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?