Monday, 3 June 2013

A Sporty End to Half Term

I was sad yesterday that half term was coming to an end - until my husband reminded me that I should never be sad that our life is moving on because we have so much to look forward to and enjoy. He was right.

It was a really good half term week.

Two of my girls spent some time away in Portugal with their father. I missed them but I am so glad that they are getting to experience things that I can't offer them - expensive hotels, free flowing champagne and designer clothes shopping.

My time was spent in a way very far removed from that sort of lifestyle - gardening gloves, a trowel, a bucket for my weeds and barbecued veggie sausages and burgers - but I loved it. The garden is looking better than it ever has and it has been so nice to have a bit of good weather to really appreciate it.

On Thursday night, I made sure that there was no trace of mud under my nails and got dressed up to go out for a meal with my husband. For my birthday back in April, my daughter Ivy gave me a gift voucher for a meal at the gastro pub she works in. This was the first opportunity we'd had to take advantage of that. My eldest daughter came round to babysit the little ones and her boyfriend, a retained firefighter, offered to be our taxi so that we could both have a drink. Unfortunately, as we were due to leave, his alerter sounded which meant someone somewhere had a fire that needed extinguishing. Obviously this had a higher priority than our lift so we made our own way to the pub. The fire emergency turned out to be two bins ablaze. Easily dealt with - no casualties! Despite being restricted with our alcohol intake, we had a lovely evening with amazing food: Mushroom and Shropshire Blue Cheese Wellington with Spring Onion Mash, French Beans and B├ęchamel sauce followed by Hot Chocolate Brownie with Raspberry Coulis and Vanilla Ice-cream. My mouth is watering at the memory.

I was up early on Saturday morning to take part in my local Parkrun. This has become something of a habit now and I can't recommend it enough. A record breaking 204 runners took part (although I believe one of those may have been a dog that should never have been registered!) My husband took on a marshalling role. I wasn't sure how I would feel having to run past him; red faced, sweaty and possibly struggling badly. I always want him to see me as a lithe athlete (a me that only really exists in my dreams). My worries were unfounded. His cheery smile and words of encouragement were lovely and I believed him when he said he was proud of me.

Photograph taken by a Parkrun Volunteer

The following day, I had the opportunity to show him the same support he'd shown me as he took part in the Cheshire Sprint Triathlon.

It was a very well organised event and the weather was kind making it a pleasure to be a spectator. I have my personal goal when it comes to running (to complete 5K in less than 30minutes) and he has his: to complete the Triathlon in the time it would take the Brownlee brothers to do it one after the other.  He completed the 400m swim (in an open air brine pool), 23K bike ride and 5K run in 1hour and 27minutes. I did a quick Google search to try and calculate the combined Brownlee bros time - but failed! Regardless of whether or not he succeeded in his goal, he did an amazing race and I am a little bit in awe of his accomplishment.

The little ones had a great time, mostly because there was a playground for them to explore but they also got behind the whole 'cheering for daddy' thing. It was very sweet hearing them both shouting "Run faster daddy" and "You can win daddy". His actual position was about halfway down the field of runners but as he crossed the Finish Line, Addy shouted excitedly, "I knew it - Daddy winned!!" She proudly wore his finishers medal for a while and to all of us who love him, he is definitely a winner and an inspiration.

Addy had now decided that she wants to do a Junior triathlon when she is seven. That gives us two years to get the stabilisers off her bike and lose the arm bands!

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