Wednesday, 28 July 2010
Today is Wednesday, aka Hump Day!
This week has been fun! I've had to take Freddy to an intensive swimming course every morning, which really eats into the day. Yesterday I went to Glorious Goodwood, only my second time at the races and an absolutely fabulous experience. I went with a friend who is a small syndicate of 26 owners of a horse called Theology (who did very well over 2mi at Ascot). Being an 'owner' meant that we got to go into the paddock and talk to the jockey and trainer, and the other owners who include Liz Hurley (who is totally gorgeous but has runners calves - they are huge!) Theology was being entered in a shorter race than he normally runs and although he ran well, picking up the pace towards the finish, he only finished sixth, which means that he was in the prize money, but we mad punters who'd put a few bob on him didn't have much cause to celebrate! We did get invited up to a private box for drinks with Lawrence Dallaglio, celeb spotting all the way! Goodwood is a beautiful setting, and the weather stayed relatively dry for us.
Running.... I have done some! Ran 4 miles on Monday evening in midge infested humidity, and a long slog of 6.6mi this evening. We started with Brockham Hill (the clue is in the name) and tried to go at it too fast, I was defeated by the hill for the first time in months and had to walk part of the way up. It also meant that we were tired, tired, tired for the rest of the run. The scenery was beautiful as we ran down through Upper Froyle, we saw no cars on this part of the run (I never have seen a car on that road) but plenty of cyclists whizzed past us.
Tonight I have all my children at home, but for one night only! Joshua is home but tomorrow Kitty goes to France. She is very excited. I hope she has a lovely time and does try to speak some French!
Monday, 26 July 2010
We took most of the children to see Toy Story 3 on Sunday morning, Joshua is 'oop norf' at a music festival with friends and probably wouldn't consider himself a child at the grand old age of 13! We loved the film, probably the best children's film I have ever seen. Did I cry? Of course I did! We saw a 10am showing of the film, which meant that we were all done by lunchtime.
I went for a run, one advantage of Joshua not being here is that we can't leave the children 'home alone' without him, so I get to run by myself! I ran up Brockham Hill Lane, and round, past the gym and then home, about 6.5miles in total. It was slow though, I blame Brockham Hill! I haven't run up there in a long time, as Stephen gets impatient with me running so slowly up hills. The weather was odd, going from blazing, burning sunshine to light drizzle, but all in all it was a good run.
The rest of the afternoon was spent doing house and garden type things, cutting back some brambles from along the fence etc. We rewarded ourselves with supper in front of 'Top Gear' and the new BBC 1 series 'Sherlock!'
Saturday, 24 July 2010
I've been half of a couple (the same one) for over 20 years now. That is a long time in anyone's book. Over that time friendships have waxed and waned, friends that started off as 'my friends' from my pre coupledom days are now 'our friends' and new friendships have been made. These friends are 'our friends.' We know both halves of a couple, both get on well with the friend etc.
What I miss are 'my friends.' The friends who were just, or mainly, my 'property.' The ones you would seek out after a nasty argument with you partner, the ones who would wholeheartedly side with you even when they did suspect that at least a small part of the blame lay with you. The friends who knew the value of a tub of Haagen Daaz and a bottle of Chablis when times were hard, but who also shared the best moments of your life too (they were the first person you 'phoned with good news as well as those sought out when a shoulder was needed).
I can't be as open with 'our friends.' They know Stephen, they are his friend too, they can see his point of view, and, this is probably the crux of the matter, I'd feel terribly disloyal if I said everything I sometimes want to say about him to any of 'our friends.'
How does one find a new 'my friend?' Answers on a postcard please!
Friday, 23 July 2010
It has been another busy week here. I'm not entirely sure if much has been achieved but I don't feel as though I have sat down for long!
I didn't run on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as there just were not enough hours in the day, and this may be a good thing as it gave my hip a bit of a rest!
Joshua, aka number one son, had an appointment with the consultant on Wednesday morning. His MRI had shown not obvious complications that could be causing him pain, and he was given and injection of local anaesthetic and steroids to try to break the pain cycle. This doesn't appear to have worked, and Joshua had some mild side effects on Wednesday evening which meant that Stephen had to stay at home while I went to the races!
I've never been to the races before, and was a dead loss when it came to gambling. If there had been horses running called 'Tripod' or 'Cat food' I'd have done better to put my money on them! That said, we had a lovely time, champagne, Pimms and fish 'n' chips followed by Razorlight. I as amazed at how close to the stage we got, we were about 2 or 3 people back. A fabulous evening, great company, good food and live music too!
I got home just in time to wrap presents and ice cup cakes for Kitty's birthday. I am not sure how she got to be 11, but she promises me that she is! She had a lovely day on Thursday. It was all very low key really, there was nothing that she desperately needed, so she had lots of little things to open on the day. She took cupcakes in to school for her class mates and, of course, had a big cake at home.
Thursday was also Kitty's 'Leavers' Assembly.' Hard to believe that my association with the school has now come to an end. I am no longer a parent there, so have hung up my parent governor hat as well. The assembly was lovely, if somewhat sentimental. It was marred by the discovery that the head teacher cannot seem to bring herself to say our surname. A fact that was noticed by several other parents. She read out the names of every one in the class using forename and surname, but Kitty was just Kitty! Turns out that Kitty and friends had been waiting to see if she could get her mouth around (pun intended) our surname as she 'never' says it in assemblies! I feel that I ought to write and complain, but am struggling with the wording.
Today, Friday, was her last day, or rather morning, in school. Shirts have been signed by class mates, 'phone numbers and email addresses have been swapped, tears have been shed (although not by Kitty) and a chapter in her life is over. She has so much to look forward to, as do all my children, not least the long summer holidays!
Joshua has set off to Nottingham with friends to go to Splendour (Pet Shop Boys are headlining), Kitty is off to France next week, Freddy has an intensive swimming course for 2 weeks that starts on Monday, and we are all off to Provence at the end of August! Somehow I have to find time to sort out uniforms and school stuff too. It will be nice not to be ruled by the alarm clock for a few weeks - although those of you who know me will know that the alarm clock does get set to 'sparrow fart' if I have plans for the day!
I can hear mutterings that this is supposed to be a blog about running - so here goes; I ran 4.13miles in 36.24mins, burning up 48 calories in the process. Was a lovely day to run. Cool with a light drizzle, a huge change from the recent heat and humidity. I managed to run on my own, listening to loud music and enjoying the countryside. I saw a hare in one field whose head turned to follow me as I ran past!
I've included a snap of wisteria that I took in the village today! Obviously a very confused wisteria! Still, it is lovely to look at. And whilst on the subject of photos - I apologise for the randomness of their placement on this page. They refuse to do what I tell them to do, and if I try too hard I seem to lose everything!
Monday, 19 July 2010
I was really looking forward to running this evening. I'd planned a route that would finish at my gym so that I could do some Power Plates and then walk home. I wanted to go alone. I get so little time on my own that I love running by myself. Time to think, plan, and just let my mind wander. Stephen has other ideas. He wants to run with me, but doesn't want to run my planned route because I am so slow on the long (2mile) steep (10%) hill that he has to wait at the top. I pointed out that we didn't run well together yesterday (awful 6 mile run, every step was a huge mental and physical effort) so maybe we should run separately, but I get rebuffed. I got changed, huffily, into my running kit, and we set off. I didn't instigate a single conversation in the entire 5 and a quarter miles! Maybe I need to take my iPhone and headphones with me to really make the point clear!
It should have been a lovely run, up a gentle incline all the way out, and then downhill all the way home, in beautiful sunshine and 27 ºC along pretty country lanes, but I was cranky and resentful all the way. I do feel a bit better after a shower and a drink though.
I wonder if I burned off enough calories to make up for my latest addiction, Mocha Frescatos from Costa? Thanks must go to Cerys for introducing me to that one before she disappeared back to the land of the espresso!
On a cheerier note; here's one of the official race photos from the British 10k. Not too bad, i have no recollection of seeing any race photographers so am surprised to get any photos! It looks sunnier than I remember. I was amazed to see women, at the start, with full makeup on - I 'glow' so much that the makeup would slide off!
I've also had cautiously optimistic news about finishing my PGCE. A friend is a deputy head teacher and I am in the process of negotiating a placement in her school. The school is a long way from home though, so I will be travelling for 3 hours a day and, because they already have a student in the science department for the autumn term, I couldn't start until January 2011. I have told my friend that I will go ahead and make all the arrangements, but if the OU come through with something nearer and/or sooner I will drop out of the placement. She is happy with that, and I am happy that there is at least light at the end of the tunnel. I hope the OU find me something nearer. The thought of all that travel on top of all the lesson planning and trying to keep up with everything at home terrifies me! Running would be a casualty of this situation - let's be honest, it would be seriously reduced on any teaching practice placement. I wonder if it will still be possible for me to run the Bath Half and the Brighton Marathon on just one long run a week? I can see that the half might be viable, but the Brighton Marathon might have to fall by the wayside!
Saturday, 17 July 2010
It occurs to me that I haven't actually mentioned running in a while. I am still very disappointed about my British 10k time. Slightly less fed up with my overall position and the fact that I was the 170th woman to finish (25,000 people took part). So, onwards and upwards, or get out there and run longer and faster! I've been running three times since Sunday. Monday and Tuesday were a right off, running wise, as I was driving too and from Paris, visiting friends and walking around Disney. I ran on Wednesday with Stephen - my old 3 mile route around the village that I used when doing Couch to 5k, on Thursday I ran 3.66 miles, finishing at Stephen's shop, before a brisk 2 mile walk (in just over 28mins) home with him. Friday saw me waking up with a howler of a sore throat, I sat in misery watching sports day in the drizzle and decided that running was not an option. Thanks to our lovely neighbour Charlotte and her gift of some Dequacin lozenges my throat is now under control (and I have to agree with her that they really do taste of pure, distilled evil) and I am running again.
Did just under 4 miles today, the first part of the run I used to calibrate my Garmin footpod. I figure this gadget will come in useful for running on the treadmills at the gym, and this might motivate me to do some proper speedwork. Then again, maybe not.... I do know that my average cadence is 89 strides per minute, I have no idea if that is good or not though! I wore my new purple Asics Kayano 16s for the first time, they looked very pretty as I plodded along!
Tomorrow I am due for a long, slow run. Stephen is coming too, so it will probably be a bit faster than I would normally run a slow run, if that makes sense!
And now to shoe envy! A friend of mine has just acquired a pair of gorgeous shoes and I wantthem! I really do! I haven't felt such lust for a pair of shoes for a very long time! I know that they will be very comfortable, as this make always are, even when they have the pointiest of pointy heels, so a pair of wedges like this should be divine! The site they are on only have them in a 40 - but I am a 39/40, and they are on sale. They are a massive 50% off. I am aware that 'a massive 50%' is somewhat tautological, but come on, 50% off - wow! And they are gorgeous! I've seen them on, they look lovely. They might just be the thing to tempt me back into 'real shoes' after a spring and summer spent in Fitflops.
Friday, 16 July 2010
I like Per Una clothes from good old Marks and Spencer. I've bought a fair few items from them over the years. Their jeans are fantastically comfortable, they do affordable tops and skirts that are suitable for work as well as casual wear. Most conveniently, they have a small Per Una in our local M&S 'Simply Food' shop.
The problem is that a large proportion of the female population seems to share my view. I find myself going off items of clothing in my wardrobe because I see so many other women wearing them! I keep wondering if I look that awful in the floral blouse I bought a couple of weeks ago. Does it stretch and strain with buttons bulging on me too? Do these women not look in the mirror before they leave the house in the morning?
I've already, largely, stopped buying clothes from Boden because so much of their stuff is instantly recognisable (although have just won a £100 voucher for them so will have to spend that on something nice!) so I am running out of options for reasonably priced clothing!
Thursday, 15 July 2010
I love my GPS Garmin running watch! I really like knowing how fast I am running, and being able to see where I have been, the distance I have covered and so on. This is great when I run along footpaths and country lanes and gives me a real sense of where I am. We have a new Sat Nav in the car, and I find this has the opposite effect. I drove to Maisons Laffite, then around Paris to Disneyland and then back home earlier this week and have no idea of the route I took. I just obeyed the instructions issuing forth from the little black box and arrived safely at each destination.
Now on to autism. I was in a queue at Legoland today when I got smacked in the back. I turned round, ready to tell one of my children off, only to realise that it wasn't my child, so I gave the child a Paddington Bear instead. This brought forth a tirade from the mother! How dare I look at her child like that, he has autism and doesn't know what he is doing. Child obviously did know what he was doing, and liked the response he got from his mother and punched me in the back again - this time a lot harder, and right where I slipped a disk a few years back. The pain, though short lived, was agonising, shooting down my right leg. But apparently it was my fault for upsetting the boy.
Sunday, 11 July 2010
I had been in two minds as to whether I should turn up for the British 10k today. My hip is still sore, I haven't been running well or fast, and omigod the weather! When we left home at 5am it was already 18C and warming up fast!
My first mistake of the day was to eat breakfast at home before we left. One banana and a bowl of porridge, eaten at 4.30am, was a bit of a shock to my still sleepy stomach, and not enough to keep me going until 10.30am - especially with a 10k race thrown in for good measure! I got to the start line early, thankfully! The two pictures below show the views from where I stood, looking up and down Piccadilly. Thousands and thousands of people! The organisations was not great, it was a free for all at the start. Those of you who have had the misfortune to travel on the Tube in rush hour will have some appreciation of what it was like running in this, very crowded, race. Lots of hot, sweaty bodies in too close proximity to each other, and then we had to try to run!
I was glad that I went early and got to be near the front of the gaggle, I was hearing tales of people who had waited 30+ minutes to get over the line in previous years.
Kilometre markers were hard to see - I only managed to spot 2! They were low down, on one side of the road only so easy to miss through a sea of bodies. The going was slow - especially for me, I managed to get around in 55mins 7 secs which was a bit disappointing. The course measured slightly long, by my reckoning and others I spoke to, but it was very flat. I think the supporters were feeling the effects of the heat as they were very quiet for long stretches!
Not sure if I will do this one again - it was no where near as enjoyable as the Bupa 10,000m back in May!
Thursday, 8 July 2010
I have been so busy that I haven't had time to keep my blog up to date. Our trip to France was lovely, although I did find it somewhat hotter than I was expecting (35c most days) and the mosquitos seemed to single me out for attention!
Since we got back we've had friends to stay, been to the Hampton Court Flower Show (once to the gala preview evening and once to the RHS members' day), done the end of term thing for the younger three children, attended a couple of parties, I've been to my last governors' meeting, been to a farewell meal for our local vicar (also a governor) who is leaving to move to Chesterfield, and a trip to Legoland. I always get a bit emotional at the end of a school year. My children have had wonderful teachers and we will miss them. It is especially sad to think that I will, for the first time in over a decade, not have a child in the Nursery at Alton Convent School . The four children who have been there have been really wonderfully looked after, with such a gentle introduction to school life that has done wonders for their confidence. Esmé hasn't quite got the hang of this summer holiday business. She went to bed last night, having broken up at lunchtime, saying that she'd be in Mrs Love's class (reception) tomorrow. I explained that she had the summer holidays first. "But we had summer holiday today Mummy. I want to go back to school now!" was her reply.
I have managed to fit in some running. It isn't going well. I feel slow and achey, and am dreading the British 10k on Sunday. It is going to be hot apparently, and the fact that there is no graduated start means that it will be crowded and stressful at the start. My hip hurts all the time, it is no better or worse if I stop running, but it does slow me down. It took me 36 minutes to run just over 4 miles this evening, so the chances of me getting a PB, or even coming close, are very slim. Part of me wants to pull out, but I do like the race buzz! And I get a train trip on my own afterwards! What luxury - just over an hour with no one talking to me!