Monday, 31 May 2010

Get well soon

I've got three things on my mind at the moment. Pat's wrist injury is number one. Her operation went well and the doc has said he is pleased. It will take six weeks in the scaffolding  and a lot of physio for her to recover.
The back garden patio is also high on the list. I knew this would be difficult, because the garden slopes away in two directions, but it has turned into a marathon and I am now so well known at keyline, that they are nice to me!
Thirdly, is Cuba. I'm away on Wednesday. I've filled in my visa and confirmed my flight, so all I have to do now is pack.

This morning being a Monday, I was at Tynepark, I skipped my usual job of giving out taster sessions of shiatsu and ran the 'Art Group.' Sarah and Maria (her helper) usually do this but they were both away. The session went well, and I got a chance to do a quick water colour. I'm going to give this to Pat as a get well card.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Running and drawing and writing

My granddaughter Lia and her dog Skye came for a sleep over on Friday night. I always enjoy her company because she has the sharp eyed observation and wit of a six year old. There were a lot of why? questions this visit. When I asked why she asked so many questions, I got a shrug of the shoulders. It’s always pretty active when Lia comes to stay and this time we had two dogs to look after! Saturday started early, about 6 am. By 12 noon, we had been out with the dogs, visited the farmers market, gone for a swim and had started on lunch.

After that we decided to do some drawing. Lia asked me to draw her and Skye, which was fine for five minutes, and then the rain started and both my models went inside, in any case this is what I produced .

This morning I went for a run with Tom’s new Sunday morning running group. We met at the car park at Ormiston Bridge and run through parts of East Lothian I didn’t know. We headed along the old rail paths for a few miles and came out about one and half miles from, Whitecraig. From there we went up the hill to Cousland, and eventually back down to the rail walk again. There was an argument about whether it was 7.5 or 7.9 miles long. It didn’t seem nearly that long to me, which showed how much I enjoyed the scenery. I’m looking forward to exploring more of the paths with this group of runners and I’ll be taking Harvey for a few walks around there too. Just in case you are wondering, Harvey didn’t miss out, we went to East Saltoun Woods after the run and he had a great sniff around.

I am gearing up for my trip to Cuba, starting next Wednesday and I’m wondering what it will be like to run and swim in a beautiful, communist, Caribbean country. Probably, better than running in the cold, north east wind which unbelievably was blowing again today. Pat and I were going on this adventure together, but, very unfortunately she fell, playing tennis and it resulted in a complicated wrist fracture, which means she cannot come. I don’t know any Spanish, so it should be interesting.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

A bit of this and that

It’s been a busy few weeks on the athletics front. It all started when I went along to the Dunbar running club and had a good run up Doon Hill. It’s nice to have a change of scenery from the  usual HELP routes and the clear, bright evenings make up for the long, cold winter runs.

On Sunday, 9 May, I got up early and drove over to Selkirk for a triathlon. On the way over I wondered what it would be like to compete in my new status of ‘Vintage’ triathlete (in the tri world they go by your age on 31 December and by then I will have my bus pass.)

I was confident it was a Sprint distance and had told Becky from the tri club that the Kelso tri and not Selkirk was the Standard distance. The first thing they ask you when you register is your swim time…’15 minutes,’ I said. Quite a few heads turned to look at me. ‘Are you sure,’ the lady taking names said, ‘you know this is Standard distance, don’t you?’ It only goes to show that you should read the blurb on the entry form properly and make sure you put it in the diary. I had not only got the distance wrong, but  the town as well!
‘Never mind, we will get you a place,’ she said.
But did I want it? Instead of swimming 30 lengths, cycling 20kms and running 5kms, I would have to swim 60 lengths, cycle 40kms and run 10kms. I decided to do it. The swim went well and the big surprise was the bike ride. I thought it would be hilly, but it was just as well, I didn’t know it would be over Ettrick and Yarrow mountains! The run presented a few problems because my feet were completely numb from the bike ride. It’s a strange feeling running on numb feet… however, as the run progressed, I felt better and my feet thawed out. I was quite pleased with the race and ended up with a time of 3.04.37 made up of 30.52 swim, 1.38.03 bike and 51.58 run.

On 16 May, I was going to have a week off, but Frank persuaded me to go along to Loch Leven half marathon. My memories of the previous year were of feeling good to start with and the wheels falling off at Scotlandwell hill, followed by a drenching for the rest of the way home. This year I was determined to set off at a sensible pace and conquer the dreaded hill and it worked! I had a steady paced run and felt good throughout the whole race. Even the dreaded hill went well. My time of 1.44.57 was 3.30 faster than the previous year… so starting off sensibly paid dividends.

All this set me up nicely for the trip up to Cape Wrath and the marathon. I hadn’t been as far north as this before. The mountain and coastline scenery is stunning and the organisation of the race is second to none. The marathon race is quite complicated with a combination of runners including, individuals and teams of two, three or five people. HELP had two – two man teams comprising of Eddie and Mike and Frank and me. Eddie and Frank did the 15 mile leg from the lighthouse at Cape Wrath to the ferry and Mike and I ran from the ferry to the lighthouse. The logistics of the race focused on the need to get everyone over the Kyle of Durness on the ferry at 16 people a time. This meant that Eddie and Frank had to be at the community centre and ready to go at 5.45 am. While Mike and I had a much more relaxed 9.45 start. We were on the bus and about to head for the ferry when Eddie and Frank arrived home, having finished their leg before we had started ours. I reckon this is the hilliest marathon I have come across. It runs through some wild country and I loved it.
The two HELP teams ran well with Eddie and Mike being placed second (out of 16 teams) in a time of 3.29.32 (Eddie 1.49.32; Mike 1.40.00) Frank and Ray were third team in 3.35.56 (Frank 1.58.56; Ray 1.37.00)
The only other thing to say is that the meal was fabulous, comprising of local seafood produce and deserts to die for, and we finished it all off with a bit of ceildh dancing… roll on next year.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Harvey here #6

Just got back from a run on the beach with one of my best friends, Bruno, arrf
He's a Sprocker which is a mixture of Cocker and Springer spanie,l woof.
Bruno loves to run and likes to doggy-play fight, so that is right up my street, woof woof.
He likes chasing deer, just like I do, so our owners put us on a lead when there are any around, grrr.
Recently, Ray, my owner has been giving me lots of training lessons, arrf.
He makes me sit quite often, especially, if we are going to cross the road, woof.
He has been doing more of this since I went to stay with Skye and her owners, Sally and Craig, woof.
I went on a run about once or twice and got to know some of the local dogs, arrf
You can't blame me for being curious, especially as a bitch in the next cottage was on heat, arrf, woof.
Ray said that most of the children in the village were out looking for me and I caused quite an upset, grrr
I made up for it last week end when I spent most of the day with Bruno and his owner, Norma, woof.
I ran around the garden for hours and although Bruno is bigger than me, I kept up with him most of the time, arrf, arrf.
Later we visited some of Norma's family and two other dogs, they all thought I was cute, arrf
I'll be staying with Bruno, Norma and Joe for a whole week-end soon... that will be fun woof, arrf.