Saturday, 21 December 2013

Christmas parkrun and last weekend at work

Over the last couple of weeks my running has all but disappeared to tiredness from working or other plans have taken priority. Other than parkrun last week I hadn't done any training runs and as a result I have put on a couple of pounds ok maybe 6. I not one for worrying about my weight but I was about a pound off losing 2 stone since I started running and keeping fit 18 months ago. That was a couple of weeks ago and I was looking forward to breaking the 2 stone mark but the lack if runs has now put that back a few weeks/months. Then this weekend It was my weekend in so the usual parkrun would be off the table and another run crossed off. However this parkrunday was the Santa parkrun with dress up encouraged, so was gutted I was going to miss it being at work etc. So all week I had been working an extra few minutes here and there so that there was a possibility I could duck out from work for an hour to run with Team Pattison at parkrun. I still had to wait and see how busy work was on the day, so there was no guarantee I could leave until the last minute. 

Luckily at 8.40am on parkrunday I left work jumped in my car and drove to meet up with the rest of my parkrun family, I even arrived with 10 minutes to spare so didn't have to rush into my Santa outfit. As I had to be back at work ASAP I was running on my own so left the rest of Team Pattison at the back of the pack and headed towards the front. After a quick Christmas sing song instead of a run brief instigated by Kerry, we were off. Everyone involved was in great spirits and were very festive in the various roles, and some of the marshalls had Chirstmas songs playing on speakers from their phones as we ran past. I had a great time at parkrun the only thing that sullied it was my time, I only just managed a sub 24 time. I hope it was a result of the flailing Santa suit that acted more like a parachute at times, and the tiredness from working since 6.30, and nothing to do with my fitness and lack of training. I had no time to dwell as I now had to get back to my mums quick shower and change back into my work clothes then drive back to work.
Back at work and I was feeling a bit rough from all the running around I had just done over the last hour. Luckily work was fairly quiet and I hadn't been needed whilst I was out, not sure if that's good or not. I really enjoy my excursion from work I felt like a little boy skipping school or something.

This weekend at work has been my last as from January 3rd I will be leaving AGAIN. SJ goes back to work after her maternity leave on January 6th, and as we have found out the cost of 3 children in child care is stupid. I would quite happily stay on at work and put the kids at various settings but to do that would mean I would be paying £90 to go to work each week. So I will be becoming a stay at home father again, a job I love but  it just doesn't pay enough!!

Why in this day and age can you not afford to go to work!! Whilst it is, with a little scrimping just affordable to stay at home and look after my kids. This is without claiming benefits, not that, that is the answer but we wouldn't qualify to claim if we wanted to anyway. Enough now I'm not one for ranting which means it must be really annoying for me to rant about it.

Anyway back to the festivities I completed my last Sunday at work then headed home to get ready for the Santa's grotto my mum was putting on for the kids and a few other friends and their children too. She has done this for the past couple of years and it has been really good for the kids each time, and this year was no different. It was however Flynns first visit to Santa and he seemed to take it well.

So this weekend has felt really Christmasy and a good start to the holidays. Thank you to Simon, Mark, and Kerry at Huddersfield parkrun and all the volunteers they had this weekend. 

Plus thanks to my mum and Peter for another great Santa's grotto. I now can't wait till Christmas Day and the Christmas Day parkrun with the boys and both buggies, plus all the presents and family time too.

I know I should take my own advice as well when I say this, keep running everyone. 

Merry Christmas everyone!!!!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Dexter and parkrun fame

Over the last 2 weeks Dexter has had a great deal of excitement surrounding parkrun. About 11 days ago whilst watching 'The One Show' SJ sent in a photo of Dexter and I running at parkrun on his 10th run. She did this because they were announcing the final 10 for Sports personality of the Year and asked the viewers to send in photos of people in their household who should be recognised for their achievements.
SJ sent this photo in with the tag line, this is Dexter running with his Daddy completing 10 5k parkruns and we thought no more of it. We went off doing some tidying and forgot about it but about 20 mins later we heard Dexters' name on the TV and we came running to rewind it to see if we heard right. We had, so we rewound it again and shouted Dexter to come watch TV, he had no idea what was about to happen. We pressed play and this happened,

So when parkrunday came and he was crossing the finish line he was greeted by it's Dexter off the TV. He was then approached by Jude who thanked him for getting her on TV too! This puzzled Dexter as he's still at that age where the rest of the world doesn't really exist and he doesn't get why other people saw him on TV, and that other people can watch the same thing as him. 

All week at school he was asked at about it by various parents and still he was a little shocked at the attention he was getting. Plus SJ and I were getting the strangest of questions from people like "did The One Show ask you for a photo of Dexter?" "Did you get any money for it?" And "Will he be on again?" to which our reply was NO it was just a bit of fun.

Then this past parkrunday eve we got a message on Facebook that Dexters 10 club T-Shirt was ready for us to pick up at the next parkrun. So on parkrunday when we picked it up the lovely attention Dexter got for his T-Shirt was great and it made him feel great. So thank you to everyone that made a fuss of him and made his parkrunday even more special.

If that wasn't enough we then joined in the annual Huddersfield Santa Dash where Dexter, Clark and Flynn were star attractions in their reindeer outfits. Plus some star apperences from last years  and current Santa Dash champion parkrun ED Simon and this years runner up and Co parkrun ED Mark, well done guys on your efforts today.

Plus the Santa Dash got a small section on the local news program where the boys, SJ and I can be seen running/walking in our various costumes and Tinsel. 

And to top off a great day we went to see the Coca-Cola lorry mainly for SJ and I as the boys had no concept of what it stands for, but that didn't stop Dexter loving it.

What a great weekend, and don't forget to keep running everyone.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

An icy adventure at Huddersfield parkrun

Today we were up and ready in plenty of time to get to grandmas house. We even arrived with time to say hello to everyone and take in the decorated breakfast room and accompanying signs on the front door.

It was gonna be a thanksgiving theme. We have adopted some of the American celebrations through Nana who lived there for a year and gained a lot of really nice American friends in the process. 

As we walked round to the park we realised how frosty it was and that it could be an interesting parkrun. So when we entered the park and the slight slope down to the start was almost an ice rink then we new this was going to be tricky.

This parkrunday I was taking control of Flynn and the buggy for the first time and SJ was running solo for the first time. She was doing it to see how much time the buggy adds to a run, but maybe the icy conditions aren't the best for a first solo run. We all aligned ourselves at the back of the gathering pack at the start where almost every child was sliding around on the trainers on purpose having a great time. Nana was a little nervous about the icy conditions but was still hoping to do it. 

All the joy filled children at the back made it hard to hear Kerry do her run brief, so we assumed that she was telling us to be careful on the icy patches are round the route. As we set off we all took it easy on the main straight down the hill, some on the grass at the side and some on the road. About halfway down it got a bit too precarious for nana and she decided to give this weeks parkrun a miss rather than fall and knock her confidence for while if not for good. I don't blame her at all, parkrun will be here every parkrunday so there is no need to make yourself do it if you think you may get hurt.

So Dexter, Flynn and I carried on running and then got slightly confused at what should have been the first corner. The route was different and it only took seconds to realise that's what Kerry was explaining at the run brief. Running on we noticed the course was really different and thought It must be because of the icy patches. As we passed other parkrunners we pieced things together from what we heard along the way. We were running the old route apparently and it's 3 laps long too so it felt like a completely new parkrun to me.

Dexter and I were keeping a good pace but at the same time so was SJ and she was maintaining a good distance between us and herself. I was so proud of her for doing so well on her first solo run. 

As we passed the halfway mark of the 3rd lap we could still see SJ in the distance and Dexter was still running and not whingeing things were going well. As Dexter and I reached the top we could see we were catching SJ and we picked her up in the last corner. So she ran with Dexter down the hill to the finish which was now at the bowling greens. I liked the finish with the funnel and barcode scanning round the bowling green but I can see how it could get a bit congested at busy periods of a parkrun. 

SJ and Dexter crossed the line together and Jodie finished ahead of them by a minute or 2 with me and Flynn bringing up the rear a few seconds later. Then we all met up with Nana and Grandad who had the other boys with them. Nana asked about the route and how icy it was and to see whether or not she made the right decision to stop and I told she had, she wouldn't have like the uncertainty of which bits were icy and which were ok.

So then it was off to Grandmas for our thanksgiving breakfast, pancakes, maple syrup and everything. 

It was delicious so a big thanks to Grandma and Peter for their great parkrun breakfasts of late. Whilst eating and discussing parkrun our times came through via text and SJ was pleased to have knocked about 3 and a 1/2 minutes off her PB, which is brilliant and I'm so proud off her. For someone who before the birth of Flynn was a "I don't do running" person to now have done 8 parkruns and have a PB of 36.28 is just fantastic. 

I enjoyed my first buggy run to as it was a new challenge and gave me a different perspective on parkrun. I was really proud of Dexter too as he seems to getting better and better and his running is coming on leaps and bounds.  The best thing is it's happening without him noticing, I can see his improvement even if he can't and I can see that in a few months or a years time he could be easily in the sub 30 category. I think Santa might be bring him some more running apparel.

Thank you to all the volunteers this week in the cold and see you again soon

Keep running everyone

Sunday, 17 November 2013

My first Leeds 10k Abbey Dash 2013

This Sunday it was my first ever Leeds 10k Abbey Dash and also the biggest event I've been to so far.

My running friend Steve and I both signed up for it a couple of weeks ago and both of us hadn't really done any training for it other than a couple of 5k runs on a Thursday night and a steady parkrun on Saturday. But both of us still wanted to beat our PBs and smash them at that.

We arrived in Leeds nice and early and made our way across the city centre to the gathering area and start pens. Some how even though Steve is faster than me, I ended up in the Sub 45 group and Steve in the Sub 55 group. We got to the start area and there was already a couple of thousand people there warming up, using the toilets or dancing to the music that was blasting out across the empty site of the old international swimming pool knocked down a while a go. 

At the far corner were the start pens with enormous flags attached with the different group colours and category on them. 

After the official warm up we all gathered in our assigned pens, even if some people just ignored the different groups and went where they wanted to go. Which I didn't mind if your trying to improve your time and you think your fast enough but some people were from the 60+min group and as we started running were instantly passed, and got in the way a bit. Soon enough though we were on our way and spreading out and running at our usual pace. 

The route for the Abbey Dash isn't the most interesting route by all means but it's the whole event that gets the adrenaline going and the crowds along the road that keeps your mind focused. As the run unfolded I found myself hitting mental walls at various stages that co inside with what my body is used to. At the turn and 5k point I hit my parkrun wall where my body thought I would stop, but once I was passed that my body surrendered and seemed to just say, ok we're still going, alright. So I still kept my pace going at a similar time to the first 5k. Up until 8k I was ok but here is where I've always seemed have to a mental wall. From 7.5k to 8k I think I slowed a touch but once again as I passed that wall I found it a bit easier again. That didn't last long at all though, as I hit 9k the lack of practice runs took its toll and my cardio was shot. My legs felt ok but my lungs where just burning and my head was pounding from dehydration. It was here where I realised I might not break my PB and the last few hundred metres were slow and as others still pushed on and passed me on the finish straight it was hard. Then I realised that Steve who was in the wave behind me still hadn't passed me this cheered me up as even though he will have a faster time I will beat him to the line. Then with 200 metres to go Simon from Huddersfield parkrun passed me on a mission to beat his PB of 45.55 and I knew if he kept going he would smash it, so I have him a big "go on Simon" as he passed and then I tried to push on myself. I crossed the finish line and forgot to stop my running app until I was further up the finish funnel, so I had no idea what time I got.

 I caught up with Simon and congratulated him, he showed me his watch showing a time of 44 mins something so he had beaten his PB and smashed it too. Unluckily later on though he found out his timing chip had failed so ended with a DNF instead of a new PB which is a shame, but just means he'll have to beat it next year instead.

After collecting my T-Shirt and drink I went to wait at the pre-arranged meeting point that Steve and I said we would be at, after we finished. To my surprise Steve was already waiting for me, so I asked him when he passed me as I hadn't noticed him passing me. He said that when they were moving the pens to the start line he jumped on ahead of me, so he was always ahead of me. Oh well the thought of being ahead of Steve kept me going that last bit of the run. 

As we got back to the car to go home we were discussing times and as I wasn't sure what time I had got I had come to the conclusion that if I beat my PB 46.21 then I'm happy but if I do manage to get under 46 mins I'll be ecstatic. About 10 seconds later no lie I got my result text in and my Gun time was 47.23 but my chip time was 45.58!!!! Yay!!! I did it, great! 

That did it, that perked me right up and topped off a great weekend of running and family time. So a big thanks to Steve for driving and for inadvertently spuring me on the last few hundred metres. Big thanks to Simon and Huddersfield parkrun for the only bit training I really did. Plus a big thanks to my family for joining in with the running these past few months you've made it just that extra bit more special.

Keep running everyone

Saturday, 16 November 2013

She did it! Nana completed her first parkrun

This past Friday it was Children in Need and with the theme of be a hero, so Huddersfield parkrun decided that this parkrunday should be a be a superhero theme to coincide with Children in Need.

So we all started planning our outfits and costumes on Monday evening, or was that just me. To cut out the boringness my outfit didn't arrive SJ created a Batwoman outfit the night before and the boys were wearing their superman PJs. 
So on the day I threw on a superman T-Shirt and red shorts.

We arrived at Grandmas and quickly headed round to the park as we were a little later than usual. Running this week with SJ, the boys and I was Jodie minus buggy and Nana who was determined to run further this week and see how she feels as to whether or not she completes it this time. 

We arrived just in time for a little chat at the back of the pack with friends and then we were off. As it was the Leeds Abbey Dash on Sunday my friend Steve was the 24 min pacemaker and I wasn't planning on going all guns blazing. As it happens I had no chance of going faster as I only just managed to jog over the line on a 23.10min time. Steve found it hard to run slow enough for the 24 min pacer and finished fast to a 22.38 min time. 

After I finished I headed off to catch up with SJ and Dexter as usual but along the way I came across Nana first and I decided to run with her to give her a boost and to help her push to the finish and her first complete parkrun. She was very grateful and I was happy to encourage her and tried by counting down the distances for but every time I told her like only 1.5km to go she didn't believe me and thought I was lying to her on purpose. With about 250 metres to go Jodie joined us and all 3 of us RAN the last 100 metres and with the parkrunners guard of honor at the finish it really made Nana smile and nearly burst into tears as she crossed the line. So 1 year on from surgery to remove cancer and 6 months on from finishing chemo sessions and radiotherapy she has completed her first parkrun. She had been expecting to get a time around an hour but her official time came in at 44.48 mins which came as a huge but pleasent surprise to her. 

So after I had helped Nana get her barcode scanned we headed back to Grandmas for our parkrun breakfast. As the theme this week was superheroes Grandma and Peter had decorated the room and table in a superhero theme too.

This topped of a great parkrun and I'm sure Nana will remember this day for a long time.

Keep running Nana

Keep running everyone

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Family parkrunday

This week there was a real excitement about the forthcoming parkrun for 2 reasons. Firstly it was a Halloween parkrun run with dressing up (sorry Danny Norman) and face painting etc. Plus the second reason for the excitement was the long awaited debut of Nana (my stepmother Janice). Nana was going to attempt her first parkrun and non walking 5k, after being diagnosed and recovering from Cancer over the last 12 months. This has been a parkrunday we've all been looking forward to and with the surprise apperance of my other sister Jessie as well, our parkrun family is growing steadily. With me running, SJ pushing Flynn and jogging along side is Dexter plus my sisters Jessie and Jodie also pushing Izzie and then there is Nana. I think that's 6 parkrunners and 2 babies and could be 1 of the biggest family attendances at a parkrun.

There is still more to come too, my sister Jodie's eldest Liam hasn't run yet, and Jessie's other half Matty to make an appearance we could make it a ten strong team. It may take a bit longer to get my Dad and Mum to lace up the running shoes and join the crew, but we are still optimistic they'll do 1 at least. 

So on Friday evening (parkrunday eve evening) SJ and I packed bags with spare clothes for boys after run clothes for SJ and me. Shoes, coats, Flynns essentials, milk, nappies and of course Halloween outfits for all. Then I packed the buggy and bags into the car so that all we had to do in the morning was get dressed and have breakfast. The past few parkrundays we have been cutting it close arriving as they are doing the run brief. So we made sure we got there with
enough time to meet up with all the family and brief them on what was about to happen. 

We arrived at Greenhead park and joined the back of the pack gathering at the start. Here we saw some childhood friends and some other friends who had come too. They had arranged to come with one of their friends and bumping into each was a nice surprise. As the run was about to start Grandad (my dad) took Clark and Liam to the playground to have a play and cheer us on from there. We all got ready and in our respective blocks mine being in the 16-23 min section which still amazes me that I run that quick, and the rest of the gang in the 35+  section. After a very funny and hungover run brief we set off on our All Hallows' parkrun. 

I completed my run in 22.05 and had just enough time to get my barcode scanned and turn around before SJ was sailing past the finish just starting her second big lap of the course which I thought was in a great time. But was slightly confused as she was with Jodie not so long ago but Jodie was no where to be seen. Neither was Nana, Jessie and Dexter but I quickly discovered what had happend. Jodie had ditched Izzie with Grandad and had picked up her pace to try and beat her PB. Jessie and Dexter had slowed down because Dexter wasn't 100% and a bit of a monkey and Nana had stopped around the 3km point. She was feeling a little too tired and didn't want to hold people up or finish on her own. Not long after stopping though she had a change of heart but by then we had all passed her and Grandad so she didn't start again. But we were all proud of her and it didn't matter if she finished or not the fact that she attempted it and is now determined to complete it next week is brilliant enough. Well Done Nana (Janice)!! 

I waited at the finish until Dexter and Jessie came round then I joined in to get Dexter motivated again and sent Jessie on her way so she could catch up with SJ and Jodie. Dexter and I kept going at a slow but steady pass until we bumped into a lady called Lynne and she started talking to Dexter, who being 5 and a little unwell just ignored her. Then when she held Dexters other hand to me he suddenly started to warm a bit to her and started talking again. She was very impressed that it would be Dexters 10th parkrun next week and she also picked up his spirits a bit so when she parted ways to run with a friend Dexter was still happy to run. So as we started to close the gap on SJ and Flynn he started to smile a bit more too and even thanked the Marshals who even at that point on a drizzly day were still smiling and cheering us on. We caught up with SJ and Flynn just after the 4km mark and we finished the run off together. Also at this point I had somehow managed to be wearing Dexters Skeleton mask from his Halloween costume and had made it very sweaty so when I gave it him back for the last 200 metres all he could say was errr daddy you're sweaty. Thanks son I love you too. At the last corner SJ  set off running and pretty fast too Dexter really tried to keep up with her but couldn't. The reaction that everyone gave him at the finish was ace and made it a really great parkrunday.

Once we had all finished and met up after all barcodes had been scanned we set off back to Grandmas for our parkrun breakfast were we compared our different versions of the run and enjoy a nice bit of family since we haven't all been together in what seems months. Even Great Grandma was up from Chelmsford so there was 4 generations talking about parkrun. Since making a visit to grandmas a staple of parkrunday and the numbers growing each week, my mum has had to expand her table layout and today I think we maxed out the space.

Next week Grandma is away but is happy for the rest of us to carry on the tradition of parkrun breakfast. 

I wonder if there are many other family turnouts to a parkrun this size and do they have a family breakfast too? 

Keep up the good work Huddersfield parkrun and keep running everyone.