Category Archives: My Life

First half marathon! DONE!

I did it! Yesterday I took part in the BUPA Great Birmingham Run. A whole half marathon. 13.1 miles. It wasn’t easy but it was pretty amazing. It was a personal challenge of course but I also raised some money for Kerrang Radio’s Cash for Kids. You can still donate here if you’d like to top me up!

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Before the run. Nervous but ready.

The streets of Birmingham closed off to make way for over 18000 runners of all abilities. The crowds were so great and hearing strangers calling my name out and cheering me on was quite overwhelming. I had a few ‘moments’ as I was running around because there was just so much support. Small children holding their hands out to be high fived, students banging on saucepans, different bands all along the course of all ages. So many people! It made me very proud of Birmingham.

My first 10K (6miles) was pretty easy, I had metal in my ears to keep me going, in fact I could’ve probably run faster but after all the scare stories about the hill at 10 miles I wanted to conserve the energy in my legs. I told myself that once I got to Cannon Hill Park at 9 miles then I would be nearly done (I was wrong on that one!). As I ran through the park I had a packet of sport’s beans I had finished and even though there was all sorts of race litter like bottles of water everywhere I couldn’t bring myself to drop it so I ran over to a woman cheering me on and asked her to get rid of it for me. I hate litterbugs! Haha. My mother and father in law were in the park waiting for me to go past so it was pretty ace to see them.

Then things got a little more difficult. I was running through residential roads in an area I wasn’t familiar with, it was a little quieter and the impending hill made it bit more ominous. As I got onto the main road I could see an incline, I ran as much as my little legs could take and it was OK for a while although my language may not have been the most ladylike. Rounding another corner at about 10.5 miles it got steeper and although I kept my arms moving as if I was running my pace slowed right down and I started to feel the burn. I had to push myself to keep going and I was relieved to see the 11 mile marker. Even though I had run 11 miles I thought to myself, ‘I can run 2 miles easy’, so I went for it, down into the dip and up onto Broad Street, kept on going, then lo and behold in the distance I could see the finish line! A beautiful finish line.

200m from the finish line and the moment I saw my awesome man and family cheering me on. Amazing feeling.

At the 200m marker I heard familar voices shouting my name and I saw my man, my Mom, stepdad, brother, sister in law, Nan, Aunt, Uncle and cousin all cheering me.  Best thing ever. I ran over the finish line and my eyes started leaking. I couldn’t believe it was over and I had done it, I so was overwhelmed by the whole experience. There was quite a walk to get my medal and goodie bag before I could find everyone to get some hugs and I broke down, it was all too much! I felt so chuffed but so knackered.

Walking back to the car park near Moor Street station was a challenge. When we got home the bath was most welcome. I made the mistake of lying on the bed afterwards and then it was game over for a couple of hours. I woke up tired and still quite emotional. Then I heard the news of the runner that passed away at the finish line and I felt very sad.

So that was yesterday. I woke up this morning after a long sleep and it all seems unreal now. I had so many messages of support on Facebook and Twitter too and there have been some brilliant photos taken to remind me of my day. If you’re reading this thinking ‘I could never do that’ then think again. Look back at my first running post when I could only run for 1 minute at a time. Anything is acheivable. Literally one step at a time.

Thanks for reading and for everyone who has wished me well.

Love & hugs,
Stace x

Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

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Keep on running – Half marathon?!

I haven’t posted about my running in a while. I have kept up my running although in the month after my first 10k race I found my motivation was affected by not having a goal and I just ran the odd 3 or 4 miles here and there.

At the end of July it was my birthday so for my present I asked my Mom to register me for the Bupa Great Birmingham Run half marathon in October!

Bupa Great Birmingham Run

Now I have another goal set I’m back on the case. My plan is to fit in three or four runs a week and each Sunday do a long run and up my distance 1k  further every week until I can get close to the 21k distance required for the half marathon. It seems like a big task at the moment but then it seemed that way to be able to run 5K and then 10k and I did it so I may as well give it a bash.

Last week I wasn’t too well so my mileage went right down but I’m determined to make up for it. I even got up early Monday & Tuesday to run 5k. I’ve also got another sport’s bra so now I can wash one wear one rather than not running because my bra isn’t dry yet, haha. Now I have a Shock Absorber and a rather nice one from M&S which was a bargain.
I’ll try and keep my blog up to date as it’s another thing that will keep me motivated.

So here are my goals:

Personal best 5k & 10K

Increase the distance I can run to 13k by the end of August.

I’ve typed it now so I have to do it.

Fingers crossed!
Stace x

Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

10K Race for Life – It’s tomorrow!

Tomorrow I am running my first 10K race! It’s a Race for Life for Cancer Research.

I began running 4 months ago and initially did the NHS Couch to 5K and have since run a few official 5K Park Runs and upped my distances with each run too. Read my previous posts about my Journey to 10K

I am excited about tomorrow but nervous too. I have my brilliant man and family coming to support me and I know this time tomorrow I’ll feel great. I just hope to complete it without walking and maybe get a time a little bit faster than the first time I actually ran the distance. If I do it in 1hr 15 I’ll be happy for my first 10K.

Watch this space for race report and pics.

Stace x
Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

Beat the heat, now beating a cold

My last post was about running in the heat. Surprisingly despite the heat I managed a personal best in my 3rd official Park Run. I had to wear considerably less than usual!

Park Run 3, Personal best in the heat. Whoop!

The weather cooled down for the rest of the week so I got up to 4.5 miles on Tuesday and on Thursday I was really pleased to manage my furthest run of 5.1 miles. I went to Park Run again on Saturday before the Jubilee celebrations wearing my England shorts of course although I think the longer run less than 48 hours before had slowed me down and I was about 50 seconds off my best time. Still, have to hold onto the fact I did 5.1 miles and I have three weeks left before the race.

My 4th 5K Park Run at Brueton park, Solihull

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minor buggeration this week is that I have come down with a cold, or woman flu as I like to call it. I should be running today but as I write this I am lying in bed watching Kylie on a re run of the Jubilee concert! I also found out today that on Thursday I have to go to the hospital to have a 24 hour ECG to check on my heart (for my Long QT Syndrome). Not a bad thing but it’s a mission to the new QE. Would rather know I’m safe though. Therefore I’m aiming to get rid of this lurgy and run on Thursday while I am wearing my trace.

So other than that nowt to report! *sneeezes*

Stace x

Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

Lovely Jubbly Jubilee party

Yesterday, on the 2nd of June I celebrated a very special lady with my family. My Nan!

My Nan rocks.

We decided a few months ago that we would have a Jubilee party for her 77th birthday as the two coincided. She has always been a fan of the Royals and I think that has rubbed off on her grandchildren too. I’m not going to get into a pros/cons of the Royals debate, Twitter has depressed me enough with all the joyless miseries. I enjoy British traditions and I think it made it an even better excuse to celebrate a memorable occasion. Oh and of course you may know me by now, I love a theme for my nails!

Jubilee Nails.

My friend Emma solved the what to wear problem by kindly lending me a dress which I spotted her in on Facebook. This is me in it with my two ‘little’ brothers Ricky and Joe. I love this picture so much.

Me and my brothers.

I made a Spotify playlist for the occasion with one song for every year from the last 60 years. We all love music in our family and having a sing song. My cousin Charlotte filmed everyone singing ‘Two Little Boys’. I can’t post it because it’s not on YouTube but it’s probably for the best, haha. My stepdad Tom made a big box covered in Union Jacks which we used as a DJ stand i.e. something to put the iPad and speakers on.

Jubilee party Spotify playlist

We didn’t want Nan to have to faff around so we all made something to bring, her only instructions were to make a trifle.

I made Jubilee Battenburg from this recipe from Wright Little Baker

Jubilee Battenburg cake

I also made some red velvet cupcakes with buttercream and some nifty icing Union Jacks , sorry Union FLAGS I got from Icing World.

Jubilee Cupcakes.

Man being a man wanted to make something meaty so he made BBQ pulled pork from the most recent Good Food magazine. Plenty of opportunity for pork pulling jokes.

Mom made a ton of this amazing warm potato salad with blue cheese. Nom nom. Quite jealous she got to make it into bubble and squeak today with the leftovers. Other foodie mentions, my  Uncle Steven’s marinated chicken, the spicy one was my fave, my cousin Emily’s sausage rolls and not forgetting my cousin Liz’s cheese and pineapple on sticks! A party isn’t a party without something on cocktail sticks!

Despite the weather not being perfect the rain stayed away for the afternoon. My Nan has a pretty massive garden so we put two gazebos up and got on with it. My Mom got too cold in the end and went and stole a blanket off Nan’s bed. She will thank me for posting this.

Mom keeping warm in the British weather.

My naughty cousins managed to get behind everyone without them noticing with flags. This is the moment they caught us.

Me and my man Ban. Naughty minxy cousins in the background!

Fran my brother’s girlfriend took all these ace photographs. We went to her exhibition on Friday night, you can see her website here.

We added candles (a ‘2’ and a ‘7’) to Nan’s trifle and sang her happy birthday. By then I was sporting my Mom’s hat and a leather jacket donated by Nan’s friend, even my hot blood gave in in the end!

This is a photo of the full rabble (Minus my Aunt and cousin who are on holiday).

Me (second right) and my family.
Photograph by Francesa Hancox

This says it all for me. God bless the Queen of our brilliant family.

Nan’s Facebook status. Yes she’s on Facebook!

Hope you had a lovely jubbly Jubilee too.

Stace x

Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

April writing challenge written mostly in May : p

I said I’d do this to write more often for the April writing challenge but only did a couple so here’s them all, written on one day in May!

1) Five ways to win my heart?! Well if you won my heart I would be dead. What sort of a competition is it??

2) I feel strongly about…having a heart that cannot be won in some sort of sick competition.

3) A book I love… Time Traveller’s Wife

4 ) Bullet my whole day…

Sunday (so far)

  • Woke up man with a cup of tea
  • Spoke to my cousin on the phone
  • Popped to Tesco with man
  • Ate pancakes made by man
  • Made bread
  • Spoke to my Mom on the phone
  • Watched man cutting wood and banging making our new wardrobes
  • Ate aforementioned bread with naughty cheese
  • Sat in bed revamping blog whilst watching man work hard as above
  • Wrote this post

5) Things I want to say to an ex... I quite like you because you score me 8 but Zs and Qs are better.

6) My views on mainstream music. I wrote this a few weeks ago but it’s still in my drafts. If I have published it it will be here. If not I haven’t yet.

7) Five pet peeves… Dogs that poo, dog owners that let their dogs poo, dogs that jump up on me, dogs that bark too loudly, dogs that slobber. I don’t mind other pets ; )

8) What I ate today… See here, I actually did that one.

9) How important is education?  Srsly lyk sooooo important. Lol. Lmfao.

10) Put your music player on shuffle and write the first songs that play I did this too! Look here.

11) My family… consist of people who are related to one another and they are all ACE.

12) Five guys I find attractive Guys? What a funny word G U Y S. You know when you look at a word and it looks weird? Guys. Anyway. I don’t know many Guys. Guy Pearce used to be Mike in Neighbours although I preferred Brad.

13) My opinion on my body and how comfortable I am with it … My body is a temple. I am very comfortable with it as I am in bed and bed is comfortable.

14) What I wore today… Jeans, Stone Sour hoodie, knickers, socks. No bra because it is against my religion to wear one on a Sunday.

15) My zodiac/horoscope and whether it fits my personality… I am Leo. Apparently this means I am a lion. I have hair like a lion. So it must be true.

16) Something that I always think ‘what if’ about …What if i win the lottery?! I could go on this Mayhem festival cruise, that’s what! It WILL happen.

17) Something that I am proud of … I stopped being a lazy bum, did Couch to 5K and ran my first 5K Park Run yesterday.

18) A problem I have had… Once I couldn’t decide whether to have a Mint Aero or a Crunchie. Tough times.

19) Five items that I lust after… Design your own Converse, RIP tickets to Download festival, tickets to Mayhem festival cruise, a new projector, a new laptop.

20) My fears…The usual, anyone I love going to heaven.

21) How I hope my future will be… happy and healthy.

22) My academics… How boring. I did GCSEs and A Levels. I didn’t go to Uni because I liked home and I worked hard in my chosen field instead of writing essays about it.

23) Something that I miss…School

24) Five words/phrases that make me laugh…Pamplemousse, Blants, Floccinaucinihilipilification, I’ll have the cream of sum yung gai. I’m a poet and I don’t knorange.

25) Something I’m currently worrying about… getting this post finished before Silent Witness.

26) Things I like and dislike about myself I like my general loveliness and I dislike my teeth.

27) A quote I try to live by… A simple quote I’ve recently heard. Never give up, there’s always a way.

28) Somewhere I’d like to visit… Hampton Court Palace

29) Five weird things that I like… Scabs, peely sunburn, smooth surfaces, pygmy goats, the DALEK man on last night’s Britain’s Got Talent.

30) One thing that I am excited for… getting our new living room carpet next week.

That was a big ‘un!

Thanks for reading.

Stace x

Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

 

My first official 5K Park Run

This morning, one week after graduating Couch to 5K I ran my first Park Run in Brueton Park. Park runs are officially timed runs which go on all over the country for people at all levels (thankfully!). You can find your nearest one here.

It was a bit early for me on a Saturday morning. We usually just sit in bed and watch cookery programmes! I got up early enough to have a cup of tea and a Digestive biscuit. My Uncle who runs marathons said he would come with me and so I picked him up and we made our way to Brueton Park. I’m not used to running with anyone at all so when I saw so many other people it was a bit scary! My brother popped up out of nowhere to support me which was a nice surprise. Once we’d started it was fine although it took me until about three quarters of the way through to fully believe I was going to finish, despite it being my 4th 5K! Must keep the faith. I was very pleased when I had done it.

Just finished! (Photo courtesy of race photographer Kevin Baldry)

My shady ankle behaved until afterwards when it was very stiff but I’m going to just keep it elevated after each run and hope it strengthens. At lunch time the results were put on the website and I was pleased I had actually beat my personal best by 3 mins 26 seconds.

Click to see the route on Endomondo

I’m glad I did it. Next step is to start the Bridge to 10K on Monday and start training for my 10K Race for Life!
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Stace x

Follow me @StaceInspire

Week 9 – Finished, done, graduated Couch to 5K!

So yesterday I graduated the NHS Couch to 5K programme!

3.2 miles non stop running. ME! WTF!! I am CHUFFED!! Wooooo hoooooo!

It’s seems like ages ago when I first ventured out for that first run up and down my garden because I was too self conscious to go out in the real world! Now I can run anywhere, in any weather and I can’t believe it!

I’m going to do the 5K park run at Brueton park  next Saturday so I get an official time. I’ve signed up for a 10k Race for Life on the 24th June too!! I didn’t share it until I finished yesterday because I wanted to wait to make sure I could do the 5K first but now I can I’m just going to go for it. It doesn’t give me a lot of time but those in the know assure me if I should be fine and I have a 5 week Bridge to 10K podcast programme to follow. So click the link  below and sponsor me pretty please! It’s for cancer research and even a quid will do. It’s so clever you can even donate by text by sending  STAC79 £1 to 70070.

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Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!! : ) : ) : )

Thanks to everyone on the Health Unlocked community for their support, my Endomondo and Twitter peeps and my man and family for putting up with me turning into a running bore! Oh and my Uncle Steven for his advice too, he ran the Stratford half marathon today in the torrential rain we’ve had.

I’ll be blogging my Bridge to 10K experiences up to Race for Life too so do stop by for a visit now and again. : )

Stace

Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

Week 8 – One week to go!

For the three runs of week 8 I ran the same route just so I could compare my times and distances. At the end of week 7 I was doing 2 miles in 25 mins. Here at the end of week 8 I can now do 2.5 miles in 31 minutes. I think this week has been the best so far. I’ve actually felt more like a grown up runner. Run 2 in the rain was great and I actually felt disappointed today when it didn’t rain on me. I’m feeling more confident now that I have exceeded the 30 minute target and so fingers crossed I can make up that half a mile or so this week to get to the 5K mark. As soon as I do I have my next goal in mind which I’m planning to share as soon as I have graduated and run my first park run on the 5th May.

Stace
Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

Week 7 – The end is in sight

Wooo! Week 7 done. Three 25 min runs. Went quite well. I’m not starting my Endomondo until I run now rather than counting the warm up/warm down walks. Each time I ran 2 miles in 25 mins pretty consistently. My best mile was 12.03. I believe grown up runners call it a personal best. ; ) Not sure whether that is OK or not? Seems a tall order to get to over 3 miles in the next two weeks but I shall do my best!

Thinking about the next stage. I have downloaded Bridge to 10K tentatively but I’m going to stay focussed on that 5K goal first. My Uncle has said he will do the 5k Park run with me so I’m aiming to do that on 5th May. He is running the marathon so a 5k will be a walk in the park for him!

Here’s to week 8 and 28 minute runs. Hope to up that distance and get another PB mile in.

Stace

Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

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