Monthly Archives: October 2011

Great South Run

On Saturday 29th October 2011, I’m running the Great South Run 5k and my two children are running the Mini Great South Run which is 1.5k, and we’re running in aid of charity.

We’re really looking forward to doing the run, and we’ve set up fundraising pages. The children are running for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, and I’m running for the Alzheimer’s Society. If you would like to support our charities and us, here are the details.

Just Giving Page for the Children – Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research

A long time ago I used to run, I used to sprint in my teens, and I ran the Nottingham half marathon in my 20s, and in between these times I’ve had periods of not doing much at all! Since having my last child I’ve started and stopped running several times, due to illness, injury and time factors. Every time I’ve started again, I’ve used the C25K plan, and this is what I’ve been doing again this time, training following the couch to 5k plan, I started off using the podcasts by Robert Ullrey. Then I fancied a change of music so found these podcasts by OhSuzannah.

 I originally entered the run as I wanted something to aim for, an achievement. I thought if I was running for something it would help keep me motivated. Now it’s nearly upon me, and it has helped, but I’ve also not trained quite as much as I would have liked, and in truth I’m a little bit nervous! However I’m quite a driven person, and I’ve entered now, and showed support to the charity, so there is no question I will be there on Saturday to start and finish the run!

About  a week ago for the first time I did a 30 minute run, and it was ok, maybe not as quick as I would like, but I managed it. Then a few days ago I thought I’d better try the actual 5k distance, and I managed it in 33 minutes. I know it could be faster, and I’m still quite unfit but I’ve run out of time considering the run is in 3 days….. 

The children naturally run around lots, are very active, and have good stamina, the only thing they could do with practising is running the actual distance at least once so they know not to go off too fast! I have very different children in their approach to the run, one said “I’m going to try my best to win”  and the other said “mum there’s a medal for everyone who finishes so it doesn’t matter how fast I go”. They’re both in the same wave of runners which is nice that they’re together, but I wonder how they will decide to run, will they both run the whole way together, or will one get competitive and decide to run their own race? It will be interesting to see what they do on the day, they’ve never been in a running event before. 

We’re all really looking forward to it, roll on Saturday. Anyone else or their children running this weekend? 


Shield Bug

Today we found a lovely shield bug. We’d never seen one quite like it before, others we have seen have been all green, or all brown. This one however was both green and brown, in a very distinct pattern. Apologies for the poor photo quality, it was taken with my phone. I was out without my camera, I will remember next time, as you never know what you might see!

Hawthorn Shield Bug

It was in fact a Hawthorn shield bug, which are apparently quite common here in the UK. My son was very excited, he loves discovering new bugs he’s not seen before. He gently carried it around showing his friends in the playground. 

The shield bug hibernates over winter as an adult, and then emerges and mates in the Spring. The female lays eggs and then between May and October they have a nymph stage and can be found feeding on a range of trees, and shrubs, but mainly on hawthorn, where they get their name from. By Autumn time they have become adults and can darken in colour as they get ready for hibernation. They hibernate in sheltered areas near the plants they eat, until they emerge in early spring when the cycle begins again. 

They are such amazing bugs to look at. Have you seen any around recently? At some point soon it will be time to hibernate. I wonder if the glorious sunshine and warmth we had last weekend will confuse them and delay the hibernation, or is their hibernation based on daylight hours? Anyone know?