Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My First Marathon

(Leah) I'm pleased to say that I ran my first marathon in Brighton on Sunday 15th April 2012 in a time of 3:44, raising nearly the same number? - £350! - for Save the Children, which is enough to buy a new water pump so that a whole village can get clean water. I ran for my club, Newbury Athletics, as well as for charity. Robin, our two kids and dog, and both sets of our parents were in Brighon to support me (and my parents' dog!). I ran the marathon 7 months after having baby Lawrence (Lawrie) when still breastfeeding, in fact I had to feed Lawrie after I finished the race but before I had a chance to eat myself, although to be honest I didn't feel like putting anything in my body afterwards! I took a week off running, just cycling, to recover and am now running easy for a couple of weeks before I start training again. All the family are well and baby Lawrie is growing up really fast - he's already standing, cruising and crawling, loves to self-feed (eats loads and eats everything!) and has five teeth! I return to work next month, although I've already worked a few days during maternity leave on the Keeping In Touch scheme. Charli was very pleased to see her Mummy running the marathon and thinks that I spotted her in the crowd because she was blowing her hooter so loud and, apparently, continued shouting "Go Mummy Go" for a long while after I'd gone past! You can still sponsor me, if you like, at www.justgiving.com/Leah-Darbyshire :-)

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Welcome to the world Lawrence Endeavour Darbyshire!

Okay so this post is 11 weeks late, we haven't had that much time lately ;-) because on 20th August 2011, we welcomed our second child, a boy, Lawrence Endeavour Darbyshire to the world. Lawrence was born at 00:16hrs (in a labour that dragged on for a week and a half and then finally ended up lasting 4 minutes!) weighing 7lb 8ounces. He's been bringing joy to our lives ever since and making a great baby brother to Charlotte Loyalty Darbyshire, who turns 4 this week, and the dog loves him too :-) He's already rolling around and constantly on the move, which may be because Leah ran, cycled and swam the whole way through the pregnancy, completing her first 5k running race (1st adult, 1st woman) 2 weeks after giving birth and her first ever mountain bike trail race (17.1 miles in 2h:05) at 8 weeks post-natal ;-) Here are a few photos of Lawrie.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

We're having a boy!

Sorry this post is really late, have only just realised that we didn't update from our 20 week scan 3.5 weeks ago - oops! - to say that we are expecting a baby boy for our second child in August. There's a photo of him above! All very happy and excited here. Leah is now 5.5 months pregnant (still running at usual speeds 5 x a week and up to 6-7 miles on the hills!) and all is going well so far.

In other news, Leah turned 33 and Yishi turned 5 recently and so we enjoyed some fun celebratory days out as well as for Mother's Day - bike rides on the Kennet & Avon, a trip to the New Forest/Lymington/Barton on Sea with the extended family and Corfe Castle in Dorset (here's a selection of photos from the last few weeks below with Leah 21-22 weeks pregnant).

Now we're very much looking forward to the two forthcoming long weekends, hooray!

Photos are:

1) Wolf Child - Robin, Charlotte & Yishi,
2) Robin presenting the homemade chocolate & beetroot cake he and Charlotte made for Leah at Barton on Sea
3) Lymington Quay - Leah, Charlotte & Yishi
4) Leah at Corfe Castle with Yishi on a hike - 21 weeks pregnant
5) Picnic in the New Forest taken with a tripod so you can see all four of us for once!
6) Leah on Mother's Day 2011, proudly displaying "Best Mummy" badge.

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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

We are expecting again!

By Leah.

*Very* happy to announce that I am 3 months pregnant, everything looks good this time and we are expecting baby number two in August!

And, yes I am still running - hoping to keep going up to 7 months pregnant like I did with Charlotte. And I have my trusty canine running companion - Yishi!

Charlotte is well, has recently started at pre-school and is growing up fast!

Other than that, all is well, feeling very settled in our new house in Newbury now that we've been there six months nearly, just both knackered from our commutes...

We also celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary on 22nd December 2010 with a night away at Malmaison in Manchester (photo of me in my original wedding dress, six years on and six weeks pregnant below!)

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Half Marathon No.2

By Leah.
I honestly never dreamed that I would be able to run a half-marathon in 1:45:03 but that was my official time in the 25th Anniversary Gosport Half Marathon yesterday!

The flat road course was great, and my race highlights included the Spitfire plane flying low overhead while we were running, and the coastal views of the Isle of Wight when we were running back along the promenade on the homeward leg.

Although I always find the last few miles of half-marathons hard-going, I was really pleased to smash three personal bests during the race, not only 6 minutes off my half-marathon training time but, also, I got my 5k personal best at 23:28 and my 10k personal best at 47:52 (which was faster even than I'd run the Highclere Multi-Terrain 10k in September which I hadn't thought I'd be able to improve on)

Robin, Charlotte, Yishi and Robin's parents, Celia and Lewis, all braved the bitter cold to cheer me home and Charlotte & Yishi, in particular, enjoyed their time on the beach whilst I was off running, so much so, that Charlotte came home with a fair few seashells in her pockets too!

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Charlotte turns 3!

By Leah.
Friday 12th November was Charlotte's 3rd birthday. Can't quite believe our little girl is 3, but, she is! Her birthday present was her 1st bike. She was very specific that it had to be a "purple bike" and she is now busy mastering the pedals...

We had a family party tea this year and I made Charlotte a cake in the shape of a cow (her current favourite animal). Well, truthfully speaking, we made it together as she helped grease the tins, beat the eggs and stir in the mixture as usual!

The next day Robin and I took her to Marwell Zoo where her highlights included the cheetahs, wallabys, kangaroos, giraffes, wild cats and zebras.

She seemed to enjoy herself both days and was happy and smiley throughout :-)

And these are some photos from her birthday weekend...the first and third are me & Charlotte at her party, the second Charlotte with her cake, the fourth Charlotte at Marwell the next day and the fifth is Robin & Charlotte at Marwell.

The rest of the photos can be found in our Charlotte's 3rd Birthday Flickr Album

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Monday, September 27, 2010

The day I went sub-49!

By Leah.
So I don't do any races for 3 months and then I do 2 in the space of 2 weeks! Yesterday I was the 5th woman aged 18 to 34 home to the finish in the Highclere Castle Multi-Terrain 10k and the 11th woman overall out of 343 finishers. I also got my lifetime 10k personal best of 48:48 gun time so now can officially say that I am a sub-49 10k trail runner!

The views from the course, especially over the hillside, were really stunning and I enjoyed running up with the men for most of it - even if they did keep trying to overtake me! Here are some photographs of me leading the men home at the finish ;-) and, warming up because it was a bit nippy at the start, jogging with my 2yr 10 month old daughter, Charlotte.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Race joy!

By Leah.
I was the 9th woman to finish the Pangbourne Multi-Terrain 10k 2010 yesterday, out of 127-151 female competitors (or the 8th woman in my age group - 18-39)!!! I was never any good at sport at school so to be near the top of a sports/athletics ranking is really a lot of a shock to me!

I ran the undulating (some long, slow hills!) multi-terrain (grass, road, trail, woodland - complete with ruts and tree roots)route in Garmin(GPS watch)time 49:37, a lifetime personal best, and gun time 50:43 official or 50:41 if you believe the photo my Dad took of me crossing the finishing line!

I wasn't the only family member to compete on the day. Charlotte took part in her first mini-race at aged 2yrs 10 months (starting her young!). Robin, Charlotte and my Mum & Dad were there at the race to cheer me on - all funds raised went to Friends of Pangbourne Primary School) and I had enough left in my legs to take the two dogs for a walk in the nearby countryside afterwards!

Here are some photos of me finishing the race(in black & white above), after I'd finished, with my spectators on the dog walk afterwards, Charlotte lining up at the start of her mini-race and during her run. More photos from the day can be found in our September 2010 album on Flickr.

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Thursday, September 09, 2010

We have moved again!

By Leah Darbyshire.

Well, it took five months for the sale/purchase to go through but we have finally sold our Edwardian terrace in London and have bought a swish new 3 bedroom (3 bathroom - I know why? really?!) house very near to the canal and countryside in my hometown of Newbury, Berkshire instead.

We are loving it and rapidly settling into our new home (and new working commutes for me and Robin to London & Weybridge respectively). We're all enjoying cycling and walking Yishi along the canal (and in the countryside), and I'm enjoying trail running (finally could justify getting some trail shoes) and have beaten my 10k personal best down to 50:25 (and 5k now 24:18), so trotting the towpath regularly is obviously doing me good! We've also got a much bigger, nicer kitchen for our family cooking and baking.

Charlotte loves her "new house with the white door, not black door" too, which has a children's playpark nearby, and is currently obsessed with both cows and trains. She takes a plastic cow toy to bed with her each night and waves to meet the train that brings Mummy home, which she has decided is called "Stephanie" a la Thomas the Tank Engine character. We're hoping she'll also shortly benefit from a better standard of schools than in London.

Yishi loves the countryside lifestyle too and now takes regular swims in the canal.

We're all enjoying being nearer to our family - my parents are 1.7 miles away and Robin's only 30 miles away in his home-town of Winchester, so the grandparents are getting a lot more time with Charlotte and our brothers and my Auntie are nearer too!

It has been a very stressful year - and we've sacrificed our annual holiday this year in order to spend a couple of weeks unpacking boxes in August instead - but we're really very happy to have finally made our long-held dream a reality!

Photos of new house and surrounds, as ever, can be found in our Flickr album (links below).

September 2010 http://www.flickr.com/photos/thedarbyshires/sets/72157624740395557/
August 2010 http://www.flickr.com/photos/thedarbyshires/sets/72157624635101542/

That's it folks!

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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Leah's BUPA London 10k Race Success - 2010!

On Monday 31st May 2010, Leah Darbyshire ran the BUPA London 10,000 in a lifetime personal best of 51:08. Leah also crossed the 5k gantry in a lifetime PB of 25:00.

Husband Robin, daughter Charlotte and dog Yishi were there to support her as well as her Mum & Dad-in-law.

The route followed the proposed marathon course for the London 2012 Olympic Games and ended up at Buckingham Palace, passing through Central London sights such as the Houses of Parliament, London Eye and St.Pauls Cathedral along the way.

Here are some photos of Leah at the race and, also, the day before, reclining during a five mile trail bike ride (cross-training!) at Esher Common in Surrey.

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