Sunday, 26 March 2017

Ten Miles Before Breakfast





With the Grizzly Cub ticked it's on to the next challenge. Well, several challenges as it happens. April holds a ten mile road race, an eight mile hill trail race and a 10k road race (part of Southampton Marathon weekend).

To this end we were out early this morning (although not as early as it felt, thanks to the clocks changing) doing a ten miler that starts and finishes at home. It's a challenging and technical route that goes along lanes, up and down hills, through ancient woodland, over a bit of chalk, through a couple of small bogs (!), across fields, past an Iron Age hill fort and back home through the woods.

The weather was glorious: wall-to-wall-sunshine, and the running was relatively easy (unlike the last time we did this route which was awful, so that's a ghost laid). I wasn't going fast (1:50 hours in the end) but I felt strong, finished with a sprint up the lane and haven't felt any ill effects afterwards, so I'm feeling positive about the next set of challenges. I've signed up for another Half Marathon in the Autumn. I figure if I'm putting in the effort of training for one I might as well do two :o) One is a road race, the other is on trails with some big hills so it'll be interesting to compare the two.

I've picked the first flowers from the garden today- Anemones, aren't they fabulous? - and some small daffs. It felt Rather Wonderful to bring a bunch indoors and cheer up the kitchen with them. We also went up to a local woodland to record the birds. I'm volunteering for the National Trust on an ad hoc basis, helping them keep an up-to-date record of the species on the Mottisfont estate. I got 15 species in less than an hour in the woods today, which is a good indicator of how lovely the habitat is there: Nuthatch, Robin, Wren, Blackbird, Wood Pigeon, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Pheasant, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Marsh Tit, Long Tailed Tits, Mistle Thrush, Coal Tit and Chaffinch. It was glorious in the woods, you could breath in the peace.

Back at home and my first Orange Tip of the year flew into the garden, and then I found three newts in the pond. These are Smooth Newts, two girls and a boy, and the boy is currently in his Full And Rather Splendid breeding colours (huge long wavy crest and fiery spotty tail). I might do an egg search later- the girls lay their eggs on a leaf and then very carefully fold the leaf over the egg and stick it down to keep it safe. So Clever.

Yesterday, I watched a Tree Creeper climb the house brickwork, sit under the window ledge and pick off strands of cobweb which he flew off with, evidently in mid-nest-build mode. I just love the idea of cobwebs being used to keep a nest together. Isn't nature amazing?

Hope you've all had a Good Weekend?

CT :o)





30 comments:

  1. Having thought my leg was better it went again on a 10km run today, really upsetting.

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  2. It's been a lovely weekend, weather wise. And I had a good clear out in the bedroom, so I feel like Spring can well & truly begin! And hello: I am here from Above the River, and cruising new-to-me blogs.

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    1. Hello! Thanks for popping by. Cleaning out the bedroom....something I also need to do!

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  3. Forgot the run for me but the cake looks heavenly! x

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    1. A meringue, sponge, raspberry and cream confection. Light and sweet. A tiny bit heavenly :o)

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  4. Well done on your bird spot for the NT. an amazing variety. Lovely to have garden flowers already in the house. Summers on its way. Sounds like you have a very busy running schedule ahead of you. Have a great week. :) B x

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    1. I keep looking at the flowers and smiling. Simple things eh? X

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  5. Your anemones are a beautiful colour, what a treat. It's been a great weekend. x

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    1. They are. They were blog inspired too x

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  6. I would run just for that meringue.... looks divine!
    Beautiful spring and you are so lucky to be at Mottisfont!
    Have fun xx

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    1. I've eaten too much of it so now need to run! I must email you for a proper catch up... xx

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  7. Lovely post - and you've just made me HUNGRY! I bet Mottisfont was wonderful. Here, we had a pair of Goldcrests by mum's kitchen window, where a rose trails its spring growth. The female was just looking in, disinterested, and they weren't bothered by me being just a few feet away the other side, with my camera! The male was going bonkers though - he could obviously see his reflection and getting him to stay still (he had ants in his pants) for a photo was no easy task! Thrilled to see them so close though . . .

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    1. Fabulous! They are very unbothered by people. I've just had same experience with a tree creeper. Magic!

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  8. Love the idea of the cobweb nest, wonderful. The tits were pulling off the fibrous top of our bird table the other day, so I tucked some tufts of sheep's wool onto it in case they fancied that as well. Well done on your National Trust volunteering. It will be good for them to have an idea of the variety of species there are on the land. I saw a butterfly yesterday, a dark one, too fast for me to identify. The children are convinced they have seen newts in the pond as well. The tadpoles have hatched and are clustering above any floating leaves there may be. I shall look out for newts and eggs as you describe. Hope you have a good week CT. CJ xx

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    1. It'll have been a peacock or a red admiral. Great about your newts. Now's the time to see them xx

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  9. Hey CT,
    Great weekend here. Spotted Comma, Peacock and Orange Tip flutters (so pleased) and lots of bumbles and birds. Also ran seven miles (good) and pulled my hamstring (bad).
    Leanne xx

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    1. Fantastic on all counts! Seven miles! Whoop! Whoop! Pulled hamstring not so good :o( xx

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  10. Your cake looks delicious and the flowers beautiful. You put me to shame with your running - my leg is feeling a bit painful again, so I'm off for a swim instead. I love the idea of a cobweb lined nest. xx

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    1. Probably wise not to push your leg. How annoying! Xx

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  11. Well done on the run and lovely to see the flowers from your garden. We have lots of Smooth Newts here too and frog tadpoles are emerging from the spawn.

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    1. We don't get spawn in the pond but there are plenty of frogs and toads. Curious.

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  12. I remember the beautiful beds of hyacinths they had at Mottisfont a few years ago. We're off to the Croydon Half Marathon on Sunday to cheer our 18yo son on. He's doing three in April all dressed as a Smurf to fund raise!Iam hopting it'll be dry for him Arilx

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    1. Fantastic! Hope he isn't too warm as a smurf :o). Wish him good luck from me.

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  13. I did 10 km today mainly undulating track. Had to walk up a couple of hills. But that''s ok. I'm more of an autumn runner. Must be to do with the seasonal body clock. What I'm doing now is building the foundations for September/October.

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    1. I've come to the conclusion there's little to be gained running up steep hills.

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    2. You're supposed to walk up the steep ones. You will be amazed how many runners you can overtake if you perfect your walking technique. The only people who run up them are the elite runners.

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    3. I mean run full pelt up them are the elite runners.

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  14. oh, i'm so looking forward to bringing flowers in. *happy sigh*

    i continue impressed with your running goals/achievements. :) xoxo

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    1. Flowers from the garden are the loveliest of simple joys xx

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x