Volunteering at Waterlooville Junior parkrun

parkrun logo

As you all know by now I love volunteering at parkrun. This week was a parkrun double for me. I volunteered at my usual Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun then on Sunday I headed over to Waterlooville Junior parkrun.

Waterlooville is only half an hour away from where I live so it wasn’t too far to travel. The parkrun is held in Jubilee Park (Milton Road entrance) in Waterlooville so if you’re in the area with a 4-14 year old on a Sunday then why not give them a visit?

The course was a 2 lap course with a small loop then in to the finish funnel. I went along with two friends and their son who initially weren’t going to volunteer but were going to watch and their son was going to run. When we arrived at 8.30 to register as a volunteer there was only Adam, the run director there. He was setting up the course but stopped to have a chat with us. He was really friendly and told us a few snippets of information about the course. They were low on volunteers this week so my friends were quickly roped in to help. One as a marshal and one as Tail Walker (although actually it was a tail run in the end). I was barcode scanning and a bit nervous as I was the only scanner. I’m used to scanning in over 400 runners with three scanners. Luckily it turned out on a very cold February morning only 39 children were to take part.

The junior parkrun is 2km instead of the 5km of a Saturday parkrun. Watching the children was brilliant, especially the two children that led the way. They were fast and pushed hard. It was nice to hear from one of the Mum’s that the first female across the line is part of an athletics club showing she takes her running pretty seriously.

The first male crossed the line in 08:17 and the first female was close behind with 08:25. The final runner crossed the line with a PB of 19:08. She told me friend she turned 4 in September and had taken part in 4 or 5 parkruns. She was just as inspiring as the first runners over the line. 4 years old and a parkrun advocate, brilliant!

As the junior parkrun is 2km, volunteering there really doesn’t take up too much of your time and is really rewarding as you know you’re helping the future generation reach a healthier lifestyle. Why not look up your nearest junior parkrun on the parkrun website and offer some of your time?

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Earning my Unicorn Medal – The Hard Way!

Way back in November I signed up to earn the Unicorn medal from Virtual Runner UK and posted about it here. To complete the medal all you had to do was complete 10K in as many different events as you like and you could walk or run.

So here’s my story!

Walk along the beach

Activity 1 Walk – 2.27 miles 47:50 – Not much to report about this walk and I didn’t take any pictures!

Activity 2 Run/Walk on the treadmill – 3.11 miles 59:12 – This ended up being void as my treadmill reset itself after 30 minutes so I wasn’t able to take a picture of the display showing the whole amount completed. Fail!

Activity 3 Walk – 3.45 miles 1:13 – An early evening beach walk which made for some nice pictures as the sun set.

Sunset

Activity 4 – Walk 1.96 time unknown – This also ended up being void. Despite setting off with 85% battery on my phone after 0.82 miles my phone died and showed the needs charging sign. I’d barely started my walk but with no recording it kind of made it pointless as I couldn’t submit this as evidence towards the 10K. I turned around and walked home.

Activity 5 – Walk 2.01 43:50 – I had an awful head cold this day but was quickly running out of time to finally reach 10K and submit the details to Virtual Runner.

Finally, after 5 activities I reached 10K! Who knew it would take so long. Pretty sure it won’t have taken anyone else as long as me to achieve this but the main thing is I achieved it. After submitting my results I soon received the medal which is epic!

Unicorn medal

Really pleased with that. During February I’ll be earning the Love You To The Moon and Back medal which looks like this…

Image courtesy of Virtual Runner UK

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

2016 – A Review

For some reason this post didn’t publish when it was meant to and I didn’t even notice! Bad blogger! So I know it’s late but I thought I’d put it out there since I went to the effort of writing it and collating the pictures so here’s my late review of 2016.

January

Best Nails:

French manicure

My first ever attempt at a French Manicure turned out surprisingly well.

Favourite Photo:

Sunset at  Lee on the Solent

The sunset at Lee on Solent.

February

Best Nails:

Rimmel Let's Get Nude

These nails actually don’t look that good at all *blush* but it’s the best from February.

Best Photo:

Sunset at Stokes Bay

Sunset at Stokes Bay. No filter was needed for this photograph.

Best Blog Post:
February saw the launch of this blog. I’m choosing How I became a parkrun Volunteer as my best blog post. parkrun is something that means a lot to me so it’s a reflection of who I am.

March

Best Nails:

OPI Princesses Rule

I love how pink, sparkly and girly OPI’s Princesses Rule is

Best Photo:

Sea and Pebbles

The Solent. I remember taking this photo. It was such a warm day for March.

Best Blog Post:
It’s another parkrun post I’m afraid. I got some good feedback on my Becoming a parkrun Run Director post.

April

A Memory:

parkrun pacers

At the end of April Giles, one of the founding members of parkrun and chairman of Gosport Road Runners passed away. People were asked to wear their club vests to the run. I’m not a member of a running club but parkrun is the club I belong to. I didn’t know Giles well at all, I only met him a couple of times but he was adored by many.

Best Picture:

Ice Cream 99

First ice cream of the year. April was so warm!

May

Best Nails:

OPI Hello Kitty Spoken From The Heart

The Hello Kitty/OPI collaboration. This is Spoken From The Heart

Best Photo:

Weymouth Harbour

Weymouth Harbour

Best Blog Post: I got a lot of good feedback on my post parkrun – More than meets the eye People just don’t get to see this side of parkrun and people told me this made them appreciate their parkrun teams even more.

June

Best Nails:

New Look Pure Gel Nails

New Look Pure Gel is the best home gel nail varnish I’ve found.

Best Photo:

Spinnaker Tower

Spinnaker Tower taken from the Gosport Ferry

Best Blog Posts: In June I did my own Travel Guide for London, Scotland and Florida. I tried to include some of the none tourist sites so there were new things for people to try.

July

Best Nails:

Rimmel 60 seconds nail varnish

Best Photo:

parkrun 25 volunteer

I reached my 50 milestone for volunteering at parkrun.

Best Blog Post:
This is the blog post that has the most views on my blog – It’s the information post of when the Disney X Cath Kidston collaboration was announced.

August

Best Nails:

Gelish gel nails

In August I learnt to do my own gel nails.

Best Photo:

Sheffield Millennium Square

In August I passed my driving test and drove myself to my home town, Sheffield!

Best Blog Post: My only blog post in August was a catch up post called Let’s Have Coffee…

September:

Best Photo:

Super Low Tide

Super low tide at Lee on Solent

Best Blog Post: I did well with blog posts in September but I think my favourite was Fantastic Mr Fox I miss these guys now it’s Winter.

October

Best Photo:

Hot Chocolate at Costa Coffee

To be honest I’m surprised I made it until October before posting a picture of a Costa Coffee!

Best Blog Post: I wrote a post all about my holiday to Wales I’d never visited Wales before.

November

Best Photo:

Dusk at Lee on the Solent

I know I know, another sunset at the beach picture. I just can’t help it!

A Memory:

Reindeer

I love Reindeer and in November I got to hand feed one!

Best Blog Post: This blog post felt like a collaboration. I decided to write about marshalling at the Gosport Half and was blown away by how many people were willing to help me.

December

Best Nails:

Gelish Nails

I did my own gel nails for the Work Christmas Party.

Best Photo:

Kilner Jar

It had to include a Christmas tree I suppose for December and I didn’t want to bore you with another sunset beach post, although I did have one!

Best Blog Post: It has to be What I got for Christmas. I love looking at what other people got!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

January Round Up

So January has been and gone. I haven’t blogged a lot in January but to be honest I haven’t done a lot and I only want to blog when I have something to blog about. In January I’ve been working really hard and this has taken a bit of a toll on my health. I’ve had a constant cold and sore throat as a result of being run down. It feels crazy to be run down when we only just had the Christmas break but that’s where I’m at.

So on to the round up. In January it was my Birthday. I received some lovely presents from family and friends and celebrated with plenty of yummy food. Whilst at West Quay for my birthday lunch I found these gorgeous Kilner jars in John Lewis. I have never seen jars with the coloured lids like these. So I snapped up two of each colour. They were reduced in the January sales too which made them even sweeter.

Kilner Jars

I also did gel nails for my birthday. My nails are seriously weak though after removing them 🙁

Gel Nails

During January I also worked hard on achieving the unicorn medal I mentioned in my previous post I Am A Unicorn way back in November. This should have been easily achievable but with a malfunctioning treadmill and a phone dying instead of  recording my walk I actually had to do a lot more than the given 10K distance. There’s a review of how I achieved it coming up but here’s a picture I took on one of the walks.

Sunset

I thought I’d see how I was going with my 2017 goals too. Hopefully by revisiting them each month it’ll keep them fresh in my memory.

Health – Taking charge – I’m now taking both healthy breakfasts and lunches to work and I have stuck to this throughout January. I’ve also cooked a lot more in an evening so these meals are healthier too. I’ve mainly been using Joe Wicks Cook Books.

Read – Lots More Books – I’m on my third book of the year.

parkrun – I haven’t completed one. I have completed 3 5K walks in January though. Still suffering terribly with the leg pain that stopped me running in the first place though.

Be Me – I turned down the opportunity to go out out and confidently said “That’s not me” and it was ok!

Pretty pleased with how I’m going with my goals so far. Looking forward to seeing how I get on in February. I think my first goal will be helped by lighter evenings and warmer weather!

And to finish, if you missed any of my posts during January here they are again:

2017 Goals

December Roundup

Earning the All Aboard Medal from Virtual Runner UK

parkrun – Thoughts from the finish line

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

parkrun – Thoughts from the finish line

parkrun logo

As you know I’m a regular volunteer at my local parkrun. One of the roles I really enjoy doing is timekeeping which means I get to see every person cross the finish line and also means I get to see how each person crosses the finish line. Let me explain, I’ve whittled them down in to categories.

The over shooter

This is usually reserved for the fast people at the front. They run the whole course at a 6 minute mile and they don’t  slow down as they enter the finish funnel. This usually results in them sprinting straight past the lovely volunteers waiting to hand them their finish token who then have to shout “Token!!!! Come and get your token!!!” frantically before the next over shooter enters the funnel and chaos quickly descends.

The Hunter

The hunter enters the finish funnel and so begins the hunt for their barcode. They know they have it on them somewhere but where did they decide to put it at 8.30 before they left the house?! In their pocket/bra/that funny little pocket on the back of running trousers?! It has to be somewhere! Ah here it is, in my phone case…definitely don’t remember putting it in there!

The Vomiter

This is also usually reserved for the fast people at the front. They enter the finish funnel where they stop, bend double and begin to spit furiously. Are they going to vomit, will they? won’t they? They then move quickly to the side of the funnel and vomit over the edge like a sea sick sailor. Oh dear think the volunteers who now have splattered shoes!

The Mo Farah

Is that a photographer at the finish line?! Once the Mo Farah spots this, the moves begin. They pull the Mobot, then the lightening bolt, then the double thumbs up, then the arms in the air. One of them has to be good for a new FaceBook profile picture right?!

The You Go First

That awkward moment when you get to the finish funnel at the same time as someone else and so begins the “You first, no you first, no I insist” So very British!

The Celebrator

The celebrator takes on many forms from the “It’s my first time and I’ve just completed a parkrun” to the “I’ve just completed parkrun hungover and didn’t die” but you can always spot them, both arms in the air and a huge smile on their face.

The Last Minute Sprinter

So they’ve walked the whole course, yes you can walk a parkrun, but now they’re feeling pretty happy with themselves and decide to make the last 10 metres a full on sprint. This always gets a huge cheer, give it a go!

The Plodder

There’s some people who cross the finish line incredibly slowly. They plod those last 10 metres and as a timekeeper you have your finger hovered over the button and…then…you…just…wait…for…them…to…cross!

So, which category do you fit in to?

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Earning the All Aboard Medal from Virtual Runner UK

I’ve used Virtual Runner a few times in the past but then I let me fitness slip completely and didn’t bother anymore. Now as part of my 2017 goals to take charge of my health I decided to enter a couple again.

The All Aboard medal can be earned by walking or running 5K. I would be walking it but this is the longest I’ve walked in a while.

This morning I really didn’t want to go out. I’d woken up with a really bad headache but this medal had to be earned 2nd-8th January and since it’s back to work tomorrow I knew today was really my only chance so I made myself get up and out of the door.

I decided to walk the Lee on Solent parkrun course as it’s a sure cert to be a 5k route! I walked it and yes my back hurt, then my leg hurt, then my back hurt a bit more but by the time I got 3km in to the walk all the pain started to ease away and I was able to finish feeling pretty good. sun over the sea at Lee on Solent

Picture from our walk. It was lovely weather for a January day and there were loads of people out walking. I completed the 5K in 1:03:25 not particularly fast  but I have a starting point now. I’ve submitted my result so any day now this medal should be on its way to me.

London Bus Medal

Image courtesy of Virtual Runner UK

Next I’ll be earning my Unicorn medal.

How are you doing with your goals for 2017?

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

December Roundup

Happy New Year Everyone!

December is that month that comes and goes in a flash. Before you know it the New Year is here and Christmas is over for another year.

So what did I get up to in December?

December started with a visit home to Sheffield to spend some time with my Mum. I was there for 4 days. It was so nice to be able to spend some quality time at home and visit Meadowhall, the shopping centre there. Meadowhall is so much better than West Quay but I actually didn’t find anything to buy!! Typical!

Coffee

A much needed coffee whilst shopping.

Blogwise I completed a Christmas Haul series of posts. I worked hard on these and liked how the pictures turned out.

Christmas Haul

December also had my work Christmas Party. It was at Saint Mary’s Stadium. The venue was nice but the room was hotter than hell which made it an uncomfortable evening! I did my second attempt at gel nails for it and added nail glitter. I was pleased with how they turned out.

Gel Nails

We went and met up with some friends from Sheffield who were en route to visit family for Christmas. We’d originally planned to meet in Costa Coffee (of course) but with it being Christmas Eve they closed at 3pm to enable them to set up for their Boxing Day sale! We went to Starbucks instead which meant I got to try their Toffee Nut Latte. It was beautiful.

Starbucks Toffee Nut Latte

Christmas was spent at home and was a quiet affair just the way I like it. Since then I’ve been trying to be good and have been out for a walk or a bike ride almost every day. I am a bad blogger though and haven’t actually taken any pictures whilst I’ve been out!! FAIL!

I hope you’ve all had a good December.  If you feel you’ve missed any of my posts through December, here they are below:

Christmas Haul Part 1 – Cath Kidston

Christmas Haul Part 2 – Garsons Garden Centre

Christmas Haul Part 3 – John Lewis

Christmas Haul Part 4 – Finishing Touches

What I Got For Christmas

parkrun – That time when 552 runners turned up

That’s all from me but I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the people who have supported this blog since I launched it in February. Here’s to a successful 2017 for us all

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2017 Goals

2017 Goals

I’m not usually one for making goals, but maybe this is why nothing ever changes for me? I’m not setting myself specific targets but goals I’d like to work towards throughout 2017.

Health

In 2017 I want to continue taking charge of my health. I started this in the latter part of 2016 by preparing healthy lunches to take to work. During the week between Christmas and New Year I’ve made sure I’ve done something active every day be it a walk or a bike ride. I hope to continue getting in a bit more activity.

Read more books

This is a goal you see a lot. I love reading but I tend to spend more time reading blogs, Facebook, Twitter etc. when actually I could read a book. I’ve read lots between Christmas and New Year  and I hope to keep this up through 2017. Once upon a time I used to keep track of all the books I read in a year. Maybe this will add an incentive to keep reading.

parkrun

It’s time to complete one…and maybe a second if I enjoy it! I love volunteering at parkrun and to date have volunteered 70 times! (71 on New Years Day) Yet I’ve never completed a parkrun. It’s time to change that.

be me

I need to embrace my inner me. I sometimes feel like I have to accept every invitation that comes my way and whilst that’s ok sometimes, fact of the matter is I like being at home. I’m not in to going out and having a wild time anymore, that just isn’t me and I need to learn to be comfortable with that.

So that’s my goals for 2017, what are yours?

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

parkrun – That time when 552 runners turned up

parkrun Christmas logo

It’s been a while since I did a parkrun post so I thought I’d tell you about Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve started off really jolly. There were a lot of runners in fancy dress ranging from a simple Santa Hat to full on costumes of elves carrying runners like this one!

christmas parkrun fancy dress

Photo courtesy of Steve Wood

When it started we knew there were more people than normal. I filmed the start and it took 40 seconds to get everyone through rather than the usual 15 seconds, but it never occurred to us just how many people there were or why there were so many. Was it because we’d planned Reindeer pacers for the event starting with Dasher at 19 minutes?

parkrun pacers at lee on solent parkrun

Photo courtesy of Steve Wood

According to the parkrun page our parkrun has an average of 290.4 runners each week. We usually sit around 300-350. I’m going to let you in to a little secret here. We only have enough finish tokens for 500 runners in the box we keep at the finish funnel.

parkrun runners

Photo courtesy of Steve Wood

I’m not even sure that picture does justice of how many people there were!

I knew it was busy as when I was barcode scanning I was asked to move further away from the finish funnel. That doesn’t usually happen. I then got asked to move another 3 metres away from the finish funnel. Apparently the finish funnel was getting so crowded the time keepers were having to move forward as the funnel was full and they couldn’t click the runners coming in to finish.

We were all kept in the festive spirit though by these lovely people playing Christmas Carols!

brass band at lee on solent parkrun

Photo Courtesy of Steve Wood

Then we hit it, the magic 500 and we ran out of tokens! Imagine the panic that filled people. Some clever soul had the idea of writing the finishing numbers on the runners hands. They then went to manual entry and had their details taken that way.  Luckily the runners at Lee on the Solent parkrun are a friendly bunch and straight away we had people offering to help take down people’s details and asking what they could do to help.

Afterwards we had a little time to reflect. Our parkrun is so successful and it’s going from strength to strength. However some lessons had to be learned and so a longer finish funnel and more finish tokens will be ready at the end of the run on New Years Eve. I can’t wait to see how it plays out, especially as I am Run Director. I have excited nerves! And hopefully I won’t have to enter the 52 people by hand that I did last week!

Never been to parkrun? Be sure to find your local and register here. New Year is a great time to start.

Want to read more parkrun posts? They’re all listed below for you

I Am Team GB

Volunteering at parkrun 50 times

parkrun – More than meets the eye

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

What I Got For Christmas

I know some people don’t like these type of posts so feel free to skip by. I however love seeing what other people got. It gives me ideas for presents to ask for with my Birthday being on the way. I’m not going to detail all of my presents but below are some of my favourite presents.

Mickey Mouse Purse and Mary Poppins Bottle

My friends know I love Disney. These were part of my presents from two work colleagues. The drinks bottle is hard to photograph but it’s Mary Poppins and on one side has Mary’s silhouette and the other says “Practically Perfect In Every Way” I love Mary Poppins, it’s one of my favourite movies. My friend popped a coin in the Mickey Mouse purse so hopefully now it will never be empty.

Minnie Mouse Watch

How cute is this Minnie Mouse watch?! My mum got me this as a present I could open. I ask for vouchers from my mum a lot. My birthday is right after Christmas so all my gifts come at once. If I ask for vouchers I can then get myself things through the year. It helps stretch out the presents a little more. It’s from Avon and has a rubber strap which I like because in my work I can sometimes get messy and rubber straps are much easier to clean!

A gift from my keyworker

Speaking of work, here is part of a present one of the children from work got me. I absolutely love it. It’s very chintz and Cath Kidston-esque so it’s perfect for me, and the statement is all true hehe.

Cath Kidston Leopard Flower Backpack

Whilst we’re talking of Cath Kidston it’s time to bring on the big guns. Here’s one of 3 Cath Kidston bags. It’s the Leopard Flower backpack. I was lusting after this a while ago  but it went out of stock quickly. I saw on Twitter just before Christmas that it had come back in stock and dropped a few hints to my husband. It has so many pockets, this is going to become my new work bag.

Disney X Cath Kidston Mickey Mouse London Backpack

Now for one of my absolute favourites. The Mickey in London Disney X Cath Kidston backpack. I love it. I was gutted when the pre sale took place and I had everything in my basket but the website was so busy I couldn’t check out and so I sat watching things sell out and one by one disappear from my basket. My husband got the email there was more in stock whilst I was at work and got straight on it and ordered this and…

Disney X Cath Kidston Spot Mini Satchel

This! The Disney X Cath Kidston Minnie and Mickey Mouse spot Mini Satchel. It’s perfection. I absolutely love it. It’s just the right size for when you’re popping out and don’t want to take a big handbag with you.

So there you have it. I’ve been one lucky girl this year.

What was your favourite Christmas present you recieved?

How did you spend Christmas this year?

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,