Friday, 6 May 2016

#FitnessFriday Virtual Racing

After my long run last Friday I wanted to see how much stamina my legs had by heading to park run at Fell Foot:

It was a perfect day for running and even though my legs were tired I was slightly faster than the previous week (still 4 minutes off my PB though!).

One of our regulars was celebrating her 50th parkrun and her friend made this fabulous video of his run (can you spot me…):

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Reasons to be Cheerful: Sunshine and Showers #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

I am really pleased that the original founder of Reasons to be Cheerful is back to co-host with me again. Welcome back Michelle! Here my reasons for this week:

1) Little victories

My children both had friends over this weekend to camp out in the garden to test out the tent before our first camping trip later this month. Afterwards for the first time since I bought the tent 2 years ago I got ALL yes ALL of it back in the bag from which it came. It was a good feeling!

2) The route less travelled

In memory of a friend's daughter who tragically died as a baby I am attempting to walk a mile every day this month. My friend is raising money for the Lullaby Trust in her daughter's name. We are trying to mix up where we walk and at the weekend took the other side of the river route home after a trip to the cinema. Its great to have time to chat and contemplate as well as discover new things such as the T'crack in Kirkland.

3) Running away

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

#CountryKids Grizedale Earth Hour Stargazing #weloveforests

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Back in March my family were invited to attend a Stargazing event at Grizedale Forest to coincide with Earth Hour. The event was hosted by Robert Ince who has an impressive bio:
a well-known amateur astronomer and professional scientist. He was the resident astronomer and manager of the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory (SDSO) in the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park (GFDSP). 
Robert is working with the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park, the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Forestry Commission to develop astronomy tourism, provide astronomy outreach events and to increase light pollution awareness in the North of England.
Robert also wrote a weekly column in the Scottish national newspaper the Daily Record and has had articles and astronomical images published in amateur astronomical magazines.
Robert is the lead astronomer, part of a wider group of amateur astronomers known as the "Starmakers"
My son is a keen scientist so I was pleased to be able to take him along and introduce him to astronomy. Unfortunately his big sister was not well enough to join us so it was just he and I that wrapped up warm and headed up to Grizedale at dusk: 

Because the event took place at night I don't really have any decent photographs to share!

Robert started us off with a presentation indoors giving us an introductory talk on our own galaxy and its place in the wider universe. He pitched it really well so that both my son and I found it informative and interesting. 

By now it was fully dark outside (although the moon was incredibly bright) so we all went out onto the terrace to see what we could see. Robert explained the various constellations that were visible to the naked eye and he was full of fascinating facts.

Then the most exciting part of the evening was to actually look at the moon through Robert's telescope. My son was fascinated by the features he could see on the surface of the moon even though to the naked eye it wasn't all that clear. Even the grown ups were very excited by it all!

Robert also assisted us in trying to take our first astrophotographs through the view finder. Don't think I did a very good job:

Robert then adjusted his telescope so that we could see Jupiter. It was incredible to be able to see the red spot (which is apparently a storm that has been raging for at least 186 years). My photographic attempt at this was even worse than the moon so I deleted it! 

Overall my son rates the event as "4.5 stars out of 5" and his favourite part was "seeing the mini Stonehenge on the moon". I would certainly recommend this for anyone who would like to learn more about astronomy and with Grizedale being one of the truly dark places in England it was the perfect spot for it. Think I need to dig out my ex-husband's telescope from the attic and head up there again!

Here is video by Robert of stars at Grizedale: 

Grizedale_stars_h264-420_1080p_23.976_HQ from Robert Ince on Vimeo.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

#CountryKids Tarn Hows and Glen Mary

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Today my son and I headed up to Tarn Hows to complete our virtual race for Help for Heroes in honour of Captain Seath. The Tarn has a circular route around it that we would need to complete two laps of for the challenge. I hadn't been up to the Tarn before and in fact ended up parking at Glen Mary car park. From there we took the bridle way and road up the hill to the proper Tarn Hows car park. It was good warm up:

It was a relief to reach the Tarn Hows proper car park:

We checked over the map so that my son knew where we were going, he is far too fast to run alongside me! The miles without stiles route was a circular one around the Tarn so we basically just had to decide whether to go clockwise to anticlockwise. He chose the latter and shot off… I took it more steadily and paused to take photos as I went:

Friday, 29 April 2016

#FitnessFriday Don't panic its less than a month until the Brathay Half Marathon!

Before I write about this week I realised that I had blogged that I was going to run the Langdale 10k but I never said how I did! I somehow managed probably my quickest 5 k of the year on the outward leg and then hadn't left enough in the tank for the return (though somehow it was my 3rd fastest time back up Chapel Stile). The lack of training showed and the warm weather didn't help but I finished with a smile and not in last place:

The following day we did the Kendal Colour Dash as a family and had a whale of time. My run wasn't anything special as I was taking pictures and still recovering from the day before:

So now we are back on this week proper and I feel like I have finally got some decent running in! On Tuesday I repeated my short route from the week before and it was 3 minutes quicker than the previous one: