Sunday, 29 November 2009

First snow sighting!

Yesterday was a dream winter day. Blue sky (unheard of for weeks here), windless, cold and with a good dusting of snow on the high tops. It looked beautiful. Did I get out in it? Of course not. Too much stuff to do.
But I did get out on Friday when I went for a late afternoon, splashy, plod. Once again this was around the lanes as it is just too sodden to contemplate going on the fields just yet.
I managed a nice, hilly 45 minutes with an average heart rate of 142 (which is 79% of max). It was cloudy, but not actually raining and looked as if it was going to clear up.  It was good to get out; afterwards I felt as if I deserrved a treat, so we went to a brilliant Thai restaurant in Ambleside.  (Our new kitchen is nearly installed, but we can't actually cook in it yet, so we're having to eat out all the time. We're getting to know all the good places locally!)
Smiley rating  6/10

Thursday, 26 November 2009

The hills are alive...

...with the sound of groaning.
Just back from a soggy little trot on the hilliest route around the nearby lanes. I figured I would be gone about 50 minutes, so was quite surprised to be back in 35. My pace judgement is way off! Not long after the start of this route you can see a white house high on a hill across the valley. It seems impossibly far away, yet in only a little while you find yourself toiling past it. It's very satisfying. All in all, a very enjoyable, hilly, little outing.

Not as hilly as this though. This is Patagonia. I put it in because we're going trekking here pretty soon! I'm very excited about it. We're also going to Tierra del Fuego, and visit the Beagle channel, named after Darwin's famous ship. The Beagle was captained by Robert Fitzroy and was surveying the S. American coastline.
The weather is notoriously bad. It drove Fitzroy's predecessor mad. He committed suicide. So did Fitzroy, come to that. Hmm, I wonder if Marbella's available...
Smiley rating 9/10

Monday, 23 November 2009

Sunshine at last!

I got out today for a quick run up the lane towards Garnett Bridge and then down to the river and back. Because it was short, I decided tomake it a fartlek session and did all the uphills as quickly as possible. Which hurt.
Still, it was worth it. After what seems an age of grey skies, as I left the sun was shining. True, it was drizzling as well, but the sun shone enough to create a huge semicircular rainbow in front of me. With that and the sheep all fluffy and white it was like running in CBeebies land.
The lane is still running with water from the rain of the last few days. I've been out twice since the major floods of last Thursday, and the water is still pouring off the fells, The lanes are rippling silver curtains of water, with gravel and hedge debris washed into furrows in the centre of the road. On Thursday, when the Kent overflowed its banks, we were virtually cut off. There was only one minor road in and out of where we live and, down the hill, the village was under water. It's not as bad as it is further north in Cockermouth, but that's no consolation to the villagers whose houses were inundated.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Eyeballs out

Went for my first 'night' run of the season a few days a go. I say 'night', it was more tea-time really. But it was dark enough to need a headtorch and I guess that's what counts. I did the trusty river loop, because I didn't want the adventure spoiled by falling into gullies or getting tangled in barbed wire I didn't know was there.

It was great. I actually quite enjoy night running. It's that mixture of scary and interesting all at the same time. I'm learning to have 'soft' feet, if that doesn't sound daft; trying to land gently and respond smoothly to the uncertainties underfoot. Blundered into some brambles though.

It was a gorgeous night, with plumes of breath lit up by the torch beam. I never realised that sheep's eyes light up in the same way as cat's eyes and I was followed by their bluey white ghostly look as I went past.

It's still ankle deep water at the first gate, so one's feet get nicely frozen on the way out and washed on the way back. All in all, a good little jaunt.

Smiley rating 8/10

Running is a triumph of the repetition of an individually insignificant action. Which brings me to knitting. The scarf proceeds apace!

It should be ready by summer.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

I invite you...

... to look at this list and tick off those that are familiar to you...
  1. Deciding you do need leggings for today's run
  2. Deciding you should take gloves because you might need them
  3. The feeling of frozen wet toes, from running through 10cm of water cascading across the path, is not unfamiliar
  4. Ditto the slithery gait you adopt when running through cow-trod soggy fields
  5. Thinking it'll be much better when the ground's frozen a bit
  6. Stiles seem unusually slippery
  7. You don't remember the air temperature making your lungs ache quite so much
  8. You're glad you wore a hat
Yep, it's winter again! All these occurred to me on my little River Loop trot out today. I also ran at dusk; the sun dipped throwing shafts of light, of a lovely silvery-peach colour, from behind a massed bank of cloud, the world was falling quiet and it began to get dark enough for the lights in the houses on the hillside to look warmly inviting. It was wonderful. Mostly because I managed to get round before it chucked it down again.

And now I must go and scan the internet for guidance on how to knit. I went with Mags to this wonderful wool and fabric shop in Clapham (the Yorkshire Dales one) today. Rather than stand around gormlessly while Mags ferreted out fabrics and such like, I engaged the kindly lady who runs it in conversation, the upshot being that I've decided to knit myself a scarf for winter. At the moment I have wool, and needles (which are now made of straight-grain birch, not the grey metal like the ones my Mum used to have) and only the vaguest clue how to waggle them together to produce said scarf. I'll let you know how it goes.

Smiley rating for the run 7.5/10