Friday, 23 December 2011

Blessed Solstice

Adventure ahoy!

I find it amazing, that at this time of change and turning of the year, none of the druid/pagan pages on Facebook of which I am a member, have posted a 'Happy Solstice' type message.

Broken up from work for Christmas, 5 days off. Whoo-hoo.

Not sure how good this running lark is! Spent all day feeling queasy after yesterdays headtorch run with Steve, Gav and Stuart. I think though, it had an awful lot to do with feeling motion sick in the car with Steve. Couldn't stomach my tea and consequently paid for it today. I'm feeling quite a bit better now, stuffed my face (fighting down the nausea all the while) and I think it's worked.

Hmm, thought I had more to say.

Nearly upset myself thinking about a good friend who passed away last summer. She had a stroke while out riding and died in hospital. She's on the wind now, and will always be remembered fondly.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

To Streak or Not To Streak?

Don't worry, I'm not planning on getting naked...

I'm a little bored with my distance challenge, and am lacking motivation. So, partly inspired by Brian Stallwood who is seeing how many consecutive runs he can do (over 120 last time I checked) and others on Fetch etc, I wondered about streaking in the New Year. Now, I don't know if a streak is something you plan, or if it evolves naturally, without you noticing at first.
I don't want to say too much publicly at this stage, in case I fail miserably, but I think it's worth a go.
Some ground rules need to be established first, what constitutes a qualifying run to make a streak. Well, any run over 1 mile counts. As does a Harriers session I guess. Normally, walking wouldn't be counted at all, but I am a walker before a runner, so I'm going to include walks over 5 miles. That may be amended, we'll see.
Also, I don't know whether to set a target, because a target implies there is an end, which is at odds with the concept of streaking in the first place. In theory though, I'd like to do 100 days as that would take me nicely into my marathon training...

I'm having food related palpitations. Hate those, don't know if I should worry or not?

Hmm, time for work anyway.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Of Oranges, Rhubarb and Christmas.

I really don't like this time of year. I can cope with the cold. I like the snow and crispy frost. The grey isn't too bad as I work indoors.
No, it's Christmas I don't like.
It's not just because I'm Pagan and therefore look forward to the Solstice, as I can respect the religion and choices of other people. I have no quarrel with a sombre religious festival. If only that was what Christmas was about.
I hate the over commercialisation of it all. How it's rammed down our throats from the end of summer. How if we're not all festive, we must be miserable. How hypocritical people are, people who don't believe in God or Jesus who never go to church yet go mad for decorations and the dreadful Christmas songs.
Even my own OH refuses to take part in carol singing or to see the Christmas fayre yet proclaims to love Christmas.
'It's all about the children really' people tell me. Hmm. It's all about how much more money you can spend than your neighbour/co-worker/drinking buddy.
Then we got onto the dreaded visiting. My parents have backed off a little, I'm pleased to say. But I'd rather see people at a mutually convienient time so I don't feel like we're rushing about, trying to cram everyone in. I'd rather be at work and have an excuse to get out of it.
It just gets me so stressed! There's all the presents and cards that I don't even want to send, but I feel like 'I have to'.
And the worst of it is, if you said 'I don't celebrate Christmas because I'm Jewish/Muslim/whatever' people say, oh okay then. If I say I'm Pagan, they just look at me funny.
At some point, I am going to have to put my foot down.
I was watching River Cottage the other night, that's the closest to feeling Christmassey that I get. But Hugh goes along the Pagan lines, big get togethers with homemade gifts. None of the dried out old turkey on his banquet table, but traditional goose and ham. His tree is decorated with dried fruit and ginger bread, a natural homemade wreath on the door. He goes a Wasailing and dances. That's what I want, that's what I see the Solstice Festival to be like (which after all is what Christmas has replaced, but that's a different argument for another day).

I want to further my knowledge and deepen my Pagan understanding and explore my 'natural roots'. The trouble with an oral tradition, is you can interpret it how you like. I don't like the robe wearing hippies, spaced out and dancing round Stonehendge. I do like the quiet meditations of OSHO (for example). A feeling of quiet within and being at peace with the world. It is possible without being all 'new age' about it!

My running is my meditation. Running til there is nothing but heart beat and foot fall.
Wow, that's quite profound for me.

And onto the fruit!
One of my other forms of meditation is cooking. It was one of the few things that occasionally lifted my spirits during the darkness that followed the redundancy announcement.
Today I have made soup, raspberry pavlova and the best jam I've ever had - rhubarb and orange. It is delicious, can't wait for my breakfast!!

In other news, I won the club trophy for 'Endeavour', it was presented at the Harriers Christmas meal at The Oak Tree on Saturday night. (Yeah, don't mind the food and socialising...)
Absolutely made up! It was a complete surprise.

Not done any special training of note since my last post, Handicap Race on Weds 14th, followed by our shared nibbles. Club with Sonja both last Monday and yesterday. Not done anything else really.
Collected all 5 Garmin tokens, so I'm now in the running to win a Garmin Forerunner. Cool.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Exiting Times Ahead...

Awaiting the delivery of my complete, box set of Wainwright Guides. Revised and brought up to date by Chris Jesty. This will start the next obsession, Wainwright bagging. We plan to start in January as one of OH's work mates wants us to take him to Wasdale for a bit of winter action up Scafell Pike. Cool. (Freezing?)
Hopefully have some interesting stuff to write about for a change.

Also, the Club chairman emailed me to see if would be interested in taking over the club website. At first I wrote a reply to say thanks, but no thanks. Then I thought about it a bit, how hard can it be? Uploading pics and text, adding a few links here and there. Gav will show me what to do, it has to be worth a try. I want to be an active member of the club and this is a good start. So I said I'd give it a go...

Saturday - Quiet morning at work, boss let me go early. Our new car wasn't ready yet, so I went straight home. Took Tammy for a frosty walk to Felixkirk and back, it was nice. Took my camera and got a few pics. Collected a whole load of FetchPoint credits and another Garmin token.
Icy puddle patterns
Frosted leaves
Heading out to Felixkirk.
Tammy looks out across the fields.
December skyscape.
4.55 mile walk.
Marinaded prawns with spaghetti.

Sunday - Narrowly avoided a mardy this morning by heading out for a run dispite oversleeping and the drizzle! I took myself out to Goldenclough Lane and back. Enjoyed it.
Then it was soon time to head over to Messingham, Lincolnshire; for OH's mum's 70th birthday meal. We had a three course nosh up at the Bird in the Barley. It was good. Aunty Janet came too, we've not seen her for a while.
I worry about gettin old, as I'm sure most people do, but AJ is 74 and still going strong. OK she is bionic now, but it doesn't worry her. Also, the Codlings at Club are both over 70 and they race pretty much every weekend and train during the week. If I can grow old like that, then maybe it wont be so bad. Trying to look after my body now so I can keep hold of it!
Best get munching those veggies!!
4.8 mile run.
3 course dinner-
Deep fried goats cheese
Poached salmon

Back to work tomorrow, don't feel like I've had a weekend... the next lie-in is a loooooong way off...

Saturday, 10 December 2011

A Frosty Week in December

Quick round up really, not much exiting to talk of.

Sunday - Took the dog along Cod Beck for a nice change, then Dad and Stepmum came for lunch. We went to the Lamb Inn at Rainton and it was nice.
Approx 1.5 mile walk.
Sausage, mash and veg.

Monday - Meant to be my day off, but I went in to observe a visit. It was an organic poultry farm and we were there to issue a slaughter certificate. Only took a couple of hours. 
Then I went shopping, yawn.
Went to club, Sonja back in charge tonight.
Lots of jogging and assorted drills to warm up, and a few relays.

Onto circuits-
Approx 40 secs of each exercise-
arm rolls
press ups
shuttle runs
step up and overs

2 sets.
Cool down with stretching.

Managed in total 22-23 proper press ups, very proud of myself!
Plus 1.55 miles with the dog.
Leftover sausage casserole and pasta.

Tuesday - Allowed PMS to ruin my day. felt rubbish, managed to walk the dog but that was about it really. 
Although, we did go to Northallerton to look at a car... put a deposit down on a Volvo S60.
1.4 mile walk.
Pie chips and veg.

Wednesday - Another visit, this one involved a long drive to Scarborough. Nice farm though.
Tonight we had our Sandhill Xmas scoff at Solberge Hall. Very posh, quite nice. 
0.75 mile walk.
Big fat 3 course dinner-
Ham hock and rabbit terrine.
Sea bass.
Chocolate and orange fondant.

Thursday - Long quiet day at work. Had a pint in the Angel afterwards.
1.4 mile walk.
Leftover curry and pasta.

Friday - Another long day. Richard had to go on his visits by himself while I manned the fort. 
Homemade bologanse for tea, plenty of garlic! OH went to Sprouts and got the washing up done at last.
Took Tammy out in the moonlight to track down a Garmin token.
1.78 mile walk.
Spaghetti bolognase.

Saturday, 3 December 2011


It strikes me as I flick through other peoples blogs that mine is but a list of numbers and short statements. It would seem I'm good at the recording of scientific fact, but lack the creativity to make it interesting to read. Hmm. I mean, who actually really cares about anything they read on 'tinternet?

Ho hum, off to walk the dog before it gets dark.

November Distance Record

Not 'challenge' you notice.
Due to various factors, I'm having a month off. I've been doing the challenge thing for over a year and I need a rest! I will however still keep track of the bits I do do just for my own interest. 
So here goes...
(as before club nights count as 2 miles)

Total mileage - 99.29

Run - 36.99
Walk - 62.3

Nov 1st - 1 mile walk.
Nov 2nd - 4.25 miles (2.25 walk, 2 at club plus core work)
Nov 3rd - 2.58 miles walk.
Nov 4th - 1.4 mile walk.
Nov 5th - 8 miles round Carsington.
Nov 6th - 4.8 mile XC race!
Nov 7th - 3.2 miles (1.2 walk, 2 at club plus core work)
Nov 8th - 3 mile walk.
Nov 9th - 5.6 miles. (3.6 walk, 2 at club plus core work)
Nov 10th - 2.25 mile walk.
Nov 11th - 3.35 mile walk.
Nov 12th - zero miles, but a good ride out on Polly.
Nov 13th - 6.2 miles (10km trail race)
Nov 14th - 7.59 miles (3.85 walk, 3.74 at club)
Nov 15th - 2.5 mile walk.
Nov 16th - 5.95 miles. (3.95 assorted walking, 2 at club plus core work)
Nov 17th - Buggar all! Resting my poor battered quads!
Nov 18th - 4.5 miles. (3 walk, 1.5 'run')
Nov 19th - 6.58 mile walk with Scouts. Plus half hour yoga, just for a change!
Nov 20th - 3 mile walk
Nov 21st - 3.76 miles run. (2 at club plus core work, 1.76 after)
Nov 22nd - 1.47 miles walk.
Nov 23rd - 2.75 miles (0.75 walk, 2 at club plus core work)
Nov 24th - Buggar all.
Nov 25th - 0.75 mile walk.
Nov 26th - 1.55 mile walk.
Nov 27th - 4.05 miles various walking.
Nov 28th - 4.51 miles. (0.75 walking, 2 at club plus core, and 1.76 after)
Nov 29th - Buggar all! I'm taking this resting business seriously...
Nov 30th - 4.7 miles. (1.47 walk, Club = 2 mile Time trial, 1.23 running PLUS core work.)

November Round up and into December!

Monday - Conducted my first post mortems at work today! Just some chicks, but kinda cool all the same.

Club night, Vicki came again which was good.
Paul G took us again and we started with jogging and drills to get warmed up, then nto our equipmentless circuits- 

Finger stretches, arm rolls, arm circles (imagine skipping) 30secs each, 3 reps.
Jumping lunges, high knee kicks, star jumps - 30secs each, 3 reps.
'press ups against the wall' 3x 30 secs.
Wierd leg circles to work the quads 4 x 20 secs.
Leg cycling 20 secs, hold legs up off floor 15 secs. 3 reps.
Sit-up-and-hold, 20 secs x 3.

Shuttle runs to finish, 2 bursts of 30 secs.

Felt a lot more energetic than I did on Wednesday and quite enjoyed bouncing round.

We had a little energy left, so Steve, Vicky and I went for our little jog round Sowerby.

Tuesday - Boring day and zero exercise.

Wednesday - Just me and the boss at work today, thankfully it was quiet, but still we got a couple of new clients.

Club night again, after a warm up/circuit session with Stephan, we jogged across town to do the Station Road time trial! Don't have the times yet, but I don't think I broke any records...

Stephan's circuits - 

split-leg squat thrusts
star jumps
more star jumps!

3 shuttle runs, 10 x exercise, 30 secs rest. 

Spoilt it though with a dirty old kebab for tea, oops.

Thursday - Very quiet at work.

Some how got roped into going to Wass Woods for a headtorch run with Steve and Gavin! They run much faster than me, but I managed to keep up and we covered approx 7.5miles in the trees. Then had a pint at Sutton. It was hard work but I quite enjoyed it, much better than sitting on my bum all evening, tossing it off on here. Also, a good start to my December mileage.

Friday - Felt dehydrated and almost hungover from yesterday, blurgh. Fortunately we were quiet at work. Just walked the dog after tea. 

The FetchPoint game has got serious now as there is a Garmin up for grabs! You have to collect the special markers, but alas! mine wouldn't pick up!! I've sent a message to Lord Fetch in the hopes he can fix it or something.

Saturday - Managed to get to Tesco and Lidl and still be massively early for work. Pleased I got the ironing out of the way yesterday... Just one client today.

Went for a windy but sunny run round Rainton and Asenby after work which was nice. 

Been having a look at the Paleo diet, but I don't know how it would fit in with running? Dunno. I quite like the idea of 'eating clean' but to do it properly is far too restrictive. The Paleo thing is the next step along really. It only uses raw ingredients but allows you to actually cook with them! Could I survive without pasta I wonder?? Possibly not.

Summary for the Week-

Monday - Club night, plus 1.76 mile job, plus 0.75 mile walk. Left over beef curry and rice for tea.
Tuesday - zero exercise. Homemade bacon and cheese quiche with jacket spud and beans.
Wednesday - Club night inc 2 mile time trial, plus 1.1 mile walk. Donner kebab for tea.
Thursday - 7.5 mile run. Curry and rice for tea.
Friday - 1.4 mile walk. Fish and chips for tea.
Saturday - 4.8 mile run. Sausage casserole for tea.

Hmm, think I need to get some veggies in this weekend...