Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Oops I did it again!

 ...Forgot to post, that is!

The most exciting thing is that I've actually completed 2 real-life running events, the first time I'd run with real people in 15 months. The first one was an SVN event at Betteshanger country park. Mike has very nervous about me going but I just needed to start getting back out into the real world to get some serious mileage into my legs.

I have to say that when I arrived it felt odd; no hugging/high-fiving/no nibbles other then sealed packets (I took my own stuff anyway) and water in bottles. As usual I was really early which was nice 'cos I had a lovely chat with Travis and Rachel, Race Directors. It's been a very challenging time for them with hardly any events being held which meant all the outlay they had to make with regard to medals/booking sites etc etc didn't have the usual reward. In fact they lost many thousands of pounds on a batch of medals they'd ordered from China when the company went bust so they lost their money and the medals.

I hardly spoke to anyone, although there was lots of waving and blowing of kisses, and just kept myself to myself, pounding out the miles. It was a flexible event in that you could run as many laps as you liked within a 12 hour time limit so I opted for marathon distance as I knew Mike would be worried and I'm glad I did as it eased us both into it gently. I didn't take any photos either so my only comment is that was marathon/ultra 186 at long last.

Whilst I'm in the running mode I'll share my latest adventure from last weekend. 50 miles! Yep, that's right, after just one marathon I decided to go for a biggy - LOL!!! There was actually method in my madness as I needed a 50 miler in order to qualify for any 100 mile events I want to do in 2022. This was a low key event, with reduced numbers of entrants, held at Denbies Vineyard. The only downside was that each lap was only 1 mile and believe me that became very tedious after a while, although not quite as bad as a track marathon!

There were plenty of people I knew there but I was careful not to run in any groups.

At the start it was overcast which was pleasant but by the afternoon the rain came in and lasted for 4 hours so I was well and truly soaked. It also made the grass very slippery and the mud didn't help much either.

Some people were doing the 100 mile option, others were running 1 mile every hour for either 12 hours or 24 hours, so they brought their tents along for inbetween runs.

There was only 1 incline but of course it felt massive by the 50th time of running or walking up it.

Anyway, I plodded along, stopping for a nice break at halfway to change my socks and shoes, which were soaked, and have some lunch - how very civilised! I didn't feel the need to push my pace as I knew I'd get round in well under 15 hours which is the usual qualifying time for a 100 miler.

I finished in 12 hours and was very happy with that and I felt fine the next day except for my hands as it seemed to have made my arthritis flare up - how ridiculous is that?! Anyway, that's marathon/ultra 187 in the bag and a qualifying time to boot.

It's a rather nice 'Muckle' which is Rik's name for a medal that can also be worn as a belt buckle (which I probably won't do!).

The Six Pack Revolution (aka SPR)

I'm getting near to the end of another wave of SPR in the Xtreme Team again. Scott has revamped the challenge exercises and I'm really enjoying them. I'm definitely much stronger as a result and I enjoy the dicipline and accountability.

Each time we do one of the challenges we have to film snippets of our workout to show the Coaches so they make sure we're doing it correctly and helping with alternatives if there's an injury or you're struggling. For example, I can't do Burpees as my wrists are too weak so I always have a few different options. 

Here's a little snippet to show the sort of exercises we have to do. This one is called 'Monster' and I quite enjoyed it as I Iike breaking down the reps into small sections:

I'm not really focussing on losing any weight now as I'm happy as I am but I definitely want to develop more muscle strength, especially as my arthritis is getting progressively worse. I'm mindful that my dad was crippled with it and had to use a wheelchair at my age and I really don't want that thank you very much!

Shelley the Superstar

When Shelley first came to live with us we were told that she should be an indoor cat which was a new experience for us. We thought that we would try to acclimatise her slowly to her surroundings by taking her for short walks on a leash and so we bought a lovely harness and leash from Supakit.  At first she didn't like the experience of the harness being put on but once outside she enjoyed exploring close to the house. However, it wasn't long until the arrvial of Covid which made us even more cautious.

A few months ago I saw a request from Supakit asking for testers for their Supakit Academy aimed at teaching owners and their kitties how to use a harness and lease safely. So I wrote to them about Shelley and her traumatic early life and we were offered a testing place. I can't reveal any of the details just yet but suffice to say that Shelley is enjoying our sessions and is doing really well!

I have a zillion photos of wildlife and the garden to share but there don't seem to be enough hours in the days right now. Plus I've completed at least 2 knitting projects since my last post so I really do need to get my act together and catch up before I forget everything.

I have to admit that I am somewhat anxious about the easing of restrictions announced by the PM the other day and will continue to wear a mask in an enclosed area etc although from the recent Twitter polls I've seen most people intend to abandon them completely. I know that we aren't quite ready for that just yet so please be kind to those of us who've been shielding for so long as you never know their back-story.

Stay safe everyone and I'll try and do another catch-up very soon.

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