Sunday, 8 April 2012

Easter Runday

I had a great day today, although it did not get off to the best start.  Murdoch has been a bit unwell and woke me up four times during the night needing to go out into the garden for a bottom explosion.  So I woke up tired and unrested, which never bodes well for fun times.  But I got up and took Murdoch for his morning walk.  Rainy.  Oh dear.  Given that the Easter Runday festivities were outdoorsie, this may put a dampener on things (see what I did there?).  But no! Determined not to slump into a grumpy, tired and damp mood, I popped my running gear on and headed to the Merry Harriers in Hambledon for the start of some giant fun times and not a drop of rain fell on us at all.

I arrived just as photos were being taken for the local paper.  I had a sudden attack of shy and hovered out of shot.  I hadn't met anyone before today except @Timato_, who I used to work with.  So I felt a little bit apprehensive and unsure whether to unveil my secret weapon.  But then I met Claire (@claz0r) and Stephanie (@gutnahofski) and they were both so warm and welcoming that I handed my bunny ears over to Stephanie and got my Egg on.  That's right, I have an egg costume.  I don't have any pictures of me wearing it today, but here is its original outing, when my lovely friend Pam and I ran a 10k race in costume.

Which came first?
The Egg was a good move, something of an ice breaker.  And by this point I had also met @leestuartevans and @Shackleford_LB who were both lovely, so I already had a spring in my step.  We headed out for a run along the infamous Greensand Way, marked out in traditional Hash style with flour markers - the best ones to look out for were the ones that were egg shaped, signalling that there were chocolate eggs to be found.  It wasn't a fast run, there was plenty of stopping, walking and chatting, but it's the most fun I've had while running for ages.  We did a loop and then it was into the pub for more chatter, some food and the raffle, which was a resounding success.

I've said it before, but I think that what these guys are doing is fantastic.  They are planning to run 108 miles, the entire length of the Greensand Way.  They are going to do it all over the course of one long weekend, camping along the route. Top marks for crazy, guys.  

Personally, I have trained for and run three marathons.  But I didn't do them three days in a row.  I've done Trailwalker, a non-stop walk over the South Downs Way from Petersfield to Brighton.  But that's a mere 100k, done in around 30 hours, not 108 miles.  I tell you these things not to blow my own trumpet (although, seriously, how awesome am I?!), but to establish my abundant credentials for identifying crazy when I see it.  And these guys are the real deal.  They are putting their heart and soul into the training and are writing entertaining blog posts about it all.  I highly recommend that you read their blog, which can be found here.  And if you like what you read, I also recommend that you visit their fundraising page found here and give them as much of your hard earned wedge as you can spare.  Because they're not just doing this for funsies (although they do appear to be enjoying it all enormously).  They are doing it to raise funds for Claire's trip to Tanzania.  And this is where it really hits me where I live.  

My mum has been involved in GirlGuiding UK since she was a girl.  She is a Queen's Guide.  She was my Brown Owl when I was a Brownie and she is still involved in the running of that Brownie pack today.  Over the course of her long Guiding "career", my mum has been (among many other things that I've probably forgotten) a pack holiday advisor, a Rangers leader and she is currently the Haslemere District Commissioner.  She has also led groups of girls on international trips to places such as Malaysia, India and most recently, Costa Rica.  She has worked on any number of community projects in these places.  She is wonderful, I think that anyone that does this sort of thing is absolutely wonderful and deserving of as much support as you can spare.

This blog post has gone on a bit longer than I intended, and may come across a little geeky fangirl in places, but it is what it is.

Happy Easter Runday, everyone xx

Thursday, 5 April 2012


As we head into the last couple of days of Lent, I am struck by an almost overwhelming urge to blow it all and eat some crisps.  Or some chocolate. Not sweets, don't seem fussed by them.  Isn't that astonishing?  Having gone forty three days without those things, with a minimum of fuss except for a very occasional inner tantrum, I'm almost itching with the need to eat them.  Is it because finishing line is in sight?  I think it is.  

When I ran the Berlin Marathon, I knew that the course finished just a little bit past the Brandenburg Gate.  You run through it and then it's only a couple of hundred metres to the finishing line.  So there I was, having run about 23 miles, when I see the Brandenburg Gate.  WHOOP.  But it's still about 3 miles away.  So I keep running, but the bloody Brandenburg Gate doesn't seem to be getting any closer.  All of a sudden, it's not so much about finishing the race, and it's just about getting to the bloody Gate.  I got there, of course, but it seemed to take FOREVER.  That's what the last couple of days have felt like.  I can see the Gate, but I just can't seem to reach it.  So I'm just focusing on the fact that I will get to that finishing line.  I will get there.  And there will be a packet of Walkers Ready Salted there waiting for me.  Nom.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

An Update

Wowzers.  Yet another blog post where I start by wondering where the time has flown since I wrote the last one.  It's been over a month since I wrote and I'm not really sure what I've been up to in that time. Hmmm.  Life, I suppose.  So here is a taster of what I've been up to.

One of the key things that has caught my interest recently is Pilates.  I signed up for a beginners course at Charterhouse Club where I have a swimming membership and it took a while to get to the top of the waiting list.  Seems as though it's quite a popular thing to do in these here parts.  I really wasn't sure whether I was going to like it.  My sister used to do it, but I always secretly thought it was a bit.... hippyish.  And I'm not really into navel gazing if I'm honest.  But I felt that I needed to strengthen my core and I thought I may as well give it a go.  Guess what? I LOVE it.  It's really great for taking back control of yourself and I've left each session feeling wonderful.  And then the next day I feel a bit ropey because my muscles are singing.  I'm definitely continuing with this and have already done a class since the course is finished.

I've had a birthday as well - I'm now a grand old lady at 34 years of age.  I now feel perfectly justified in listening to Radio 2 (and Radio 3) (and Radio 4) and tutting loudly when the youngsters at the office talk about their weekend shenanigans.  Soon I expect that I shall start muttering about how everything was different when I was a lass, when all of this was fields you know.  Very much looking forward to that.

In other birthday related news, I had an epic failure when attempting to put together one of my presents.  I had asked for a shoe cabinet to store my shoes in (obviously) and my parents very kindly bought one for me. Bless them.  Now I'm usually the queen of flatpack furniture, but this was beyond me.  I followed the instructions to the letter, but for some reason the top drawer would not open and close smoothly. On the verge of clubbing the damn thing to death with a hammer, I decided that there was only one thing to do and I rang my dad.  A few days later I came home from work to discover an empty space where the cabinet had spent the past few days mocking me from the corner of the living room.  I'm hopeful that at some point the cabinet will be returned to me in full working order.  Either that or Dad will use his superior manly strength to more efficiently club it death with a hammer.

I guess the last bit of news should be about the things that I had given up for Lent.  Well I'm happy to confirm that I have not eaten any crisps or savoury snacks.  Nor have I eaten any chocolate or sweets.  I have however given in and had some fizzy drinks.  Well you can't do everything at once, and I've reduced my intake on those.  The great news is that I've dropped about 10lbs over the past forty-whatever days without significantly increasing my activity levels, so I feel that this has been an enormous success.  I am looking forward to eating these foods on Sunday (crisps in particular), but now that I've broken the habit of eating them so much, I'm going to sensibly reintroduce them as part of a more balanced diet, rather than filling my bath with crisps, rolling around in them for a bit and then eating them all, which was the original plan.

But before I eat any of those things on Sunday, I will earn them by doing a little run to support these guys.  I think what they are doing is great and I may even tell you exactly why at some point.

That's enough for now - hope you are all well x