I’ve been cracking on with decorating the living room this week so chances to get out with my camera have been few and far between. It’s nearly done now, thankfully.
This shot was taken last Sunday on a dull, grey day at Eaton Park in Norwich. Years ago my running buddy spotted a heron at the pond but we have never seen once since and it’s become a long standing joke. I even mentioned it this time but as we jogged by I noticed a head below the wall and emergency stopped mid-run to grab a photo on my phone. I snapped it quickly just in case it flew away but also because I didn’t want to interrupt our run for too long. I like the fact it’s standing next to the “no fishing” sign.
To see what other people have submitted for Darren’s My Sunday Photo please click on the camera below.
A disturbing one in three woman have been harassed when running alone, according to the results of a new survey by England Athletics released this week.
It includes being shouted at, drivers honking their horns and even men running alongside them. Perhaps unsurprisingly, just under half of the 2,000 women surveyed expressed fears for their personal safety while running alone.
I’ve been running (ok, plodding) for a few years, on and off, and I’ve certainly experienced being shouted at and also beeped at. It might sound harmless but it can be really intimidating, especially when its dark, which is usually the only time I’m free to run.
It has made me think twice about going out on my own – and that makes me really angry. Why shouldn’t I be allowed to run where and when I want? How dare they think it’s ok to harass people. Even when it only happens occasionally I’m often still on high alert, which doesn’t make for a very pleasant run.
Alongside the survey a new campaign aimed at getting more people in England running by pairing them with their local clubs “providing a reliable, safe and friendly environment” was launched.
The RunTogether initiative works on the basis that “running with others provides motivation, guidance and support, as well as making it more fun”. Having run both on my own and with a buddy, I wholeheartedly agree with each of their points.
The C25K was much easier when we could spur one another on/moan about each week. Even now, when we consistently run 5K-ish, the fact that I don’t want to let her down means I carry on when I know, if I was on my own, I would stop and walk (I’m really not a natural runner).
The new website makes it easy to find clubs in your area for different levels (it also has running routes available).
I’m not really a club person and while I’m happy to run with my friend, group running really isn’t my cup of tea.
When I first heard about RunTogether, without really reading the details, I thought it was like a dating app for runners. I think it would take someone pretty unique to answer my ad but I’ve already met my soulmate (luckily long before she realised what she was in for).
I’m very lucky to have found someone who is understanding of my commitments (and the occasional need to cancel at the last minute if Freya is ill) but who also tolerates me stopping to take photos every now and then without even a hint of annoyance (the fact that she will star jump on demand is an added bonus).
Of course, not everyone is lucky enough to have a buddy like mine – and even when we run together we have been beeped at – which is why I think this new resource is going to be helpful – especially in the absence of any solution to stamp out such ridiculous, intimidating behaviour.
Have you ever been harassed while out exercising? Would you join a club to feel safer? If you were writing an advert for an exercise buddy what requirements would you have?
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“Have you considered eating just one square of chocolate and saving the rest?” She asked.
My answer was swift, succinct and emphatic.
Oh, wait, maybe she wasn’t really asking me so much as suggesting this might be a way forward?
I get it now.
And if my will-power hadn’t been disappearing at the same rate as sleep in the last few years I might be willing to give it a go but, as it stands, I think a Plan B is needed.
Luckily, the lovely health care assistant I saw during the dreaded “midlife” *cry* MOT at my GP surgery had some other suggestions – including healthier, energy-boosting snacks.
Like most people, I imagine, I only really go to the doctor when I’m ill – and sometimes not even then. The thought of going for a general health check, offered free to those over 40, felt a bit alien. I’d also read several stories about a study which suggested there were only “marginal benefits”.
Still, while I feel like I’m in pretty good health at the moment, I am an older mum, there’s no getting away from that, and I want to make sure I’m around for Freya as long as possible.
What harm could having a quick check do?
The big thing I was worried about was my weight. If you calculate my BMI I’m technically obese but it’s not like I don’t know. I have scales and a mirror. I felt being told exactly how much I need to lose might actually be more than a little discouraging, especially as I’m working on it (I run, walk a lot and chase Freya about most days). As it happened though, aside from the chocolate advice, it was all really positive.
I went for the blood test and then two weeks later followed up with a 30-minute appointment.
Right away she started off with good news.
“Your cholesterol levels are lovely and low,” she said with a smile.
I felt myself relax a bit.
We then talked about my veggie diet, lifestyle choices and exercise before I had to hop on the scales, have my waist measured and my height checked.
I had warned her that I knew my weight would be an issue and she confirmed that was the case but rather than make me feel horrible and self-conscious we chatted through the causes of my over-eating (which I know is a complete luxury) and ways I might look to improve it.
She then calculated my risk of a heart attack in the next 10-years, which came out at 1.24%, which sounded pretty good to me, and told me I could be “quietly pleased”. I know it’s not a guarantee of good health and a long life but I felt like if anything had been especially wrong I would have known and could work on it, like I am doing (slowly) with my weight.
I came out smiling, which is more than I can say for when I went in.
What do you think? Are general health checks worth it?