Monthly Archives: February 2016

The Great North Run 2016 – The Story So Far

gnr-largeLast September, I made rather a bold statement. In print, here on this blog. I said that I was planning to run 13.1 miles to raise money for Sands, the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society, a charity that couldn’t be any closer to my heart. I threw down the gauntlet for friends (and strangers) to join and a few brave souls picked it up.

I thought the hardest thing would be getting going with the training. To begin with it was. I was juggling going back to work after maternity leave with all the fun and chaos of Christmas. As the New Year passed, I made an unspoken resolution to get back on it. So far I’ve been pleased with my progress. Saturday mornings have seen me up for 9am to take part in every parkrun of 2016, getting a Personal Best at my usual Burnley run and attempting the much more difficult Pendle run. I’ve managed to also to get our at least once, sometimes twice during the week too.

Wettest Parkrun of the year (so far)

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I’ve honestly felt as though I’ve had something driving me this time around. When I’ve run up one of the (many) steep hills near home, or when I was pushing for my PB, at the time I was starting to doubt my ability, I reminded myself why I was there in the first place. I’m not running to lose weight, or to get fitter (albeit valid reasons and actually ones I should adopt too!), I am running for my angel.

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My new Sands training t-shirt

So then came the bombshell. The results of the ballot were emailed out this week. I didn’t get a place. Okaaaaaaay! That wasn’t part of the plan. I’ve been successful in the ballot before. In fact I think I have got every place all three times. I stupidly didn’t think about the prospect of being unsuccessful.

I got in touch with Sands almost straight away to ask about a charity place. Due to the high profile nature of the event (it is the largest half marathon in the world!), understandably places aren’t given straight away to anyone who asks for one. There are 50,000+ participants. Most of them running for charity. I’ve sent off my application for one of their golden bond places. I’ve no idea how many places they do have, but given they are only a small charity, I am hoping for my own selfish reasons that they aren’t over subscribed.  

I have to wait until next month to find out. It’s going to be a loooong month of nibbling finger nails. I thought it might be hard getting up on Saturday to be motivated to run. But it’s starting to become habit now and hopefully if I do get that place, I won’t have lost momentum.

I don’t want to consider the possibility of not getting that place. Not yet. Mainly because I don’t really want to run for anyone else other than Sands. If there are other charity places available, I can’t see myself going for them. With a heavy heart I’ll have to lead the cheerleading for all my wonderful friends who were lucky enough to get places and will run for Sands. I just really wish I can join them. I can’t describe how gutted I will be if I can’t do this.

Keep everything crossed for me. Legs, arms, fingers and toes.

I will keep you posted.

 

Back to Another Place

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Dare I ask if winter is behind us? At least all that relentless rain (pretty please!) Today has been the kind of day that half term dreams are made of. Sunshine and blue skies. Only the temperature gave away the fact that we are still in February. We all wrapped up well and headed out to the place I wrote about a few weeks ago; Crosby Beach in Liverpool. A memorable place we visited just after Ewan died.

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This was Jude’s first visit. We brought Dylan when he had only been walking a few weeks. I’d forgotten how great it is for children. Obviously as well as the beach there is a huge park, outdoor gym equipment, a lake (perfect for throwing stones) and a bistro/bar.

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Three years ago, the newly toddling Dylan absolutely loved the open space and at the time my dreams of a relaxed family picnic were dashed as he just wouldn’t keep still. Jude isn’t walking yet, although I don’t think it will be too long. He’s at that stage where if he’s in the pram, it needs to be constantly moving. Luckily there is a long promenade at Crosby beach, plus the sand is really firm so easy to push the pram on.

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Dylan didn’t pay too much attention to the statues (again) and instead concentrated all his effort on cracking shells with a big stick. 4 year old heaven!! It would have kept him entertained for a good couple of hours I imagine, but Jude was getting hungry and a bit cold because despite the sun, there was a biting wind.

I managed to steal the stick from Dylan long enough to get my (now) obligatory beach shot of my angel and two rainbows.

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We treated ourselves to lunch in the bistro. I had contemplated a picnic but decided it would just be too cold for the boys. It was great to have an hour to warm up giving us the energy to go back out in the cold for round two in the park.

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I love this place and couldn’t help but take photo after photo. We definitely need to come back in the summer, when the temperature is warmer and hopefully Jude will be running up and down, shunning my lovingly prepared sandwiches!

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So maybe I’m being a bit too optimistic in thinking the rain has ended, especially having looked at Wednesday’s forecast! At least I can revel in this wonderful day out today with my beautiful family. Five years ago Adam and I came on our own, encouraged by the sun, starting to heal and sowing some seeds of happiness. Those seeds have flourished and are now smiling and laughing with each other, and at us every day. Absolute bliss!

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Truly loving brothers