Monday, 16 September 2019

Great Westmorland Trail Race 2019

This weekend I had the pleasure of filming at the annual Great Westmorland Trail Race, sponsored by Sean Robinson. For the first time there was a Canicross event. There were 20 runners who had either 1 or 2 dogs. These dogs were of all shapes and sizes as well as a range of abilities. It made for an exciting race:

For some runners it seemed like a very serious event:

Great Westmorland Trail Canicross

There was also lots of friendly rivalry:

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Reasons to be Cheerful: Mud, mud, glorious mud #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

Oops been so busy out filming that I haven't had a chance to post the host post this week! So very quickly here are some of the things that have made me smile this week:

1) Proud Mum

My son ran for his club in a road relay for the first time. He helped them move up 3 positions to finish in 11th place out of 37 teams. The video of his race is here.

2) Mud!

We had a lot of muddy fun at the County Show:

3) Arty Farty

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Westmorland County Show 2019

I was lucky to be able to go to school today as a member of staff on a school trip. So lucky to get to go on a school day, but of course not able to enjoy it as much being responsible for children! It took us nearly an hour to get there in a coach due to the usual show congestion so once we got there we were raring to go...

First up we went in the Country Pursuits tent. My colleague beat a strategic retreat leaving me to be volunteered to hold this rather gorgeous owl:


The boys then voted to see the sheep so we headed through the mud to the sheep pens. An amazing variety of sheep breeds and good to get up close to some of them:

sheep at the Westmorland County Show

Then we wandered past the cattle tent before stopping to watch the carriage driving:

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Reasons to be cheerful: Back to School #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

It's September which means back to school for many of us and the hosting of Reasons to be Cheerful comes back to me from Michelle! So glad that so many familiar faces are joining in and I look forward to reading and sharing your posts. I've just come back from an 8.5 mile run and the happy endorphins are flowing so here are just a few of the things that have made me smile this week:

1) House sorting

It is still a work in progress but lots of things have got better. I swapped a chest of drawers with a book case in my bedroom so my bed feels less enclosed. My dad fixed the Algot shelving in the cupboard of doom so I can be much more organised. We had a patch of damp in the lounge and this has now been fixed and patched up. Just have to decorate once all the works in the lounge have been done: 

plastered wall

2) Walking to work

I have missed my daily commute across the River Kent. It lifts the spirits taking in the water and sky:

View of River Kent from Romney Bridge, Kendal, Cumbria

3) Into Year 8

My son went back to school and he is now in Year 8. He had to stand one step down for the annual in front of the door photo as he has grown so much this year:

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

#FitB4Fifty End of Summer Update


I have just realised that I haven't done an update on my Fit before 50 campaign since June when I started the Mediterranean diet! Since the school holidays started at the end of July my diet went back to being a lot less healthy and I've been away quite a bit so my weight crept back up so I am trying to get back on the healthier eating again with school starting back tomorrow.

I will be dusting off the Blood Sugar Diet book (affiliate link) again  I've already lost some of the holiday gain so hope that getting more veg and fish in my diet again like this will help:

Manchester Half Training 

Before going to Wales for a fortnight I had managed to increase my long run to 7.5 miles:

Monday, 2 September 2019

Reasons to be Cheerful: End of Summer #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

I am joining in a bit late again this week with Michelle for her last hosting of the linky as its now September (so I need to be more organised to host!). The end of the summer holidays and preparing to go back to school is whizzing by really fast but I have plenty of reasons to be cheerful:

1) Parkrun milestone

I was very pleased to be able to capture the moment one of the Fell Foot parkrun stalwarts Conrad completed his 200th parkrun. Despite being in his 80s he is there almost every week and often tail walks. Well done Conrad and here's to the next 200:

Fell Foot parkrun milestone

2) Fun Night

My daughter's support group had its annual BBQ and we both had a brilliant evening. Lots of fun and games and she helped a new member to feel very welcome. I nearly got banned from Pictionary for being too quick to get it right (it did help that I was sober as driving!):


3) A-pen-dectomy

My printer hadn't been working since the great room reshuffle and I was beginning to think I would have to fork out for a new one! Luckily with my dad's help I managed to get the printer apart and then discovered that a biro had wedged in the feed mechanism. As my dad said I had to perform an a-pen-dectomy with the tweezers to get the pen out:

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Can you help my YouTube channel?

I have really enjoyed developing and improving my YouTube channel over the last 2 years. It has enabled me to make new friends and have an excuse to spend hours filming in beautiful locations! However, YouTube brought in some new rules just as my channel started to take off and I am no longer able to make any money for all the hard work it takes to edit the films.

So this is what I need from my loyal viewers:

  1. Please subscribe and get other folks to subscribe too - I need 747 more subscribers to hit the threshold!
  2. Keep watching and sharing the videos - the number of hours watched is another threshold that I need to achieve...
  3. If you enjoy what I do then please consider a small donation to help me cover my petrol costs and equipment. I will give you a shout out on my next film.
  4. Sponsor me - if you run a business then I can include your logo/web site in one of my videos and in the description.
  5. Buy a high quality still from the videos - for £2 I can offer you a still of your favourite moment in a recent race.

The next race I will be filming is the Great Westmorland Trail on September 7th. Here is a taste of last year's races:

So say hi if you see me as you run past and chuck a few pennies in my camera bag ;-)

Monday, 26 August 2019

Grasmere Sports 2019

Far too early on a hot and sunny Bank Holiday Sunday my son and I rocked up to Grasmere for this year's Grasmere Sports:

Grasmere Sports 2019

For the third year running I was responsible for registering the fell running which is a perfect job for me as I know plenty of the runners!

Grasmere Sports 2019 fell race registration

Due to the high temperatures my son spent quite a bit of time with me in the registration zone but he also went out to compete in the long leap:

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Reasons to be Cheerful: Single with Kids in Pembroke #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

We are just back from nearly 2 weeks of wonderful fun in Pembrokeshire with Single With Kids in time for plenty of reasons to be cheerful with Michelle! I will let the pictures do the talking. These are just some of the reasons that I ended up smiling so broadly:

Tenby castle beach

1) Stunning beaches

Broad Haven South beach

2) Dragon!

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Operation Central Heating

When you have filled your house to capacity (and have squeezed in things right to the edges of rooms) getting a letter saying your heating is being replaced is the stuff of nightmares! For the last couple of months I have been rearranging furniture and selling excess stuff in the hope of making everything accessible. It's hard when you will have to continue living a property during major works as some jobs have to wait until the last minute. 

So this weekend I found myself dismantling beds with help from my dad. We had had lots of fun constructing the high sleeper in a box room 4 years ago and it was just as interesting to dismantle! At least my bed wasn't as tricky as it just needed some gentle persuasion:

I am very lucky to have a decent size shed that I had decluttered as it is currently full of things such as dining chairs and recycling boxes (only problem is I should have left lawn mower accessible!):

The results of all this manual labour?

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Reasons to be Cheerful: End of the school year #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

Gosh its the end of the school year already for us! So hopefully 6 weeks of things to keep us cheerful. But meanwhile here are just some of things that have made me cheerful this week:

1) Sedbergh Sports

It was a fabulous evening of traditional sports in aid of Sedbergh primary. My son was 2nd in his fell race and 3rd in the potato race. A smashing time (this was the egg toss):

2) Sorting out

The great purge and tidy before the central heating system is ripped out (this Monday!) has been coming on well. A couple of rooms are completely ready and others will be done by tomorrow. It's been a combination of dismantling furniture and organising things more efficiently that has helped. We now have all our board games away and easily accessible:

3) Family

My mum came over to babysit my son whilst I was out celebrating the end of year with my colleagues. This gave us a chance to get a 3 generation family selfie. Yes he is only 12 and I am 5ft 8.5!

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Reasons to be Cheerful: Time, proud mum, school and a bed #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

Michelle has handed the hosting baton to me for this month after looking after us for June. So I am making sure that this post is ready to go on time! It has been a pretty good week for me and I look forward to seeing what has made you happy too. So I had better kick off with just some of things that have made me cheerful this week:

1) Time with my girl

I had some extra time with my daughter as I gave her a lift to visit her friend out in the Yorkshire Dales for a drink at the pub. We also had our fortnightly social with her fellow aspies and carers. I got reminded about our wild swimming from last year and hope she is well enough to do more this year:

2) Proud mum

My son is having a good time with his fell running at the moment. His race on Saturday, he was 18th out of 55, means he finished 23rd out of 74 runners for the championship despite being one of the youngest:

He then ran at a small local event last night and was 2nd boy and 3rd overall plus nabbing 3rd place in the potato race! All his training is really coming together at the moment. Not only that but at school he has been put mostly into top sets for year 8 which shows how well he is doing there.

3) School 

I am nearly at the end of the school year. Since October I have been working 1:1 with a child and this week he told me the best thing about this year had been working with me! Just as well when we will be working together again next year... 

I enjoy the fact that not only do we do all the core learning but we have the freedom to get creative. This week we made mosaics to tie in with our Roman topic:

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Reasons to be cheerful: Social, running, Kendal and otters #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

Michelle has handed the hosting baton to me for this month after looking after us for June. So I am making sure that this post is ready to go on time! It has been a pretty good week for me and I look forward to seeing what has made you happy too. So I had better kick off with just some of things that have made me cheerful this week:

1) Helm Hill Junior Social

On a rather warm Saturday I joined in with many other parents and juniors for the first Helm Hill Junior social. As you can see the fun started with the warm up which was fruity themed, we were squeezing the orange at this point!

Then we went on different runs in 3 groups. I stuck with the youngest runners and my son went off with the oldest ones. On the return we had a buffet and then had a Q&A with some senior runners.

2) Long Run in the Countryside

I had a much overdue long run out on the old canal:

Due to the humidity it wasn't as long as I intended but it was lovely to be out in the peace and quiet.

3) Appreciating Kendal

I had to go into town after to work to complete some errands. On the way back I took my time to appreciate the old town centre and some of our lovely buildings:

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Reasons to be Cheerful: 50 percent, proud mum and fabulous fell racing #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

I was MIA from reasons to be cheerful last week as life just got too hectic - I did have plenty of things to be happy about just no time to blog about them! Michelle is handing back the baton to me next month after looking after us for June. For now here is a bumper crop of reasons to make up for last week:

1) 50% achieved

As I have already posted in my FitB4Fifty update I have hit the magic 50% age grading. This means I am an average speed for a woman of my age! Next goal is to get back to my PB from 2015. Hopefully my prize inov-8 Parkclaw trainers will help with this:

2) Proud Mum

My son is continuing to do well at fell running. He is working really hard and as well as beating competitors who have always beaten him he is closing on some of those who have always been miles ahead:

3) My girl

I have been able to spend a lot more time with my daughter and her beloved Sherlock this week. Not being together all the time is hard but we make the most of the times we do have:

Friday, 28 June 2019

#FitB4Fifty A good start

Well I have realised I didn't get a chance to update after the first week of the Mediterranean diet! As with many healthy eating programmes week 1 saw a huge loss in weight of 7 lb - what a great motivation. That sort of loss even shows in my progress photos in just a week:

It made a huge difference to my parkrun time too as I knocked nearly 50 seconds off and I am back to my times from 2017 which was my second best year:

I have to say I have found week 2 a lot harder... Plenty of times when I have been rushing around or unprepared and still eating rubbish. This made for only 1.25 pounds off  (still good) and a new stone number at the front. Going to make a concerted effort for week 3 to stay off the carbs...

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Reasons to be Cheerful: Roses, blue skies and speeding up #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

I may have to dig out my ark construction plans but I still have reasons to be cheerful! Michelle is having a week off so come and share the happiness with me instead:

1) Declutter

We had a much more successful car boot last Sunday. It's good to part with things we no longer need and add to the holiday kitty. Nice for me to see familiar faces and chat too!

2) Roses

I love this time of year as my roses are starting to hit their peak. Most of them are surviving the deluge too:


3) Blue skies

Unlike most of the UK we have actually had some blue sky this week! I made the most of the lovely weather on Sunday evening to take a little jog up to the castle:

Friday, 14 June 2019

#FitB4Fifty Update and Going Mediterranean

So we are nearly half way through the year so its time to evaluate my fit before 50 campaign! I wanted to run more and get into better shape this year. Signing up to the RMR Challenge has given me a lot of focus and I have certainly been running a lot more. 

Cumbrian parkrun

The first part of my challenge was to Run every Cumbrian parkrun. So far I have managed Barrow, Millom, Penrith, Ford Park (Ulverston), Fell Foot, and Keswick. This leaves me with the four from the North and West of the county: Whinlatter, Workington, Cockermouth, Carlisle. My times are definitely improving (Fell Foot winter course is the hilliest one I have done which increased my times briefly). Millom lived up to its muddy reputation and of course came after I'd already run Barrow:

Lakeland Trails

The second tier of my challenge is the Lakeland Trails 10 km series. I am half way there after a muddy Cartmel and a 12.7 km Hawkshead with coffin trail. I've also taken part in the Grasmere Gallop 10 km. My next two races in the series are October as I don't race in the heat of summer (if it ever gets hot this year!). Hopefully I can carry on building on my fitness this year to keep those times falling:

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Reasons to be Cheerful: Galloping into June #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

It may be grey and damp outside but that doesn't mean I have no reasons to be cheerful! Joining in with Michelle to share the happiness:

1) Grasmere Gallop

I have been taking part at the Gallop since 2013 and my son since 2014 (we missed it last year!). This year he knocked over 2 minutes off his time from 2017 to finish 3rd under 16 boy and 8th overall in the 5.7 km race. It was my 2nd attempt at the 10 km race and I was a couple of minutes slower than in 2017 but it still felt like a great run:

2) Peace & Quiet

My son went off for two nights on a residential. This not only meant the house was really quiet (too quiet!) but I had time to enjoy a rare sunny evening and have a girlie dinner with my mum and my daughter.

3) Blooming lovely

We might not like the damper weather this year but it has meant that my garden is starting to burst into flower earlier than during last year's heatwave. Plenty of the wildflowers have self seeded and some of my bulbs seem to have survived too:

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Reasons to be Cheerful: Half Term Time #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

I am running a day late joining in with Michelle for my reasons to be cheerful this week as its been such a busy weekend! We've had a busy half term with plenty of reasons to be cheerful:

1) Time to socialise

I have already written about our day of fell running at Sedbergh. It's great being part of a great club and a bigger fell running family.  Every event is a social occasion for adults and children as well as celebrating great running:

2) Time with the family

The advantage of working in a school is that I get most of the school holidays off. A chance to have fun together or to just relax! My daughter and I strolled into town and grabbed churros and coffee at one of our local restaurants:

3) Time!

It's great not having to rush around every where for work, school and activities during the holidays. I managed both a walk and run up to Kendal Castle this week and it was lovely up there:

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

FRA Juniors 2019 - Sedbergh

On a very wet and overcast morning we arrived at the People's Hall in Sedbergh in advance of Helm Hill's hosting of the FRA Junior championship for 2019. At the time it was so cloudy that the tops of the hills weren't visible and it was a worry as to whether it would be safe for the under 19s to run their full route as it took in 3 summits (luckily the weather cleared in plenty of time!).

After my marshal briefing I walked the under 9 route with my son so I could find the best videoing spot. It was a challenging if not too long a route for them:

My son and his friend walked some more of their under 15 route whilst I set myself up to film just below the under 9 turn. There were 26 runners from 6-8 years in this race:

After they had gone I walked up along the descent route to capture the under 11s. This shows how steep some of the course was:

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

#FitB4Fifty Brathay 5k

I was lucky to win two entries to the inaugural 5 km race at the Brathay Marathon this month. We had to be there very early due to parking. It did mean that we got to watch the 10 in 10 marathoners set off on their 10th marathon in 10 days - can't imagine how they do it! Then they started walking the marathoners to the start and we followed in a long colourful crocodile:

Whilst the marathoners started off on their 26.2 mile journey around Windermere we were corralled next to the road. It meant that we could just about cheer them on:

Then it was our turn to hear the gun and head off up the road towards Hawkshead. It was a good mix of runners of all ages and abilities that ran up the lane. Unlike the marathoners we were turned off the main road and into Skelwith Fold Caravan Park. This turned out to be a twisty, turny part of the route with a lot of uphill... luckily lots of the residents were lining the roads to cheer us on. It was a relief to reach the halfway mark at the end of the park which meant that it would be down hill for much of the rest of the run.

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Reasons to be cheerful: Running away... #R2BC

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart 

A slightly later than scheduled reasons to be cheerful this week as I had a much needed lie in! Last week's happy linkers included reasons such as job and couch to 5k, I wonder what this week will include? Any how here are my reasons to be cheerful this week:

1) Proud mum

My son is doing really well in his running at the moment. He was 11th at the first BOFRA fell race last Saturday and then 2nd in a fun run at Brathay marathon on Sunday:


2) Flying Feet

On Sunday I took part in the inaugural Brathay 5k. It was a tough route with plenty of hills. I saved myself a bit for a glory run sprint finish. Made for an awesome official photo:

running, Brathay 5 km

3) Girls' Night

My daughter and I joined the Aspergers' group at the pub again. It's a lovely social evening. Beforehand we had mucked about with snapchat to do those gender swap pics. This is me as a man and a woman: