Detour

I know you thought yesterday was Saturday but actually, you were wrong: it was Park Run Day.

Happy with my week’s training, and determined to take on Mr Parkrun Noob, I tucked into a light breakfast and then donned my armour: running shorts, my favourite running top, clean socks -yeah, clean is a bonus – and of course, runners.

With my secret weapon all set to be unleashed from my ipod(Shhhhhh! It’s the Black Eyed Peas album The Begining) I was good to go.

Now yesterday was wet. Unusually so. After a glorious July, it seemed like the whole month’s rain had been detained in some vast holding area in the skies only to be unceremoniously dumped on the entire park run population on Saturday morning. Rain skittered across my windscreen as I drove to the park run venue and then I saw it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9_warning_triangle

Source: autotrader.co.uk

Dang!

Beyond the sign lay a treacherous bend and, from the whirl of blue lights and flashing tail lights, I knew someone had come a cropper on the greasy roads. Thankful that it wasn’t me, nevertheless, I still had to make to the parkrun venue on time.

The Garda (yep, we call our policemen Gardaí) held up his hand and I rolled down the window. He eyed my running gear appreciatively. Or, more likely, the body beneath

He peered in through the window and, with shake of his head, said

“I’m sorry, there’s been an accident so all traffic has to be detoured via The Sticks”

“Is everyone okay?”

“Yes, it seems so but it’s always a shock, of course”

Swiftly forgetting the agony for the people ahead of me, I glanced at the clock and realised I wouldn’t make it. Not in time to run, at any rate.

By the time I got to The Sticks, my good form had reasserted itself. I needed to train harder anyway for park run. Last week’s I’d got out of my comfort zone and pushed for speed. I finally felt I was creeping back to that place I was in two year’s ago, pre marathon and pre injured feet. I felt strong again. I needed to build on that.

I pulled up at the park run venue in time to see the first runners arrive in. It’s always so interesting to watch such a variety of finishes, from the steady super fast athletes who manage to sustain the same blistering pace throughout, to the little kid who lops along easily and then makes a break at the sight of the word Finish. And then those who struggle just to make the distance and have that sheer determined look that says

“I’ll finish, even if it kills me”

I stayed in my running gear all morning, watching the skies for a break from water torture. And I got my golden hour.

Lopping along by the river, I kept an eye on the Garmin so I’d keep my pace in the 5.40 min/km range for the three miles out, quelling my whiny self to maintain a steady pace.

I allowed myself to relax a little on the way back in. As usual the rewards came in the form of nature’s surprises: the blue flash of a kingfisher whizzing by, the grey on grey of the heron lifting his ungainly body above the river, the brilliant yellow bill, tipped with orange that is the herring gull’s. All of these things lift my heart and remind me why I run.

So I missed the park run. But, instead, I bagged myself a run which had a happy combination of progress and pleasure.

Sometimes-maybe most times-life’s little detours can take us to better places.

 

 

 

 

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Juneathon Day 24: Ode to Sir Garmin

Juneathon, Day Twenty Four
Running mileage:Three.
I may have managed a little more
But had depended on technology
To let me know the miles, the speed
And, of course, the elevation
But my damned Garmin would not concede,
Much to my consternation.

We have a mixed relationship
Really, its a marriage from hell
I am his Lazy Ladyship
who never quite runs that well,
He’s happy to be seen on my arm, of course,
When we are out and about
But then, he swiftly loses his charm
When his battery soon wears out.

Or else he’ll start to bleep and bleep,
And when I tire of his teasin’
Suddenly, mid run, he’ll fall asleep
For no apparent reason.
Well its not my fault, how could it be?
Plainly Sir Garmin is to blame
I play my part, dont you see?
Now he should do the same.

I turn him on every day
like any good wifey would.
I cater for his energy needs
Whenever I’m in the mood.
Oh it’s hard to fulfil his electricity demands
He really is very greedy.
And I am the independent sort
Who detests a man so needy.

So maybe we’ve reached the end of the line
the end of the road, if you must.
It seems certain to be just a matter of time
Before our marriage turns to dust
So Sir Garmin, a chroí, wake yourself
Don’t be such a sleeper.
Or soon I’ll be off out that door
With your rival, Mrs. Runkeeper.

Juneathon Day 24: Mileage Threeish

Total Juneathon Mileage: 63.24ish miles.

Obstacle Course

You know the book “We`re Going on a Bear Hunt”? The one where the characters “Can`t go over it, can`t go under it, must go through it”. Yes, that one. Well, that was what yesterday`s run was all about.

And it was daylight! Yay! With a couple of days off work I am relishing the change. Birdsong, endless sweeping vistas and who knows, maybe other signs of Spring lay in store for me?

A mile down the road and I meet my first obstacle. Roadworks. The road was closed off and as there were all kinds of yellow machinery, smoke and tar about the place, I figured they mightn`t appreciate my presence so I headed for the fields.

Springfield

It turned out to be a good choice. Lots of birdsong, green shoots, and well, I wasn`t really sure what to call that florid looking fungus poking out from the branch…

Fungus

But that`s what being outdoors means:lots of surprises.

After recent storms there was plenty of muck, water and fallen trees about the place.

So, just like the bearhunt book, I ended up doing a lot of climbing over, or around or through things.
Branch Down

Floodwaters

Muck

That meant a lot of stopping, some slithering and lots of backtracking. But it was all good fun.

4.58 miles of good fun actually. Yep, Garmin is in working order again. And hey, I might even have found my mojo too!

Looking for my Mojo with the Bishop`s Triangles

Bishop`s Triangles

 

I am hunting for my running mojo. Three days in a row without running! So far, I am having a pretty tough time getting into the groove for 2014.

Janathon helped. At least got me out there most days.

Losing a loved one, while it brought lots of blessings, probably didn`t help too much on the running front.

The fact that my feet still hurt, especially when I walk. is concerning. I did three four mile runs last week but two days of walking either side of it and boy, did my feet hurt after those walks.

But at least I`ve got my garmin back. Yay! for all those Garmin people.They don`t repair the item but, for a fee, will actually replace it, so I`m good to go again on that front.

And I have a couple of days off this week with which I will address the foot issue with new orthotics and a foot exercise regime. I am staving off visits to the experts for another while only because I am pretty convinced by Dr Google(yes, I know, I know) that I will be taking down the merry path of conflicting advice when really, I am best placed to know what works for me.

Meanwhile, I am putting the carrot in place again. I have lovely plate of shortbread ready for my afternoon coffee.  But first of all, I’m going to hit the trail and take my fully charged up and spanking new Garmin off on its first outing.

And I`ll leave the plate of deliciousness for you.

This is a shortbread type of recipe. It`s from one of my most favourite cookbooks Mary Berry`s Baking Bible.

Mary Berry bakes it in a square tin, hence she cuts it into fingers or rectangles. Since I only had a circular tin available this morning, mine is in triangles,

But I’ve no idea what any of it has to do with the bishop!

Mary Berry`s Bishop`s Fingers

Ingredients:

  • 100 g plain flour
  • 25 g ground almonds
  • 25 g semolina
  • 100 g butter
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 3-4 drops almond extract
  • 25 g flaked almonds
  • A little caster sugar, for sprinkling

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas mark 3. Lightly grease a 7″ square tin.
  2. Mix together the flour, ground almonds and semolina in a bowl or food processor. Add the butter, sugar and almond extract and rub together with your fingers until the mixture is just beginning to bind together. Knead lightly until smooth. Press the dough into the prepared tin and level the surface with the back of a metal spoon or a palette knife. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds.
  3. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 30-50 minutes or until very pale golden brown. Mark the shortbread into 12 fingers with a knife. Sprinkle with caster sugar and leave to cool in a tin. When completely cold, cut into fingers, lift out carefully and store in an airtight tin.