Getting back to it

Last night I went to my first morris dancing practice in weeks. I was late – I’d been meeting a potential new leader for Guides, and we gabbled for about an hour and a half (always a good start, talking your heads off, but a new record for gabbling time, and it put me very behind schedule!). So I was late. I managed a half hour of dancing time, and it was glorious. Grin-making glorious. And I didn’t get overcome by the cough, and my peak flow is nearly back to normal. All is well with the world. Our new bag is also extremely efficient, and is cajoling us to reply to polls, and confirm whether we can do events. It is so nice to be organised in advance. I don’t want to overdo the exercise though. I’m still recovering. Itchy to run, but still recovering.

So I’ll go for a run on Friday morning before work. N went this morning, and I slept through him departing. This is unusual – I’m generally awake and unable to get back to sleep when he gets up early.

I’m then going to do the local 10km on Sunday morning, as a longer run test. Not pushing too hard – just to get some miles in my legs and have a medal for the effort. And a banana. Love me a post-run banana, as I may have mentioned before now. I’m useless at buying the things.

Then, next weekend, we’re booked to do the Thames Meander Half Marathon. It’s a lovely route. Very flat. Scenic, along the Thames, and I reckon if I take it slowly, I can probably manage it. It won’t be a PB. It will be enjoyable. Plus, the vicar-wot-married us will probably be running it, as it’s on a Saturday, and he wants to be faster than me, so he’ll probably achieve that, and he’ll be happy. I may have mentioned this before now.



Last night I dreamt I went running

I am nowhere near a fit state to go running. Being ill really is frustrating. My peak flow is in the doldrums. It’s vastly better than it was, and it’s continuing to improve slowly – but of course, it won’t improve as quickly as it dropped. It’s been years since I’ve been this ill, and, quite frankly, I’m out of practice.

So I’m going to get my flute out and see if I can encourage my lungs to sort themselves out with a bit of tuneful heavy breathing.


In which we determine that it’s a terrible idea to take a chest infection on a Brownie Holiday

Oh dear. Oh dear. I’m on the antibiotics now – for the first time since 2009. Let us not debate how much more my peak flow has dropped! I’ve been signed off work for a week, and I’m bracing myself for missing the next race (feasibly, I am not going to be in a fit shape to run a half marathon in two and a half weeks’ time, and it would be silly to try). There will be other races. I’m going to focus on Milton Keynes Half in December.

I spent all weekend on Brownie Holiday being remarkably inefficient and off the ball. I wasn’t well enough to participate properly, and, quite frankly, I should not have gone. I kept having to stop for a sit down, or a cough, or something – and when you’re in partial charge of 23 under-10s, you need to be on top form. Not partial form. Not “I am powering through on sheer willpower, adrenaline, prednisone and determination” form. It doesn’t work well for anyone. It’s frustrating, it makes life way more difficult for the other leaders on the holiday, and the only thing that kept me going was that, had I not, I’m not quite sure who would have done the first aid/health stuff. While I could have managed to get all the kit there, there wasn’t necessarily anyone in the right mindset/with the skillset for the job. So I went and did my best.

People. Learn from this. The team who were there would have managed. And I would possibly not be signed off for quite so long, feeling quite so awful. It takes a while to recover from this depth of chest infection. Which is why I do my darnednest to avoid them. I think I’ve done pretty well over the past 6 years. I was bound to have one catch up with me at some point.

I am holed up on the sofa. I have knitting, Glee, my camp blanket, The Lady Magazine, Albert Campion books, Bertha and some badges to post out. Here. Have a photo of my camp blanket. This is my second blanket (my first I started when I was a Guide, and filled up in 2010). I’m almost caught up with sewing on badges. Next: catch up on The Archers.



My cough has resurfaced. My peak flow is down 8% again. And I have Brownie holiday tomorrow. I have hit the prednisone in a desperate effort to push it back up again. Typical. After thinking that I was all well and happy!

Watch this space. Or just listen to the coughing…


Today I went running

I think it’s probably accurate to call it “two intervals of 1.5(ish) miles” as I stopped at the midpoint to catch my breath. Actually, that’s not entirely accurate. I also stopped about 1/4 mile in as there was the most gorgeous ginger kitty mewing for some attention, so of course I had to give him some love and adoration, as he stepped off his canal boat to say “Hello! Love me! Love me!”. And he was very amenable to being tickled between the ears and generally fussed over.

I was feeling stressed, wound up, overwrought and out of sorts this morning. I wish people would do what they’ve committed to doing, rather than letting people down at the last moment. The stress that results from such selfish behaviour is far reaching and doesn’t do any of us any good. I set off like a bat out of hell, and mostly maintained the pace for the duration of the run. Brisk, in every sense of the word – because it’s chilly. Long legs. Long arms. And a pale t-shirt over the top for increased visibility in the gloom. Alas, the glorious red vines that I’d seen on the canal last week, and wanted to photograph and share, had lost their leaves. So there are no photos. Oh well. I had my phone with me, because I wanted to have the opportunity if there was something lovely. The canal itself was looking reasonably photogenic, but not enough to make me want to stop a third time.

I need to keep pushing for that sort of pace, regardless of whether I’m in A Mood or not. Suffice it to say, I feel rather more able to cope having run the adrenaline out. I didn’t fight. I created some flight, and I feel much more able to roll with the punches. 8:09 min/miles. Staunch.


Yesterday I went running

And it was a disaster. Up the hill to the heath. Talked too much. Ran too fast. Asthma attack. Pressed into the heath. N, having been asked to please produce a stream of rubbish…didn’t. So I talked even more. Second asthma attack. Gave up. Came home. Entered Manchester Marathon (on the basis that if we’re trying to find Gluten Free food the day before, it’s easier in English than Dutch). Went to the opticians, collected lots of stuff from the Guide Stores. N pulled something while lifting a crate.


The day improved. I managed to sew together ClothKitty, who is going to be my Ninja Goddaughter’s Christmas Present (I know. I had to farm out sewing skirts for myself, but feel I can manage a doll and clothes. Let’s draw a veil over the patchwork quilt that’s been ongoing for several years, shall we? Yes? Good). I have Organised many things for First Aid for Brownie Holiday. N made a storming lasagna.

And I watched this. Strong. Sad. Powerful. There’s a radio version for those of you overseas.  I want to delivery the Sophie Lancaster Foundation educational resources to the Guides – but it’s not exactly cheap. Pondering. And have emailed for information.


Tomorrow I’ll go running

Today, I concluded I wanted a lie in. Sometimes, you need rest. And, when it’s taken over an hour to do a bus journey that usually takes about 20 minutes, resulting in a return home at approximately midnight. Yeah. A lie in is definitely in order. This week has been hectic – I’ve been out every single evening, often until quite late, and I really do need to go “splat” slightly.

There is always tomorrow for a run. After we’ve been to see Blade Runner tonight.

(really, this does seem like the most pointless post).


Rotterdam (or anywhere)?

Liverpool or Rome?

Well. Actually. The choice is Rotterdam or Manchester. N’s fantastic Berlin time (3:22:20) would have got him in to Boston 2016 with 12 seconds to spare, had there been any places left by the time we’d run the marathon (and, seriously, he checked within minutes of getting back to the hotel). That’s too close to call for 2017. He’d have got into Boston 2015 with 1 min 18 seconds to spare with that time.

Based on how competitive it is for places, and that it’s getting more competitive, it looks like we’ve got to do another marathon to knock off two minutes. Yes, that’s we. He does a marathon, and, since I’ve started doing marathons, I do a marathon to. It’s bad enough getting up super early without having someone snoring in bed (OK. At weekends, I tend to lie in, and go out anything between an hour and two hours after him. It makes me a nicer person if I get that extra hour’s sleep. But, mid-week, we get up more or less at the same time).

So. Rotterdam? Or Manchester? Neither is on my list – because (if I’ve any aim), it’s to run a marathon in all the capital cities of Europe. So I want to do Paris, and Amsterdam…

Which would you choose? Runner or not, I’d love an opinion. They’re in April next year….I feel exhausted already.


We had such fun at Brownies last night

The kids (two) went on a treasure hunt (with four adult leaders going round the hospital with them, and another six left behind), with an endangered animals theme. At the end, there was real treasure to find. Very often, apart from the need to ensure the overseas presents have been posted, along with the overseas cards by the end of October, I object to the Christmassification of October. Yesterday, I was thrilled to find chocolate coins lurking in Waitrose, along with the advent calendars, the Lindt bears, the puddings, and the chocolate snowmen.

I also bought two Cadbury Scream Eggs. They’re not quite the same as Creme Eggs (and those aren’t the same since they changed the chocolate). But they fill a gap. I forgot to eat my pre-marathon Creme Egg. I don’t think it made much difference, to be honest. I just like eating the things pre-race. And, unlike Lucozade, they don’t contribute to my needing the loo mid-race. Incidentally, I got that spot-on for Berlin, and didn’t need the loo at all. Nor did I quite get down all my water, until the aftermath (hmmm. Perhaps I could have done better there?!). And, I had no further blackened toes/blisters afterwards, which is a massive improvement, and unexpected. I think the lack of serious hill/slope helped with this. Berlin is flat.

Today has involved lurching from crisis to crisis. However, I have managed two cups of tea, so it isn’t all bad.