Friday, 28 December 2007


Soooo excited. Got a Garmin 205 from TheO. She knows me so well. Over the moon, I hadn't hinted or anything, even took it on piddly 1mile walk whilst away. ;-)

We're just back from fambly xmas on Malta with the paz-in-law et al. So tired I just want to go to bed. Flight in landed at 12.30am - taxi at 7am this morning ... strange Travelodge bed that was so soft it rolled you whenever the other person moved. Lack of sleep and crap coffee do not a happy me make!

TheO is playing with their new Wii - so far lots of yelling, screaming, and expletives. Is this good or bad? Does it need to go on ebay already? Should the money be invested in anger management?

Hope everyone had a good holiday and managed to put on slightly less weight than me. :(

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Help ...

I've been kidnapped by the spirit of Christmas.
It's forcing me to be cheery.
To sing carols (ok - nasty Christmas chart toppers).
To wrap presents with a smile on my face.
Bah Humbug.

(I've packed my running kit - I'm away for a total of 5 days, including travelling time - can anyone say optimistic?)

Merry Christmas to all my readers. Have a great Yule.

Friday, 21 December 2007

Last Gasp pre Xmas

Managed to make it to the gym today. Have not (yet) got tree, food, or various other essentials.

Decided to take a new tack and try some harder running. Not quite up hill - but at least up a bit of a gradient.
Ran 2 miles at level 3 gradient then,
0.6 miles at 1 gradient (my usual) then upped the gradient from 2 by 1/2 a notch every 0.1 of a mile for the last half a mile. Ended up running the last bit on 4!
Definitely made a bit of a change to the work out. A good way to push it even if time is limited.
So overall - 5k in 29.30 - kept the machine at a steady pace of 9.30 whatever the gradient.

did abdominal machine on 55kg /segment 11 (?)
for 3 sets of 12.
did tricept pull for 3 x 12 (on 5)
did bicept pull on 3 x 12 (on 5)

Ran away like a girl. Knackered - had a terrible night's sleep - almost fell asleep in front of the TV at 8pm ... getting old.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Deck the halls with bags of shopping .. fa la la la ...

So, after a slightly tempestuous start to "the festive season" we're pretty much done. I'll say that quietly lest the spirit of Christmas creep up behind me and bludgeon me. After a few frantic days shopping (2) we only have a few small items left to get. And some food. And a tree. And some logs and kindling. But hell - we're pretty much finito on the whole trailing round the shops fiasco.

Can I ask a serious question: how many mobile 'phone shops can there be? Really, how many do we need? They all appear to have at least 3 members of staff all standing doing nothing. And, if you don't want to get your loved ones a second, or even 3rd mobile for Crimbo - you obviously want to get them cheap clothes (or shoes) designed for the 12-22 year old woman. That's all there is on the average highstreet! (Okay, there's books and CDs too - but come on people, we were trying for gifts that might not be quite as obviously expected!) The first 2 hours were disappointing and hellish. Then we had a late lunch and some coffee and it all perked up a bit. It might have been the low fat lemon muffin that tipped me back into a non-lethal mood.

Hmm, meant to go for a run today - but tramping round the shops for 5 hours was all we managed. Nevermind, at least I got my last work item sent off for Christmas.(Yeee Haw) I got confirmation that TheO's gift will arrive (Yipeeee). And, most excitingly I got the entrance papers for an exhibition I'm taking part in (Yaaahoooooooo). It's in January though so I've got to GET MAKING as soon as I'm back from Malta.

Jings & Crivens.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

The Panic

Did anyone notice that despite being "all about the last minute panic" in the previous post I failed to mention Christmas preparations.

There's a reason for that - we haven't started yet. No cards written, no presents bought. The only planning is that we have flights and accommodation booked for our journey to Malta (we're spending xmas with TheO's folks and family) - the last section of the flights were booked today!

Maybe that's why I'm calmer - at least something is organised.

I'm all about the last minute panic.

Ah - it's been a week of ups and panics.
Finally got almost all (one to go) of my xmas orders posted. It's still going to be MANIC after xmas and just after New Year - but hell, I can think about that in a week's time.

On the 14th I managed to get to the gym.
4 miles in 37.26 - delighted - set machine to 9.22 and kept running - sped up a little at the end

tummy machine 11th segment weight 3 sets of 12 reps
arm tricept pull 4th segment 3 x 12
arm lateral pull 5th segment 3 x 12
bicept curl 5th segment managed 16 reps, then 4th segment for the remaining 14
pectoral push 5th segment 3 x 12
leg push 7th segment 3 x 12

Felt like a great run and a great work out - it really made the endorphins RUSH.

The w/end was a real break from work - and enormously busy, but in a good way. A bunch of friends came up. TheO and the boys abandoned us and headed pub-ward to discuss Football and other maters of desperate import. I cooked a mighty green curry (some people had 3rds!) which was a touch too limey but good nonetheless, and we drank vino and discussed ridiculously girly things like childbirth ... we didn't mean to - it just happened.
Sunday (16th) saw me speeding to E'burg and back (after v v little sleep) to meet up with my guardian. We managed to make a complete cock-up of the meeting: she sat in the car park for 30min, I sat in the cafe for 30min ... eventually I called, we had coffee. It was extremely irritating - but we had our xmas exchange of gifts (she cooks and bakes up a storm) - and both left in merry mood.
I returned home to find a game of COUNTDOWN just about to start. Gleefully I joined - and came second. Some had to leave after that but HighHeels and SillyMidOff stayed to enjoy Cranford, Our Company, and some Pizza. It was a great end to a lovely w/end. [Even if I got horribly dehydrated and weirdly grumpy at the end - this coincided with my losing to HighHeels in our regular Backgammon Tournament, and made me look like a complete chump.]

Today - just had the most amazing run. The time just flew by. It was a new route, which I think helped. TheO said why didn't I just run to Cupar and she would swim/gym whilst I ran. Hell, why not. It's a fairly hilly route - but on wonderful country lanes with some stunning scenery. It also helps to have a goal in mind - a destination rather than an out-and-back mile building slog.

8 miles
10.28 pace
calories 1131 (hmmmmmm - goooooooood)

9.59 - downhill
10.34 - can you tell I've warmed up!

I was so pleased with the time. I keep wondering what I've achieved this year with my running as post the 1/2 I don't feel like I've improved my speed or worked hard enough. However on long runs it does become clear to me that things that seemed hard no longer really push me. I feel quite relaxed doing an 8 mile stint. Now I just have to work on building up the miles so I can feel more prepared for the marathon should I manage to get a place. (Fingers' crossed - for today, anyway.)

Friday, 14 December 2007

Running & Thinking

On Tuesday (11th) I finally managed to get a mid-range long run in. Seven blissful miles in perfect weather (for me), at a descent speed, with a feeling that I could have run forever. It was such a joyous experience. Sunny, cold, and just feeling the ground beneath your feet. It beat the worry and concern (work, xmas etc) out of me for just a few hours. Not that I ever forgot, but it really reminded me why I love running. That space to be alone with your thoughts, your breathing, and the concentration that becomes a kind of meditation cannot be beaten.

I had on my new trainers too (they'd done 4 miles in the gym and seemed pretty comfy) - they are Nike Pegasus - after trying 7 different models and types it appears that I really do have Nike shaped feet. This is slightly disappointing for me as I love my Nike's but go through them v v quickly. Never mind, at least I'm buying cushioning now to go with my orthoses rather than the expensive structured ones I should never have had! (Grrr.) By way of a mini review I now understand what "responsiveness" is. In Runner's World they talk about 3 qualities in shoes: cushioning/flexibility/responsiveness. I always understood the first two but got baffled by the third. Once running outside in my new shoes I thought that the ground was a little slippy or icy. It took me about 1/2 a mile to realise that it was the shoes, not the surface. I had to trust their grip as I could not feel the surface as clearly as with previous shoes. Once I got used to it there was no problem - the extra cushioning kicked in and I forgot about 'feeling' the road surface. Damn comfortable overall and no blisters after 7 miles - I think they're a keeper.

Other 'exciting' news from the week:

Our previously old and knackered pooch has a new lease of life thanks to her arthritis meds. She's even started catching balls (like they do in flyball on Crufts) which she's never done before - not even as a puppy.

We got a new TV - the buzzing, crap sound, only one AV socket works properly, lump of crap has gone. It is replaced with 'our' xmas present - a wonderful, flat, 32", stunning thing of beauty. One day we'll have sky HD and all things will look incredible. Right now TV is good but DVDs look AMAZING. Watched Pirates of the Caribbean III last night - ooohhhh, pretty.

When running late - due to the phrase, "I'll meet you at the beach"; a phrase which is not handy in a town with 2 very distinct beaches - and bombing it down the motorway, my wonderful Helga ('S' reg Golf) decided in her infinite automatic geared wisdom that a top-gear would not be necessary. This led to a noisy and frustrating journey to Edinburgh as we did little but watch the rev counter hover just above the red zone; and a subsequent bill for £130 - not what I was looking for just before xmas.

Driving through town today (14th) I almost had some kind of fit. Where there used to be a crap computer shop (they only looked at PCs and didn't sell software?!!) is now a SPECIALIST RUNNING STORE - my excitement couldn't be contained; not even by TheO's withering stare as I banged on the window of the car yelling, "look, a running shop, a real running shop!"* So, lots of lovely things to buy in there - sometime after Christmas - sometime like my Birthday - only a few weeks away! :)

Right - off to drag TheO away from her playstation and towards the gym.
Have a good w/end everyone.

* I am aware a I need to get out more.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Home, home, home home!

Ah, it's good to be home.
I spent a somewhat profitable weekend in Glasgow at a Craft & Design fair. Saturday good - Sunday dreadful. My wonderful friends in E'burg had put me up for Sat night so it was just a train jaunt across to them. I slept like the dead; but awoke not knowing where I was. A horribly disconcerting feeling. That's what you get for 4 different bed's in a week!

Today we managed to sleep in; no - really sleep in. I was angry about how late it was. However we had been woken early, albeit briefly, by an amusing incident which saw me leap off the bed in one bound, screaming, "Bridie No!" whilst grabbing said dog and tucking her under my arm. Yet another teeny, weeny, titchy little wren had bobbed its way into the bedroom and seemed determined to be dog food. Throwing open the windows let it flutter outwards before the black dog's jaws could become clamped round it. This is the third time it has happened - the wrens' are suicidal - maybe they know something about winter that we don't?

Lots of work done today - another 5 orders completed and more keep coming in. I've got to set the cut off date for Christmas soon. And maybe start my own shopping. Eek. And maybe write some xmas cards.

Mmmmm - long run tomorrow - I can't wait.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Stopping to take breath.

Rather than my usual catch-up; which, whilst elucidating my every movement, is usually thrilling I'm sure; I'm going for some edited highlights this time - it's been a while.

- Family left (in droves) and work was manic as I frantically made stock and new pieces for 2 shows on consecutive w/ends. My battered hands were evidence.
- Managed to fit in a delightful and hilly 8 mile run (kept 10.40 average pace) and TheO turned up on her bike at the 6 mile point. Was a weird moment when this person was cycling straight towards me and all I could think was: "bloody idiot, I'm sure there's a code, like on water, where wheels give way to runners ..." Then they said 'hello' and my mood brightened instantly - I had some new helper to go and get the bottle of lucozade I'd stashed in a random 'phone box. :)
- The 1st fair in Edinburgh went really, really well. Not just in amount of sales but in what was sold. I've still been left with some stock for the next shebang *sighs with relief*. Friends' came and visited with good wishes, coffee, and cake! Bless them all.
- Before setting off for York I managed to fit in a city 5K. Bridie came with me and had to be forcibly dragged away from the chips littering Easter Road. I think it was her perfect run. A fun walk, some grass to romp on at the half way point and SNACKS - she never finds those littering her way in the country. Ooh - and we managed to finally go to Run and Become where I got some new trainers. I finally have cushioning trainers as recommended by the orthopaedist, lets hope my feet can feel the difference.
- Despite it taking us 5 hours our journey to York was remarkably pleasant as we just took it easy and made some lovely stops - one at a great craft centre (Harestanes) we'd been to before.
- York itself was delightful. Pretty, interesting, and the hotel was decent. We had a great catch up with Brother-in law and wife - a wonderfully boozy dinner (over 4 hours) then a spot of contract whist. (How v Cranford of us.) We did do some touristy stuff - the Jorvik centre which was hideously humiliating: Designed for 10 year olds (or younger) and a real disappointment; being whisked around on a giant fair ground seat with a patronising voice over in your ear did not make it worth £8! However, York redeemed itself with the Minster, it was truly spectacular. And, as one, of the right age to remember the renovation work on Blue Peter of the Rose window and the bosses by competition winners, it was wonderful to see all the detail and renovations. Betty's Tea Room also lifted our slightly flagging spirits.
- Our final day in York saw me head out for a rather half-hearted 2 mile run. Then we took a quick shopping trip and I got some wonderful red shoes. Sshhhhhhhooooooeeeeeeessss. TheO also managed to find 3 v funky pairs that she likes!
- A quick pit stop dinner in Edinburgh for some delightful chat with friends delayed our arrival home until midnight, but it was well worth it. Managing to catch-up with friends is lovely even on a week night when people are tired/ill/have just sat an exam!

That leads us up to today - plowed through the many messages work related. Lots of new orders all to be fulfilled before Christmas - I might not be able to sleep until then at this rate. We both also managed to drag ourselves to the gym (it was dark and miserable outside) - TheO ran her fastest ever 5K by minutes rather than seconds. I'm soooo proud. I managed to plod through a rather dull 4 miler in 9.40 pace for the whole thing. Sweaty. Then a good bash at the weights really finished me off. The dogs, like us, are delighted to be home!

Just have to go to Glasgow this w/end for the second Fair - then I can work my arse off until Christmas. Eeek.