Timmy’s coming to base camp

Part of my reason for taking part in this trek is so I can tell my son all about it. He is 6 and has severe cerebral palsy so a trip like this is not something he is likely to ever be able to do for himself (never say never).  My plan is to take lots of photos, keep a diary and share my experiences with him when I get home.

My son has a short attention span and only certain things really hold his attention, Timmy Time is one of those things he has loved since he was tiny and still loves today (I think we have seen every episode around 100 times). So I decided that Timmy would join me on my trek and therefore my training hoping that my son would take more interest in the photographs, so far so good he has been enjoying seeing Timmy out and about.

These photos are from two separate training walks up Cheviot in Northumberland. Keep checking back for more on how our training is going. You can sponsor me and Timmy here if you are able to 🙂

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Running

I’ve never really been much of a runner, I have tried but found it hard to push myself, giving up the moment it became to hard to breath or at the first sign of a stitch. I had come to the conclusion that running was not for me.
That was until I joined the Red Kite Runners after their page came up on my Facebook wall. I joined their couch to 5k course to ease myself into it. I started off quite well, running at the front of the group for the first few runs and then after 2 weeks of awful virus, I found myself at the back of the pack.
Week 6 and race day arrived, the thought of running 5k was daunting although we had run the course a couple of times by now I was still walking some of it. But I made myself a running playlist and dug deep, finishing the course in around 37 mins with absolutely no walking!!

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I’m now on week 11 I think and although I still hang around near the back of the pack I am managing longer distances and pushing myself every session. Last session I ran 4.25 miles non stop. It may not sound a lot to some people but to me it’s a big achievement. I’m off running again tonight so I will let you know how I get on.

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Me and my running buddy Kristine with our flashing ankle lights.

Hello again. You may have heard the news back in April about the massive earthquake that hit Nepal causing some major damage and loss of life across the whole country. As a group me and the other trekkers were pretty devastated for the people of Nepal and the families of those who lost their lives and livelihood ( a high percentage of Nepal’s GDP is from tourism).

After the earthquakes the foreign office (F.O) issued warnings against all but essential travel to the whole of Nepal, this was understandable and concerning and it put all our fundraising efforts on hold as we did not know if we would be able to travel in November. In July we were still waiting for the all clear from the F.O and as a group we came to the decision to postpone our trek until May 2016 to allow time for the trails to reopen and fundraising to be done. So here we are in October and the F.O have finally given the all clear on travel to almost all of Nepal, which means it’s time to get serious both with fundraising and training.

About 8 weeks ago I joined a local running club and after 6 weeks (4 if you don’t count the 2 weeks I was poorly) I ran my first ever 5k, I ran the whole way!! Running has been great for improving my cardio fitness and I have noticed a big difference on the hills.

If you would like to support a good cause, all the money we raise is going to St Oswald’s Hospice in Newcastle. You can Donate on my Just giving page.

Here’s a few photos of the walks I’ve been doing over the last 12 months.

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Insanity!!

So today for some reason, well to avoid house work really, I decided to start the insanity work out. It’s a crazy fast pace, hard core workout program to get you fit and toned in just 60 days. I think you have to have some level of fitness to start it and it’s probably best to check with your doctor if you plan on trying it, I haven’t so if I kill myself it’s entirely my fault.

So the first day you do a fitness test and record your results so you can check your progess as you go along. There are 8 exercises and a warm up and cool down, totaling about 25 mins.

I am not kidding when I say it’s tough but you can take each one at your own pace, doing 4 squat jacks in a minute is better than doing non.

Here are my results so my lovely readers can track my progess and nag me if I forget to train, ( the fit test is done ever few weeks). Please excuse me if I get some of the names wrong I was to busy trying not to collapse in a sweaty heap on the floor.

1/ Switch Kicks – 90 ,all the years of martial arts still paying off even with a 6 year break

2/ Squat Jacks – 40

3/ Knee Highs – 68

4/ Power Jumps – 24

5/ Globe Jumps – 6 or 7 I lost count, I got very confused as I wasn’t paying attention

6/ Suicide Jumps – 12ish not my favourite!!

7/ Push up Jacks – 11 crappy one, see below for reason, I will get better I am determined to be able to do full press ups again.

8/ Planky things – 28 I kinda had to cheat a bit and I put a big foam physio block under my belly to keep me off the floor, I have very weak stomach muscles after ripping them apart giving birth to my eldest and my upper body strength is pants, but I was still putting loads of weight on my arms and it was still really hard.

There you go, beats cleaning the kitchen by a long way. Let me know if you are doing the insanity workout and how you are doing.

see you later

Claire

Socks

I’ve been training for a few months now and for every walk (and every where in general) I have been wearing these…

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my trusty left and right socks from Asda, they must be about 5 years old (I have about 6 pairs) they are slightly padded and shaped, designed for exercise, at £5 for a 3 pack they were also a real bargain and very comfy.
Alas, they are wearing thin and I have been getting blisters and sore feet so I figured it was time to get some proper trekking socks.
So on Friday night I spent about half an hour staring at the rack of walking socks in Blacks at my local shopping centre. I checked the seams for bumpy bits that would rub, compared softness and colour (why are walking socks such hideous colours) I checked the fabric and stood staring at the bewildering array of socks for far too long. After remembering the trek organiser’s recommendation, I ended up with these..

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They are Bridgedale ‘Summit’, designed for winter trekking. They have a soft slack cuff, full terry (loopy knitted sofness) leg, double density pads underfoot, are described as slim fit and are not pink!. At £16 a pair they are the most expensive pair of socks I have ever bought so I had high expectations. They did not let me down. The double cushioning is super comfy and the terry leg is soft and not at all itchy. After a nine mile walk on various terrain my feet were warm, dry and free from sores of blisters. I think the socks suffered more than my feet…

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Since I was wearing 3/4 length shorts the socks did get caught and snagged a lot when we crossed a patch of felled tree remnants and calf deep mud, I’m not sure if the 3 year guarantee covers this sort of abuse.

I have only worn them once so I can’t really comment on wear and tear but I would recommend them if you like your feet to be warm, comfy and blister free. Wearing decent socks makes a massive difference to the enjoyment of your walk and recovery afterwards which is important if you are going to be trekking a few days in a row. Good socks are worth the extra money.

 I thought I had fairly wide feet I buy men’s trainers because they have more room but these ‘slim fit’ socks where not tight, even a little loose but my feet did not move around in my boots like i thought they would. Speaking of boots, It’s a good idea to get your socks first and then wear them to try on new boots, I had to re-lace my boots to get my big thick comfy socked feet in. I will definitely be buying some more of these.

I promise I will post some of my walks very soon. I have lots of lovely pictures to share.

Claire

I said this would be tough…

So training and fundraising both ground to a halt due to the ‘September snuffles’. When the kids go back to school in September the inevitable germs get shared and caught and when one of us starts sneezing, soon the whole family is and when John gets a cold no-one is getting any sleep. John can’t blow his nose like he should be able to and so it pools open in the back of his nose/throat till either chokes on it or swallows it and then throws it back up, his CP (cerebral palsy) causes him to extend (like planking but less fun) his muscles tense, he gets stressed and chokes even more till he turns red, then purple until finally his muscle tone changes and he goes completely floppy and coughs it all up down his dads back. It’s both mentally and physically exhausting. Two weeks of less than 4 hours sleep and 2 weeks of being full of cold myself have left me feeling drained and I am only just beginning to clear the brain fog.

I make no apologies if this post about snot is a bit gross, this is my life and I feel its important to share these things because they are all part of the reason behind me doing this trek to base camp.

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When you deal with life threatening situations with your child on a regular basis, when they become “normal” to you, it can take a toll on your mental and physical health. You never sleep deeply even when you’re child is well your subconscious mind is listening out for the high pitched beep that alerts you to a seizure or the subtle change in snuffles that means your child has rolled onto their back and will choke if you don’t go and roll them on their side. There is a part of your brain that is always ready, you can go from sleep to administering life saving drugs and recalling you’re child’s entire medical history to the emergency services operator in less time than it takes most people to sit up and put their slippers on in the morning.

St Oswald’s Hospice offers parents a chance to sleep, to breath and to relax without being on high alert and knowing that someone else, a highly trained professional, will be their when their child needs turning or medication at 3 am. One night of sleep in a month or more can be the difference between a health and breakdown.

I have many friends who’s only hope of sleep is the time their child spends at St Oswald’s, I know what a difference it makes to their lives and they are a part of my reason for taking on this challenge.

If you feel you can contribute to my fundraising efforts you can sponsor me here  https://www.justgiving.com/Couchtobasecamp2015/

Take care,

Claire

The John carrier

I really want my boys to share my journey, although they can’t actually come to base camp with me they can come on lots of training walks and I can carry them or push them to help with strength training.
Taking my boys walking is somewhat hindered by the fact that’s eldest boy John can’t actually walk because he has cerebral palsy. Up until now we have used a Phil and Teds three wheeler to get John off road but sadly he is now to big for it so we have had to look for alternatives. We found an amazing buggy but like a lot of things for special needs kids it comes with a specially high price tag. So we started a fundraising page at gofundme . In the mean time I was searching the net for cheaper more immediate solutions to our getting John off road problem, I found this via mumsnet.

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The mum on the forum said she was using it with her 5 year old who has disabilities, that was enough for me I was straight onto google and found one here .
We ordered it on Friday with regular delivery (£3) and it arrived on Monday. Excitement turned to disappointment when I noticed one of the rivets on the frame was not riveted

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Adam (my husband) called the shop and emailed them the photo above. Their customer service was brilliant! We tried John in the carrier that night to check it was definitely suitable,

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Then the next day we called the shop and arranged for the broken one to be picked up and new one dropped off on Thursday, they even threw in an inflatable neck pillow to see if it would help support John’s head.
So after dinner yesterday we finally got to take it out for a test ride. I think you can tell from the smiles that John loves his new vantage point.

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We are so happy with it we will be ordering another one for Matthew (3).

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