Cars, bikes and a snowman

Oh man what a weekend. There were a fair few ups and downs I have to say!

Friday ended appallingly. I was driving home from work and just before getting on the motorway and I was stuck in the usual stop-start traffic. The roads were wet and the car in front put its breaks on a little sooner than I was expecting. I slammed my foot fully to the floor and watched as my car slid forward and knocked into the back of the car in front. My poor little Corsa didn’t stand a chance.

Corsa car crash

The other person’s car was fine – no superficial damage anyway. He was a nice guy but I felt terrible. So embarrassing and stressful 🙁

But anyway, I was fine, he was fine. The only thing not fine was my car. The damage isn’t too bad but I’m pretty sure it’ll be a write-off as it’s such an old banger. Ironically, I had spent some time looking at car insurance reviews on Consumers Advocate not too long before this happened. Ben and me came to the decision that a brand new car would probably be better for me considering my mileage to work everyday. I need something a bit more reliable, safe and economic. Every silver lining, eh? Fairly rubbish way to start the bank holiday weekend though.

Saturday we had a pacing event on at our local Parkrun. I had volunteered to run the 24 minute pace. I was quite excited about doing this as I’d never paced before. But I was very nervous as I was being relied upon!

Parkrun pacing My bib was huge. I looked sort of naked!!

As we headed to the start I was suddenly followed and surrounded by people hoping to achieve 24 minutes or there abouts. No pressure…

I had planned to run 7.50minute/miles as this would give a bit of lee-way for the ‘nubbin’ of 0.1 mile. I kept fairly consistent to that pace, though I slowed on the up-hills and then sped up on the down-hills to compensate. One guy ran up next to me and said “you do know you’re going slower than you should be for that target?” This hugely panicked me. I checked my watch. Nope, I had gone through the first mile in perfect time. I tried to say no I was fine but he didn’t believe me. He told me I should speed up. I didn’t, but I kept panicking.

My group dwindled a bit as the run continued and this made me panic a bit more but also feel bad because there was nothing really I could do for them. I had to stick to the plan whether they kept up or not.

I finished in 23.45 with a consistent pace. I got thanked by a fellow runner for helping him PB and other runners said they still kept me in their sights despite dropping off. This hugely boosted me. I was so chuffed! The man who had criticised my pace came up and apologised me afterwards as well, saying he misjudged my pace. Mmm, yes, thanks for stressing me out!

After Parkrun we got ready quickly and then headed out to find some road bikes with a friend. We went to quite a few different shops. Big ones, like Decathlon, and small local ones. We got some good information from the different salesmen (what gears were good, what frame sizes we should be looking at, price differences, etc.)

IMG_6557 We tested a few out as well. In the end, the price was right and the spec looked good (from our limited knowledge!) for two Carreras from Halfords. We’re not after all singing and all dancing, or top of the range. We wanted something in our price range that fitted well and met our requirements. It had good reviews on the website so we bit the bullet! IMG_6560

TDF for Ben, Virtuoso for me. Maybe these aren’t the best bikes in the world, but for now they’ll be fine I’m sure. We’re hardly going to use them every day or rock out a 60 miler on them any time soon!

On Sunday we did the Dorset Marathon relay race. I was part of a team of four ladies and Ben was in a team of four men. In our running club I think we had four teams in total? And we had several guys running the whole marathon. I’ll do a recap in another post. It went well though and was such a fun day.

Monday was my first ever riding experience on a road bike. Though we’ve bought our new bikes, we haven’t collected them yet so I was borrowing a friend’s bike and shoes. I went out with three other guys from the club and it was good fun!


I was definitely the slowest by far and probably holding them up a fair bit. But it was a fun, sociable ride. The weather was lovely. But it was tough, don’t get me wrong. Jeeze, you think you’re fit until you try something new!

imageAnd quite hilly. But the down hills were so much fun! Wind in the hair, crazy speed (for me), exhilarating fun!

image I don’t really know what’s fast or not at this stage, but what I do know is it felt more like a long run in terms of endurance rather than a speed session (which I guess you can see from my average speed). And I didn’t fall off once amazingly. I got used to the clip-on shoes and started getting the hang of gears and positioning on the bike.

I was shattered though afterwards. My bum hurt (despite wearing new padded shorts), my legs felt tired and my wrists actually ached a bit as well. Then it was off out to look for new cars.


After going round different car dealers I’m pretty much 100% decided on a Fiat 500. A very iconic and ‘girlie’ car perhaps, but small and dinky enough for me (and very safe, economical and eco-friendly). We’ve spec’ed up what we want so it’ll be a wait yet. Ho hum. Well, I say ‘we’ spec’ed up. Ben pretty much did this for me as I literally don’t know anything about cars. Ben had a lot of fun though as you can imagine 😉

We then went to Nando’s and had chicken. Perfect day, really! Topped off only with an evening of lolling on the couch in a chicken-induced coma watching Frozen. Ben’s face when the characters started singing was hilarious. He’s very much a Disney novice and didn’t quite expect how much singing there would be. He did enjoy it though and I heard him singing “Do you want to build a snowman?” while getting ready this morning. Excellent.

Have you ever paced a race before?

What car do you have? I’m such a car novice. Ben did all the talking in the dealership!

What’s your longest bike ride?

Have you seen Frozen? I loved it. Disney doing what Disney does best. And any film with a Princess Anna (though said ‘Arrrrnnna’) is fine by me.

12 Replies to “Cars, bikes and a snowman”

  1. Uh, I am so impressed with your pace on the bike. I struggled to hold 12mph on a road bike – I am the world’s most useless cyclist.

    God, that guy at Parkrun must have been so annoying. I don’t know how you kept your cool with him. If there’s one thing I’ve discovered from my (albeit limited) experience with pacers, it’s that they always seem to run faster than the projected pace. I get that they don’t want people to complain about not reaching their goals, but both of the 3:30 pacers at London and Manchester finished over a minute inside the projected time. In the case of the latter, it caused me to panic considerably when I actually had a little bit of leeway on 3:30. Like I said, I can understand why they do that though. I could never be a pacer – my body is too damn unpredictable to be able to run a certain pace on a certain day.

    Enjoy your new car and bike!

    Jess recently posted…Insult to InjuryMy Profile

  2. It was also my first experience on a road bike this weekend! I found the downhills terrifying!
    Glad your car accident wasn’t too serious- I also really like Fiat 500s, they are really cute.
    That guy at ParkRun sounded rude! You totally proved him wrong though 🙂

  3. I LOVED Frozen! I do love Disney anyway but I loved the alternative “love story” bit- very modern. The songs are fab too.
    That is not good about your accident but at least you were all unhurt – and getting a new car is a bonus! Andy is always on at me to get a new car but I have had mine 11 years and don’t want to change it until I really have to! Ideally I would love a Twingo but I like the old style ones (that they don’t make in right hand drive) so don’t think that is realistic really!
    Also well done on the pacing- especially since the guy was making you worry about your pace. We don’t have pacers at our parkrun- I love that idea but I can imagine it is very stressful!
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Pretty dresses and a few reviewsMy Profile

  4. Car accidents are rubbish. Stressful, scary and expensive. Glad everyone was OK.
    So exciting that you got the chance to pace at parkrun! I have loved pacing Dan, and my friend Vick earlier in the year. I don’t like the pressure of ‘racing’ a 5k and I get so much satisfaction from seeing someone else achieving their goals. How awful that someone tried to convince you you were going too slow. What time did he do in the end out of interest?!
    I’m rubbish at car stuff too. Dan checks mine over every couple of weeks. I’m pretty sure he’s not really sure what he’s doing either, but he’d never admit it!
    Sounds like you had a really busy and fun weekend.
    Mary recently posted…Milton Keynes Marathon – not a runnerMy Profile

  5. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this article. As we ride on motorcycles, I found it’s the most comfortable to ride for a long run. So it’s different for different kinds of people. Thank you for writing about this.

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