The weekend’s running was rather lovely. Leith Hill Half – 13.1 miles of lots of up and down on mixed tracks; sand, mud, gravel, road. Some of it was definitely walking territory (how do people manage to run this thing in 1hr 40 minutes?). It attempted to snow on the way down. I had a brilliant time – and ate two cooked breakfasts afterwards. Mine. And then N’s – he didn’t run the race because it didn’t fit the marathon training plan. I am now beyond caring about anything other than getting round, so decided that 13.1 miles of challenging territory was broadly equivalent to 16 miles flat on the road. It took me 2 hours 15 minutes – knocking about 13 minutes off last year’s time. Bonza.
Then I careered about the countryside in order to visit Mum on Mothering Sunday. Total travel time on Sunday? 4.5 hours. Train to Dorking (that was easy), then N collected me from Dorking, we met up with Dad at Ascot (Dad was late, he needed to get petrol, lost his phone at the petrol station – no-one has used it, and he’s got a new one now. £9.99 with £10 free credit and a credit transfer from the old phone, so he is well pleased – and then he turned off early and had to go through Sunninghill). Then over to my parents from which, because no-one could face hanging about in either Slough or Ascot for another half hour, N collected me. Mum had this wonderful idea that it would be easiest for me to be transported round the countryside like a parcel. It didn’t pan out quite the way we intended. I have got to get my act together and learn to drive the van.
Thus, I was shattered by Monday. I dropped my phone down the loo (it did not survive, I’ve had to have an early upgrade, and I’ll be counting up all the £2 coins I’ve been saving over the past couple of years and putting that into the bank to pay for it). I did not react well to work stress. And I skipped intervals in favour of an evening pottering and slobbing with ice cream. Which meant I was much perkier on Tuesday and did the Coach Jeff Lunchtime Quickie Session again. This is a maddening session. Warm up. Tempo running for 2×3 minutes. Then three full gas efforts for 30 seconds with 30 seconds recovery. Then two full gas efforts for 1 minute with 30 seconds recovery. Then back to the office. It’s lovely. Brutal. And over in half an hour flat. Set me up for a lovely evening’s Scouts and Guides meeting. We talked about inspirational women, made purple flowers out of tissuepaper and pipecleaners, and worked out what, about us, might be inspirational.
Wednesday was 5 miles. Thursday, 7 (on the canal, after working from home. Because on Wednesday I discovered I’d lost my Season Ticket, and that made it a little interesting getting to and from work. I got lucky – open barrier at the station nearest work meant I could at least get in to work).
Wednesday I also told the Division that I want to end my role as Division Commissioner June next year at the latest, and, preferably, sooner than that. I can’t quite manage it and living outside London – I had hoped I could, but the early departures and the late returns are taking their toll somewhat, and I am living for Fridays when I work from home and can sleep in until 7ish. So, we are going to work out how to make it more of a team-led affair again, and how to have a good, sane, handover. I also decided that Manchester will be my last marathon for a while. I still want to do London – but I also want to enjoy running. And, what I really enjoy are quirky, small, half marathons. Leith Hill. Wycombe. Farnham Pilgrims. All have been highlights of the past year. Bath, Reading, North London, Hackney? Not so much to my taste. Too big. Too corporate. Too impersonal and, dare I say it? Too darn pink with all the Vitality Sponsorship. And I have a pink phone cover on my replacement phone!
I did have the odd photo from Leith Hill. But that’s now in a very soggy, somewhat unhygienic phone. So please, just imagine a cooked breakfast which I demolished in under three minutes. The second one I took my time over. Five minutes…! And I will be doing Leith Hill again.