It was very wet and damp, and somewhat dispiriting. Usually, Towersey Festival is my summer highlight. This year, not so much. Partly the running – a 15 mile yomp cross country after three nights in a tent on a deflating air mattress (we need a new one. Or a thermarest. Or something. We can’t keep going on like this, landing on the ground an hour before sunrise) doesn’t really make for an energetic festival: ceilidhing is severely curtailed. Partly it was the wet, and feeling cold and damp for at least two days out of the four. Partly it was Monday morning, which involved doing children’s crafts.
We had a high-functioning autistic lad in our group that morning, who became very tearfully frustrated that he couldn’t make his wire flower bend the way he wanted to, and this was hard. I have friends who say it’s always worse when it’s someone else’s child crying: honestly, you’d do anything to stop them, and it’s so hard to get them happy again. He was, by the end of the session, happy with what he was doing, and we have a lovely photo of him with two flowers, grinning all over his face. But, it took a lot of support from us, as leaders of the session, and his Mum, to get him there there. It was emotional, in all sorts of ways, and exhausting, and nerve wracking. I’m glad he went away happy – it’s what we’re aiming for. But it’s not something we always take into account, autistic needs, and, to be fair: some warning from his Mum before he started the session would have been greatly appreciated. We’d have tackled things slightly differently, and hopefully averted some of the upset.
The other problem with children’s crafts – my scissors block went missing out of the craft suitcase (we leave it in the tent between sessions. Never had an issue before). It was run to ground, or, rather, to ceiling, stuck in the rafters of the tent. It fell down before anyone managed to fetch a ladder – and by the grace of God (or anything else you may or may not believe in), didn’t hit anyone. I wasn’t particularly impressed by how this was managed – I felt like I did when I was being bullied at school and having my P.E. kit stolen and hidden. I spent rather a long time filling in a near miss form….
The running made a nice change – over the countryside, along the Phoenix Trail (how we’ve not found it before, I am not sure). It’s always a bit harder underfoot when there’s mud and omska, and roads and such. N retrieved our off-road shoes when he headed back into town for the football on Saturday, and we did a fairly satisfying (if exhausting) 15 or 16 miles on Sunday (also our wedding anniversary: we had damp cards in the tent. And prosecco at suppertime!). I really struggled with the Sunday run – I managed to time it to get caught in the rain, and it was cold, and wet. My hamstring tightened, my calf is still tight: I have another appointment to have my lovely chiropractor stick a needle in it to persuade it to loosen up. I mean: I managed 6 miles this morning (intervals), it’s not stopping me, but i am chary of making it worse.
Anyhow. Saturday’s run was round a field, and on a bridleway, and nicely muddy, and I had rather fun. Sunday’s run, and I actually got a place on a segment! This rarely happens. So I present my Strava trace in all its glory. It was rather erratic, what with roads to cross, getting lost, answering questions about milk, slurping on gels in a faintly knackered state, and needing to adjust my camelbak, which went all weird on me.
Oh. And I may have acquired a spinning wheel.