Monday, 28 April 2014

So that was Easter

The kids are back at school. Easter came...

... and Easter went. Much like the beautiful pink blossom that screamed Spring is Here...

... all that is left is a little mess to clear up.

I had set myself a challenge to complete 40 minutes of the torturous planking exercise throughout the 40 days of Lent. Despite missing some days out completely and leaving myself with three minutes worth to do on the final day, I met my target. If you ever find yourself complaining that time is passing too quickly, put yourself into the plank position and hold it for a minute. Never have sixty seconds passed so laboriously slowly.

The planking challenge was part of my One Small Change for March, to improve my core strength. From a vanity point of view, I can't say I've really noticed much difference. My wobbly bits still bulge over the waistband of my jeans making me reluctant to abandon the baggy jumpers in favour of more weather appropriate attire. However, beneath the wobbly bit, if you should happen to prod, there are definitely abs waiting to reveal themselves should I lay off the chocolate, cake and beer long enough to give them half a chance. And I feel fitter - which has become a far greater incentive for me than chasing the perfect bikini body (a losing battle at my age I fear!).

My One Small Change for April has been to run more with my husband. This has never been very easy because one of us usually has to stay and look after the children while the other wears the high vis lycra and takes to the streets. With two of my daughters back home for the easter holidays from their places of education, it has been easier. We took advantage of the babysitting availability and put in a fair few miles together. And I loved it.

I used to feel a little bit anxious about running with my husband, He runs faster than I do and I worried that I'd hold him back or that I'd do myself a mischief trying to keep up with him. It hasn't turned out like that at all. By some happy coincidence, my 5K pace is not far off his 10K pace and my 10K pace is the sort of pace that he can just keep going and run marathons. We train together but with a different focus. He has inspired me to run a little faster which is reflected in a new Personal Best and slowing him down has made him less prone to injury. We have run some beautiful routes together in the sort of weather that makes you happy to be alive. It has been a wonderful shared experience.

One time, we ran together around Preston park in Brighton where he ran as a boy. It included a lap of the Preston Park Velodrome, the oldest cycle track in the country. It was especially nostalgic for my husband but it was lovely to be part of a new memory we were making. We have plans for lots more running in the south coast when we go on visits to see my father in law.

I never imagined that running would become such an important part of my life. As we were running in Brighton I did remark to my husband that it just was the equivalent of a nice stroll around the park for people who don't have much time. We certainly fall into that category of people. I hesitate to say that there is not enough time to do all the thing I want to do because to follow my own  advice, I would have to get myself into that plank position and hold it for sixty seconds. And to be honest, I've had enough of that for the time being!

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