Thursday, February 27, 2020

This weather!

Oh my goodness, this has been a horrible month weather-wise with dreadful flooding in many parts of the country. Although we've been grumbling about the wind and rain we were very lucky here, unlike some poor people whose homes have been flooded with no sign of the waters subsiding yet. My heart goes out to all those who have been displaced.

There have been many trees down blocking roads so the tree surgeons were in great demand. We've had lots of branches down and the fence by the yard was partly blown over but has been repaired now. Poor Rusty Miller the wind turbine was battered by the first storm but survived with just one paddle hanging loose. He was, however, finished off by the next one. He looks very sad indeeed and we think he's beyond repair.

Mike took a few photos of the moody sky through the window inbetween the showers the other day:


Well it's been challenging that's for sure. Getting outside has been a rare treat recently with more miles on the treadmill than along the lanes!

I started out for a marathon last weekend and then thought better of it and turned home as the weather was hideous with torrential rain and very strong winds. As the event was up on part of the North Downs I realised it just wasn't worth the risk of injury.

This Wednesday, the 26th February, I was lucky to finally make it to the Marathon Day marathon over in Deal. Did you spot it? The 26th day of the 2nd month ie 26:2 and marathon disatnce is 26.2 miles! Traviss first held this event 4 years ago and each time until now I have had to miss it:
  1. Mike was poorly
  2. The car broke down en-route
  3. I was injured
  4. I made it
I set out bright and early and everything just fell into place perfectly. The roads were fine with no flooding, the motorway was OK with not too much heavy traffic, just a brief delay at some temporary roadworks and I arrived in plenty of time; until I realised the event started at 8:30am, not 9am as I'd thought so I had to dash to the start adn join the back of the pack, silly moo!

I deliberately didn't take my camera with me as I always take far too many photos in Deal and it was just as well I didn't as everywhere looked stunning and I would have spent far too much time taking photos. The sun shone throughout and although we were running into a strong wind on the outward section, it didn't trouble us on the return. The sky would hav ebrough Turner out with his sketchbook and the sea looked amazing with the sunlight dancing on the waves.

I was using it to practice my ultra-marathon pacing but of course went out for too fast and reached halfway in 2 hours so made myself power-walk the last laps to make up for being so silly. I finished in 5:29:29 but stopped my watch at 26.2 miles exactly, just because! Then I trotted off for an extra 5 miles to make my run into an Ultra-marathon. A grand day out all round.

That was marathon 184 and my 4th of the year, having missed out 2 due to bad weather, so just another 16 to go to reach 200.

There's more to come as I've got another marathon this weekend and there's finally some crafting in hand together with the usual bits and bobs of day to day life.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Behind again!

Oh dear, I seem to have got out of the habit of blogging for some reason. Must do better!

My 3rd event of the year took place in muddy old Ranscombe last weekend. It wasn't quite as muddy as back in 2018 but it wasn't far off. This time, as back then, I set out with the intention of doing an extra lap to get an ultra under my belt but this time, although I couldn't face another lap of the mud-slide, I changed into my road running shoes after marathon distance and headed out along the main road for an extra 5 miles to get to 31 miles.

Here are some photos to give you a feel - at least there wasn't quite as much flooding this year and there was no snow and the sun came out so it was much nicer:

There have been a lot of changes recently, the best being a lovely new mud-free car park and these rather impressive composting toilets (which cost a whopping £10,000 each).

Paul tried unusccesfully to take a selfie but was photo-bombed by us.

As Traviss had said that it wasn't as bad as 2018 I decided to try the first lap without my walking poles. This was after lap 1 so I knew that my poles were needed! Thank goodness I'd put my gaiters on as they make such a difference.

The next batch of photos will give you an insight into the extent of the mud!

From left to right: Debbie, Kirsty and Jo. Only Debbie went on to complete the whole thing as Kirsty and Jo had enough after halfway.

Thsi section got worse and worse after each lap and I ended up walking it after lap 3

After a few hours the sun came out which made everythign feel better. Some of the wooded areas were bone dry but large sections were still treacherous and I was very grateful for my poles.

There are some lovely views and Mike and I will be heading off there for a walk when the weather improves.

The highland Cattle were out grazing around the Darnley Mausoleum

He was all sleepy and chilled

I always take a photo of this tree as I love its shape.

There always has to be at least one photo of beautiful bark!

My time for marathon distance was 7:02 as opposed to 7:09 back in 2018. I love the new medal as it's got a bunny on it, along with a deer, a butterfly and some Highland Cattle:

A lovely medal as always from Traviss. It's the first in a series of 4 throughout the seasons and if you do all of the events you can join them all together to make a circle.

On the crafting front there's not much going on except for a bit of knitting and crochet but I have just joined a weaving bootcamp which I hope will kick-start my journey into the world of weaving.

I'm now into week 4 of the Six Pack Revolution, the Intensive Wave again, and I'm really enjoying it. I wrote about my first adventure here if you're new to my blog. This shortened version is great and I'm already seeing a difference in my strength and stamina and my jeans are looser which is a bonus! For me, this Wave is all about strength and stamina rather than weight loss as I've maintained my last results quite well.

The meal plans are full of my old favourites with some new things thrown in and Scott even launched an SPR cookbook last year which you can see here on Amazon, although I didn't buy it 'cos I've got all the recipes anyway. They're all quick and easy to prepare.

Exercise-wise it's the same format as my first wave in the link above with a discipline of daily exercises Abdominal exercises to be added into the mix on alternate days with different Challenges of varying duration which focus on specific areas of the body and are guaranteed to get you sweating!

Shelley's been helping enormously both inside the house and in the garage (which she's enjoying as there's so much to investigate):

Here she's helping me with Diamond Press-ups!

And here with Decline Press-ups (on the 4th step)

Exploring the garage is great fun whilst mum does silly things with weights and Battle-Ropes!

Next time I write I'm hoping there will some craftwork to show but in the meantime I"ll leave you with a photo of my beautiful Paperwhite daffodils which are filling the whole house with their amazing scent!