The Running Part
Here it is at last, my 2019 Challenge for Alzheimer's Research UK with full details of my intent. I haven't publicised it before now as I had to make sure that I was fully committed to the enormity of it. I've always said I would run the London marathon, when I could, until my dream of a dementia charity being their featured charity was realised and now it has so this will be my last London marathon (yep, OK, I might be eating those words sometime in the future but that's the plan at the moment!).
Part 1 - I am going to try to get a personal best (pb) time of 4:30 or faster at the London marathon.
I've tried to do this twice before at the London marathon and each time I've tried to go faster something bad has happened:
- attempt number 1 - I was tripped up by someone dressed in a Little Miss Grumpy costume and ended up sprawled on the ground with bloodied hands and knees. I was whisked off to the medics tent and cleaned up before I was sent back out on my way to finish in 4:58.
- attempt number 2 - I was doing sooooooooo well until my chest started to feel tight and I had a massive asthma attack at mile 18 and had to stop for what felt like an eternity whilst people came and kindly tried to help. Stupid asthma! 4:55 for that debacle and I was absolutely gutted as my training had been really good and I'd felt strong.
The last time I ran London was in 2015. It was my 3rd marathon in 4 days and I had no thoughts of going faster. So what happened? Yep, I got a pb, finishing in 4:42. Until then my fastest time had been 4:52 set back in 2006. So the moral of this story is to train hard, run multiple marathons and just run how you feel on the day with no pressure!
Can I shave those pesky 12 minutes off my time? Well, I'll have a jolly good go at it.
Part 2 - I am going to complete another 100 mile event.
"Yeah, yeah, you've done that before" I hear you cry. Yes I have but this is one heck of a different sort of event than the last one which was a nice, safe, lapped event with no navigation and a nice warm barn and an aid station nearby. This event is not like that as we will be self-navigating along the footpath known as Harold's Way, climbing over stiles, scrambling across fields so will have to carry the supplies I need.
I spotted this new event when I was pottering around looking at future events and as soon as I saw it I knew it just had to be done - it's the 1066 100 mile ultramarathon and it starts in London then follows the route Harold marched his army to take part in the Battle of Hastings. The finish line will be the entrance to Battle Abbey which you'll see in the link above if you scroll down.
Why did I choose this? Because it is truly an awesome and daunting 'challenge' and will test me on so many different levels, not least because the time limit is 30 hours.
One really good thing is that the route will pass through our village so Mike will be able to come out and cheer me on as I navigate the last 10 miles or so of the route (which has umpteen stiles to negotiate and believe me they will not be welcome after a 90 mile trek!).
"But you've already completed 161 marathons (I sneaked in another the other day as a training run, see below!) and you did a 100 miler earlier this year didn't you" I hear you cry. Correct on both counts but, and it's a great big 'but', both my target events are going to be so much tougher for me and I don't just mean because I'll be another year older (62 next year)!
Let the training begin.........actually I've already started with marathon 161 the other day down at Samphire Hoe. It's a route I know well so I have plenty of benchmark times there and I'd only ever gone below 5:30 before (5:29). The weather was absolutely perfect (not like when we were there 2 weeks ago in my previous post) with a gentle breeze along the seawall and glorious sunshine making everywhere look beautiful. I deliberately left my camera at home so I wouldn't be tempted to take photos but Claire sent me these photos showing how different the conditions were:
It was an 8 lap route and I set out with the intention of running 10 minute miling for the first 4 laps, to take me up to 13.1 miles, which I managed quite comfortably in 2:10 then I just slowed down, took a few walk breaks on the uphill sections and was delighted to finish in 5:15 which was a course pb by 14 minutes.
At my next marathon I will try to maintain 10 minute miling for another few miles, unless it's trail where I will have to go a bit slower.
The Knitting Part
Tilly and I were sitting together happily with her on my lap whilst I knitted away. The phone rang, we both jumped and Tilly got her back leg caught in my knitting as I got up to answer it tripping over her in the process and the rest is a bit of a furry/yarn/needle/stumbling blur. Suffice to say there were rather a lot of stitches no longer on the needle and a few gaping holes where there shouldn't have been any.
What do they say about pride and falls? LOL!
I surveyed the scene as I chatted on the phone and when the call ended I decided it was wine o'clock (well it was the evening so it's allowed in an emergency) and gathered it all up to be dealt with the next day.
What a mess it was too but I just started carefully ripping back several rounds to see when I could make sense of it. When I got back to the rounds below which I thought everything was OK I looked closer and found several of the yarn-overs had run down too in one section and it was too complicated to get all the stitches back on the needles without a great deal of concentration and time.
Oh bother (that's the polite version!).
So I bit the bullet and ripped right back to the end of the ribbing which made it quite easy to pick up the stitches again. I stuck it back into its project bag and started work on some Christmas gifts instead (I can't show them 'cos the recipients will see).
Yesterday I felt ready to face it again so picked it out and started the pattern section again:
I'm hoping not to have to redo it this time!
A Walk Round Rye Harbour
On a rather dreary day last week we spent a lovely morning wandering around beautiful Rye Harbour followed by lunch and another wander in the town centre.
|Flotsam or Jetsam?|
|There was a lot of this particular seaweed on the shore|
|It looked a bit like an Andy Goldsworthy installation|
|The sand patterns fascinated me too. Look how the little pebbles created the pattern and were left like an adornment at the top of the sand 'tree'. The blueish tint reminded me of the works by Japanese artist Hokusai.|
|Horse riders on the other side of the Harbour along Camber Sands|
|On look-out duty!|
|I always like to walk by this gorgeous tree and this is my favourite time of year to see the bark all exposed.|
|It's such a beautiful colour and gloriously tactile|
|I know I've shown it before but the peeling seemed extra special this year.|
|Lots of small mushrooms growing along the root line in the grass and on a grave.|
|I think they are Glistening Inkcaps (you can just make out the deliquescence on a group to the far left)|
|The clock on top of the tower in the Church of St Mary was looking magnificent|
|You can climb to the top of the tower and get magnificent views|
The photo of mushrooms reminded me of a little treasure I found in our garden a few weeks ago. I was digging near the front hedge when I spotted a lump of what looked like charred conifer branch.
On closer inspection I realised it was indeed a chunk of conifer branch which was supporting this little beauty - Candlesnuff fungus (Xylaria hypoxylon) which I've never seen before ('xylon' is the Greek word for wood). Apparently when it's ripe you can blow on it and it releases the spores which look like the cloud of smoke when you snuff out a candle, hence its name.