Resolution 10k Run – Mote Park

One of the best things about losing so much weight is the fact that I can now run and do things that I had forgotten I could do. With my newly rediscovered outlook on life I felt I wanted to do something for charity – hopefully this will be the first of many such events.

Like many people I have known loved ones that have suffered from a Stroke and when I saw that the Stroke Association were putting on one of their Resolution Runs in Mote Park I knew I had to do it. They offered the choice of a 5k, 10k or 15k. When I signed up I hadn’t even run a 5k so took a risk and plumped for the 10k… how hard could it be? As it turns out, hard enough!

The weather had been pretty good in the run up to this event – I had managed to do a fair amount of training so I knew I could do the distance (just about), albeit with aching hips. My friend Izzie was traveling down from London to take part, so it was galling when the rain started at about 10am, continued, then proceeded to get worse.

I managed to swap the shirt I had been sent for a smaller one – the XL I ordered back in June was like a tent, so I swapped it for a Medium – I still can’t believe I can actually get in a Medium sized shirt!

This is me, mentally preparing for the start – wearing Mum’s gloves as my hands were frozen. That reminds me, I must wash them and return them… cheers Mum! I must also mention that it was really nice to have Mum, Dad, my Nan, Nic and Nic’s Mum there to support me and spur me on. The photos were taken by Nic and my Dad – nicely done in atrocious conditions!

I chose not to partake in the warm-up session – they always say don’t break your usual running habits, and my usual habit is just get on with it… but quite a few people did take part, whilst many waited in their cars until the start as the rain was getting increasingly bad.

The nerves started just before the warm up session began and got worse – I think I just need to get on with things – all the standing around just gets me anxious.

This is me and Izzie – her pre-start routine involves wearing a bin bag to keep warm. She suggested I did the same. I didn’t listen. I wish I had.

As you can see, the spectators (and my support crew) were suitably dressed for the conditions…

Then suddenly, the time had come and we made our way to the start line – the 15k runners were at the front, then the 10k runners and then the 5k runners. This seemed the wrong way around to me, but hey, I’m new to all this.

And then, we were off…

I won’t lie. The first 5k was harder than I expected. It was a lot more hilly than I had imagined, the rain started coming down quite heavily, and the wind was growing stronger by the minute – plus there was a long uneven stretch on slippery grass which I hadn’t mentally prepared for, but hey, that’s the buzz of these things I suppose.

This shot is taken from the other side of the lake – I was just coming up to the 4k mark or thereabouts…

These were just before the 5k mark when I still had some energy left… not a lot, but some.

It was nice to see the pets were also getting  involved, though I am not sure if this doggy was doing the 5k, 10k or 15k…

I hit a mini mental wall at about 6k and it lasted until about 8k. The rain started chucking down and it was grim – I glanced at my watch and my pace had slowed down, but in a way that was quite liberating – it was all about finishing now and not worrying about the time taken. The rain was still getting heavier and I just wanted to get to the finish line. I found a little bit of energy as the end got closer… I didn’t hear the announcer asking everyone to clap as I approached with my Smurf legs! I see her point – they are rather Smurf-like!

I wanted to go under the hour, but by 45 minutes in I was happy just to finish. The official time was 1:03:48 – 14th out of 36 10k runners! Not bad as I’ve only run that distance three times.

I particularly love this shot as there is Mum, Nic and my Nan in the background!

I quickly shuffled on to get my medal and put my coat on before some warm congratulations from my Nan.

Just in time in fact to watch Izzie come in…

I think the next photo shows just how wet it was – my hair is soaked! And I look ill. That’s what 10k in the rain does to me.

The medal shot! Apologies for the Nora Batty tights – I have lost more weight than I realise and ought to order smaller size…

I can’t say I enjoyed much of the actual run as the weather was so horrible, but I am so pleased that I did it. Firstly I am proud from a personal perspective as this has been a year of change for me on a health level. Secondly I am so proud that I managed to get people to support me and raise money for a great cause -  I am very happy with the following amount indeed. I would like to say a massive thanks to all those that donated – you know who you are – it really is much appreciated.

As I crossed the line I said to myself that I would not do a 10k again, but then a few minutes later all thoughts were gone. There is one I have my eye on next May for sure down in Folkestone, but I think some more will crop up before then. I have a 5k coming up in October and want to do a good time in that… I think I have become addicted to running and medals – not a bad addiction all in all!

Pain is temporary. There is no rest for this Vegan.

 

Just Looking…

If you have a dSLR, get a 50mm lens. Stuck mine on last night for a late night garage/gym photoshoot with the boy. Mmmm shallow DoF. He spied a moth.

Getting thinner…

It was about time I lost weight. 10st lost (140lbs) gone! Here are some bad iPhone photos of the journey. 22st / 308lbs / 139.7kgs to 12st / 168lbs / 76.2kgs. Nice.

It’s been a blast. Might just go a little bit more…

King Size Bed

Sometimes you gotta sleep in the big bed!

In The Garden – Female Common Darter

I was overjoyed to see this little beauty in the back garden. Fortunately she evaded the claws of my cat and settled on the Buddleia for a rest and photo shoot. I love Dragonflies.

Had time to run inside, find the camera and shoot. All handheld. Tripods are for wimps.

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Food should be clearly labelled as Vegan. Potatoes, peas, cauliflower, broccoli, sweetcorn, green beans, runner beans, soya mince, carrots, onion, celery, vegetable stock, vegan Worcester Sauce. Lush.

Hoverfly Love

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. My favourite bug(s) getting it on. Makes the heart sing.

Cat House

What do you get the cat that has everything? A cat house, just in case he wants to go outside in the rain. Of course, this doesn’t mean that he will actually use it…

I added the copper tape to keep the slugs out…

And the rubber matting for comfort.

I tried a few locations, but no joy. I did get him to go in and retrieve some treats though…

Time will tell if he actually uses it, but it looks cool in the garden anyway.

He tends to prefer the lawn…

Or under the ramp…

Or the herb tray…

Gugois

This is Gugois. Not his real name of course but the moniker he shall always be known by. Back in the crazy days of the late 1990s we would play a lot of Championship Manager and this was the name he went by in that game. We haven’t seen each other for a good five or six years, so it was doubly pleasing to hear that he still wastes many an hour on taking lowly teams to footballing greatness. The name has changed from Championship Manager to Football Manager, but the vibe is the same.

FRIEND Animal Rescue – Matthew

The fourth batch of photos taken at the FRIEND Animal Rescue Sanctuary in East Peckham. These are all about the gorgeous one they call Matthew! He likes eating.

Please check out their website @ http://www.friendsanimalrescue.org.uk/ and make a donation if you can.