Monday, September 27, 2021

It's a Wrap!

On 2 levels, this weekend has seen 2 very different epic journeys completed!

First one is the Scout Shawl by Florence Spurling using a kit purchased from Loop London. This has been an absolute joy to knit with lots of interesting panels - like a sampler.

I can't wait to wear it with one of my green tweed jackets!

I quite enjoy the finishing of a project, weaving in all the loose ends.

Then it had a good soak before blocking

You had to twist the yarns around each time you met another section to avoid any gaps....

...and you had to do the same at each side with the border yarn

You may notice I've left some lengths of thread at each end in case I decide to make pompoms or tassels. I can't make my mind up yet.

The second epic event is even more epic - I've finally completed marathons 199 and 200 at beautiful Samphire Hoe and with my favourite Race Director, Traviss. It should have happened last year but we all remember what happened then so I'm just relieved to have finally got them done. 

So now it's time to catch up on some running with my last 4 medals:

From top left to right: I love the cow from the Bates Green Gallop and the fish is from Bewl and guess what? It's actually useful as it's a bottle opener!!!

Bottom layer: 199 was the Zombie Challenge but there was only 1 person dressed as a Zombie (which is most unusual as we're not usually averse to such silliness!) with 200 being the Mordor 'fun run' which is a misnomer as my quads were screaming at me from running on concrete on the sea wall - ouch!

This was Saturday for 199 (thanks for the photo Kirsty) - in the background you can see Lou who was running her 100th

It was rather misty at the start but it cleared later and the sun baked us!

Morning photos.....

Afternoon photos:

The beautiful and infamous "White Cliffs of Dover"

No blue birds flying over, just 7 hang-gliders. I couldn't focus 'cos the sun was so bright so I only managed to capture one.

Day 2 was very different as it was dull all day which was much better for running. I didn't take my camera with me so just enjoyed the experience. I ran alone until the penultimate lap which I completed with Jay and we had a jolly good natter then I headed out alone for my last lap.

So here it is, my journey to 200 marathons is complete. 

Now for the next adventure.......I shall have to put my thinking cap on but I suspect I'll be aiming for 300.  However, I'll need to include some dramatic stunts to get attention for Alzheimer's Research UK as I think almost everyone I know has now donated at least 10 times!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Nearly there!

I'm now just a few days away from my 200th marathon if everything goes to plan this week. I really can't believe it actually as it hasn't sunk in properly yet.

I sent my spreadsheet off to the 100 Marathon club to be checked and got the OK so it's all systems go for the weekend when I hope to end with a double on Saturday & Sunday. Eeek!

In the meantime there's been lots going on.

Last weekend I headed off to Bewl for marathon 198. Although it's close to home it isn't a favourite as I have faceplanted there before (lots of tree roots in dappled light is not good for me as my eyesight is not good in those conditions)!

As it turned out I had a lovely time because when we set off at the start I was chatting with a young girl who was doing her first marathon and I advised her not to get carried away with the crowd and to run at her own pace. She sped off up the hill and a someone running nearby said "I recognise that voice, although I haven't heard it for nearly 7 years!" 

I looked round to see Claire who I last ran with in Dymchurch when she was trying to reach her 40th marathon by the time she was 40 and it was my 40th marathon too. After that she stopped doing long distances as she was trying to get pregnant which she did eventually and she had a lovely little boy named Emrys who I hadn't met until that day. 

No photos I'm afraid 'cos I didn't take my camera for fear of damaging it in a fall but you can get a feel for the grounds here. It was a jolly hot day and we were glad to be running in the shade of the woods for about 2/3 of the route. I must take a photo of the medal as it's actually a useful one because it can be used as a bottle-opener! Now for 199 & 200.........

Our usual horsey visitors arrived a couple of weeks ago and have moved into the field nearest the house now the foals have stopped calling for their mummies:

It's lovely to look out of the window and see them as I still miss my old ladies. Heather, who breeds them, has offered me one of her unproductive mares who has been failing to produce foals but that would mean I'd have to get another horse as a companion and I don't want all the hassle, let alone the expense, any more as our lanes are too busy to enjoy hacking out these days.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Up, Up and Away

Did you start singing the song? 😍 I couldn't resist as yesterday evening 3 balloons took off from the valley in quick succession:

It was lovely to have a ringside seat.

I realised I haven't updated my crafting for ages so whilst I remember I'll post my current progress on the Scout Shawl which I'm enjoying despite my dislike of intarsia. (I'm pretty sure there's another short sleeved jumper to show so I must search it out......)

Of course I had cat assistance!

Monday, September 6, 2021

Tales from the Cyclopark and beyond

What can I say about 5 different days of running exactly the same route? Boring? Repetitive? Hard work?

Well that all depends upon your mindset!

I knew some days would be harder than others but I was only dipping in and out whilst others were running the full 12 days which is absolutely amazing! Some were running 10ks, others running half marathons/marathons/ultras. Although the route was the same every day there were always differences eg the weather was cold and slightly damp followed by baking hot with a gentle breeze, then some drizzle and then a mixture of all those conditions.

I didn't bother to take my camera with me but got plenty of photos from others to give a feel for the terrain:

There was always a briefing at the start with Traviss announcing any major milestones people had achieved:

Justin was always taking snaps as he ran along:

Thursday's outfit

Heading out for my last lap on Thursday

One of the bridges over either the railway or the M2, not sure which as they look the same!

...and another one!

Random overgrown bench on the concrete road section

I'd still got 2 more days to go at that stage.

Day 4 for me looked something like this at the start:

Strangely I was 15 minutes quicker on day 4 which was a surprise.

The next surprise was going to start the car and finding the battery was flat. Deep joy! Thankfully I had jump leads in the boot and 2 nice chums to help get me started so a big thank you to Paul and Dave. Needless to say the car went in to be checked the next day and even though the battery check seemed OK I changed it anyway as I didn't want to get stranded in the middle of nowhere after a marathon!

Day 5 was much quieter as some people had finished when they had done 10in10days so it was mostly the stalwarts doing 12in12 of whichever distance they chose. So here's my outfit for the final day - it was rather overcast so I chose my bee leggings to brighten things up!

Quite a nice medal haul although I am running out of space to display them!

So that left just 4 more to reach my 200th............

Inbetween marathons there was a Virtual 5k Guinness World Record attempt. The official title is: "most people to run or walk a remote 5k in 24 hours". The run had to be done on Saturday 4th September so I did it nice and early:

The previous record was 6718 and the latest figure from our attempt showed 9196 with more to come!

Then of course there was another marathon at the weekend, the Bates Green Gallop organised by the lovely people from which was held on a farm near to Arlington reservoir. I'd never done this event before but it sounded nice with a mix of woodland and trail across a large working farm.

The weather was hot and heavy right from the start and my asthma made itself known quite early on so I didn't push my pace and just ran at a comfortable pace. I completed 8 laps for a 28 mile ultra-marathon and here are a few photos from the day:

It's a huge farm and there was a massive field to park in.

The Race briefing

The start took us through woodland which was lovely and cool - this ection was lovely but other bits were tricksy with tree roots to trip you up! One girl went flying 'cos she hadn't spotted a moss-covered root. I went slowly in the rooty sections!

The Farmer had created a quiet place in the woods for people to sit and remember their loved ones after he'd lost his wife.

There were several lovely ponds both in the woods and the fields

After the woodland we ran alongside acre upon acre of Sweetcorn!
 The ground was very hard and rutted and the grass was long but thankfully was trampled down after a couple of laps.

This section looks inocuous but a bit further up I came a cropper when I tripped on one of the  many brambles and fell heavily onto my right side - OUCH! I have a massive bruise on my right thigh and my right elbow is swollen and sore.

More Sweetcorn. Some sections we had to run on compacted clay studded with flintstones so we had to be careful to lift our feet up properly. Amazingly I managed not to faceplant again!

Shaded sections like this were very welcome

This section felt interminable!

There was one very short section of tarmac

We'd been warned there was long grass and the long socks would be advisable!

I was absolutely dripping by the time I'd finished and my time was rather slow - 6:23:49. I'm not complaining though as that was ultra-marathon 197 with just 3 to go to the magic 200.