Fabulist 

After completing my 40 at 40 list, it got me thinking about other things I wanted to do. https://adventuresofcumbrianblondie.co.uk/2012/06/17/the-final-list-ginas-big-40-at-40/

So my fabulist was born, no time frame just a list of things, adventures, experiences I wanted to do before I die. Though not planning on that happening anytime soon. https://adventuresofcumbrianblondie.co.uk/2014/10/19/my-new-fabulist/Continue reading “Fabulist “

A tick off my fabulist – visit Amsterdam 

Going to Amsterdam has been on my to do list for quite some time. It is great it is such a short flying time and the transport system in Amsterdam makes it so easy to explore the city.An incredibly early start mean we were at the hotel by 11am, no time for duty free in the airport but I did spot a MAC shop and treat myself to a new lipstick. You can never have too many red lipsticks. Continue reading “A tick off my fabulist – visit Amsterdam “

Do something everyday that scares you! 

Those of you who read my blogs, see that I’m an adventure girl and some of the tasks on my 40 at 40 list are testament to that. I had a meeting at the Kendal wall and noticed they had recently installed an indoor Via Ferrata. Ang showed me it after our meeting and said the following Sunday they were having an open day. It looked interesting so said we would come down and have a go. 

Having done Go Ape and the Honister Via Feratta I was familiar with the concept. There were 7 of us doing it. A safety meeting, harnesses distributed and we were ready. I was impressed with the new clipping on equipment. You would always have one clip attached even if you tried not to, as with a newly designed safety feature it wouldn’t let you have both off at the same time. 

A few practices attaching the clips onto the practice line, we were off. 

  
The first bit was fine climbing up the ladders getting used to moving and clipping the clips on and off. All was going ok until one of the group got vertigo and had to come back down. I realise why as I felt the same when I got there too. Luckily Dave and I were last to set off so Steph our instructor came up to guide me across. I was feeling a little more confident. The course zig zagged around the wall and then there is the fun bit of the zip wire! 

  
Ok ready to tackle the next bit. 

  
Steph went ahead through the cave section. Once I was in it was very restrictive as you can imagine a cave would be. I started to panic and couldn’t get through. But Steph was there on hand again talking me through and sent a rope down to help me out. Dave was behind me encouraging me to stay calm. The relief when I could quite literally see the light at the end of the tunnel was immense.

  
  
The next section, you had the crawl out of a window and find yourself at the top of the climbing wall! Which is a long way up! A few more ladders across the wall and it was onto a pendulum swing. Having to throw yourself off and then run back and forth across the wall to build up momentum to get across. By this time we had caught up the rest of the group and we’re waiting on a platform to do the final bit. 

   
 

Just a small matter of a 20m drop with 6m of freefall to do before I could say I’d completed the course. My turn to go and I said I can’t do it. My fight or flight panic set in. It’s not natural to step off into the unknown. Steph said ” you done everything else, you wouldn’t be standing here if you hadn’t” so buoyed up with her encouragement I stepped off the platform. Oh my god what a rush of adranellin. I landed very un glamorously and was picked up by 2 guys who had done the skyline with us. They were experienced climbers and said they found it challenging too, so I didn’t feel so pathetic for my panics! 

http://youtu.be/qJFKZROKPVc
http://youtu.be/YUoXWw3EHf8
A massive thank you to Steph, she was so patient and calming and I couldn’t have completed it without her gentle encouragement. The Skyline is a brilliant addition to the climbing wall. If you get chance give it a go.  

Always a good thing to do something that’s a challenge and scares you just a little bit. You don’t have to be a climber, just able and a sense of adventure. Thank you Steph! 

  
http://www.kendalwall.co.uk/instruction-overview/via-ferrata/

Well earnt bling

“Pain is temporary, finishing is forever” this phrase was going through my head like a mantra as I was running in the London marathon on Sunday 26th April. 

People said to me “Gina this is your fourth marathon, you should be used to this”. I think naivety is the best prep for marathon running, you have no idea of what lies ahead. 

There is no atmosphere like London, the crowds carry you through and high five you when you’re feeling broken. I’ve not run in any other city so I don’t have anything to compare it to. The London marathon has a special pull which is why I have entered it again for next year. 

Marathon training is hard but rewarding work. People look at me and think I’m joking when I say I run marathons. I’m not stick thin and I have boobs but that doesn’t stop me from getting out there and running. As someone said if you get your trainers on and run, you are a runner!

This time when I’ve been training, my inner demons have nearly taken control. That little voice in your head telling you, you’re not good enough and what the hell do you think you’re doing trying to run a marathon. It’s disabilitating and on quite a few training runs I’ve been on the verge of tears. A few deep breaths and a few drops of rescue remedy I’ve managed to get through. Being under stress has that effect on you. Luckily I’m seeking help to try and get this under control and asking for help is ok. 

I ran the marathon dressed as Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman first made her appearance back in 2003 when I ran my first marathon. It was a dare and never one to give in, I did it dressed as my favourite superhero. It’s a great costume to run in, as I’ve got older I realise there’s not much to it!! Thank goodness for the cape to hide my modesty. 

  
Thought I’d better have a try on before it was packed for the trip south. 

As soon as I entered Excel to get my running number the nerves and excitement started. Though I nearly didn’t get my number as I’d forgotten to bring my photo ID.  A few security checks and it was deemed I was me and one number given. 

   
     

Number collected it was across London to my in laws to relax and carb load! 

Nerves was in force when I woke up on the day of the marathon, trying to force porridge and toast down. My start was in Greenwich in the red zone. The weather was cold which was perfect running conditions. I did get some glances at my costume as I made the way across London with Dave to the start. I think I had several nervous wees. It was so cold and took solace in a nearby cafe until I had to make my way to the start.

As soon as I made the way to the start, my nerves calmed and I felt excited to be running in the London marathon again. A few pics and a reassuring hug and it was time to say goodbye to Dave, next time I  would see him would be around mile 12 our first rendezvous. 

   
   

Then we were off, it is such a huge feeling when you cross the line. I was soon into my stride and the first few miles passed quickly. First 10 k covered and was feeling good. In my head kept thinking about my first meeting with my family at mile 12. I think I ran mile 11-12 the quickest! Its very hard to spot people as the volume of support is huge. But I remembered from the map where they said they would be standing.  I just beamed and ran over to them when I spotted them.  It’s such a boost seeing them. A mouthful of fudge a few hugs and off I went. 

 Nearly halfway there and was doing ok time wise. There is no feeling like running over Tower bridge and hearing the wall of cheers. A special memory which will last with me forever. 

The next few miles were hard, but seeing Matthew and Amanda at 30k mark kept me going. Again the relief at seeing a friendly face is overwhelming. A sweaty hug (me not them) mintcake and off I went. I love the poster Matthew made! 

  
      

Refuelled off I went, next aim was to get to mile 24 when my Team Pennington support crew would be. For me this is where it gets really tough, tiredness kicked in and your body feels as if it’s running on empty. It’s a case of just putting one front in front of the other and letting the miles tick by. 

When you get to mile 21, you can start to see the iconic landmarks we all know and love. As the miles ticked by, I was relieved to think I was nearly there. Just pass mile 24 I saw my family, utter emotion passed over me as I was broken but nearly there. Lots of hugs, encouragement and the next time I will see them will be at the finish. 

  
I’m not sure how I got through the latter stages, the crowds were amazing and lots of high fives. I could see Big Ben and then Buckingham Palace and knew I was nearly home. The last half a mile feels so long, the grandstand and finish came into sight. I was nearly there. A massive sense of achievement washed over me. My time was 4:53 which was a little slower than I wanted but still pleased. My well earnt bling hanging on my neck as I made my way through to meet my family. When I checked my endomondo I’d actually run 27:15 miles! On the course there are blue lines painted on the road which is the exact measurement of the marathon. I obviously ran outside the lines!! 

I saw Jake and Millie first as Dave and the rest of my family had got stuck trying to get across to the finish. 

  
More bling for my collection, trying to stretch and not seize up. A rather undignified change and was off for an early dinner. But the sickness bug I had on Friday and a sore throat made the thought of a celebratory drink not high on my agenda. So I toasted my marathon success with a diet coke! 

  

My body was starting to stiffen up as I made my way back across London to my in laws. The hot bath never felt so good. Early night was definitely in order. 

The support for the Brathay charity I was running for, has been immense. I have managed to raise £3700 which will make a huge difference to these young people’s lives. I am going to visit the charity to see where the money goes in a few weeks time. My temporary pain is so worth it for the good it’s going to benefit them.

 http://www.brathay.org.uk/

I finally got my celebratory fizz! 

   

Would I run another marathon?? Yes of course I will. Just need to focus on getting quicker 😉

If you still want to sponsor me you still can at http://www.justgiving.com/Gina-Pennington2
 

Marathon Girl 

I feel as if I’ve neglected my blog over the last few weeks, I’m sorry  I’ve been busy marathon training and I haven’t felt I’ve done anything to warrant a blog post. 

I like the disapline of training for a marathon. It gives me the extra drive to go out in all weathers, which I have been! If marathon day is pissing down and into a head wind I have that nailed! 

If marathon training was easy everyone would do it. It’s hard when you get mid way in the training plan. You’re tired and in my case my inner chimp makes me doubt my running ability. I’ve had some really tough runs when my head has messed with my running. On one particular run, after 1.5 miles my body was paralysed with fear that I was ridiculous for thinking I could do this. I rang my husband Dave sobbing to come and get me. After that he gave me some tough love and said he was not going to pick me up unless I’ve had an accident. Perfect motivation. 

Having good mental health is just as important as your body being healthy. Sue from The Body rehab where I go for sports massage (aka torture she has elbows of steel)  and physio, she reiliterated this. She suggested listening to an audio book to take my mind off thinking. It works. 

Luckily I have managed to get several long runs in and after a 20+ mile run 2 weeks ago, I feel ready and a little excited about running London marathon again. 

This time on my training plan I have discovered ice baths. For me it has helped my muscles recover though getting ice cubes in places I shouldn’t was an eye opener!!

So on April 26th 2015, I will be running my 3rd London marathon. Wonder Woman will be dusted down to be let loose on the streets of London. I haven’t got a time in mind, I just want to enjoy it. I am running the marathon for Brathay Trust, a charity for under privileged children in Brathay just outside Ambleside. So if you have a spare quid or 2 please sponsor me. 

Check out my JustGiving Page for Brathay Trust. Help me raise more! http://www.justgiving.com/Gina-Pennington2?utm_id=26

My marathon audio blog 

https://audioboom.com/boos/2926600

So bring on the taper and the carb loading 🙂 

Photographic student for the day

I have always loved photography and the science behind cameras. Being mesmerised as a child with the family Kodak camera with the screw on flash cube. Taking photos was something that was done on special occasions. Well it was in my household. The waiting game to see your pictures and then discard half of them as there was only one descent one. Oh am I showing my age?? Continue reading “Photographic student for the day”

A tick off my fabulist – have a drink in the Shard

Rather than queue up with the commoners to have a drink in the Shard, we decided to book in for breakfast.
The Shard is at 309 metres the second tallest building in England and third tallest in Europe.
IMG_8288.JPGContinue reading “A tick off my fabulist – have a drink in the Shard”

To the dogs

This is a delayed blog post as I actually did this back in February. My first foray into racing and because I’ve heard that it’s a good night out, that’s why it made it onto my new list.
Being a social butterfly things need to be booked in the diary. So a date was set and we were venturing to the dogs at Belle Vue in Manchester with friends Alan and Cath.Continue reading “To the dogs”