Friday, 20 March 2015

Elvis's Visit - The Reprise

The funny thing about being a parent of twins is that if people aren't busy telling you how full your hands must be then they are quoting ridiculous clap-trap at you like "double the love, double the joy".

What nobody ever tells you is that while that may be true there are also double the school shoe bills and double the visits of the bastard class bear.

Yes my friends, for this week Elvis, our own Reception class toy, made a return visit, this time with DD2.

So, I have decided to pen a handy diary possibly on how not to conduct a visit home with the class bear if I'm honest, (you see I'm winging the whole twin mum thing as well as the raising five children thing - I really haven't a clue) for mothers of twins and so that the rest of you lucky people who only get the pleasure of this experience once can have a good laugh at my expense.

Day 1 

As I stand waiting for the twins to come out of their classroom I hear the teacher brightly call the children's names "DD2, DS3, oh and Elvis!"

Flaming marvellous - we've got the fleabag again.

As DD2 runs grinning towards me with the giant bag full of Elvis's many belongings (and several volumes of his adventures) I can see the other waiting parents looking relieved and giving me that knowing and slightly smug look that says "twice, she has it twice, hahahahaha!".  I briefly consider not ever replying to any of their stupid birthday party invites again or inviting their offspring round to ours for tea but I then figure that the school gate is a lonely enough place already without adding to it and besides they have a point. Bollocks.

"How long is he staying for?" I enquire.  "Two sleeps!", comes the worrying answer...

"How come you've got him?" I ask.  Surely all the other kids can't have had him yet?

"For tidying up and doing good reading!", she chirps.  Damn her and her good reading skills, I knew it would be more trouble that it was worth feeding her breast milk in Special Care when she was a newborn.

Cheerfully, and through gritted teeth, I suggest we return to the car so that I can tweet about how annoyed I am we can wait for their older brother.

Another thing that people never tell you when you have twins is that if one side of your car back seat looks like this:


Then chances are that the other side will almost certainly look like this:


Which is just super.

They are five.  The concept of taking turns is at best a fleeting one, and only really when someone other than me is insisting upon it.

DS2 arrives and I drive home to the sound of DS3's sobs. It's a wonder I don't crash the car as he gets louder and louder with the unfairness of it all.

At home and things suddenly calm down with the bribe of unlimited iPad use and a go on Minecraft. Yes I'll admit I'm weak and I know that this works.

I go into the kitchen and start peeling potatoes ready for tea while thinking "what are we going to do with that thing now?" 

I flick through Elvis's diary noting all the places he's been and wonder how we can compete. Then nonchalantly snap a shot on my phone of him playing Xbox with DD2.


Yes, that'll do...

After remarking on how filthy Elvis is (still) I go back to the kitchen and fantasise about sticking him in the washing machine on a 95 degree fur meltingly hot wash...



I can't of course, remember, the joy of 31 small children has been entrusted to me by the safekeeping of this revolting lump of blue fluff.  Also since his last visit he seems to have developed a bald patch on his lower lip, which to me looks suspiciously like impetigo or mange.

In the absence of the fun of washing Elvis, I consider instead photoshopping his face onto that picture of Kim Kardashian's arse - When Elvis came to our house he broke the internet...

The only trouble that I can see with this is that not only would this be unsuitable for my daughter to show the rest of the class once Elvis returns to school with her, but that if I were to post it here I may end up in some sort of row over copyright with Kim and Kanye's legal team.  

Idly I start to wonder if I could instruct Judge Rinder to represent me in court should things come down to that.  A quick google tells me that in he deals largely with fraud cases as well as criminal cases, sometimes involving murder, which is not quite the same as defending a bored and slightly batty housewife, over her having doctored a picture of a reality star to include the head of a fluffy mange ridden puppet (in the name of comedy and a few extra page views on her blog).  Still it's a nice dream...*

Oh bugger, now the dinner's burning...

Once I've rescued it from full cremation, I serve up dinner.  DD2 not only insists that Elvis has to sit at the dinner table next to her, but also that he has to have bananas for his tea (he only eats bananas apparently).  Mercifully I am spared having to source fair trade bananas this time and he is happy with a kid sized Aldi banana.

The bath and bedtime routine follow.  The twins have been learning about brushing their teeth at school and are keen to brush Elvis's non existent teeth with his new flashing toothbrush, which looks rather like the sort of laser that a Bond villain would have at his disposal.  Once I've recovered from having my retinas nearly burned out by the toothbrush I tuck everybody up, read a story and make a swift exit.



Sinking into a glass of red wine downstairs I start to worry that I really am too old for this shit.

Note to self:  Stop having children.

Day 2

Overnight it appears that DD2 has lost interest in Elvis and so DS3 is delighted to be in charge of him over breakfast.  This means that he has at last stopped sobbing.

Everyone gets ready for school and the school run begins.  All the while I am worrying about how I'm going to get Elvis's diary written up and pictures printed out in time for the following day and showing time. I still haven't replaced the ink cartridges in our stupidly expensive printer - it was on my list of stuff to do, but £42?  Amazon are having a laugh surely?  There is nothing for it I'll have to buy some and so I check the price at Tesco, thinking I can swing by and pick some up on the way home.  Tesco's printer ink cartridges it appears, are not only made from the finest rainbows but also come with added unicorn tears - they are £67 a set!  

Fortunately at school the teacher asks me if I still have a printer issue.  No, I have an issue with the fact that the ink costs more than petrol, gold, and a legal battle with the Kardashians combined and therefore you can whistle for your printed photos.  I don't say this exactly, but she offers to print them out for me.  I like her.  Always have.

Elvis stays at school with the twins and so I am given 6 whole hours respite during which I try to come up with interesting things for them to do with him later, without the use of photoshop.

Baking cakes has been done a million times before as has going to the park, going to various food serving establishments, grandma's house (we did that last time), visiting dad's work (one of the dads is a firefighter, seriously, how can anyone compete with that?  Why does my husband have to have such a boring job?).  I give up.

Then I realise that nobody cares about what we do.  There are three volumes of Elvis's diary (and counting) and I bet they get chucked in the recycling at the end of the year anyway.  Nobody will read it.

So, I decide to keep it simple.  We scoot home in the sunshine, play in the garden on the swing for a bit.  Later I stick a film on and make some popcorn.

The diary gets written.  There is no drama.  I email the pictures to the teacher.

The next morning Elvis leaves the building.  I've done that joke before but how else do you expect me to wrap this up?

A grandparent leans over to me at the school gate and says, "well, it could be worse, you could have had it for the Easter holidays".  I smile.  She is right.  I do pity the poor parent with that honour.

And then I breathe a sigh of relief, until next year, when it all begins again.



* and Rinder would totally kick Kim's sizeable butt

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Computer Says No



Poor DS3.  The computer wouldn't do what he wanted it to.  Naturally, it was all my fault.

Me: What's wrong DS3?

DS3: It's youuuuu...

Me: ??


brummymummyof2

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Couch to 5K Week 7 - The finish line beckons

Look at that!  The end of Week 7 and so it's time for some thoughts on how the week went.



One thing that I've noticed this week is that I haven't been out of breath as I run as much as I've been feeling tired in the final stretch.  A real shift from how I felt in the early days of C25K.

I would never have believed it when I started running back in January, as I rasped my way through that first 60 second jog, that this week I would be running for a whole 25 minutes fairly comfortably.

In fact, to keep myself interested I've been playing around with my route a bit more and think I have finally found a good one - plenty of interesting things to see and gorgeous open countryside - yes, I ran right out of the town (and then back in again of course).

Another thing that has happened - I'm really missing the routine of going for a run on rest days. Now that the weather is nice and sunny I just really want to get outside so much so that I ran on both Monday and Tuesday of last week because I wanted to.  The downside was that by Wednesday my legs were protesting and so a day spent in the house led to some rather unusual retail therapy.

As I mentioned last week, I have wanted to ditch my jacket despite needing the pockets for phone and keys.  So, I did a quick google search to see what I could find to hold everything safely when I'm out.  I didn't really fancy an armband for my phone and so was left with the other option - a running belt.  Most of the recommendations pointed to the SPIBelt and so I took the plunge and ordered one.  It turned up in Friday - a day I wasn't running.  Typical.



I won't be doing a review post on that as such - it isn't a new thing by all accounts, but for those that are wondering I shall add a few thoughts on how I'm getting on with it in next week's post when I've had a chance to try it out properly.

So, only six more runs to go until I finish this - feeling very motivated at the moment!

Monday, 16 March 2015

Teenage Bubble

The teen really is the gift that keeps giving in terms of Blog fodder at the moment.  If I'm not bemoaning how tricky it is being his parent, I'm usually busy laughing at how slow he is on the uptake.  Of course I now feel that I need to point out just how grateful I am for his existence, but that isn't the point of this post really, so I won't...

No.  I want to recount a story so that you might laugh at how silly some of the things that come out of his mouth are and how he often doesn't think much before he speaks (remind you of anyone? ;) )

The following happened last weekend.

DS1 who is glued to a games console about 90% of the time had a parcel arrive in the post for him.  Nothing unusual about that but the contents perplexed him somewhat.


A CD.

Which would be nothing out of the ordinary if you grew up in the 90's, except that he didn't.

Nothing to play it on whatsoever.  Everything my children listen to is digital or on YouTube.

I was partly grateful for this as it appeared to be a CD of gaming soundtracks from Nintendo (really? is that what they listen to these days?).  Then DH suggested that we download the music into iTunes on our computer and then put it onto his iPod so that he could listen to it.

DS1 looked rather worried...

Turning to us in a low voice he said "if we do that does the music, y'know, stay on the CD still?"

:)

(I was very tempted to tell him that little scourers inside the computer removed the music at high speed, polished it and then spat it out of the slot again, but I didn't.)

The following day.

We had just enjoyed a really nice Sunday lunch at my mum's house.  DS1 was making a nuisance of himself hoovering up the leftovers in the kitchen as only a teenager can.

Suddenly he marched purposefully into the room and said "I've just realised something!"

We waited with baited breath as to what this revelation would be...

"The floor in Grandma's kitchen and in our house too, isn't really made of wood!  It is just a photo of wood, how weird is that?!"

Yes, readers, we have laminate, which incidentally we had put down because we knew how messy a certain toddler was when we moved in.  He has lived with it/walked on it for 14 years now and has only just realised what it is made from.

Sometimes I love him and despair of him in equal measure wonder whether DS1 is living in the real world with the rest of us or if there is some sort of teenage bubble shielding him from the not so harsh realities of daily life...

*sigh*


Little Hearts, Big Love

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Mother's Day Guarantee

Ah, it's nearly Mothering Sunday. The day when mothers everywhere are appreciated for all the things that they do via the medium of overpriced cards and gifts.

When I became a mum I remember thinking how exciting my first Mother's Day was going to be - brainwashed by the adverts on daytime TV I was convinced that I'd be showered with gifts by my adoring offspring.  Back then I didn't realise that it would end up being such a non event in this house nobody except us mums actually watch those kinds of advert.

I suppose I might get a card or two (if anyone remembers) but treat mum to something lovely this Mother's Day?

Not ruddy likely.

Instead, the following sums up my Mothering Sunday timetable.

1.  I will get woken up at 6.30 am.  Even if I get a lie in the two smallest will wake me up anyway.  My lie in will consist of listening to DH marshalling the breakfast proceedings downstairs and wondering if any of my cutlery and crockery will survive to be used again another day.  I will still end up sweeping the kitchen floor of the crumb based aftermath.  

2.  I will get cards made at school which have loads of glittery shit all over the front of them.  The cards themselves will make me happy.  Clearing up the glittery shit for the next fortnight, as I find it embedded into every carpet fibre in the house, will not.

3.  There will be no big presents to unwrap.  Not one.  My husbands excuse is "you are not my mother".  Annoyingly I will realise that he has a point.

4.  I will get at least one hurriedly made "card" which consists of a sheet of A4 lined paper folded in half with a drawing of a flower done in biro on the front. It will almost certainly be from the pre-teen because she has blown all her pocket money and can't really be bothered saving for things.  Actually, if I do get that this year I will consider it a form of flattery as she currently hates me and I am the worst mother ever (smartphone, tablet and iPod all currently confiscated until she learns some manners).

5.  At around half past three in the afternoon DH and a selection of children will "just pop to the shops" before they close. They will return with a bag (probably Home Bargains) containing some reduced price chocolates.  I will feel torn between thinking how nice it is that they've finally bothered and wondering why they think that's all I'm worth.

6.  The teen will surprise me by spending his own money on a £2 bunch of supermarket flowers. This will save the day as I realise that he is finally growing up and does appreciate my mothering skills (like picking up the clothes from his floordrobe and washing his PE kit).  I will Instagram the crap out of those flowers.  From.  Every.  Angle.   If no flowers are forthcoming I will just re-gram the pictures from last year to keep you all guessing.



Look at my flowers, Instagram!


Every angle.

Honestly, it isn't as if I want a Prada handbag (do they even make handbags?  I haven't a clue.  These days my mum wardrobe consists of a mixture of very well washed Seasalt, Boden and M&S with the occasional bit of White Stuff thrown in - I'm so mumsy edgy).

It's just that something nice would be, well, nice.

I'm fed up of people saying that all they expect is a lovely handmade card from their children, we all know those same people really want a present.  As I say, I do like those kind of cards too (the glitter can sod off though).  

With fifteen Mother's Days under my belt I'm just being honest when I say that a thoughtfully bought present, wrapped up before the day would be the ideal in my eyes.

It doesn't have to cost a lot - some cut price chocolates will do I suppose.

After all it's guaranteed to be just like any other Mother's Day here...

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

World Poo Day

As our school doesn't take part in World Book Day we had limited opportunities to join in with all the fun last week.

We did however receive the World Book Day vouchers which are issued to all school children.

The twins were very keen to use their vouchers immediately and after perusing the WBD website they were delighted to find the following book completely for free!


It became clear why this was their favourite of all the books on offer, at bedtime when I read it to them.


Let's face it, there is nothing funnier than the word Poo when you are five...


brummymummyof2

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Why everyone should unbunch their pants

Firstly, I want to thank the person who I shamefully stole that phrase from, it really is such a fabulous way of putting things - I'm going to use it a lot more in the future.  I think I saw it somewhere on Facebook but as I don't know who you are I can't thank you or credit you directly, but thanks.

What was this person talking about?

World Book Day costumes of course.

Now I'm not going to go over all the ins and outs of the debates I've seen either on Facebook or Twitter since then, but if you've had your head under a rock since last Thursday then you've had a lucky escape in a nutshell some people think that shop bought Elsa and Superhero costumes are OK as children's attire for this event and some think us parents should make more of an effort to produce homemade costumes so our kids can look like proper characters from real books.

But, I don't really want to talk about that.

Kind of.

You might be forgiven for thinking that as I'm such a stay at home Earth Mother type *snort* that I might be in the camp that believes everyone should pull their finger out and do their bit when it comes to things like WBD attire.

I'm not*.

But the whole idea of what is right and wrong with regard to how we allow our children to learn and what constitutes proper learning (that's what I believe this is all really about) has made me take a step back and look at something that happened a few weeks ago with fresh eyes.

Just before half term ended we had our usual email from the reception team at primary school detailing what the twins would be learning during the next half term.  The book that had been chosen for their learning to be based around was to be The Disgusting Sandwich by Gareth Edwards, and as part of the topic one of the children in the class had suggested that they visit somewhere that makes sandwiches.

The teacher had in light of this, arranged a trip to a branch of Subway - I suspect mainly because it is local to school.

I was appalled.

A trip to what is ostensibly a fast food restaurant.  I wondered how this fitted in with the healthy eating topic area that the school are always so keen to promote.  Because of this I saw it as a poor choice of venue.

Owing to the fact that we had already prevented the twins from attending a different trip (because we deemed it to be completely unsuitable for them - another story for another day) earlier in the term I decided on balance to let them attend this one anyway.  I didn't want them feeling left out again purely because of my views and as we rarely let the children eat takeaways with us I didn't think it would do them much harm to go along on the trip.

Yesterday DS3 and a handful of his classmates were one of the first groups to make the trip to our local Subway branch.

If I am honest I didn't think it would be much of a learning experience.  How wrong I was.

The children were all allowed to help make dough into bread rolls and sprinkle yellow cheese on them with a lady called Collette (DS3s words).  They made a sandwich and got to see how all the food is stored.

The highlight of the trip


They were able to take their bread home with them and a balloon too (the highlight).  The children all seemed genuinely thrilled as they came out of the classroom at home time clutching their bread.

DS3 had his for his tea.

The trip has helped reinforce some of the areas in the story - food hygiene, making sandwiches and some further areas for learning like money.

DD2 will go today and is really looking forward to it.

For something which I was less than happy about and which I criticised their teacher for because I thought that it was a pretty easy option for her and her team, I can now see that there were benefits for my children in increasing their understanding of the world.

As a parent I sometimes feel like I'm supposed to know what's best and what's right for my children, but the truth is that I don't know everything.  Nobody does.

This time I was wrong, because I didn't see the bigger picture.  I jumped to a conclusion.

Kind of like the WBD costume debacle, when you think about it.

*Unbunches pants and twangs knicker elastic*

That's better :)


*  For the record, I actually don't care what anybody else does

Monday, 9 March 2015

Couch to 5k Week 6 - Two steps forward and one step back

I'm trying to make more of an effort to keep on top of these C25K posts from now on.

Last week I completed Week 6 which means I have completed two thirds of the programme now - phew!

I should have finished this week much sooner, only I was so keen to get out on day two that I mistakenly hit day one again on the app and repeated myself.  I was so cross when I got to the end of it, all hot and exhausted and thinking I'd completed two out of three of the runs, that to find I had to effectively run day two of that week again was a little disheartening - two steps forward and one step back.

Having said that I was quite glad in the end to repeat the first run of week 6 again (even if it wasn't intentional) because I had been finding the start stop nature of the programme one of the toughest things to get past.  Repeating it only served to make the rest of the week seem better over all.

Week 6 culminated in a full 25 minutes of running.  More than I've ever done since I did cross country running at school *whispers* nearly 25 years ago (I was almost always last too)... but I did complete it and I didn't even ache the following day.  Well, not a lot.

I have also had to alter my route in the last week.  I'm not all that familiar with some of the roads around here but managed to work out a route that took me to just over four and a half kilometres without too many roads to cross.  The last part of the route is up a very gentle incline (can't call it a hill as you'd barely notice it if you weren't on foot).  This doesn't sound too bad as I write it but when I'd been running for twenty minutes already I really had to dig deep to get to the end.  I would imagine it won't be long before I need to change the route again so that I don't run out of road in the final few weeks - at least my local geography is improving!

I've also started to think that its time to ditch my jacket when I go out - with the sunny days that we're now having it is just too warm once I get moving.  My only issue with this is where on earth do I put my phone?

Lastly, I've already shared this picture over on Instagram but I was so happy with these times on Map My Run that I'm putting it here too :)

a 6.45!


Stuff I've learnt this week:

Drinking lots of water before and after a run helps with hydration and this (apparently, according to the app) prevents stitches.  I have not yet had a stitch while running but it seems like sensible advice and so I'm sticking with it.

Blisters can come back :(


Wednesday, 4 March 2015

School Run Mum Hacks

Last Monday morning when I was happily congratulating myself for having enough bread to make all the sandwiches for packed lunches for once, just like a slap in the face it dawned on me that today was also the reception class Fair Trade Fortnight picnic and Year 5 Bikeability.

Which I had forgotten about.  Again.  

Arse.

When I first had children at school I used to be ever so organised (I even had one of those whizzy organised mum diaries with stickers and stuff). 

These days I still have a diary but it only gets used when I can't find a pad to write on, and the only reminder I have in my phone is for Judge Rinder (priorities I say), which is pretty pointless because I never miss an episode as its on series link.

Oh, there is also currently one children's birthday party too - I am unusually proud of myself for remembering to put that in, let me tell you.  Normally I forget to even reply...

The thing is that when you are this disorganised you become used to winging it and also knowing that no matter what the disaster there will be a school run mum* hack that you have invented or can employ to make everything OK.

And, as sharing is caring, I have decided to confess my best hacks for your enjoyment.

Fair trade Fortnight Picnic

The email said "On Monday please bring in one picnic item that is fair trade to share with the class."

So, of course I ignored that until I remembered that it was Monday morning and we'd done a big food shop at the weekend which included no fair trade produce whatsoever.  Bugger.

*starts frantically searching through kitchen cupboards for something that is fair trade*

Unless my twins fancy taking some out of date ground coffee then I suddenly realise that I am screwed.

Or maybe not...

Spying a bunch of ordinary supermarket (probably very badly traded) bananas in the fruit bowl I went about destroying all the evidence of them being anything but fair trade.  Yes, that meant packet in the bin and peeling all the stickers off until all that remained was the fruit itself.  Obviously you also have to do this behind closed doors so that the kids don't grass you up to the teacher - no point in a hack if you get rumbled is there?

There you go kids, lovely fair trade bananas - enjoy!

Of course other parents bought in bananas or chocolate which had the proper fair trade symbol on them (the swots), but placing them on the table very very swiftly I think I got away with it.   Just.

World Book Day

Now, I really like the whole world book day thing as a general rule, but sometimes our school joins in and sometimes they don't. How the hell are they expecting me, super forgetful mum with no diarising abilities whatsoever, to know what's going on and when?

So if, like me your child suddenly announces the need for a book related costume at the eleventh hour then how about one of my tried and tested 30 second outfits?

School uniform, a black cape from a Darth Vader costume and a magic wand swiftly wrenched from the front of an overpriced Sooty magazine (at last it appears that having preschoolers is useful for something) and with a quick lip liner drawn scar to the forehead there you have it - Harry Potter

Or quicker still

Last year's skeleton Halloween costume and a hat - Funny Bones

Last year's Halloween costume and a hat will totally make your kids look like these guys


No time to get ready

I don't know about you but there are some days when I cannot be arsed haven't got quite enough time to shower, straighten my hair and put on makeup for the school run.  That, my friends, is time to employ the one school run mum hack that is garaunteed to work.  No, I'm not talking about getting your husband/wife/significant other to do the school run for you, although you could do that I suppose.  My trick is far simpler and requires less bribery than that.

Just put on some sportswear.

Yes, that's it.  Sportswear is essentially a fashion invisibility cloak. 

Think about it.  When was the last time you saw a Lycra clad school run mum and thought "wow, they look like they got ready in a hurry"?  I bet what you really thought is "oh, she must be off to the gym".  See, it works.  

Sometimes when I do this I might very well be on my way out for a run but sometimes?  I go straight back home and have a shower in peace (The Dream!).

Going running or just off for a nice peaceful shower at home - who can tell?


Dress down day

Another dress down day?  But we only had one last week?  If you find yourself thinking this as much as I do then there are a couple of tactics you can use here.

If you only need to supply that elusive item - the £1 for charity (is it me or do pound coins seem to magically disappear from your purse as soon as the term starts?) then just borrow it from a child's money box and replace later (this is not a hack, just common sense).

If the item in question is the dreaded tombola prize donation then as I see it you have three options:

1.  Send the kids in dressed down with promises to drop something in at home time (be warned that you basically are admitting how disorganised you are, plus you are just doing what is asked so not really applying the hacker mentality).

2.  Send the kids in dressed down and donate an unwanted gift of your own - if for a bottle stall a big bottle of (unused) bubble bath works well (I once won one of these which was probably donated by a fellow hacker - proof that nobody else cares either), but never give away your own wine unless you are mad.

3.  Send the kids in dressed down and don't bother with the tombola prize.  This takes a thick skin and nerves of steel to get past the PTA without being noticed.  I have never done this.  Much.

Who knew that being so disorganised could lead to such duplicitous behaviour?

It would be better for me to be organised, I won't deny it, and maybe I should learn to use a diary properly and put all the essential dates in it every once in a while.  

The feeling of being prepared would certainly be an unusual one, and the kids would always have everything they needed and without me ever having to think up any inventive strategies to get us through, but then where would the fun be in that?


* I say mum, but dads are welcome to try these hacks too.

Nose Off


Because what else do you do when your red nose won't stay on?


brummymummyof2

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Couch to 5k - A Week 4 and 5 mash up!

Oooh, it's been ages since I've written an update on my Couch to 5k efforts and so here it is!

Because its been so long I've now completed both week 4 and week 5 and so I thought I might as well lump them both together in one post.

If I could think of one word to sum up both of these weeks it would be... HARD.

They were in fact harder than I could have imagined and despite completing them both I still don't know how I managed it.  It wasn't that what I was asked to do that was more difficult than usual but it just took more of an effort to do it.  No idea why.

I do of course also feel an enormous sense of achievement for getting this far - I'm over half way through now!



The last few weeks have not been without their downsides however.  As I say, I really have started to outpace my comfort zone now and after my final week 4 run I woke up one morning with a trapped nerve in my neck/shoulder.  I could barely move my neck and this was a bit of a set back (coupled with the fact that it was half term anyway and so I couldn't go for my usual morning run because I needed to be at home).  So, a whole week passed without me doing so much as walk to the end of the road.

By the time I started week 5 last weekend, I was feeling quite reluctant to say the least.  It took quite some effort to get back into the right mindset for running again, and although my shoulder pain has almost gone I did wonder if the running was starting to become more of a hindrance to my health than a help.

Once I'd done that first run, however,  I felt a lot better. Even my shoulder felt better.

So, I did the second one and then the third which was 20 minutes of continuous running!  20 minutes without stopping!  Me!

And, although it was harder than I was used to it felt great.

Only four more weeks to go.

Looking at the plan for the next few weeks there will be a lot more running and a lot less walking breaks in between.  Suddenly this doesn't seem daunting to me anymore.

I can do this.  I will do this.
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