This morning I headed out for a run with the Breakfast Club again. The plan was to run 20 minutes or so out and back to the Mulberry memorial on Stokes Bay where the British Legion would join us and poppies could be laid. Some people had also opted to take part in a 5K poppy run where they received a t-shirt and medal. I’d completely missed the memo on this though so just ran with them.
I picked up Claire, my friend from parkrun, and we headed off together, then we went back, picked up her Garmin and then headed back off haha. As always we started at the Bayside Cabin car park and this weeks route was up Stokes Bay prom, through the golf course and back. Claire has really helped me through my rehabilitation. When I run with her I don’t look at my watch, we just go and she tells me if we’re doing ok.
The wind was absolutely horrendous as we ran along the beach. It was blowing straight in off the sea leaving one side of me freezing, whilst the other side was sweltering. It felt very strange. Thankfully though the pouring rain from the last day stayed away whilst we were out. We ran for 25 minutes and then turned around.
When we made it back to the Mulberry Harbour memorial we soon saw fellow Gosport Road Runner Andy coming up the prom. He’s a member of the British Legion. Andy recited part of the poem “For the Fallen”
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them
After a minutes silence, the poppies and wooden crosses were then placed in front of the memorial. It was really lovely.
We then headed off again back to the Bayside Cabin for breakfast. I had my usual from there, the “Veggie 2” which is mixed mushrooms on toast. When we sat down Claire asked me if I’d looked at our splits yet. I hadn’t, as I hadn’t uploaded it to Strava. She then told me “Your mile 1 was really fast” Claire knows now what my good paces and slower paces are so I was intrigued to look.
Imagine my genuine surprise when I saw mile 1! A mile in the 12’s! I was so so surprised. I was probably going quicker to try and warm up!
After breakfast, a coffee and a nice natter with some of the other Breakfast Clubbers, I headed home to a nice hot bath! It definitely warmed me up.
I’ve not had a lot to blog about lately as I’m still injured so still not running. However, there’s been a few things going on so I thought I’d do a chatty post as though we were chatting over a cup of coffee.
If we were having coffee…I’d tell you I’m going back to the classroom. Well sort of. Work offered a free course with at home learning. At the end we get a level 2 qualification in Common Childhood Illnesses. I’m half way through 2 out of 3 units and so far I’m enjoying it. It’s informative and giving me another string to my bow. The only down side is, it’s all handwritten! I’m not used to writing for long periods of time anymore!
If we were having coffee…I’d tell you a recently went to a 40th Birthday party. It was in a very cool industrial venue that was so unique. I’d love to have held an event there but sadly it’s been pulled down soon. The party was an 80’s theme so we dressed up and sang the night away. I had to chair dance though as this was a little while ago when my injury was still sore.
If we were having coffee…I’d tell you I’m still injured but very slowly making a return to exercise. I did 15 minutes on the exercise bike which was pain free. So a couple of days later I did an exercise DVD. I was tentative. I was scared some of the movements might hurt or aggravate my injury but again it was pain free. My injury feels 90% better now and the physio has told me there’s nothing else she can do but it’s knowing how to get rid of the remaining 10% now!
If we were having coffee… I’d tell you how excited I am that the heatwave is over. There’s one good thing about this injury and that’s that I’ve not had to run in this heat! I’m rubbish in heat, let alone trying to run in it. I’m very much an Autumn/Winter person. I don’t care if I’m running in the dark and rain. It does not bother me one bit. Look at these apples growing on my neighbours tree. A sure sign Autumn is on the way.
If we were having coffee… I’d tell you that Weight Watchers is working wonders for me. In 5 weeks I’ve lost 12.5lbs and 5% of my body weight. I’m really pleased with how easy I’m finding it.
If we were having coffee… I’d tell you that I went for a coffee with Sarette who runs Woofs with Wilson. We went to The Pump House in Gosport. I’d heard of it, but I’d never been before. It was so lovely. It’s in an old pump house, as the name suggests, and is small but perfectly formed inside with outdoor seating too. As we arrived early, we sat inside and had a lovely natter with Heather the owner. I had a flat white and a slice, well I say a slice, it was more like a slab of coffee and walnut cake. It was delicious and hand made in house!
If we were having coffee…I’d tell you that after going for coffee Sarette asked me if I’d like to join her on a walk with Wilson! Honestly, I didn’t need asking twice! It was a big fat yes please. We went for a lovely walk at Stokes Bay and once again I was shown paths I didn’t know existed and how they linked to places I did know. I wish I’d tracked the walk on my watch but I reckon we walked around 1.5-2 miles. We walked on trails and shingle and my injury was absolutely fine!
Action shot of Wilson jumping for stones
If we were having coffee…I’d tell you I went on a walk with Maria from work. We walked along Stokes Bay up to the Gilkicker fort and back. It was 2.8 miles so almost a parkrun and again was absolutely pain free. It was a chatty pace though so perhaps not quick enough for a parkrun just yet. We had a good old natter and then went for a coffee afterwards.
That now brings me pretty much up to date with everything that’s been happening. Hopefully as I return to exercise I’ll have a little more to blog about. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to run some time in the future!
September has been and gone. As much as it’s sad to see the Summer over, Autumn is my favourite time of year so I’m not entirely sad that we find ourselves with darker evenings, cooler days and a carpet of freshly shed leaves.
In September I managed to complete 4 parkruns! That’s the most in one month I’ve completed. I’ve gone from starting September with a time of 56:19 after coming back from injury to setting a new PB on the last day of September of 45:25.
I also ran my first 5K race in 3 years! I got a PB, beating my 5K PB from 2012! I’ve since smashed this PB at parkrun (see above)
At the beginning of September this fella was still spending his days in the garden but as the month progressed we’ve seen less of him. I guess he’s finding warmer places to hide now the weather has cooled off.
I also discovered a fabulous shop in nearby Wickham called Whiff of Wickham that sells bath bombs, melts, soaps etc. I bought a load of bath bombs by Bomb Cosmetics and Paws for Thought was my favourite. Not only was it cute to look at but it smelt divine too.
I also went to Southampton with friends in September to go to Sprinkles. When we got there, there was a huge big wheel so we went on it. The views from the top were awesome. Check out West Quay shopping centre with a huge cruise ship behind it in the picture below.
And finally a picture of a tree I took last week. It couldn’t look more Autumnal!
So now we’re in to October and the countdown to Christmas can truly begin!
Missed a post from September? They’re all listed below!
Sorry for how late this post is. I have had some trouble with my webhosting! Anyway, without hesitation, here it is!
June has flown by and it’s already July. 6 months of the year have gone.
June started with the first Stokes Bay junior parkrun. It feels like we’ve been waiting for this day for a long time and it finally arrived. The morning was a complete success and we had a massive turn out of 184 children. I did a post about it here. It’s really awesome to know we’re doing something to shape the future generation.
June also saw me visit a local eatery for the first time called The Tenth Hole. They sell the most amazing cakes. They have a main menu too but they’re renowned for their cakes. I had the Mars Bar cheesecake which was divine. I’ve visited since and had the banoffee pie which was delicious. It tasted so fresh.
In June I only managed to run one parkrun due to other commitments on a Saturday morning. I got a PB which was pleasing. My 5k PB is now at 53:27.
On 18th June I went and spectated at the Gosport Golden Mile. This is a local race but has an amazing turnout. I blogged about it here.
At the end of June we had some friends down from Sheffield. It was fun being tourists in our own town. We ate out, went to the New Forest, took them to see Old Portsmouth, Southsea and to the beach here at Lee-on-the-Solent. They really enjoyed it.
June has been a fun month. I’ve blogged 4 times in June and the links are below if you want to check them out.
The Gosport Golden Mile is a much anticipated local race. It is organised by Nick Carter who owns Absolute Running and a true legend in the running community. He also organises 545 club (every Wednesday), Breakfast Club (every Sunday) and the Bayside 5K Summer Series as well as the Golden Mile!
Sunday morning started bright and early. The weather was absolutely glorious. I smothered myself in sun cream and donned my hat as I knew we were going to be there all morning.
Upon arrival my Mum and I (Yes I dragged my Mum along but she actually enjoyed it!) went and grabbed a coffee in the Bayside Cabin. It was like lava though and as a result we missed the wheelchair race! Ooops!
We headed over to the start/finish line of the Golden Mile ready for the kids race where I quickly caught up with Maggie.
We were waiting for her son to complete the mile. He’s been doing really well in our new junior parkrun and this was a fraction shorter so we knew he’d do well. We were also looking out for the young man who keeps being first past the line at junior parkrun. We knew he’d do well too. However the biggest surprise of all was as we were clapping in the winner and second place, we noticed who was in third place, Kieran was storming his way to the finish line. I went mad cheering him on. I literally couldn’t believe it! As he made his way round to us with his medal I was so pleased for him and told him so. However, being the teenager he is, he was totally chill about it! He completed his mile in 05:42.2! If you want to read his account of the run click here.
340 children entered the Gosport Golden Mile! That’s an astounding amount of children, but it was watching this race last year that really confirmed we needed a junior parkrun in the area.
Next up was the Adult mile race. Jeez those guys were fast. It was won in 04:09.4! We cheered and hollered so many of our friends on from parkrun. It was a brilliant atmosphere. It was a hot day but so many people still managed to get PB’s.
Afterwards it was time for the final race, the 5K race. The pack seemed a little small, 140 people. Maybe this seemed small because I’m so used to looking at our huge parkruns! I’m sure the weather probably made some people DNS! Again we gave our support to everyone, but mostly the people we know from parkrun. It was nice to see them all as I’d missed parkrun the previous day due to work. Booo! We watched the last runner come in then headed over to watch the presentations.
The first three winners of each race were given a plaque and cash prize. I was pretty impressed, great medal and fantastic prizes for those who managed to achieve them! There were also bottles of wine for those who won their age categories. It’s the race that keeps on giving!
Image courtesy of Kieran
Thanks again Kieran
You know what I’m going to say now right?! Watching this race inspired me so much and now I’m eagerly awaiting the entries to open for the Gosport Golden Mile 2018 to open so I can enter. But the question is, which one? The mile? The 5k? Or Both?!
I know I’m getting to this April roundup a little late. In fact, we’re almost half way through May already but hey, better late than never right?!
In April I went to the cinema for the first time in over two years. Of course it was to see Beauty and the Beast! I was dubious about the remake, wondering if it would be as good as the original animated cartoon version from 1991 that I remember watching over and over on VHS as a child. In truth, the remake was wonderful and every bit as magical as the original if not more due to the progression in film making. I was enthralled from start to finish.
I also left my job in April and one of my leaving gifts from my colleague was this wonderful chip cup!
I got lots of lovely gifts from my colleagues and the children and I got lots of flowers! I had 7 vases brimming with beautiful blooms! Below is just one of them. I love tulips, they’re so pretty and vibrant.
Of course in April I’ve also taken some beach pictures when I’ve been out walking. I’m still determined to keep gaining fitness by walking more often.
I love how the sun is reflecting off the wet sand in the second picture. Sun set at the beach is the best. As I’ve been doing lots of walking I’ve also discovered some new places in and around where I live. Below are photos of Fort Gilkicker that was built in 1863 and is soon to become “luxury homes” and the Haslar sea wall where you can see across to Portsmouth Harbour.
As I’ve been doing lots of walking I wanted a new way of recording my walks as for some reason, despite having a full battery my phone will die when using apps like Strava and say it has no battery, thus losing my data. Then, annoyingly, when I get home and plug it in my phone shows a full charge again! I hunted high and low for my old Garmin Forerunner 410 but despite being sure I brought it from Sheffield with us, I couldn’t find it anywhere. I researched a few different tracking watches and settled on the Garmin Forerunner 35. It’s simple to use, tracks heart rate and has GPS. I’m pretty pleased with it and am loving tracking all the stats again.
I’ve also continued to volunteer at my local parkrun. I decided to go back to marshalling as I usually do a funnel role. I loved being back out on the course cheering everyone on. I was put back in my old marshalling spot of the playground which just so happens to have a café right at the side of it so it was coffee and marshalling for me!
Speaking of parkrun we’ve also had confirmation of the junior parkrun we’ve been setting up. Stokes Bay junior parkrun will start on 4th June! We’re all so excited about this. The trial is on Saturday afternoon for us to try out all the equipment and make sure everything works before we do it for real. Afterwards we have to have a training session on being an RD at a Junior parkrun. I’m guessing this will cover some safeguarding aspects with it being juniors.
I think that’s it for my April update! I have some exciting news too but that’s for another post!
Not had enough? Why not look at my other post from April…
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.
My first ever attempt at a French Manicure turned out surprisingly well.
The sunset at Lee on Solent.
These nails actually don’t look that good at all *blush* but it’s the best from February.
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.
I love how pink, sparkly and girly OPI’s Princesses Rule is
The Solent. I remember taking this photo. It was such a warm day for March.
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.
First ice cream of the year. April was so warm!
The Hello Kitty/OPI collaboration. This is Spoken From The Heart
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.
New Look Pure Gel is the best home gel nail varnish I’ve found.
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.
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.
In August I learnt to do my own gel nails.
In August I passed my driving test and drove myself to my home town, Sheffield!
Please tell me it’s not just me that thinks November has passed in the blink of an eye? And now here we are approaching December and Christmas at break neck speed!! So, before November completely disappears here’s what I got up to.
Christmas cups arrived at Costa! I love these, the Christmas cups are designed to look like Christmas jumpers. It’s like your cup has a Christmas jumper on to keep your coffee/hot chocolate warm. So far I’ve tried the Toasted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate and the Mint Hot Chocolate. Has to be said both taste divine. I’ve not actually tried any of the coffees yet but believe me, it won’t be long!
On November 5th I went to a baby shower. I’ve never been to a baby shower before but it was so much fun. It was all planned for them by another good friend and she did fun games, a quiz and arranged a stunning venue which is where this picture was taken. We went to The Vintage Tea Room in Fareham. I’d never been there before and it was so lovely. We had sandwiches, scones with cream and jam, then the most delicious slices of cake. I’d definitely visit again.
I went in to Southampton and did some shopping in November. I went to John Lewis in West Quay to look at the Buster’s Garden range and bought these two cuties. Well you all know I have an obsession with foxes. There’s more about these guys coming in my Christmas Haul posts. They start on December 1st so be sure to check them out.
It wouldn’t be my blog or a monthly roundup with out a picture of the Solent now would it? I still sometimes look at this view literally a two minute walk from my front door and think “Wow, I live here!” It still doesn’t feel real sometimes but here we are heading towards our second Christmas here.
Finally, whilst visiting a local garden centre they had reindeer! They were so lovely and you were able to stroke them and hand feed them. Naturally I had a go at feeding one. It felt very magical to be hand feeding one of Santa’s Reindeer 😉
My November in blog posts:
If you missed any of my blog posts in November here they are for you:
Firstly I want to start this post with a big thank you to my parkrun family. When I messaged you all I only expected one or two to answer but actually so many of you answered. I’m absolutely overwhelmed by you all wanting to help out. So Thank You and on with the blog post.
On Sunday I marshalled at the Gosport Half Marathon. I was stationed in Lee-on-Solent where I live so it was really easy for me to walk to my marshalling point.
I had such a good morning. Where I was stood was mile 2, but as this was a two lap course it then became mile 6-7 meaning I got to cheer on my parkrun family and all the other runners not once but twice. In fact I got to cheer some on three times as where I was the runners then ran on, looped back and passed again behind us before starting their second loop and I was able to nip there before the front runners came back on their second loop.
The race was won by Jonathon Roberts of Southampton AC in a time of 1:09:40 which was a new course record! The female winner was Ellie Monks from Southampton in a time of 1:21:36. Given the weather these times are awesome!
Storm Angus blew through Gosport on Saturday night with really heavy rain and winds of 45mph so there was talk of the race being cancelled. However the weather fairy must have been smiling down as the rain stopped in plenty of time and the winds died down as each hour passed by.
The finishers bags are also pretty good. They included a Twix, Go Crispy slices, Capri Sun, bag of crisps, a banana, homemade cake, a voucher for 15% off at Absolute Running in Gosport and a material bag with the Gosport Half Marathon logo on.
There was also a Gosport Half Fun Run which was 1.2km.
Have you ever thought of running the Gosport Half Marathon? Here’s what some of the runners told me about the race.
Victoria W finished in 2:17:59
Had an amazing run at Gosport Half today. No PB however it was tough with that wind. With my mini supporters on route ready with free high fives and all the other supporters and marshals it made the run more enjoyable and just about doable. The views amazing once again, very lucky to have an amazing fantastic race on our door step very well organised. Cant say no to it 4th Gosport Half completed and sure I’ll be back again in 2017.
Jade L finished in 2:06:03
Gosport Half has the most amazing atmosphere. The support from the volunteers and the local community was incredible and helped me break my target goal
Louise T finished in 2:09:58
I loved the race today – despite the wind I had a fantastic time. Route was lovely and support was incredible the whole way round.
Louise on the left
Lara B finished in 2:17:59
My second year at the Gosport Half Marathon and once again a brilliant event with fantastic marshals and support from the locals. Conditions were a little challenging this year but still didn’t stop us all enjoying a fab run! Thanks to everyone who turned up today and cheered us on
Victoria on the left Lara on the right
Penny N finished in 2:36:04
A well organised race that was just like a giant park run with lots of the usual park run marshals encouraging us around.
Amy W finished in 2:17:31
Gosport Half was very well organised by Gosport Road Runners and the local community. If it wasn’t for the road runners I probably would not of got my PB today.
There was no need for headphones as the samba band was brilliant and people playing music from their cars from Lee beach front
The goodie bag was pretty good and was so glad about the cake after battling the wind. Loved every minute of it.
Paul A finished in 1:42:32
Gosport Half Marathon is a “must do” local race for me, even from being a visitor to the area and not a local! Today the wind made it a challenge but fabulous encouragement from the numerous marshals, friends and family certainly helped. The 2 laps and seeing runners coming the other way allows lots of waves and hellos with running friends too. I even managed a high 5 with my son and LOTS parkrun mini marshal Pearson, before he chased me and photo-bombed me Plentiful water stations and entertainment help quick times on a mostly fast flat course, lean into the wind 1 way then float and be pushed the other. Personally a sore knee and calf meant I slowed over the last 3 or 4 miles so I can’t complain with a 1hr 42m time (although I do!)
Louise B finished in 2:29:53
I had a brilliant run at the Gosport Half Marathon, mostly thanks to everybody, both marshals and spectators, who stood out in some challenging conditions to ensure that us runners were properly motivated to get our arses around the course! As a result I took 20 minutes off my previous HM time and am still smiling the day after
So there you have it, if you’re looking for a half marathon somewhere in the South you really can’t go wrong with the Gosport Half.
There’s a race review coming up from one of the runners too. Look out for it!
June has seen some beautiful weather but also some crazy weather with horrendous rain, thunderstorms and flooding!
June has seen my garden continue to bloom. I love looking out there and seeing what’s new. It feels like each day something new opens up at the moment.
I popped over to Portsmouth on the Gosport ferry and took this picture of the Spinnaker Tower. From what I can gather the locals have mixed feelings about the Tower. One day I’d love to go up to the viewing platform at the top. The pictures I’ve seen show the view from up there is immense.
I received my employee of the month voucher to spend at West Quay and bought these beauties. I love them.
We took a drive up to Portsdown Hill in Portsmouth and I took this picture. I wish I’d taken my digital camera up there but still thought this snap on my iPhone showed the amazing view quite well. This overlooks both Portsmouth and Gosport.
I snapped this picture of Gary the Event Director of our local parkrun doing the Run Director brief. Next week marks a year since it started and I’m so proud to be a part of it. It’s become a big part of my life and the people there have too. A year ago I only knew work colleagues down here and now I know many more thanks to parkrun. It’s the anniversary run on 2nd July and I’m gutted I have to miss it due to a work commitment. I’ll hopefully make it to the picnic afterwards though and hopefully I won’t miss too much.
So that’s my June in pictures. What was your favourite part of June? Do you have anything special planned for July?