Five Things Friday-5

Five Things Friday #5…

Five things Friday #5. I am impressed that I am on number 5! I’m not always the best at keeping things going and I have had less time online this week. But here goes and I hope some of these are of interest to you. Let me know below.

Sharing FIVE things that I have been doing/using/found this week that I think are worthy of sharing.

MND Research

If you have been following me for a while, you will know that finding a cure for Motor Neurone Disease is something close to my heart. I run often to raise money and awareness for the MNDA in the hope that one day there will be a cure.

My Dad
My beautiful dad who died of MND back in 2010.

Read more about the trials here. If you would like to donate, you can here.

Virtual Run – Bushfire Relief Run

The fires that are happening in Australia are awful. The photos and videos that are being shared on Social Media are heart-breaking. As usual, the running community has come together to try and raise funds with a virtual run.

Five things Friday - Bushfire Relief Run photo

A runner in Australia had teamed up with Strava to host a virtual run. Find out more information here. Be quick as the challenge starts today.

Nike Vapourfly Next%

If you have watched any marathon in the last year, you are bound to have seen that the leading group are almost certainly wearing the record-breaking Nike shoes. Well, an article in runner world says that they are likely to be banned. Read here.

Five things Friday - Nike Vapourfly Next %

So what do you think? Do you think that these should be banned? Or should other brands be stepping up to compete with Nike? They do appear to be giving huge gains to those that are wearing them!

Blog

Another blog to follow if you are running the Manchester Marathon and would like to read about someone else’s journey. This Chap Runs (Jack) took part in the Berlin Marathon last year and is now tackling his 2nd marathon training cycle.

If you missed my weekly recap last week from Manchester you can find it here. Better still, add your email to the subscription box on the right and never miss another post.

Parkrun

Five things Friday - parkrun logo

Surely EVERYONE has heard about Parkrun? They organise, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in. You can run or walk them.

I was lucky enough to take part in a club takeover at Irchester Parkrun last weekend. This is where my club provides nearly all the volunteering roles. My role was to write the run report. If you would like to read, click here.

Irchester parkrun 11.01.2020

So that’s it for Five things Friday #5. Any articles that you think need sharing, please send them my way.

If you haven’t subscribed to my blog, please add your email address to the box on the right of this page so that you never miss a post.

Missed other Five Things Friday, click here to have a read.

MNDAD@70 Update…

So we are now two and a half months in to my crazy year of raffles. SEVENTY didn’t seem unachievable, but it is daunting. We are now on raffle number 14, and I think unachievable am already a little bit behind schedule. I think I worked it out that I need to run one every 5 days to fit in all 70 in one year, but I am just over-lapping some. If you need reminding why I am doing this, please read here.

My Dad

I think one of the things that I am finding the hardest is knowing how to publicise it and how often to share it. I don’t want to spam people with it, but then I also know of raffles that have been missed by people. How do you find the balance? Any suggestions on best platforms to share the raffles on?

I have been really fortunate with brands getting involved and donating prizes, and I will be eternally grateful to them. Since I started this I have raised over £300 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association which is amazing, so thank you to Runr, Run Mummy Run, Hygge Bands, Sports Direct Running, Run Ink Design, Provis Sports, Halo Headbands, Pepper Jar Creations, Time 4 Nutrition, Spibelt, Hang Tidy, and Tina’s Massage.

I obviously have a long way to go, so if anyone is aware of any companies that may want to get involved please get in touch. Motor Neurone Disease still has no cure, and #ThereIsNoFinishLineUntilThereIsACure.

Please share this post and make sure you let all your friends know about MNDAD@70. Make sure you follow me on all social media channels to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the great prizes still to come.

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The Vitality Big Half – Race recap

Let me start this recap with my comedy moments from the weekend! Firstly, when I got out of the tube station at Tower Bridge, the heavens opened. I put my hood up and was sending a video to my friends asking them why they didn’t want to come to London. You may have already guessed, but my head was down I wasn’t looking where I was going, and I walked into a lamppost!! There were so many people around and I felt so stupid!

So that started the day and this to finish! Last year, Jordan – Project Marathon Girl had a great finishing photo, and she had shared it on Saturday on Instagram.

I messaged her, saying it was a great photo and that I was going to try to recreate it when I finished. So, as I approach the finish line, I put my arms out wide, but forget to check if anyone is next to me, and hit the poor lady next to me! What an absolute tool! She was lovely about it, and we ended up hugging at the finish line, but I dreaded the finish line photos coming out. I also received a message via Facebook saying someone had just seen me cross the finish line on the TV. My heart sank, I could just see that moment on replay! Luckily it was just my head on the TV!

Date: Sunday 10th March 2019

Time: 9:00am

Weather: A bit of everything, sun, rain, hail stones, but mostly WIND!

Course: Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf and The Cutty Sark are all the highlights, between those sections the course is not that spectacular.

My race: Last year I had a bit of a nightmare at this race, so much so that when I tried to look for my race recap, I didn’t even write one! I started too fast, and ended up run/walking from 5k! This year, I was determined to not repeat that.

I was SO cold at the start of the race, I could not stop myself shivering. I was relieved when we started as I just wanted to warm up. I tried to settle into my running, but was surprised at how many people seemed to be over taking me. When my watched buzzed the first mile, I decided not to look at the pace and put my sleeve over my watch. I decided to just run on feel.

The start feels like it is mainly down hill, and the tunnel goes on forever! Canary Wharf was busy with support and sections were really windy. We were mostly protected by the buildings, but at one section a gust of wind came from between the buildings and pushed me sideways!

Running across Tower Bridge is always special, but it was SO windy, so quite hard work. Shortly after this, I felt myself questioning why I was doing this. I was running on my own (even though there were so many people around me) and I just wanted it to be over. As silly as this sounds, I felt bored! I kept plodding on, but at the 10 mile marker, I stopped to walk and give myself a talking too. I carried on, but now my foot started hurting. I had a feeling as though the outside of my left foot was bruised. It was bearable, but I ended up run/walking for the last 3 miles. It also started to rain as I approached the end, and I remember just laughing to myself, I just wanted it to be over!

 

I was so relieved to see the finish line, and when I looked at my watch and it said 2:13, I was disappointed. This disappointment was doubled when I received my text telling me my official time, as it had last years time above, and I was slower this year! WTAF!

Brighton two weeks ago had given me confidence, and I thought I would be able to go a little faster this time, so I think that’s why I was a little disappointed. On reflection, I think I had talked myself out of this race before it even started. I have a lot going on outside of running at the moment, and may be that is taking more out of me than I realise. Also, when I did 3 half marathons in 4 weeks last year, that was off the back of a solid training block from New York. This year I have trained, but not as hard, so I may just have to cut myself some slack. I have Bath half this weekend with lots of my club mates, so hopefully I will get to run with someone and just enjoy the moment.

Lesson learned: Finish lines, not finish times!

Pros:

  • London Marathon Events are always very well organised.
  • The support around London is amazing.
  • Very nice finishers t-shirt.
  • The race photographs were by sportograf, and I have to give them a big shout out, as it cost £19.99 for all photos, which I think is very reasonable.

Cons:

  • I HATE running in the wind.
  • I wasn’t so keen on my 5am alarm!
  • I just don’t seem to be able to pace myself well at this race! Oh well, suppose that means i’ll be back again next year – 3rd time lucky!

What weather conditions do you hate running in the most?

MNDAD70 logo

#MNDAD70

It’s been a while since I last blogged, but as it’s half term, so I thought I’d post! If you follow me on social media, you will have seen the hashtag #MNDAD70, and hopefully you will know what it is about. But just in case this blog reaches people that are not following me, let me explain.

So my dad died in 2010 of Motor Neurone Disease. – for those that are not sure what this is, if I said Ice Bucket Challenge or Stephen Hawkins, you probably have heard of it at some point. It is the most horrendous disease that attacks the motor neurones.

I still find it heart breaking that there is no cure. I remember my dad taking part in trials to help find a cure, yet we are 9 years on from his death and people are still being diagnosed with this, knowing that they will never be cured!

January 30th 2019, should have been my fathers 70th birthday, so I had this crazy idea that to celebrate his life and raise funds and awareness, in hope that one day a cure would be found, I would try to run 70 raffles throughout the year.

I have been fundraising for the Motor Neurone Disease Association ever since my dad died, but I didn’t want to just ask people for money again, so I thought I would run raffles, so donators had a chance of getting something from it. I have been fortunate that Runr, Run Mummy Run, Hygge Bands, Sports Direct Running, Proviz, Halo headbands, Pepper Jar Creations, and Time 4 Nutrition have all donated prizes so far.

SEVENTY is a massive number, and I know that it is going to be hard work to get that many prizes, but I will keep going, just like my dad did. I would love to see a cure in my lifetime, and know that I played a little part in helping, but mostly to know that anyone who is diagnosed has a chance to fight and be cured.

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My #flashbackfriday has to be a photo of my last holiday with my dad – a week before he died of #MND . I have had many new followers recently, so I thought I’d share my reason for getting into running. . I played basketball for many years, so I always ran to keep fit for my sport. . In 2009, my dad was diagnosed with #motorneuronedisease on the 9th Nov – I’ll never forget as it was my birthday! . I had read a bit about it, but didn’t know what to expect really. My dad deteriorated pretty rapidly, he lost his ability to walk, and talk, but never lost his smile and kind ways. . My dad died 8 months after being diagnosed, and as hard as it is for all of my family and friends, it was the best thing for him. This disease is so cruel and the less he had to suffer the better. . There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t miss him. He missed my wedding, meeting my little girl and being her granddad! . I had run a half marathon when my dad was alive, but promised him I would run a 16 mile race to raise money for #MNDA . I didn’t make the 16 mile run as I fell pregnant, but I knew I wanted to raise money and keep my promise to my dad. . I finally ran @londonmarathon in 2014 and raised money. It was there that I became part of the amazing @run.mnd group. . All have been touched by #MND and run to raise money and awareness for #MNDA . June is #mndawareness month, and we will all keeping ruining in hope that one day there will be a cure for this horrendous disease. . #nofinishlineuntilthereisacure #runmnd #mnda #runnersofinstagram #runstagram #mydad❤️ #Run #runners #instarunners #runmummyrun #ukrunchat #mndawarenessmonth

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Even if the prize that is offered doesn’t interest you, please spread the word about the raffles, as the more people that know about it, that’s more people that are aware of MNDA, and potentially more money raised.

If anyone is aware of any businesses that may be able to donate prizes to my 70, please comment below, or email.

www.justgiving.com/dennismurphy1949

 

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The Great South Run – Race Recap

My RunMND family has been taking part in this race for many years, and I remember watching it on the TV  looking for them, and it looked lovely, so a few months ago, I looked at booking it. I remember thinking it was expensive for a 10 mile race and kept putting it off. Then someone shared a competition to win a place, so I stuck my name in, and I was lucky enough to win a place, so thank you SimplyHealth and GreatRun.

By the time I found out I was running it, a lot of the hotels in the surrounding area were already full or were asking £200+ for one night, so I didn’t book accommodation. I then fell ill, and to be honest didn’t really think about the race and the logistics of it all. I didn’t even know if I would make the start line.

Whilst being below par, my husband took charge and booked a camper van for a couple of days, so we booked a camp site just outside Fareham! Just to make this clear, I am not a fan of camping, yet it seems to keep happening! hehe The first night (well and second) I hardly slept at all, but this seems to be a tradition pre race now, as that’s what happened at my last race, read here!! (I DO NOT recommend it ZZZzzzz)

Date: Sunday 21st October 2018

Time: I was in the white wave which started at 10:52, although I got to the start for 9am!

Weather: Bright sunshine, with a light breeze, although when running it felt quite hot. I even laughed at supporters wearing jumpers and coats, yet the moment I stopped running, I needed my jumper!

Course: The one thing I remember of the course, is that it’s flat, and congested in places. We started in Southsea and ran through the docklands, which although it had a cobbled road, was actually really nice. I can’t remember much about the rest of the course. There were some section, where there were faster runners on the other side of the road to watch, which I love. We passed the finish area around mile 6 I think, and then I remember the 2 mile long stretch at the end along the sea. I love running by the sea, I just wished I had worn my sun glasses, as the sun was so bright and low, that it gave me a bit of a headache squinting all the way to the finish line. If you want a PB on this course, you would need to be at the start of your wave, as it was congested in places, especially when the road narrowed. There were a few bands and singers on the course, which always gives you a boost. Water stations were pretty frequent after 3 miles too.

My race: I have said previously, I have not been too well, so training has been a bit hit or miss. The last time that I ran 10 miles, was back in July! I knew I could cover the distance, but I just knew that I may have had to walk sections and I wouldn’t be able to run at any kind of fast pace. I wasn’t bothered about this, I just wanted to go and be part of TeamMND and enjoy running in an event.

I was so lucky to start with Sarah and Ness, events are always so much more fun with people. I actually stayed with Sarah for the entire run. The race started as every race does; with me frantically checking my pace, trying to avoid going off too fast. Also, having that feeling of how is it possible that I have forgotten how to run, why is this so hard?

Even with the checking of pace, I still managed to go off too fast! Around mile 2, myself and Sarah managed to get caught on the tv! We just kept telling each other that we would be fine as soon as we got to mile 3, and to be honest this must have been the case, as I don’t remember much of mile 2 to 4, and I only remember mile 4, as I decided to instastory, and kind of forgot about the people in front of me and nearly ended on my backside. The video is highly amusing!

Around mile 6, I was a caught by one of my club mates Dem, and that gave me a boost. I could feel my pace was slowing, but I really didn’t mind as this race was not about a time, and it was really quite warm. I picked up water around mile 8 and decided to walk whilst drinking. It was the best decision, as after my walk break and walk, I felt so much better.

 

The last two miles along the sea front feel more like three miles! We were lucky that the weather was nice, as I have heard in the past, the wind can be bad, but we only had to contend with really bright sun in our eyes. This helped me just put my head down and concentrate in finishing strong. I finished in 1:42:53, not a great time, but also not bad.

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So exciting to be able to take part in #medalmonday . I haven’t taken part in many events this year, but thanks to @simplyhealthuk I won a place in the Great South Run, and I’m so glad I did! What a lovely race. . I am not fit at the moment so my aim was to enjoy being part of @run.mnd see friends, make new ones and complete the race. I was lucky to finally meet @mrsbrems and run the entire race with her. She definitely made it 100% more enjoyable – thank you! . I loved seeing my club mate @demorefice on the course too. . Where did you run this weekend? I hope it was a good one 🏃🏼‍♀️ . . . #greatsouthrun #simplyhealth #gsr #greatrun #runnersofinstagram #instarunners #igrunners #runmummyrun #ukrunners #ukrunchat

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Lesson learned: Sometimes you just have to put yourself on the start line, and enjoy the event!

Pros:

  • Free entry – who doesn’t love a free race – running is not a free sport!
  • Well organised, flat course. I was lucky that MNDA had a tent at the event, so I didn’t use the bag drop, and when the toilet queue was HUGE, we had a local (thanks Ness) who found some toilets that had a queue of about 3 people! Bonus!
  • Meeting new people. #TeamMND #RunMND include some of the most amazing people, and each race I get to meet more.
  • Linked to the above, running the entire race with Sarah!

Cons:

  • The last 2 miles feeling like 3 hehehe
  • As I said above, it is a congested course in places, so if you wanted a PB start at the front of your wave.
  • Hotels are expensive in Portsmouth, especially as it is half term too, but to be honest that’s the same for all the places that hold big races.

I have to finish this post with massive shout to RunMND. Phil Rossall used to be a keen runner, but now has MND and is wheelchair bound, and some of the amazing group pushed Phil around the course, so that he could take part in the event for potentially the last time. MND is a devastating disease that I don’t think you ever appreciate this fully, until you are affected by it, and some of the AWESOME people in the RunMND do everything they can to help make life that little bit ‘normal’ and special for those living with this disease. I am not going to name them, as I worry that I may miss someone, but I hope they know I am writing this about them. They are very special people who I am proud to call my friends.

Happy running all x

Race Recap-Silverstone Half 2017; The agony of my very first DNF!

After running Brighton Half two weeks ago (Read about it here) I picked up a niggle, so knew that this race was always going to be touch-and-go. In between Brighton and Silverstone, I got the news about the New York Marathon, so that got me super motivated, hence not really wanting to DNS this race.

Date: Sunday 12th March 2017

Time: Noon

Weather: Heavy rain had been predicted all week, but we were actually very lucky, as it drizzled at most and when the sun came out it was actually quite warm.

Course: I had remember from last year, that this is not a course that I liked! The weaving  around the track was quite disorientating and with no spectators for most of the course, it is eerily quiet!

My race: So, as you have probably gathered from the title of this post, this race wasn’t one of my finest! I have been struggling with a pulling on the outside of my left knee. I knew this was due to my tight hamstrings, and went to have a sports massage last Wednesday. Oh my, the pain was indescribable! I had to bite my jumper to stop myself screaming! I had hoped that the pain was going to be worth it, as it would let me run on Sunday. I ran Thursday night at club, and although not totally comfortable, I did feel I was on the mend!

I was still unsure as to whether to run or not, even up to an hour before the start. But so many of my RunMND group were running it, and I didn’t want to miss out! I hadn’t had any discomfort for a day or two, so thought I was possibly fixed!

When we started, I wasn’t totally comfortable, but was unsure if it was going to be something that as I warmed up more, would just ease. There were a large group of us running together, and we were carrying a huge banner, so I knew the pace was going to remain reasonable, so I just carried on. I ran along, chatting and really enjoying myself. Around 4 miles I felt so comfortable and remember thinking how much I was enjoying running with my friends! The course is weird and so quiet, I remember hating it last year, but running with people made it so much more fun.

I really must stop the funny crazy faces during a race hehe

As we approached 5 miles, I started to get twinges in the back of my knee/top of calf. I carried on for another 100 metres, but I just remembered so many people telling me not to injure myself more, so quickly made the decision to stop. I tried to stretch , but the pain now was so much worse, putting weight on my left leg was not comfortable. I asked a marshal how to get back to the start, and was told I would just have to walk the next eight miles, or wait until the race was over and someone would come and collect me! As you can imagine, I chose the walking option. My knee is weird as one step will be VERY painful, and then the next nothing! I found walking eased it a bit, and I saw another group of RunMND runners just behind so waited for them. If I was going to be run/walking, I wanted to do it with more friends. I managed another 2 miles, but quickly spotted a short cut back to the start/finish area. Although, I desperately wanted to finish the race, my sensible head took over and I quit the race. I limped back to the finish area, and that was that! No medal for me!

Lesson learned: I desperately need to do strength work to complement my running. The imbalances I have, are only going to get worse as I start to up the mileage!

Pros

  • Running with such a big team is amazing. There were so many MNDA runners on the course, it was fun.
  • Running with a HUGE banners gets lots of attention, which equals greater awareness for MNDA
  • The organisation for the race was awesome. The baggage area in particular were SO efficient and helpful.

Cons

  • I really need to look at race maps. When I stopped at mile 5, and asked the direction back to the start/finish area, no one seemed to know!
  • Not finishing = no medal! Although I had to go through to the finishers area, to take back my timing chip, I could have easily picked up a race bag, but I didn’t!
  • I’m not a fan of a midday start. I had a huge breakfast, but just as the race was starting, I was so hungry!
  • BEING INJURED!

The group of runners that are part of RunMND are just amazing. Everyone stayed and cheered all the runners over the finish line. Loosing my dad to MND was one of the hardest things I have ever experienced, but through this experience I have met the most amazing bunch of people.

“There is no finish line, until there is a cure”