Things That Need Doing

  • A squee about my new socks. They are called Feetures, and they are all bright red, because N found a very good deal online. They are absolutely da bomb.
  • Trip to the NewHouse to measure for curtains, and conclude what (if anything) to do about flooring, carpets, wallcoverings.  Of course, I forgot the tape measure.
  • Contact Shaggy re. kitchen table
  • Sort out Health Forms for Brownie Holiday and Kip On a Ship.
  • Sort out Health Folders ditto
  • Sort out medications ditto
  • Make massive list of First Aid Equipment needed ditto. Ensure towels etc are either not packed, or packed near the top.
  • Go through, room by room, and get rid of possessions that do not need to be moved. Epic trip to charity shop
    • Bathroom
    • Spare Room
    • Sitting Room
    • Kitchen
    • Bedroom
  • Sell Mollie Makes back issues on ebay
  • Mail Wedding Present to J&D
  • Mail Wol to Row (find Wol…)
  • Buy England Kit for Sophie, and mail. n.b. check address.
  • Change picks at Waitrose to something we actually buy
  • Enjoy a rest day, a bit of a lie in, and collecting the house keys
  • Fold up the tent and put it away properly this time
  • Move the cardboard that was containing Bertha the Spinning Wheel down to the lean to
  • Tidy the sitting room
  • Put the laundry away
  • Get room booked for training on 26th Oct.
  • Pack up possessions
    • Get boxes to pack up possessions
    • book removal company (who may be able to sort out boxes)

This morning’s run was supposed to be 1 mile jog, 4 miles at half marathon pace, 1 mile jog. In my sleep deprived state, and with some very slippery pontoons round King’s Cross, it wasn’t quite that. But it averaged out at 9:10 min/mile over 6 miles, and it turns out I have another 6 mile run scheduled in, so I can do it then. I might take the phone out with me properly for the last 6 mile run, as I’ve done that route so many times, I’d quite like to share it with you. The seven swans which were haunting King’s Cross/Islington Tunnel have grown up and moved on, but there’s still plenty of coots (and I saw TWO rats today, which rarely happens. Lovely clean ratties!). There are also mallards, the odd dog waddling about, and lots and lots of gentlemen of dubious repute drinking cheap cider. Plus a few cyclist. I particularly liked the one who was (illegally) cycling along a pontoon behind me, and who said which side he’d be overtaking me on. That made my life so much easier. I knew which side to stay, he passed without incident, and the morning was rather brighter for it all.

Only two more weeks of having to run 3 mornings a week. You know, I think I’m going to miss it. And I may well go for running every other morning before work anyhow. I rather like the paradigm. And the compensatory sticky coffee before getting into work.


Tapering Madness

I didn’t get my act together on Monday….so, belatedly, Bellatrix Socks!

I’ve also finished a pair for a colleague (to be swopped for a wooden bread board from oak from her own woodland): but those aren’t washed yet.

We are now tapering into the marathon. The runs get shorter. 5 miles yesterday (with intervals, and a bonus detour to the bank to deliver a debit card which someone had abandoned at the track – I figured that if they didn’t come back to get it while I was there, they probably wouldn’t in the 10 minutes it would take me to run the 1 1/4 miles to the bank, and, since I had to run about that far after the session, it would be extremely churlish to not go to the bank). 6 miles today – pace was pathetic. Such tired legs. The compression legs are wonderful but don’t help with the tired – only in the last mile did I feel really with it. That I did not want to wake up at all at 5.45 this morning didn’t help. N got up extremely early to run and then (finally) go to the GP. He’s been coughing during the early morning runs, nicely phlegmy productive coughs. He now has some steroid nasal spray – he’s just been snotting wildly overnight, and coughing it all out in the morning. Niiiiiice.  This should improve matters. He’s getting enough oxygen, and there is nothing to worry about with his heart – since getting Strava Premium, we’ve been worrying about how much of our runs seem to be “EPIC” on the suffer-score range. And then panicking, and having palpitations. We can stop panicking now.

Our lovely vicar has been running one half marathon a month this year. This time last year, he was managing a 2hr 22min half. He’s now catching up with me (his PB is about 20 seconds slower than mine! I need to pull myself together the next time we race!), and he’s raising money for Alzheimer’s Research at the Great North Run. He’s then doing the Windsor Half Marathon, which involves him leading the church service on harvest festival day (so all the children from the school are there, it’s total bedlam, and he name checks every single one of them during the sermon, because he’s lovely like that, but with that, and the procession of donations, it’s a long service), driving like a lunatic across the county, and running without the benefit of a proper warm up other than the sprint from the carpark. You can watch him in action at our Wedding. Yes. A whole wedding sermon based round the previous week’s episode of Dr Who. We then walked back down the aisle to the original theme tune. He’s lovely our vicar. Utterly welcoming, doesn’t worry too much about what you believe, always happy to have a deep debate, and very considerate. Also has a natty line in outre waistcoats.

Anyhow. Back to the tapering madness. I have paranoia about catching a sneezle on the tube. I wish to douse my colleagues in anti-bacterial spray in order to prevent infection, and I rather want to wrap my legs up in cotton wool at all times, just in case. And I must remember to eat properly. Yesterday was quite good – out with Mum, and steak and chips and salad for lunch, and a cake for tea, and then baked beans on toast for supper. Today, I’ve had a slice of chocolate cake and a babybel. Must do better…


Of course it was sunny!

I wanted to do a long run! I actually ended up stripping off at about mile 7, and regrouping a bit – removed my calve-compressors, tied my t-shirt up (bad move, the camelbak rubbed my back for the remaining 11 miles, and it’s a bit sore), and exposing my navel to the crowds round The Tower of London. It was far too warm. I drank a lot, I did 18 rather than 20, and I didn’t push it. My splits aren’t impressive – and the second half is vastly slower. The second half also has lots of road crossing in it, which has something to do with it being slower. And the part where it’s all uphill doesn’t exactly help matters. However, I feel surprisingly chipper and on form. 18 miles is a good distance. 20 is exhausting. I am nervous about 26.2 – but, heck, I am doing this for the fun of it (I am never going to be speedy). Ideal is sub 4 hours for this marathon. Good is sub 4 hrs 10 minutes. If it’s hot, I’ll take finishing it without collapsing as being a major achievement.

I also, still, need to consume about 2000 calories. There is cake in my immediate future. As well as removing the tent from the washing line (it’s finally dried), putting the washing out, and handing over Stuff to T to put into the Guiding stores when she goes over tonight – she has her Mother-in-Law’s car for the day, so is doing much driving. I have a degree of Browniemin to deal with. I’ve got to bring the accounts up to date, make sure I know how much I’m going to pay in, and work out how many Brownies are interested in going on Brownie Holiday. Then some QG-min. We can now, apparently, have a cloth badge – so I thought I’d contact all the QGs in the County and do a bulk order. It’s a bit perturbing. Most of us are in our 20s and 30s. Then there are 2 in their 60s. What happened in the intervening 30 years? It’s round about the same period that we seemed to have stopped having Division Sports Days. I can’t help but think it’s related.  Girl Guide Association Doldrums.  Either that, or the QGs from that era just aren’t involved in Guiding anymore (but, again, why?!).

I’ve started knitting a Color Affection in morris dancing team colours. Miss Babs had a yarn pack, with perfect purple and gold. The green’s a bit limey, but the purple is perfect. I had to do the whole yarn-over-at-the-beginning-of-the-row thing, and the edge is rather less strained now.


Slow morning

In fact, I think I recorded my slowest parkrun ever. 29 minutes! It was damp and mizzly, and, on the jog up to the start, I needed the inhaler, and, I decided “this is not worth having an asthma attack over” – damp and mizzly being a trigger “I’m just going to run gently, and enjoy it, and test out my calf-compression-skins”. So I did. They are wonderful compression things. The calf was most happy for the whole run (all those hills). I shall wear them tomorrow too.

Tomorrow I may push a bit more enthusiastically for “the last long run before the marathon”. I’m of two minds how far to go. I’m erring towards 18 miles at the moment, rather than 20 (i.e. not going to visit Prince Albert in his memorial). We shall see. If I sleep properly tonight, I’ll go for 20. Last night was a bit abysmal, sleep-wise. I was so incredibly wired after Brownies and Guides (and a pre-Brownies caffeine hit) that I did not settle effectively, and my fitbit informs me that it was one of the more restless nights I’ve had recently. Brownies and Guides were lovely. We did good planning. We made stuff. We played games. They were (mostly, aside from a spot of out-and-out lying) well behaved. They are a nice bunch, and I’ve missed them. I’m at Brownies most Fridays in September. Usual leadership crisis being somewhat worse than normal. BUT, I am meeting new people who can help, so I’m hoping to sort it out by the time the students are back in London.

I’ve nearly finished a pair of socks. And I will post a photo of the broken sock when I’ve mended it.

I have also bought a book purely on the basis that the person reviewing it in Slightly Foxed was very enthusiastic. And we have a guidebook for Berlin. I am determined to get up that Reichstag.


Sock down!

 I got tangled up with a sticky out nail. Nail has been hammered into place. Sock will be darned after Brownies and Guides. 

Scops Owl is back…



(I don’t have the original yarn, and the socks faded after an encounter with some anti dye run, anyhow, if I remember correctly. So it wouldn’t  have matched. They are somewhat old. December 2008 according to Ravelry)


I’m in legs…

Long legs. Long sleeves. A week ago I was still in shorts and a singlet. This is such a shock to the system. I also realised just how uncomfortable, compared to the long legs, and the shorts, most of my capri-length pants are. I think I need to upgrade from the el-cheapo Karrimors. The trick is going to be finding something with a large enough back pocket to hold my inhaler. Any suggestions?

On the plus side, I was nicely cosy. No chilly arms. No chilly legs. A much happier calf muscle (it’s still going to the Lovely Chiropractor to have a needle pushed into it. Then I’m detouring home via Run and Become for some calf-warmers – I have a voucher after buying my most recent trainers!). I may also acquire some longer socks, depending on cost and aesthetics. I rejected the ones in Nike Town last night, on grounds of both cost and aesthetics. I was in the centre of town to meet a potential new Guide Leader (she’s lovely) before morris practice, so I had a little detour. I was underwhelmed.

Anyhow. The early morning, a trip along the canal punctuated by random squirrels collecting nuts, rather than going round the park yet again perked me up nicely and I think I achieved a 1 mile PB of 7:39min. I’m not sure simply because Strava believes my mile PB is 6:47, but that’s based on the BUPA 10K from last year when the GPS went squiffy and added on about 1/4 mile in the middle of The City. I got the bit between my teeth somewhere around mile 5.5, and this, combined with a nice flat bit of canal, a lack of cyclists and dog walkers, and the knowledge that I’d started out far too late and needed to get a wiggle on meant that I kept going at that pace for over a mile. I’m partly proud of myself. And partly worrying that I’m going to feel a need to maintain this sort of thing on a regular basis, rather than once in a blue moon. I’m not supposed to be going for speed. I’m supposed to be going for stamina! There is one more long run (20 miles) before Berlin, and then I taper. I’m getting quite excited about tapering. I’m hoping to stop losing weight (I must buy an avocado to go with my lunch).

Smashing the Mile

Meanwhile, should you require an all female morris dancing side, it looks like I’ll be bookings secretary for the next year.


Because you want to know

I had a lovely conversation with Mum last night, and we concluded that much of the calf issue is owing to being cold. And that I need leg warmers, like a ballet dancer. So I’m going to get some long socks and some compression legs. I heated the calf overnight with a hot water bottle (it’s referred to in the third person, like a recalcitrant child which isn’t part of me), and this morning’s run was quite happy, until mile 5, when I got a bit cold despite my capri pants, and the calf started to tighten a bit. Certainly an improvement on yesterday. Tomorrow I may go into long legs. Which is a thoroughly depressing thought.  I’m pleased though. A sub 9-min mile (boosted by encountering N at the halfway point), and I didn’t feel in need of coffee when I got to work. I still had some, but it was lovely to not need it.

Autumn is definitely here. The trees are turning. There was mist on the ground. It was nippy cold! But, the tiger was out, as were two camels, and the odd monkey. No meerkats or tapirs. I’m going to miss running past the zoo.  Part way round, I decided I really must get my act together and knit this jumper. I’ve been meaning to since about 2010. And I’ve had the yarn since then. It was very easy to get the yarn. Much harder to locate the pattern.

(I’m catching up with 27th August’s episode of the Archers. Helen submitting her dress to Rob for his approval has actually made me feel a bit icky. This is such a tough storyline to listen to: the gradual crushing of a strong woman. And then he pins her to the sofa. Urgh. The next episode isn’t any easier to start with. Then we get onto David yawning about cows. That’s much more like it).

And we’ve entered the Knacker Cracker.  Which reminds me. Must enter the Pednor 10.


We went to Towersey!

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.