Author Archives: Claire

About Claire

Wife, Mother of 2 grubby boys, adventurous and creative.

Pushing through

Last night I ran my furtherest distance since I began running at the end of last summer. 8.4km in 58 mins and I ran the whole way, no walking, no stopping to tie my shoe lace so I can catch my breath I just ran!.

I have until now been unable to push through that mental block that screams “stop I feel sick” or “stop I can’t breath” but last night I found my pace and my breathing fell into rhythm automatically, I pushed through each time my lazy side said “you could just walk this bit” my strong louder more confident side replied “you could but you don’t need to” so I just kept running, through the tiredness, through the stomach cramp that made me feel like I might hurl on the last mile and I made it back to the car park without hurling, now I feel like a proper runner.

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When my son was born in 2009 I found myself isolated from the world stuck at home with a sick baby in a small village miles from friends and family. Unable to leave the house for long due to feeding schedules, equipment and lack of car (getting a bus with a disabled child and their equipment is not for the fainthearted but thats another story). So for 2 years I spent the majority of my days alone with a poorly baby whilst Adam worked. These days were spent watching TV whilst trying and failing to get my son to eat enough to thrive (he now has a tube in his tummy for food and is thriving). My confidence took a huge battering, I had been a Karate instructor for 3 years, I had stood in front of classes of 100 people, taught them Kata and spared men twice my size and strength, now I was a couch potato who couldn’t even help her child to eat, I rarely spoke to another adult other than Adam. I became a shadow of my former self, quiet, nervous, worrying wreck.

7 years on I feel very different, I haven’t gone back to the old me I am calmer, more serious yet more care free, my priorities in life have changed as has my way looking at life in general, I don’t get hung up on the small stuff. I am also more confident, more independent and more sociable ( I have friends now 🙂 ).

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I have realised in these last 2 years since beginning my training and fundraising that we are all alone in everything we do but thats ok. No matter how many friends I have cheering me on ultimately it is me and me alone that will get me to where I want to be. It is the voices in my head that I have to overcome and only I can shout them down because only I can hear them.  When I am running I tell myself, ” I want to get fit no-one is going to do this for me so keep going” or “I won’t get to Base camp if I can’t even run 5k”. When I am sitting watching TV when I should be doing work I tell myself “none else is going to do it so get up and do it” In all aspects of my life I am taking charge and pushing through wether it’s self doubt, pain or plain laziness I am mentally slapping myself and encouraging myself. When I talk to myself (and we all do it I am not crazy) I talk positively and tell myself I can do it, I have stopped listening to the negative voice so much that I rarely hear myself thinking “I can’t do this”.

Without a doubt running has changed my life, taking on the challenge of trekking to Everest Base camp and raising £5,000 for St Oswald’s is the best thing I could have done for myself and for my family. You don’t have to take on a massive challenge to make positive changes but you have to move and do things differently if you want to change. Going a club, start one if there isn’t one near you, go for a walk, volunteer do something different and tell yourself you can.

If you would like to can can help me reach my fundraising goal for St Oswald’s  please donate on my justgiving page https://www.justgiving.com/Couchtobasecamp2015/ and share the link to spread the word 😀

Stay tuned the adventure is yet to come, 17 days and counting

Claire

 

 

 

22 Days to go!!

I am currently trying to find the balance between stepping up my training and not injuring myself with less than 4 weeks to go I don’t have enough time to recover from anything serious.

I am still running twice a week, keeping it to short 5K runs to avoid injury or strain. I also have a personal training session twice a week now and it’s getting tougher, wall sits, squats and one hundred different ways to make my leg muscles burn, I’m off there this afternoon and my legs are still burning from Wednesday. So training is going well I can feel a big difference in my fitness level, I think I will be ready, I just need to lay off the take aways :).

Kit wise I am not so ready. I have finally ordered some prescription sunglasses off the very helpful and knowledgable Andy from RockSpex, they should arrive in 12-14 days. I have the majority of my important kit like water proofs, down jacket but still need to find a warm yet not mortgage worthy sleeping bag. Then its all the little bits, pain relief, toilet paper, suncream, wooly hat (that reminds me I need to buy wool for my friend so she can make my hat). I can guarantee I will be buying stuff in Kathmandu and along the trail as I realise I have forgotten stuff.

Just a quick post from me today and no pictures, as I haven’t been out in the hills for a few weeks and I am pretty sure you don’t want or need to see pictures of my sweating at the gym.

Tomorrow I will be pack backing at Marks and Spencer at the Metrocentre from10am till 4 pm to raise some extra pennies for St Oswald’s Hospice. (if you are local pop in and say hello).

If you would like to sponsor me you can do that here on my just giving page or text BASE80 £10 (or other amount) to 70070.

You can also follow me on twitter @couchtobasecamp

See you later

Claire

 

Time out

The last few months have been rather busy and quite stressful, with one child who won’t sleep through the night and one who won’t go to sleep before 11, sleep deprivation has ruled in our house to the point I could barley function.

So this weekend came as a much needed respite for me from chaos at home. I travelled to my home town, Wallasey, for my little sisters Hen weekend.

Arriving into Liverpool at 16.10 it was straight to mum and dad’s to get dressed up for the first night out. A delicious meal and a few drinks at Portofino in New Brighton and in bed before midnight for a long, uninterrupted sleep the perfect start to the weekend.
Saturday was a lazy start getting up at 12 for breakfast. Then hot chocolate and charity shop mooching with my brother and my gorgeous baby nephew. I found a beautiful bargin dress to wear for the second night out and some fab reference and art books. The rest of the day was spent making button holes for the wedding.

That night we had a bright pink Hummer drive us in to Liverpool to the Greenroom, I have to admit I really enjoyed it.

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A night of quality entertainment, dancing and a proper good laugh with my sisters, mum and friends. Stevie Riks and Ukebox were brilliant.

Surprisingly I was home in bed by 1pm. Another lazy morning a bacon butty and off for an afternoon run. 3 miles down to Vale Park and home again. The weather was just right for running, sunny but cool. Despite the drinking the night before I found the run easier than my last, the training is definitely paying off now.

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Back home for a lovely relaxing bath and then more nephew cuddles. Then out for dinner with my parents, sister and her fiancé. Beautiful steak, more wine and a giant chocolate chip cookie topped with brownie pieces and marshmallows.
So a busy yet relaxing weekend and as I head home now on the train I feel refreshed and relaxed and ready to step up the training and take control of the chaos at home. Most of all I can’t wait for big squishy hugs from my boys.

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If you would like to sponsor my trek to basecamp you can do here, St Oswald’s hospice is a great place that helps so many people at their most vulnerable times. Please spread the word. Only 7 weeks to go and £2000 to reach my target.
Xxxxx

8 weeks tomorrow

Eight weeks tomorrow I will be boarding an aeroplane to begin the biggest adventure of my life so far and I am flitting between feelings of extreme excitement (think 5 year old on their birthday) and absolute fear of the unknown. I am stepping way out of my comfort zone to prove to myself that there is still more to me than tired, worn down, Netflix addicted, stressed out mum.

In the 2 years since I signed up I have pushed myself constantly outside my comfort zone, from talking about my  challenge to a room full of strangers to climbing precarious ridges on Helvellyn and slopes icy on Scafell. I am proud of what I have achieved so far and how much money I have raised for such a great cause but facing the reality of 16 days away, far away from my children and my husband is possibly the biggest challenge I have yet to face.

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I have packed shopping bags, held raffles and music nights, stood in the metrocente wearing a santa hat on my own with a collection bucket for 4 hours. I have sweated, cried, run so fast my lungs felt like they would explode, I have feared for my life on windy and icy mountain tops (exhaustion + high winds or ice + shear drops = crazy emotional fear of impending doom) but I have also seen amazing sunrises, snow covered mountains that stretch for miles in every direction, I have laugh and chatted with new friends and complete strangers and I have faced my fears. So far this challenges has been the best thing I have ever done for myself. I can not wait to get to base camp!!

If you can spare a few quid please sponsor me, Its for a fantastic cause and the more I raise the better for them.

https://www.justgiving.com/couchtobasecamp2015

xxxxx

 

Challenge number 4

Yesterday I ran 5k with my running club like I usually do on a Thursday night but this time I did it dressed as Ironman. I raised an extra £114 towards my final total so as embarrassing as it was it was totally worth it.

You can see the video evidence here on my facebook page.

Ironman

I honestly thought that the training would be the hardest part of this whole endeavour but it’s the fundraising that is proving the biggest challenge. I still have a long way to go and there are so many people fundraising for so many amazing causes its hard to get your campaign noticed. I will not be defeated, I have just over 50% of my £5000 left to raise and 24 days left in February to do it.

If you would like to sponsor me for any of my crazy challenges you can do so here. Thank you 🙂

 

Day 4 of #challengeclaire

So far not so bad, day one I washed my friends car and van for £20 in gale force winds just to add to the fun.

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Day 2 I did this… https://www.facebook.com/claire.brown.10048/videos/10153476965088253/?pnref=story for a whole £3!challenge 2

Day 3 I did nothing as I was poorly 😦 and very busy.

Today, Day 4. I have been challenged to do my usual 5k run with my club but in fancy dress so I shall be running tonight dressed as iron man! (the only costume we have available without spending loads of money). Stay tuned for the video and photos.

Other challenges I that have been put forward are,

  1. Lip Syncing to Katy Perry’s Hot and Cold, that one will need some practice and setting up so stay tuned. (I am totally uncoordinated so it should be fun)
  2. Giving out free hugs in Newcastle city centre
  3. Giving out free cake to people sitting in traffic..(again would require a little planning)

If you would like to see me doing any of the challenges above or have an idea of your own please message me either here or on my twitter @couchtobasecamp, see my previous post for do’s and don’ts.

Or you can just plain old sponsor me at justgiving or text BASE80 £5 to 70070

xxxx

29 days of challenges

Ok so I have tried, music nights, bag packs, raffles, carboot sales, craft fairs and just plain asking people but I have reached only 41% of my £5000 target for St Oswald’s Hospice and time is running out.

So I am trying something a little bit crazy and way out of my comfort zone. Every day for the whole of February I will take on one or more challenges set by you.

Basically if you set me a challenge, say for example run 5 miles for £N donation (N = the amount you would like to donate), if I accept your challenge you donate to my justgiving page and I will complete the challenge and post photographic or video evidence on my social media pages.

So here are the ground rules,

You send me a challenge idea and the amount you will donate, if I accept the challenge I will tell you which day I will complete it (most likely that day unless it needs time to plan) you donate agreed amount either via by texting “BASE80 £5” (or other agreed amount) to 70070 or via my justgiving page. I will then complete/attempt the challenge and post photographic or video evidence of the challenge on all my social media pages.

Things I won’t/can’t do :-

  1. I will not do anything illegal or morally questionable
  2. Anything that will endanger my health/life and or that of anyone else’s
  3. Naked (don’t even ask…might consider skinny dipping in the dark for the right size donation)
  4. Permanent body modification or shaving my head (my sister is getting married soon I am a bridesmaid, she would kill me)
  5. Anything that costs more than your donation
  6. Anything I deem to weird see number 1
So you can message me here on this blog or here on my facebook page, or  send me a tweet
29 days to raise £5000 or more for a fantastic charity, please help and spread the word.
See you later, Claire
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