Thursday photo #249

Just like that, half a term has passed and the school holidays are impending again. Unusually for us, we’re here for most of the holiday, so we’ll be working our way through my list of things to do in the West Midlands this half term. Before that though, we’re off to Dorset for a few days. We’re camping by the beach so I’ll be taking my swimming costume with me and hoping to get in for a sea swim.

Watching week

A few times a year, they have a watching week at the girls’ ballet school. I always love to watch them both in their stage performance and ballet classes. This week has been particularly rewarding though.

In stage performance, they’re learning Doe a Deer from the Sound of Music for a performance later in the year. Both of them have a very small solo, with a line they sing on their own. What impressed me was how loudly they both sang. I knew Libby was capable of making herself heard, but I was really surprised by Lia. Neither of them was the best singer in the group, but they were definitely the two loudest. I’m not sure whether to be proud or worried.

When it came to ballet, I was equally surprised. Lia was holding her own well in her class. She seemed to remember her dance and got on well with the steps she was learning. There are a couple of bits she needs more help with, but she’ll be doing her exam in the summer and for the first time, I’m confident that she’s ready.

As for Libby, I was shocked at how seriously Libby took her ballet lesson. I know she is a serious little girl when it comes to learning, but her concentration didn’t falter for a moment. If only she could listen that well when I’m trying to get her to do something at home!

The Firs National Trust in Worcestershire girl playing xylophone

Running on empty

As a parent, running on empty is fairly standard. There’s never enough time to fit in work, everything the children want to do and find time to do things that I want to do. But this year, I’m making a real effort with my running. Every week, I make sure I fit in a long run. This week though, running on empty took on a totally different meaning.

I’ve been avidly reading Sarah’s posts on fuelling for a marathon. She has sensibly been trying out different energy sweets, gels and other things that she can eat while she runs to keep her going. And it has made me think about what to eat when I’m running. So, I bought some sweets I thought would be good and planned to use them today when I ran for over two and a half hours. A long, hilly run varying between roads and more difficult terrain.

Then about 20 minutes into my run, I realised I’d forgotten the sweets. It may just be psychological, because I ran for two hours last week with no food and felt fine. But this week, I really struggled. By the time I got back, my Fitbit (which is utterly useless so it could be wrong) told me I’d burned over 1600 calories. I was exhausted.

And as a phrase, running on empty suddenly holds a more profound meaning. I’ll be making more time to look after myself from now on. Because if that’s what running on empty means, I will be going out of my way to avoid it.

Thursday photo #249

Unusually, I hadn’t taken any photos of the girls together this week, despite taking a few nice ones of both of them at the Firs museum. So, it was the default position of grabbing a quick shot of them before bed. Luckily, they were in a good mood!

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  1. Well done to them both for their performance! You must have been very proud. I would be happy for my kids to sing loudly. Might are not the best singers either.
    Thanks very much for the mention. Hopefully you won’t forget your fuel again. Generally you burn up 100 calories per mile, so I reckon your Fitbit was pretty accurate there. I always run half marathons without fuel, but wouldn’t want to go any further than that without it.

  2. I love watching week at ballet, its so lovely to get to see them. I can’t believe half term is here already, February is flying by as usual! I hope you have a lovely time in Dorset, such a beautiful part of the country x

  3. Hi Nat, it’s nice that your girls aren’t self conscious about belting out a song. Who cares if it’s not the best sound? Give me a child being a child over one being primed for X Factor any day… When I started running distances I did use jelly teddy bears for fuel and then read about honey being a good fuel, so I switched and never had a problem. Apparently honey is a good balance of carbs and protein and our body readily absorbs it. I also had to wean myself off peanut M&Ms when I stopped Marathon training. It was my favourite perk of long runs… Not long now?