I was thrilled at the response to my last post about running. I really hope those of you who felt inspired to get out there will do so. And if any of you are having doubts, an added incentive is the (optional) Brightly Coloured Kit available to deck yourself out in. M shrugs on any old t-shirt he's dug out from the bottom of a drawer stuffed full of ones he's won from various races over the years and pulls on a pair of decrepit shorts from Primark that have seriously seen better days and off he goes. But I'm slightly more of a Closet Exhibitionist when it comes to clothes. I run in hand-made shorts (my own) which variously sport bright pink flamingos and bright red strawberries (I'm on the look out continually now for Interesting potential-running-shorts-fabrics wherever I go), and running tops like the one above, which is my treat to myself this morning for having signed up for the 10k in December. I've worked out a training programme today, cobbled together from three M found on line for me. They all involve every other day as a rest day and a slow 13-week build up so baring disaster I'm reasonably confident I can do it. The Half will be another story, but that's next year's goal so I'm not thinking much about it yet. One Step At A Time, eh?
This morning, I ran a steady 4k loop round fields with Mrs Ibbot and our three dogs, after a fastish 5k yesterday. It was drizzling by the time we parked up and then the heavens properly opened and dumped copious quantities of rain on us. The wind whipped up from no-where. We'd barely set off round the ploughed field before we were both utterly soaked. Even my two Hardy Hounds kept turning round to look at me with are you serious? type expressions on their faces. We persevered and the rain stopped just as we got back to the cars (of course). I was pleased because it was the first time I'd run all the way up a long hill in the middle without needing to walk. I was half-dead at the top, of course, but not for long. Home to breakfast and a nice warm shower and all done by 9.45 am (which left the rest of the day for shopping and then potential falling asleep on the sofa watching The Good Wife this afternoon with not a trace of guilt in sight).
Running with a friend was lovely as we chatted most of the way round (obviously not running hard enough). And running with the dogs is also lovely, for their companionship, their enthusiasm and the fact they keep me going because they can both run faster and further than I can so I am forever playing catch up.
Pop is a darl to run with because she loves it and heads off in front fast and confident. She runs straight as a die so I never trip over her. Teddy, on the other hand, is a little less committed and finds himself getting easily distracted, stopping to stare at a squirrel, sniff a leaf, pee on a blade of grass or veering off to have a poo, which is a little less enjoyable when you're behind him on a narrow path :o)
Still, they both enjoy coming out for runs and the excitement when they see me putting my running shoes on knows no bounds. They both develop springs beneath their paws and Ted sings you the song of his people (all Westie people will be familiar with this) until the door is open and they can charge off down to the gate. Taking them out running with me has the additional benefit of making scenes like this one less likely because they're too tired to wreck havoc on beds filled with Interesting Fluffy Stuff when I'm out....
Hmm. That was a gift from them both last week.
In Other News, I have finished a William Morris quilt I started last year. I was going to sell it at the village Christmas Fayre, but have been using it to snuggle under on the sofa with Poppy instead. She likes to make a small, slightly smelly cave of it and tucks herself away inside so no-one but me knows she's there. She's Christened it with muddy paws so it's staying put now. I really like it so I think she's done me a favour on the whole.
Finally, can I point those of you who haven't seen it today the way of CJ's blog? She's written a great piece on the Ivy Mining Bees who are currently staying at her allotment which you can find here. Ivy Mining Bees are a relatively new species in the UK and are bucking the trend of overall bee decline without affecting our native species so they are important, as well as being harmless and only around for six weeks or so from Sept-Oct. Do pop over and have a read (also see the pictures of these wonderful little insects).
Hope all are well? Do tell me about your running stories....(I shall keep asking until I've harassed you into starting :o) ).