a little hemp seed oil or walnut oil for an omega-3 boost.  Here’s the recipe.

North Staffordshire Oatcakes

After school, Lil’ L and I had fun playing Twister (haven’t played that in ages!) and while dinner was cooking, we made some of our super ‘Omega Chocs’.  I’m sure Lil’ L only likes helping with the baking so he can lick the bowl out 😉

At 7pm, Lil’ L went to a special cubs meeting where he was going to be ‘invested’ (?)  While he was there with his Dad, I decided to go for a run.  For the first time ever, I wore M’s Garmin Forerunner watch so I could find out how slow I run.  I’m afraid to say that it’s now official…. I’m as slow as a tortoise 😦  I managed to run 4.07 miles in 44.20 minutes.  That means it takes me nearly 11 minutes to run a mile.  That is soooo slow.   I would use the excuse that it’s very hilly round here but, on the canal towpath, girls that were jogging in a much slower rhythm than me were actually speeding past me!  My running action must be like a pogo stick – I go up and down rather than along.  Tips on how I can stretch my pace whilst exerting the same amount of energy would be much appreciated.  Thank you 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under Breakfast and Elevenses, Running

Cubs and Noodles

A couple of weeks ago, Lil’ L moved up to Cubs.  He only seems to have been a Beaver for 5 minutes, and now he’s a Cub.  Obviously he’s very excited about it all, but I’m still in shock at how quickly the Beaver phase passed by.  Plus it took me forever to sew all the badges (badly) onto his Beaver top.  Is it true that I now need to remove the badges and sew them on a Cub top? aaahhh!!!!!

As Beavers is from 6.30-8pm, I needed to get Lil L’ an early tea.  I opted for one of his favourites (and our’s too) – Thai style noodles in coconut milk.  I love the fact that you just throw all the ingredients into a wok and give it a quick stir.  Plus there’s not much washing up. 🙂  

Thai-style noodles in coconut milk

The recipe can be found here.

We were running late for Cubs as usual, so I ran there and Lil L’ scooted.  It was the best part of the day with lots of lovely warm sunshine, so I decided to carry on running after I dropped him off.  I made my way down to the canal and headed in the direction of Dundas Aqueduct.  It was a gorgeous evening.  Lots of smiley people out walking and jogging.  Lots of wildlife too, including a foal and its mother munching grass down by the canal edge and a heron fishing close by.  In total, I ran for 50 minutes.  It felt wonderful, but I looked like a beetroot by the time I’d finished 😉

Leave a comment

Filed under Dinners, Running