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.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Two months on and the only routine is parkrun

Wow it's been a very busy last 8 weeks, things have changed, new additions have arrived and new routines have replaced the old and familiar ones.

I haven't blogged for a while as I have gone back to work after what I refer to as 5 years maternity leave. I have gone back to work as we are expecting son number 3 and we couldn't financially support me to stay at home and raise 3 children even now that Dexter is at school and Clark nearly at the stage where he will get funding at pre-school. So luckily I was able to get a job back at my old work but It has been a shock to the system. Even though I've done less at work than I did at home looking after my boys, I seem to be more exhausted than before. This in turn resulted in an end to my Insanity workouts but luckily I still managed to get my evening runs in. I had to change 1 of the days but they survived  at least, and I was still improving my times even if I was tired and hadn't done a workout in a while. The other casualty of me going back to work was parkrun as I had to work 1 in 3 weekends I had to  miss 1 in 3 parkruns but to make up for it  I managed to get 2 people at work to sign up to and take part in parkrun. 

After a few weeks back at work and a few days before the Shepley 10k I was organising Flynn Richard Marvel Pattison decided to make an appearance 10 days early.

He weighed in at 8lb05oz at 7.33am on Sept 11th. As newborns sleep a lot and I had organised a few days off work it gave me a bit of extra time to sort out some finer details before the Shepley 10k like putting out the signs and the course markers. Plus I had time with my boys, I got to take them to school which i had missed and I got to help Sarah-Jane with Flynn too. The Saturday before the Shepley 10k I had to miss parkrun again which was gutting but I still had some setting up to do. It's amazing how much parkrun means to you when you start going regularly and when you miss a parkrunday for other events it's a weird feeling. 

The day of the Shepley 10k came and no matter how early I get to my events there is always people already there waiting for me, to sign in etc. As this was the first Shepley 10k we had a great turn out of 40 pre-registered entrants and 6 on the day sign ups. As it was a mixed event we had about 4/5 people on bikes and 3 walkers which in the end worked well.
The only hiccup we had was I had slightly altered the route at the start and failed to mention it so we all ran about 11k instead of 10k. And yes I did too even though I knew the route, it seemed fair, I even did a bit of Marshalling on the way. We had a timing system for this event which was being managed by Sarah-Jane who was doing an awesome job juggling all three boys, the timing and handing out the prizes and T-Shirts. She had some help from other family members who came to help and support us. Without their help it could have been a very messy affair, especially as torrential rain was forecast for the morning. Luckily it stopped just in time for the start and held off until an hour after everyone had finished. Everyone finished safe and sound and really enjoyed it despite it being very hilly. I used signs that used the words FUN RUN so there was a number of comments from people asking if they had missed the FUN section of the run, which made me chuckle a lot. We look like we are going to raise a lot of money for the St Paul's Church in Shepley and it might result in an annual event too. 

Since the Shepley 10k Flynn has settled in nicely apart from becoming lactose intolerant which had kept Sarah-Jane up a lot at night until we were given lactose free milk from the Doctor. With Flynn needing a bit more attention and me giving Sarah-Jane a bit of a rest, my evening runs have suffered a bit and I only manage 1 a week, if that. When I did manage a run I managed to beat my Shepley PB which gave me confidence to try and beat my parkrun PB. Before I could try to beat my PB it was Dexters turn to run with me at parkrun, he really likes it but he does like to complain when I make him run, but when he watches from the sides he really wants to run. I guess that's what 5 year olds do it's always the other thing they want or want to do. 

This week was special as Sarah-Jane was taking part in her first 5k and first parkrun ever, she was planning on walking with Flynn in his buggy. That was the plan but she met a friend at her first parkrun and together they would jog on the downhills and walk on the uphills pushing and helping each other along the way. I finished with Dexter and left him with grandma and his brother Clark whilst I went back to run in with SJ and Flynn. I was ever so proud of her for taking part and even more proud when I realised how much jogging she had done. All of this and just 10 days after giving birth to Flynn, this I thought needed some recognition so I tweeted it to Nicola Forwood from the parkrun show (my favorite podcast). So when she gave us a mention on the show I think I grinned for at least a couple of days. 

During the next week I only managed 1 run again but again I beat my Shepley PB which was now at 22.34 which was only a few seconds off my parkrun PB. Shepley being a hilly run makes the smaller uphills of Huddersfield parkrun seem easier and should result in a new PB. So when parkrunday came around and parkruns 9th birthday to add to the day I knew it was going to be a good day. There was a great atmosphere and my friend work and his son came too, and with SJ walking with Flynn and Dexter this time there was a great buzz at the start line. I shuffled my way nearer the front so I could try for a new PB and I got off to a great start with my first sub 4 min km. I crossed the finish line and had completed the 5k in 21.53 a sub 22min run I was ecstatic, I had knocked 30+ seconds of my PB. I said hello to a couple of other friends who had finished then ran back to catch up with SJ and the boys. She was doing great and to help I ran with Dexter to the finish and waited for SJ to cross the line. She completed her 2nd parkrun and beat her last time by 30 seconds to, we were all very pleased and proud of each other. Flynn had a special outfit for the parkrun anniversary which SJ had made and the Huddersfield parkrun Facebook page used a photo we had uploaded which was very nice of them. There was a great selection of volunteers too which who were great as we went round and kept our spirits high all the way round. As usual we went round to grandmas afterwards for a breakfast fry up which is great.

This past parkrunday we had 2 new runners with us my sister Jodie and her daughter Izzie in her buggy. They walked/Jogged with SJ, Flynn and Dexter and I ran on my own again. SJ beat her PB again this week and by a staggering 2 mins well done you and I'm very proud of you. And well done to Jodie and Izzie on a great first timer time. 

We also had Nicola Forwood running at Huddersfield parkrun this week and I introduced her to Flynn afterward too. I did it in a graceful way "err Nicola this is Flynn..........and this is my wife"  Kerry Noble event director for the day came over and rescued us from a slight bit of embarrassment. At least all the focus was on Flynn and not on my slightly blushing face. It was great to meet her and hope I didn't keep her from her breakfast too long. 

With all the changes in our life recently it's great that the parkrun routine hasn't changed too much and that parkrunday is becoming such a big family event and with the anticipated debut of Nana (my stepmother Janice) coming soon, after recovering from Cancer recently it can only get bigger and better for us and for parkrun. Before you know it we will have my Mum and Dad running too and my little sister Jess and Matty her boyfriend.

This week I signed up for the Huddersfield half marathon next April 2 weeks after Yorkshire warrior 2014 and then in June it's Total warrior not to mention Tough Mudder in September. 2014 is already stacking up that's not including the Huddersfield 10k again and Shepley First School Fun Run and the Shepley 10k to organise again.

Keep running everyone....