Running. Running. Running.

It is all about the running right now. It’s going to stay all about the running until after the Berlin Marathon (26th September). Only 8 weeks, 4 days away. I am now halfway through the training plan: and, my god, am I looking forward to tomorrow’s lie-in, instead of prising myself out of bed at approximately six am to go for a run three mornings a week. I ran 6.6 miles this morning. 7 miles three mornings last week. 7 more miles are planned for Thursday. I’m going to need new shoes before the race (my shoes tend to die at about 300 miles: after that point, I start getting sciatica and other injuries. I’m at 225 miles already. The shoes were new 8 weeks ago).

I would be looking forward to this lie-in more, but I have to be at work by 8am tomorrow, so it’s actually not going to be a huge lie-in. Leaving at 7.30am means getting up somewhere between 6.30am and 7am. Poor N still needs to go for a run (not sure how far, I’m failing to keep track), and will thus provide early caffeination.

There has been a lot of caffeination. And falling asleep on the tube on the way in. And going to bed extremely early. And generally being awful at socialising. And falling asleep on the tube on the way home. And, once, falling asleep at my desk (not a proud moment. I have taken Steps involving Caffeine in order to prevent this recurring). I skipped yoga a couple of times, figuring that if I want to fall asleep (which I did during ‘relaxation’ period), I can do that just as easily at home. Gentle yoga just felt like too much effort. Perhaps I need to up my iron intake?

Sunday was a case in point with the generalised exhaustion and lack of go. Got up. Ran 17 miles. Was overtaken by Eton (his marathon pace is about 6 mins/mile. We have a similar route for long runs, there not being that many options for lengthy runs that don’t require thinking in the London Metropolitan area, and he went belting past at mile 4.5. I think he belted back again while I was having a loo break in the bushes at mile 6…). I went to F’s birthday party. The Morris Dancer was there, and tried to flirt with me (why? WHY? Does he not grasp that I’m married and that this is Not Appropriate Behaviour?), with N mere feet away from us. All rather disconcerting, and I just Did Not Have the Spoons. I achieved some more spoons once I’d had some of Gordon’s wonderful spanish omelette and a Negroni, and some jelly and cream. By that point, though, I think I’d offended the guy. Although: why am I worrying about this when he’d offended me in the first place? It was his behaviour that was inappropriate first. There is really no need for quite that much touchy-feely-ness…ew. *shudders*  The rest of the party was quite fun, but I didn’t socialise much. I hung about on the edges. I watched. I threaded a new beady bracelet (must take a picture of that and share it). I drank tea. I nibbled. I gently conversed with people who’ve known me for years, but didn’t really bother with people that I find a strain. It was quite lovely, really.

We had bunting 

I’m not sure we’re going to make it to enough Proms for Last Night tickets. We’ve been to one so far (and bailed at half time because, yes, I was falling asleep).

On the plus side, I’ve nearly finished a pair of mittens, I am 3/4 of the way through Les Miserables (it got a lot easier when I stopped worrying about the political dialectic and decided to skim the really boring bits. I’m far more interesting in what happens to Jean Val Jean and Cosette and Marius than anything else). I’ve started Parade’s End, and feel it’s a bit Post Modern and confusing. I’m reading another Harry Dresden book. I have The Lady summer edition to play with (I’ve found all the differences in the Spot The Difference. The LadyGram still eludes me completely). I’m doing Sudoko on the tube.  N made an awesome roast dinner last night. On Thursday we’re going to try something from Clarissa Dickson-Wright’s “Potty” cook book, which involves eating up chicken, and peanut butter, and coconut and lemongrass. I’m mourning the end of Ru Paul’s Drag Race, but plotting some new music for the iPod based on a megamix I found on YouTube.

The flat is still reasonably tidy. The new house: I’d love to know when we might exchange. It’s been months (literally) since we put in the offer. We are in danger of eating our way through the freezer and then filling it up again, although it could do with a thorough defrost in the interim.

Gosh. How unutterably boring. Isn’t it wonderful?



The last two weekends have been grand fun, very amusing, and insightful.

Lovely K got married on 20th June. The protests about the anti-austerity march conspired to make the bride extremely late, but she looked utterly lovely when she did get there (and her hair mostly stayed put throughout a somewhat sticky day. All Hail Elnett!). Beautiful service, a highly personal reception (the favours were in coconut shells, carried over by African Swallows), lovely flowers, and a radiant bride and groom. You couldn’t really ask for anything more, except a dang good disco, and that’s what we got.


 Sunday, I ran 12 miles. This went rather better than the previous Sunday’s 10 miles – I didn’t fall over for starters. This is just as well. Over a fortnight after falling over, and I’m just about in the position where I feel comfortable showing my knees in public again. I am very pleased that the dress I chose for Ascot covered both knees and the arm bruise – by the wedding, I was so desperate, I was buying theatrical makeup to cover up the mess (this was reasonably effective and also reasonably cheap). I’ve gone through almost an entire tube of arnica. No idea if it’s helped the healing process, or if the mere action of rubbing the cream into the bruises made the difference (it’s all clots under the surface, is bruising, so it stands to reason that if you can bear to rub the bruise, it will dissipate more quickly). Oooh! I can show the Ascot outfits. Mum and I had a lovely day last Tuesday. We saw the Queen twice, but didn’t really win anything. Got chatted up by someone who turned out to be the manager at Mum’s local supermarket. It was excruciatingly awful, and I couldn’t escape until after the race we’d gone to watch was run. My Mother was No Help At All, as she expected him to give up after my first polite brush off: he was a persistent blighter, and I think I’m old enough to be his mother…

This weekend just gone, I spent three hours in Girlguiding Safe Space training, and realised that when I was bullied as a child, I wasn’t supported very well. I was left to get on with it, told to ignore them, told that they were scared of me (really?), and I only remember one intervention by a teacher, which was reasonably effective. By that point, though, I’d been bullied in one way or another by various people for 9 years. I was utterly inured to it. Nothing particularly physical (apart from the horrible child who used to pinch me when I was six, and the one who tried to scratch my eyes out when I was nine). Mostly emotional. By the time I was 14, I didn’t really pay much attention to it: I just thought it was normal…it was a shock when a friend pointed out that, really, what people were saying to me wasn’t on. This was quite the realisation for a Saturday morning. I’m still processing. It was a really good training, and I do recommend it. Worth the mild anxiety attack.

Sunday I attempted a 10km race. This was about as successful as can be expected on a hot, sticky, humid day. Asthma doesn’t like being asked to run about in those conditions. I started really well – sub 8:30 minute miles. Then had to grind to a halt to wheeze. Then decided that, actually, it wasn’t worth another wheeze but it was worth finishing, so set off again at something closer to a 9:30 min mile. Overall, 8:50 min mile. Annoyingly, it rained about an hour after I’d finished, and oh! The aftermath of the downpour would have been perfect.

I am not sure that this week’s training plan will quite happen the way it’s supposed to. Tomorrow is intervals. Then a ploddy run. Then a less ploddy run. There will be yet more early mornings. On the plus side, I am sleeping really well, and not waking up with the dawn. On the minus side, I actually want to be waking up with the dawn so that I can go running before work. This is something of a dichotomy, as well as being immensely frustrating.

I have finally finished knitting the sweater I cast on in February (it got interrupted by wedding knitting). I am down to the heel of the second sock of the pair I started I don’t know when. I’m knitting mittens for R, and they are going beautifully now I’ved decided green-on-purple is much better than purple-on-green. I love stranded knitting. It goes so fast, partly because of the excitement of seeing the pattern come out row by row, and partly because the excitement keeps you up knitting well past bedtime. There will be a photo. But I’m yet to take it.


There’s been a lot more running

27.7 miles this week. In my vague running club, I’m currently top of the leader board for distance (until the usual leader logs his Sunday run, anyhow. I am enjoying this achievement). 10 miles this morning, faster, apparently, than I’ve done parts of that route before, and reasonably easy going. Slow running – I was aiming for a 10 minute mile, but the idea is to build stamina at this point, not speed. I averaged a 9:49 minute mile.

The other idea was to remain upright at all times on this run (didn’t quite manage that). I fell over on a slippery wooden pontoon on Regent’s Canal. I have bruises on both knees and on my upper arm. I’ve applied a metric f-ton of arnica, and organic frozen peas to try and reduce the ridiculous lump on my right knee. I’m replanning my outfits for the week to disguise the mess. And I’m going to have a visit to a cosmetics counter on Friday if I’ve still got an epic bruise on my arm, to get my concealer matched for disguising the bruise on Saturday. It’s a good thing that I’ve got a long bridesmaid’s dress, or I’d be needing thick tights to cover the mess. You do not want to see my knees.

Yesterday’s run was also faintly disastrous. I got a bit overexcited in the last 100 metres of parkrun, promptly had an asthma attack, and had to slow to a walk. And it was one of those really exciting asthma attacks where I ended up sounding like a broken concertina played by a beginner. Fortunately, the inhaler kicked in.

Did anyone bother to help with either of these incidents? Did they heck. I had to get home to the care of my husband, who has produced frozen peas, tea, sympathy, kisses and did the majority of the work when it came to shifting everything to hoover behind it so that we can try to de-moth the flat. Sodding moths. They keep eating things I like, if they’re┬ánot sealed and not alpaca. They don’t seem to like alpaca. Various things having been having sojourns in the freezer.

It’s been too hot to knit. And I’m crocheting bunting anyhow (it is more fun than knitting bunting. Novelty value).


Where did time go?

Answer: running. I’ve started the 17-weeks-until-Berlin marathon training. This involves getting up inordinately early for a run three times a week, and two runs at the weekend. I shall be shattered, but buff. And I’m hoping my 10K pace does actually go back down to sub-50 minutes (last seen in Feb 2014, while training for a marathon…)

I’m fighting moths – they are coming out of the woodwork with the warm weather. There appears to be a sub set in the acrylic yarn in the shed, and that’s going to be binned when I pull myself together somewhat. The three shades of acrylic which I need for crochet bunting are in the freezer. They can come out for a bit, then go back in again to be sure. I’m crocheting bunting this time round. We made knitted bunting last year and I ended up knitting an awful lot of triangles to deadline and never want to knit one again (I do not like knitting to deadline!). Crochet will make a nice change. 

I need to be out running at 6:45 tomorrow. 1 mile jog. 12 x 200 m in 50-55 seconds interspersed with 200m  in 90 seconds to recover. This means learning my running watch, as I’m not sure of the correct setting to verify I’m going at the right speed for this. Hmm.

It all comes back to time, really. 


Where did the tube go?

I lost a tube train today. It wasn’t at Finchley when it was supposed to be. It may have been early. It certainly wasn’t late. And it left me sitting about for half an hour until the next one arrived. This is the only problem with having parents living at the tail end of the tube line. Infrequent (but regular, except when they go awol) trains. Along with the potential that, out of sheer desperation and need to get moving, you get on the Wrong Train. I must not get on the next train to arrive at this platform. But the one after. 

Mum’s having an open garden this afternoon. It’s supposed to rain. I may regret not having wellies. I may get cake (her garden is the fourth garden, and where the tea tent is. I am on crockery shunting duty). I do have my waterproof, which is something. And I am wearing sensible clothes, unlike yesterday, when I shivered round the zoo and wished for my waterproof. To be fair, so did everyone other than my goddaughter. She didn’t care about the rain other than that it meant she couldn’t go on the bouncy castle. She did have a go on the carousel. We saw lemurs, otters, penguins, monkeys, bats, rats, meerkats, hippopotami and giraffes. 

Yes. It is an affectation to call them hippopotami rather than hippopotamuses. Both look equally weird as spellings go. 

Oh yes. I made a lemon on Friday.