Here it is, comic strip part 2. Enjoy
This is a somewhat belated post about the Great South Run. I’m lazy, what can I say? But you already knew that. The Great South is now in its 21st year and has grown from humble beginnings in Southampton to being Europe’s most popular 10 mile race that now takes place in Portsmouth. Blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda. If you want to know about that sort of stuff I suggest you go to the “Race History” section on greatrun.org. I have run the 10 mile race three times and every time it’s been pretty hard going in spite of the fact that it’s a flat course because I never do quite enough training. In fact unless I get off my bum and do some interval training at some point in my life I’m never going to be especially quick either. Ah well. Thinking about it, I’ve never done the race 2 years in a row either. I first ran it in 2004 (and nearly passed out), then in 2005 I was arrested so didn’t really feel like it as the possibility of a prison sentence was hanging over my head and I was stocking up on alcohol in case of enforced teetotal…er…ism. In 2006 I was in prison. Good job I stocked up on alcohol. In 2007 I ran it with my lovely husband shortly before we got married (and nearly passed out). In 2008 I had a baby. In 2009 I ran it with my lovely husband again (and nearly passed out). And this year I had ANOTHER baby. I’ve no idea what my lovely husband’s excuse for not running it this year is, but I can assure you I did all the hard work with regard to actually bringing said baby into the world. Pfft.
Believe it or not this post isn’t actually about me. Although thus far I’ve rather selfishly only talked about me. It’s not even really about the main race but the junior one, as my eldest son ran it this year (number 2 son Josh declined the opportunity). The mini and junior races take place the day before the 10 mile jobbie and just like that one they’re growing every year. Jake really likes running and is far better built for it than I am with his very long legs, skinny frame and go faster moustache (every 13 year old should have one). This year he chose to run for the main charity, Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research (the Banana Army) and I set him up with a justgiving page with an initial target of £50. The generosity of virtual strangers never ceases to amaze me and within days we’d upped the target to £200 thanks mostly to my wonderful twitter friends, most of whom I’ve never met. And so, sporting his bright yellow Banana Army running top and my running shoes (because his bloody feet keep growing) he managed to log a time of 9 minutes 16 seconds on the 2.5km course, 8 seconds better than last year. He’s chuffed with that because he hadn’t done any specific running training.
So next year we are all planning to take part, Adam and I in the main run, both my sons in the junior run and even Poppy in the mini run. Hattie can watch. We fully intend to train properly this time and I really hope that we mean it. And fingers crossed for weather as glorious as there was this year, as every other time I’ve run it it seems there’s been howling wind and driving rain and that’s really not funny when you round that bend at about the 8 mile mark onto the seafront.
I really should congratulate those that did take part in the big race this year, Dan Germain, Sarah Jane Walker and Joanna Reed to name but a few. Well done you lot, especially SJW who broke her ankle earlier in the year when trying to chase a thief in platform shoes. I know. Next year the slowest buys the cakes, OK? Or the pints. Or both.
And as for young Jake, I’m extremely proud of him especially as he made his £200 target. But, you know, that doesn’t mean you can’t still donate. Go on! www.justgiving.com/jake-mcmullan
Well now. You may or may not know that I recently had far too much fun creating a comic strip of @diaryofaledger’s tweetathon. And in a roundabout way that’s got me back into blogging, although this only being the third post it may be a wee bit early to say how long I’ll stick at it this time. Anyhoo. One of my friends from twitter (@Mandi112) suggested I do another comic strip with my pesky daughters in and I thought it was a brilliant idea. So here’s part 1, and I’ll warn you, it’s not funny yet but as I do more hopefully I’ll be able to inject some humour in. I have a few ideas…
I’m planning to do it once a week. Enjoy!
Ah, exercise. I’ve blogged about it before. I love it most of the time, I love the way it makes me feel (afterwards, post-shower when I’m lying prone on the sofa) and I love having no flab. It’s been quite some time since I had no flab, more’s the pity, such are the perils of having so many flipping children (I love them really). But I have a new determination. I never completely lost all of the vast amount of weight I put on with child number 3 before I was pregnant with child number 4. And now, three months after number 4 was born I have a stone to go and I’d like it to be gone by Christmas. Christmas 2010, that is. So in order to make sure I can’t worm my way out of it with lame excuses like “I only got 9 hours sleep last night, I’m far too tired”, “my feet are too cold” or “the dog ate my treadmill” (although I think that one’s a doozy) I’ve decided to document it here for my readership. I expect the two of you feel honoured. And in order to make it more interesting I have a little wager with an old school friend. We both want to lose a stone so the first one to do it wins. The loser buys a certain Mr Kev Gower half a pint of low alcohol beer. Lucky boy. For some reason he said he might not turn up to claim his prize. I know, I can’t fathom it either.
In order to make it properly official I have photographed the (slightly horrifying) reading on my scales, complete with my bony, veiny feet to prove it’s genuine.
I’m sure you’ll agree they’re lovely looking feet. And that I really should paint my toes now that I can reach them again. I’m aiming to be a mere 10 stone by the end of this and a size 12. Or maybe a 10. It’s so long since I weighed that little I can’t remember how it sits on my 5 foot 7 (and a half) frame. Whatever, though, I’m hoping that it will give me far more wardrobe options. I have a heck of a lot of clothes and most of them are boxed up in the loft because they’re too small. This makes me sad. I also have a gorgeous dress that my lovely friend Sarah bought me as an early birthday present after I went on and on and on and on about it for about 2 weeks. Anyone would think she wanted to shut me up or something. I love this dress and I want to be able to wear it in confidence WITHOUT spanx, so this is part of my challenge too.
I plan to achieve this miraculous weight loss by exercise and not a lot else. I don’t do dieting. But I do like a bit of running, have an excellent book of simple resistance exercises (known as Scary Woman Book), some really good DVDs presented by a seriously emaciated but very toned woman (known as Emaciated Woman DVDs) and a boxset of 4 Zumba DVDs on order. Hear that, Mrs Ashton?! It should give the neighbours from the street behind a good laugh as they watch me prancing about my back room while they stroke the cat they catnapped from us some months ago. Bastards. As long as I can get time every day to get some of all that in I should achieve my goal.
I should, however, make a little confession. I’m still breastfeeding number 4 and am likely to continue doing so for some time. This possibly gives me an unfair advantage. I have also set myself a challenge to eat no cake, biscuits, chocolate or sweets for a whole month. A month! 3 days in and I crave nothing else. This challenge is not weight loss related but rather to prove to myself that I don’t NEED sweet treats to live. But I have the sweetest of sweet teeth and if there is anything nice in the house I will have inhaled it before anyone else gets the chance to even have a taste. I am an absolute pig and I need to be stopped. I fully expect that a side effect of this will be the disappearance of a couple of pounds but when the month is up I imagine I will be cramming my face with chocolate éclairs, doughnuts and anything else I can find so that weight loss will be completely unsustainable. And if you think I’m giving up pies, fry ups and chippy chips you’re sadly mistaken. So I’m off for a 3 mile run on the treadmill. Well, maybe after I’ve had a cup of tea.
It’s been a very, VERY long time since I posted anything to this blog and for that I apologise. Or maybe I should be apologising for reviving it? I’ll leave that up to you. But I’m going to start simple to ease my fuddled brain back in. Last week, as I’m sure many of you are aware, a friend of mine did a remarkable thing. Well, a remarkably stupid thing. No actually, it wasn’t stupid, it was insane. But remarkable nonetheless. For the second year in a row one Gray Collins (aka @diaryofaledger and @gray333) carried out a “tweetathon”, tweeting at least every 10 minutes for a very long period of time. Last year he did 48 hours, this year he did 60. That’s right, 60. What a nutter.
He wasn’t just doing this for the good of his health, you understand, (or rather to the detriment of it) but for charidee, raising funds for the Isle of Wight branch of the National Autistic Society. This wasn’t a charity he chose at random but one that has personal significance to his family as his lovely sister’s children are both on the Autistic spectrum and are supported by the good work the Isle of Wight branch do. Last year Gray managed to raise a significant amount of money but this year he raised the bar. This year he wanted to get £5000. Some said he wouldn’t do it. Let the record show that I had every faith in him. And as an added bonus there was a live video stream of the whole event. If you so desired you could watch every roll of a cigarette, every pick of the nose and every scratch of the bum in glorious technicolour. Lovely.
If you want the full story go to www.diaryofaledger.com. Gray had a lot of support from friends and family who did all manner of things to help him stay awake and keep him going. A picture @comedyfish posted really early on gave me an idea. And so the Tweetathon2 Comic Strip was born. For every £1000 that was raised I did a new one with screenshots I’d taken from the live feed. I had a lot of fun. Here is my very small contribution to the tweetathon in all its “glory”.
And please, if you’ve got a couple of quid going spare, why not donate to this fantastic cause? It’s not too late.