Prochive Collapsible Silicone Lightweight Coffee Cup, Reusable Folding Mug Travel Cup Leak Proof Water Bottle for Outdoor Camping Hiking & Office Home Use “Snorkle Blue”

A few months ago, our local

Parkrun

Had announced that they would gradually be doing away with their plastic cups. I didn’t even know collapsable cups were a thing, but a quick search on Amazon braught up the Prochive cup. This is a tiny cup that folds up to the size of a tub of moisturiser so perfect to fit in a pocket or bag.

The cup is very simply packaged. The cup itself is wrapped in what feels like a thick cloth, which is then wrapped in what feels like tissue paper or thin plastic. The cup will be folded when you unwrap it. If you turn it upside down, a holder to slide the cup in to will be sticking out. This needs to be removed before expanding the cup. When you turn the cup the right way up again, there is a sooth bit of silocone which if you push it slightly with one hand and lifting the lid with the other, it is easier to take off. The cup will then expand when you push the inside of it. It expands to the size of a standard take away cup that you’d find in most coffee shops. The cup holder then goes on with the wider part of the holder pointing to the top of the cup and the bottom of the cup going through the narrow part of the holder. The lid fits securely and has a cover for the whole that you drink out of.

There is a slight smell from the cup when you first use it, but if you rince it out a few times it should be fine. The cup isn’t hot to hold so it probably wouldn’t keep the heat for too long but drinks are still hot if you drink them as soon as you have poured them. The cup can sometimes leak if the holder is put on the wrong way as it squeezes the cup slightly.

Other than that, i really do love this little cup. It fits neatly in a pocket and many coffee shops offer discounts if you use it instead of a normal take away cup.

The link to buy the cup is

Here


Trying Running

I never thought i’d be writing a post like this, but today i gave running a go.

I have never been that keen on running. None of my family have ever ran, and it was a saying in our house that you should never run unless you are being chased. Of course i had ran at school, but to be honest, i’d always felt as if i had to run at theguides pace, and things like teathers where you are attached to someone by a rope or something similar just weren’t around. So you had to run as if you were being sighted guided which is holding on to the persons arm. Added to that, a girl i was friends with at the time was running with me once and she tripped over my feet. She went down and it took weeksfor her knees toheal up. Of course i blamed myself, so all in all, running was not a good experience because of that.

When i go to Parkrun, i often think that i am holding people back as i need someone to walk with me all the time. I have been assured that there is always someone who for whatever reason wants to walk, but part of me still thought they were just saying that to be kind. People have often said to me that i should give running a go, but i have always been put off by it. I had said that someday i would like to try running with a teather, rather than holding on to someones arm to see if i still liked it. If i didn’t like it, at least i would have tried it again.

So when i got a message from the lady who was going to be walking with me at parkrun today asking if i would like to try running, i said yes without much thought. Now, this lady is a running coach, so if i was going to try running, i knew she would be the best person to start with. Strangely, i was a little excited about trying it.

Today was the day. We started walking the normal parkrun course. She had made a hand made rope teather which was good. We were going to try running on the course, but figured we’d get used to the teather and instructions first. The instructions given for a runner are different than someone walking with a guide. So after i completed my normal parkrun, we went for a little run, just a little one. All in all, i ran for about 5 minutes with walking breaks in between. I must say, it wasn’t as bad as i first thought. Now, i’m not saying i either didn’t like or dislike it, but it deffinetly wasn’t as bad as i’d first thought. I think i need a few more sessions before i say yes i deffinetly want to do it. Strangely enough, i was imagining myself running the parkrun lol. I need to work on lengthening my stride as i am taking very short steps, but it was amazing to run at my speed, not my guides. The lady running as my guide shouted to all the runners who were waiting to get their bar codes scanned that i was running lol. I need to also work on my arm swing apparently as that can slow you down or speed you up. It felt odd to swing ne arm forward opposite to whichever leg you moved. Getting that coordination will be hard no doubt.

I won’t be at parkrun next week, but i am kind of looking forward to trying running again. I just hope i’m not just telling myself that i like it if i don’t. I can still do my other walks too, and if i only run parkrun, it’s still something. That little voice of doubt keeps telling me that i am only doing it and i don’t really like it but time will tell no doubt.

I would like to thank parkrun once again for giving me this opportunity to try this out. I’ll let you all know how the next session goes :).


Running Blind, Quite Litterally

Yesterday, a very unique event took place up at the Stormont estate. Picture at least a hundred runners all running blindfolded, whilst they were guided. This is exactly what happened yesterday. Introducing
Running blind
Which was a 5 K event where runners were challenged to run blindfolded, putting complete trust in a teather and a guide. People could run, jog or walk it. All the proceeds were going to a charity called Pathfinder dogs, who provide german shepherd guide dogs for blind people. They are based in Scotland.

The man who was responsible for organising this event has recently completed the Derry marathon, using nothing but a guide runner. He is also a keen parkrunner and runs all the time. This was after something like 18 years of not running.

The organiser and I had a bit of banter about getting me running the event. I had, infact, considdered this a few months ago, but then began to talk myself out of it. When i ran at school, I always felt like i was being pulled along, rather than setting the pace. This was without a teather, and just holding on to someones arm. One day when i was running, my friend at the time who was running with me tripped over my feet and ended up badly grazing her knees. She had weeks of agony and different creams and things from her local doctors trying to get the remaining gravel from our playground out of her knees. For years, i blamed myself for that happening, as if she hadn’t have been running with me, it wouldn’t have happened, but it could have happened to anyone i suppose. Anyway, both those experiences kind of put me off running a little especially as i always felt like i had to run at the person who was guiding me’s speed, rather than choosing the pace.

Anyway, i had agreed to try the running blind with a teather as i knew this would have been a safe environment to try it in, and if i still didn’t like it, i would have tried it anyway. I kept telling myself that it was just a parkruns distance, and if i needed to slow down, i’m sure i could have done that. Plus, it wasn’t as if i was committing myself to keep running after-it was just a taster and a bit of an experiment to see if running would be my thing now.

The day itself

Yesterday started bright and early with my local parkrun. I have done 49 parkruns now. I still love the community spirret about parkrun. Sometimes though, that negative voice creeps in, and i think i am an awful burden on parkrun, and that it must be annoying with parkrun having to find a marshil each week to walk with me. Plus there is the fact that i need a lift down to it each week. Thankfully one of the runners lives near me so doesn’t mind swinging by to get me, but if he can’t do it, i will get a taxi down and always wait until someone offers me a lift, rather than expecting it, which i would never do. I will have to check to make sure that parkrun will keep providing me with someone to walk with me after i do my 50th parkrun and get my 50 T shirt. Some of the parkrun volunteers have expressed an interest in learning how to guide a visually impaired runner, so i shall have to find out how they would go about that, and of course see if we can find some runners who would want to do the parkrun. At least the volunteers have shown an interest though, even if i don’t run.

I just managed to make the 11 o’clock train, as i was gabbing afterwards. The train was absolutely bunged. I had forgotten it was the anual pride parade in Belfast. I was sitting beside a family who had spent the week up here from Dublin. Their son was in the Milk cup, which is a football championship for young people. It apparently goes from Portrush, Portstuart, Ballymoney, Ballymena, colleraine, Limavady and Broughshane. The kids have different matches they have to compete in apparently. It was interesting, and fair play to the kids. It sounded like a busy week they had.

I was planning to get the quarter to 12 bus from Central station as i knew it went to Stormont. However, because of pride, that was kind of scuppered a little. I had to get a bus from central in to Donnygall square west, and then walk down to May Street as they were closing a lot of Belfast to allow the parade through. I still thought i had plenty of time though as Running blind didn’t start until 1 o’clock. The bus going to Stormont didn’t come until 25 past 12 though, and took quite a while to leave because none of the drivers knew the best way to go to avoid the parade. The bonus though was that i passed the time with a lovely retired doctor who was going the same direction. The other bonus was that the Stormont bus was a talking one. I rang ahead to let someone know that i was running late,hoping i’d not miss the start of the race.

I got to stormont about 10 past 1, just in time for the start. I decided at that moment that i wouldn’t run it, and i’m quite glad i did. There was a whole group of us who were walking, so i just walked with them. Thankfully, they had all waited for me too which was good. So i set the timer, and off we went. I was walking with a puppywalker and her dog Cody. Cody didn’t want to be a guide dog though. We started at the bottome of the driveway that takes you up to parliament buildings. Unfortunately, this was up hill. While the hill wasn’t particularly steep, you knew you were climbing it, and it sure took the puff out of you. It was a mile and a half to go up and come back down again, so we had to tackle that hill again and come back down again. Some of our group only did it the once, but i was determined to keep going to make it the 5 K distance. Whilst we walked, we were accompanied by the thunder of different runners, all explaining when runners were approaching and when to tur all the while chatting away. One of the options to enter was where a pair of runners could enter whilst one was blindfolded and the other guided, and then they swapped half way around. You could tell the ones who had never done it before, simply by the shouts of “Left, left, left” rather panicked, from the more experienced ones who explained about 3 steps before the approaching turn. There were also the familiar beeps of the different sports watches, all logging their times.

Unfortunately because we had missed the start by a fraction, the finish line and all were getting packed away. Thankfully someone had saved out medals and goody bags for us. We still had our own group waiting for us at the end though.

This is the medal won at Running Blind. It is a german shepherd. Above it, it says
I must say, the event was very well organised, even if we missed the start. I was talking to the organiser afterwards, and he was telling me that he has been asked to run events in other locations, so that sounded pretty good. The weather was even kind to us and didn’t rain until the end. It was a brilliant day and i’m glad it was such a success. Well done again all.


Apple Watch First Impressions

Today i was up in Belfast anyway, so decided to take a scoot up to see the new apple watch. Now, i am not the type who has to have the latest thing, or who has to be one of the first to get something, so for me to go up was kind of out of the ordinary. My main reason for getting the apple watch is because when i’m doing parkrun, i normally use the Runkeeper app. The app works fine, but i must admit i am a bit jealous of all the garmans and other brands i have seen people using. Plus it is a bit of a phaff to get the phone out of your pocket, press the power button, switch on my keyboard and unlock it all the time. So if i can have all that on my wrist, it will be much more simpler. There are no accessible watches around. RNIB and Cobolt do do watches, but they are a bit chunky monkeyish and the voices aren’t that great. Plus they don’t give you your pace etc. When i heard that the apple watch has a workout app and is accessible, i was quite excited. I wouldn’t want to take calls on the watch or anything, but i would like it for the workout app mainly.

When i went to the apple store, it was no busier than it usually would be, which i was surprised about since i was expecting it to be bunged. Within about 5 minutes, someone came over to me and asked if i needed help with anything. I told him that i was interested in seeing the apple watch, and he took my name and apple id. I’m not sure why he had to take my apple id but there you go.

Luckily enough, someone was finishing with another customer just as we walked over to wait, so i could get seen straight away. The lady who helped me was called Jude. She first of all let me feel the watch before letting me try it on. She let me try on both sport bands. Each of the bands can be adjusted to fit your wrist. To put the sports band on, you first of all push this thing that looks like a stud in to one of the wholes. The wholes are like belt wholes. You then thread the strap through the loop and that’s it. The sports strap feels very rubbery. Initially, it does feel quite snug around your wrist, but i presume that it would loosen in time. I tried on both sizes and i can’t decide if i should go for the 38 or the 42 millimetres watch if i do get one. The 38 was more like a dinky little square, while the 42 was a rectangle.

Unfortunately, the accessibility features couldn’t be turned on even though they were all there. The watches were all on demmo mode. Apparently the accessibility featured watches will be in the store next week. The accessibility will be on all the watches, but couldn’t be turned on on the demmo ones. That was so disappointing, and even the apple staff found it disappointing. They said if i call in again next week the staff should be able to take me though the features. I tried even pressing the digital crown, but it didn’t work.

I did get to feel the heartbeat thing though which was really weird. It felt like the watch had moved or something. It was really hard to describe the feeling.

I also tried on the other bands. The Melonese one was the most comfortable and lightweight. I thought it was cool!

I also got to see how the watch charges. I’d have thought the fact that the charger is magnettic would be bad but apparently it’s not. The end that plugs in to the watch, or connects, looks like a few pound coins joined together.

I must say that when you take off the apple watch, you do notice a nakedness on your wrist.

I must thank the apple staff as always. I love how aware they are of people with visual impairments, and nobody cares. You are treated just like any other customer, and they know agout voice over or seem to, anyway.

I can’t wait to see the accessibility features. Then, and only then, will my mind be truly made up. I’m leaning towards deffinetly getting it, but convincing myself that i don’t need it at the same time. But then again, i did that with the iphone too.

So did anyone else go to preview the watch? Have you ordered it? What were your thoughts?