Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Now where was I?

Oh crikey, I've just checked back and the last marathon I wrote about was back in May and I've done 6 more since then. I'll keep the marathon updates to a minimum or this could be a very boring post. There was a flurry of them after things settled down a bit for us and I did chuckle when I told a friend yesterday that I'd "only" done 11 marathons so far this year - I may have lost the plot somewhat but I blame the company I keep 'cos I am a mere lightweight compared to some of them!

During my time out of the marathon scene I have of course started to hatch a plan for my next fund-raising venture for Alzheimer's Research UK to be completed whilst I'm still 60 years old but I can't announce it yet as I haven't quite got my head around the enormity of what I'm thinking about (well, having done 52 marathons in 52 weeks I can't just ask people to make donations if I say I'm going to run 2 or 3 marathons during my 60th year now can I?!!!!!).

First I think we need a bit of a crochet update so here's something I finished recently. It's the Lost in Time shawl by Johanna Lindhal. I chose it because it has a very easy and repetitive sequence of stitches/rows and was easily transportable for sitting around in hospital waiting rooms. I found a combination of a variety of newspapers, crosswords, several novels and crochet/knitting helped to while away the hours quite nicely.

I was really naughty though and didn't use yarn from my stash. In my defence, I blame Scheepjes for bringing out their 'Whirl' yarn cakes in some scrumptious colourways. I chose 'Melting Macaron' (767) because it matches the colours in one of my summer frocks.

I don't usually choose triangular shawl crochet patterns as they remind me to the gigantic crocheted things we all used to make in the 1970s to go with our maxi dresses (shudder!) but I ignored my prejudices and just got stuck in.

For the border I wanted a contrast and so used some off-white 4ply cotton yarn I had already. Some people have added tassels which I thought was a nice idea.

Vaughan Williams provided just the right length of wraps for my tassels

Then I just had to choose the number of wraps to get the right thickness of tassel (from left to right, 30, 50, 40). I settled on 50 as it looked more generous.

I liked the idea of embellishing them with beads and so hunted around for some in the right colour and size.

I experimented with both colour and placement....

....finally settling on this arrangement

Although I'm still not keen on triangular shawls I'm very pleased with how it came out and it looks fab with my dress (an end of sale bargain last year).

Now for a couple of marathons - Kent Circuit (116)

Yikes, this is going to stretch my memory for sure and I've had to go back to my 100 Club spreadsheet to remind me of them! I can't do all of them at once so I'll split them into a few posts.

First there was the Kent Circuit marathon. I've run this before several times when it was organised by a different Race Director and I did say I wouldn't do it when it was taken over by someone else simply because I don't like doing such short laps. Then Ruth (aka Plodding Hippo for whom I crocheted Happy the Hippo for her 300th marathon back in 2014) announced that it would be her 500th marathon and so I just had to enter it.

Me, Tinu & Ruth with Pam and Tim in the background

Look at Ruth's special number, a lovely touch. But why is she dressed like that? Aha, the Kent Circuit is in Gravesend where Pocahontas lived and died. She is buried in St. George's Church and there is a beautiful statue of her there. When there's a theme to a race people often dress up but as she was the only person who'd bothered she soon changed (next photo).

Ian, the former RD, presented her with a special vest in 100 club colours.

The masses gathering at the start. Can you spot me having a conversation with James right at the front? I soon left him there and headed off to find my place nearer the back!

The weather forecast was not good with thunder/lightning and rain forecast and we watched it rolling in during the first hour.

We got wet!

Chatting with Scotty

Although there were plenty of chums running and supporting I tried to remain focused and not stop to chat as when the rain abated the sun came out and it was HOT!

The lovely Dee was out there snapping away and said she kept trying to catch me under the word 'stunning', bless her. I certainly didn't feel remotely stunning in that heat and I slowed right down in the last few laps!

I finished in 5:12:24 which is my slowest time for the route but I just couldn't push on in that heat.

A nice Pocahontas themed medal

The event seemed to lack the fun we've always had there previously and the new organisers got quite a few negative complaints, especially as the aid stations didn't have adequate supplies of water for a while which is inexcusable on  a hot day. I doubt I'll go back there again even if they do stage another event (famous last words?!).

The next day I was due to run the Jeskyns Challenge but although I turned up and ran a few laps I didn't stay for marathon distance as Mike was a bit poorly and I wanted to get home. I just treated it as  a mid-distance training run with friends and then headed home.

Walking up an incline with Costas. he was picking my brains about a repair to his favourite woolly jumper (which reminds me I need to get on with it!)

I can't remember if I've shown photos of the fab tee shirts Traviss had designed to celebrate completing 52 marathons in 52 weeks so here they are:



They really are gorgeous and very comfy to wear and Ive worn mine more often than my 100 club vest!

The Kent 50 Challenge (117)

Next up was a 'challenge' event from Traviss and Rachel so it always going to be fun and well organised. As a 'challenge' event you could run one lap or as many as you liked within the time limit and I had hummed and haa'd about whether to do it as Mike had been under the weather during the week. Of course he said I should do it as I'd already pulled out of several other marathons but I found that I was just worrying about him all the time I was running.

Heading through the farmyard to the checkpoint (thanks for the photo Nunky Paul)

Each time I reached the checkpoint I eyed up the medals and I really, really loved the Viking Challenge ones, which you got for completing at least 1 lap, more than the one for 50 miles. Having passed marathon distance I gave Mike a ring to see how he was and although he said he was OK I could tell he was a bit down so that was it, I did one more lap and called it a day.

I finished in 5:53:40 after 28.6 miles so a nice gentle ultra marathon, my first as a 60 year old!

There are still more marathons to write about, plus craft stuff, but I think that's enough for now.

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