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Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Day 24-Part 2- The final run!!

Apologies if you have been waiting for my final blog but I got a little bit tied up enjoying the Festive celebrations!!

Day 24- I was worried about completing my last run so late at night but I actually really enjoyed it. Here I am preparing my sack and the other one with Chris, just before we set off!!

We set off and it felt strangely very warm!! There was still snow on the grounds but it did feel very mild. I think when I have been used to running in -9 temperatures then a -1 was considerably warmer !!!It was actually a beautiful night with lots of stars in the sky, I kept out looking out for the real Santa on his sleigh so he could give us a lift !!!

 It was a bit surreal running so late at night especially in a Santa Costume, I am not sue I will ever be running on xmas eve at that time of night again!! Here is a short video clip , proving I did complete the run in the Santa Costume !
and just in case the video doesn't work...

There wasn't much traffic on the roads but a couple of taxi's went past and beeped their horn at us to keep us going. I also had lots of people sending cheers via my facebook account, a big thank you to everyone that sent one because it kept us both smiling and it was lovely to know there were people there cheering us on!!

The final 2km was tough on the both our legs but all I kept thinking was, this is it, only 2km to go, nothing compared to the 238km I had already done!!! Here is proof I have completed the 240km!!

It was an amazing feeling finishing and completing the run with Chris. I couldn't have asked for anyone better to finish my last run with me, he has been a massive support to me throughout December and couldn't have done it without his help,xx

I also want to say a massive thank you to EVERYONE who has been so generous in supporting the "claus", to everyone that has cheered me on and given their money, I couldn't have done it without you. My total sponsor is currently at £2236 which is a fantastic amount and will make a massive difference to the kids at Martin House.  The last couple of photo's of me getting a well deserved rest!!! The funny thing was I actually stuck to the lampost I am laid on because it was so frosty!! he he

Time for bed....... Good night and I hope you all had a fab Xmas and best wishes for 2011, who knows what the challenge will be for 2011!!xxxxx

Friday, 24 December 2010

Day 24 -Part 1

Isn't Xmas Eve exciting?? As well as Santa Claus visiting all the children and leaving exciting presents, there is one crazy Santa preparing for a 10k run tonight!! Do you think I will be the only one, I think so!!

I wanted to write two blogs today. This first one is dedicated to my great friend Maggie who has wrote this beautiful poem for me. When I read it today, I cried before I could reach the end of the it. Enjoy reading it and I will let you know if it comes true later!!!

'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, when all through the house
Not creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
By Noah’s bed, the stocking was hung with care
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.
And Noah was nestled all snug in his bed,
While visions of ‘Ben 10’ danced in his head.
Chris was watching some Christmas Eve’ crap
And Diane was striving to keep from a nap.

When the clock came to midnight, they both stopped their chatter,
Diane sprang from the couch to deal with the matter;
She tied up her laces as quick as a flash,
Thinking of all the sponsorship cash.

Out her front door, she stepped onto the snow,
Looking out at the lights of the houses below.
Clad in a red suit, with orange t-shirt beneath,
Her neighbours looked on in pure disbelief.

Bidding farewell to her husband and child
Diane was grateful the weather was mild;
Not nearly as frozen as the days gone before
As the thermometer read a warm minus four.

Starting her Nike+, so lively and quick,
She ran through the street dressed just like St Nick.
More rapid than Rudolf the reindeer was she,
As Diane set off for a final PB.

When at the end of the road, there did suddenly appear,
A miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
She knew in a moment that it was St Nic.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And Diane laughed when she saw him, in spite of herself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Let Diane know she had nothing to dred.

“Is that Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen?
Oh… and Comet, Cupid and Donner and Blitzen?”
The man dressed in rouge, stepped down from his sleigh;
He stood in front of Diane, laughing away
“Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho”, he chuckled with glee
“I see that you do recognise me.
Why Diane, I am the real Santa Claus
And I’m here to help you with your festive Cause.”

Winking at Di, his eyes gave a twinkle,
He smiled big and wide, showing his dimple.
Then, speaking not a word, he went straight to his work,
Pulling a laptop free from his sleigh with a jerk.

And he sponsored Diane as much as he had,
Now Santa’s work is voluntary as we know,
But even the smallest amount has far to go.

Diane thanked him so much and wished him the best
As he sprang back on his sleigh and set off to the west.
Di finished her 24th run for the children in need
At Martin House Hospice on that cold Christmas Eve.

Meanwhile, Santa continued the rest of his rounds
Feeling glad he could help with just a few pounds;
And he bellowed from his sleigh as he flew out of sight:
 “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!”

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Day 23- My last daylight run in normal clothes!!

The end is drawing near, I have run 230km, wait, I have to write it again because I can't really believe I have done it, 230km!!! This also means I am nearly at the end of my "festive runs for a good claus" blogging!! Even though it has been a very tough challenge and has tested my willpower a lot, I have enjoyed a lot of my running and the blogs I have written. I am therefore a little bit sad that it is coming to an end although I think my body and legs are grateful for a rest!!

Today, I set off running in the light, which was a luxury for me but it was still minus something!! My brother sent me a lovely motivational note today and also told me that in Leeds the average morning temperature had been -2 for December and has been one of the coldest December's recorded. When I set my challenge, I knew I was probably going to experience some bad weather conditions but I am not sure I signed up for it being so cold, icy and snowy but it has added to the fun and to be honest, it beats the wind and the rain!!

But I cannot complain about the weather because when I set this challenge, I was determined to do it no matter what the weather through at me. The reason, for the families and children at Martin House Children's Hospice. I couldn't imagine what it would be like to have a poorly child at Xmas or at any time of year and I am lucky to have such a healthy and beautiful little boy and nieces. I decided to try and spread a bit of xmas cheer and spirit and at the same time raise as much money as I could for Martin House. I set off with a £500 target in mind and would have been really pleased if I had managed to raise this amount. But I am honestly overwhelmed by the generosity of people and I have managed to raise £1893 and it is still increasing!  Thank you to EVERYONE, you have done a fantastic thing for Martin House and helped me through every step of 240km!

I completed a local run today and decided to wear my Xmas hat again. There were a lot of people on the roads, rushing about getting their final bits of shopping but what really surprised me was that I didn't get any beeps or waves from anyone :( This, I was disappointed about because my legs were feeling very heavy (no PB's today!) and I could have done with a little boost but no nothing from anyone! We do have a miserable nation sometimes!! If you ever see a person as crazy as me, running with a xmas hat or any other costume( or running gear) then give them a little beep because you just don't know how hard it might have been for that person to get out and run and it's the best feeling when someone gives you an acknowledgement boost!!

Tomorrow, should be different because I am sure if there is anyone out on the streets at midnight, they will cheer me along(I hope). For those of you that don't live in Birstall, raise a glass to me around midnight as I finish my final run with Chris who has been a massive support to me throughout this challenge and I couldn't have done it without his support and ears!!! I just hope this isn't how I look at midnight tomorrow!!xx

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Day 22-With help from my amazing Grace!!

Day 22 started very early again but this time when my alarm beeped, I had no arguments with myself about getting out of bed. I got up straight away because I knew my friend Grace was going to support me on my run. She was originally going to ride on her bike but the ground was still far too slippy to be cycling.   When she came to my door, she said" it is a little warmer today". At first I thought, this cannot be true because I could still see the thick crusty snow/ice but as I got outside it was noticably warmer, yeah the weather was going to be kinder to my face!! We both put our Santa hats on to get into the Xmas spirit!! This is me and Grace just before I set off.

I started with a lovely cuddle and boost of motivation from Grace. I headed off and at about 1km she was there at the side of her car shouting and clapping for me.
Grace stopped at a number of points along the route and each time she was cheering and clapping for me. When I ran past the Leeds United ground, I thought to myself I know she is a really good friend of mine but I don't think she could bring herself to be stood outside Elland Road cheering!!! I don't blame her though because I don't think I would have done it for her if it had been Bradford City !!

I have found a number of these early morning runs to be freezing, dark and very lonely, therefore,  to see a friendly face cheering me on at so many points was an amazing boost for me and made the run so much more enjoyable! This is a pic Grace took of me on route!

I knew I was running at a good pace when my iphone lady told me I had been running for 30 mins and I had completed 6km. I saw Grace again just less than a 1km to go, I told her I was on route for a fast pace and again she jumped and cheered for me. I can't imagine what people thought if they saw us but I don't care, we are doing it for a fantastic cause and it felt great when I had finished the run in 49 mins and 10 seconds and saw Grace waiting for me at Leeds train station!! She was the best personal trainer anyone could have on a dark and cold morning, thank you Grace, x

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Day 21-The shortest day+my quickest 10k+lunar eclipse!!

Day 21 started early in freezing temperatures. As you can see from my windscreen below it was extremely cold and very icy when I left the house, it definitely felt the coldest day so far, can it get any colder??? I hope not!!

I ran to work with my iphone lady talking to me on route and my tunes blasting into my ears to keep me feeling upbeat!!  I got half way down Geldard Road(nearly half way into work) and my iphone told me that it was pausing my work out. I knew it was someone ringing me and when I saw it was Chris(my husband), I was sure he was going to ask me where I had left something but no, I was wrong, he had called me to tell me there was a lunar eclipse and to look out for the moon and watch it while I was running. I could hardly talk back as my mouth and chin had just about frozen together but I found the moon straight away and it looked amazing.  I tried to take a picture of it but it's a bit disappointing as you can see below, I don't think I am going to win photographer of the year for that one. The moon is the top one, the circle below it was a light on a building. It was amazing to see it and made me glad I was out running to see it!!

I carried on running and was thinking of how Chris, my dad and brother would be as excited as me to see it!! I even shouted a man on a bike to tell him to look at it but he didn't seem interested, he was probably just thinking what is that crazy tango woman shouting at me?!!

Towards the end of my run to work, I always go through a tunnel on the A58, I have taken a picture of it below. It is the strangest feeling going through this tunnel, no matter how much or how little wind there is, it always feels like it is blowing a strong gale in the tunnel. As the cars fly past the other way, it is difficult to run and very noisy, when I reach the end of the tunnel, I feel half a stone lighter and the run a seems so much easier on my legs! You may think I am mad writing this bit and yes I am starting to think I am but you would understand what I meant if you were running through it!

I pushed on out of the tunnel and started running down whitehall road. When my iphone lady spoke to me and said I had run for 45 mins, I knew I was approaching my last 1km. I thought to myself I could  beat my fastest 10k?! So I dug deep and pressed the go faster button, I couldn't believe I still had that extra kick in me but I did! Must have been the glass of red wine I had last night!!    It was an amazing feeling at the end of my run when Paula Radcliffe's recorded voice talked to me through my iphone to say "Congratulations, you have just beaten your personal best and completed 10k in 50 minutes and 35 seconds!!". The competitive streak in me was mad for stopping to take pictures because I could have done it in 49 minutes something but I really was chuffed I had beaten my fastest run yet!  Here I am in Leeds City Square having completed my PB and feeling very pleased with myself because I have also hit £1800 in sponsors, this has to be my proudest achievement!!!

Bring on day 22 with a special friend following me on route to cheer me on, x

Monday, 20 December 2010

Day 20 complete with a recorded temperature of -11!!

Yes -11 c !! When I set this challenge for December I expected bad and cold weather but I didn't expect it to be quite as cold as it has been!!even though I had a hat covering my ears this morning,it still felt like my ears had frozen!!still I think it was that nip in the air that kept my legs motoring on!!on my run, I was also thinking about the lovely lady I had met yesterday and how her words really helped me yesterday and then again this morning!!I know I have mentioned this before but it's all the generous people that have donated to martin house that has kept me going through this challenge,my friends and family have been so generous thankuuuu! What has also touched me is all the people that have donated through friends and family that don't even know me,they are really generous people!thank you to my mum,Candice,Katie,Jill,Grace,Linda,Chris,Leanne ,Mark and Rob for talking about my challenge to others and getting extra sponsors,it really does mean alot. Apologies for any mistakes on this blog and the lack of pictures but Im writing it from my phone because I run out of time because I was out having some drinks (soft ones mum before you start to worry!)with some lovely friends from work,I was just a bit gutted that i had to leave so early when I could easily have stayed for some secret Santa shots but my body was telling me I needed to get home and my head was telling me I only had 9 hours before I was running again so I had to depart early!!there will be another time for more socialising when my challenge is over ,tonight I had to be sensible for a change and now I have to prepare for tomorrow!!night!x

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Day 19-Two great friends, two mad runners, two chocolate lovers run across the Pennines!!

Two great friends, two mad runners, two chocolate lovers run across the Pennines!! Think that about sums me and Maggie up!!  Today, despite the weather I ran 10km with my friend Maggie. Unfortunately, the weather cancelled our original plans of running on the road, side by side but I was so pleased when Maggie suggested we run in sync with each other!!

I am starting to find each day tougher. Today, I ran later in the day and I know this is my downfall, the longer I have to think about getting out and running, my body has longer to tell me to rest at home with the central heating on and not to be crazy and go out in the freezing temperatures!! It got to lunchtime and the demons in my head started to tell me that I couldn't do it any longer and that I just wanted a rest day, especially because I had spent about two hours wrapping xmas presents!!!I checked in with Maggie and agreed a start time of 1.30pm. I was a little late starting the race because I got a little bit emotional and wobbled slightly getting out of the door, I think this was a combination of tired legs and body, the demons in my head telling me I couldn't do it but the positive voices saying you can do it and you can't let all the generous people and the children at Martin House down( sorry Maggie, I told you a little white lie when I spoke to you about loosing my gloves!). I then set off and called Maggie and knowing she was running with me helped me so much and I soon turned my tired legs into running legs!!  My blog doesn't contain as many pics as maggie's, I think I am running out of photographic opportunities that aren't duplicates. I did however, run past a bunch of Santa's. They weren't however being as crazy as me running, they had just left the pub at the top of the hill all very jolly, here they are!! I think the one nearest to the left of the pic was definitely the real santa!!

The long road home, this is a pic of the last hill, thankfully downhill at the end of the run.

Then, as I was approaching the last 200m, I couldn't resist taking this pic because the old legs had definitely slowed down but was impressed I still completed it in 54 mins, not sure how I am managing these times!!

The most moving moment today was meeting a lady that lived on my street, that I had never met before. She shouted over to me as she was walking her dog back into the street, asking if I was Diane ( she obviously didn't notice my bright orange t-shirt that Mik has kindly printed Diane's festive claus all over it!!). The first thing she said to me was, I think you are absolutely amazing. I won't tell you all that she said otherwise this blog will turn into a novel and it is already long enough!! But she had heard me on Radio Leeds and couldn't believe the challenge I had set myself and then continued to say how amazing I was. She told me that she works at St Gemma's Hospice and asked if I had known Jane Tomlinson. I told her that I never met her but had read a lot about her and she inspired me a lot knowing that she could run/cycle all those miles and raise all that money for people when she was so ill. We then talked about my dad and her mum who had suffered from cancer and she then asked where I lived so that she could come and give me some sponsor money. She was such a lovely lady.  I have found out that she only lives about 8 doors away from me but she found out about my run from Radio Leeds, how crazy is that!!! She said she would give me a wave on Xmas Eve/Xmas Day and again said how amazing I was for doing this for such a good cause!  I then walked the last few metres back to my own door in tears again but for very different reasons.  When Chris saw me, I think he thought I had been crying for the whole run!! The lady has made me think more about what I am doing and the reasons why I am doing it and if Jane Tomlinson can have the stamina and determination she had to keep running through her illness, then I can keep running with tired legs!!!

My moto of "things happen for a reason" came through again today because I did find the last few days tough and to see that lady at the time I did,  has really made me think and put another perspective into running my last 5 runs!!! xx