Sunday, 27 April 2008

Houses & Running

Ah houses, I do seem to be a little obsessed. But finding a great house, in a great location turns out to be far, far, harder than I could ever have imagined.

We headed off to the Lomonds and Trossachs (but a new loch this time) to see a house. We drove past, called the agents, and never went back. Why some people feel it is a good idea to sell a bit of their land so someone can build a big new monstrosity right in front of the house they then want to sell is beyond me. Not every decision like that makes financial sense. However we did discover that this new loch is damn pretty and organs would be sold to live there!

There is also a hotel with lovely food. I'd booked us lunch incase the house was a bust. I'd really recommend the spot, and the hotel is chic not twee, which really makes a difference in the lochs. - hmmm good. You'll see why I didn't just put the full name down - who can spell that?

It was long run time. I think I can now safely say that I am NOT a natural marathon runner. It's just too damn far. However I kept moving for 3.57.25 - this covered exactly 19miles - in an average speed of 12.30.

All of it was mad much easier though as I had a companion. TheO came, on her bike, for the whole run. It was truly lovely. She said nice things, told me I wasn't a failure for walking (I'm almost convinced she's right), handed me chocolate when necessary, and kept shtum when I turned into an evil beast of hatred and loathing (somewhere around the 16/17 mile point). My appreciation knows no bounds. Also - she does a mean massage (she's in training) - which help my little legs no end.

Set off with aim to run at 11min/mile pace for 18 miles. Start slow rather than fade and burn out as usual.

11.04 - bang on 11m/m pace
12.08 - oops too slow
13.31 - this included walking for 0.4
14.16 - walking for 0.6

3.32 total run time (with 1 mile of walking breaks) - avg 11.45ish - 18 miles done.
Walk home from the village, including 2 stretching breaks as my calves were killing me - UP HILL24.53

So, I now have a new plan. To run for 8 miles and walk for a mile, then to repeat that, then to run for 8.2 miles and finish in style. I should be able to manage this but I need to do a few more long runs to prove this system has 'legs'.

After a few days of leg rest and work (which is truly manic at the moment, I keep answering all my emails and getting all my designs done, then more come in... I need more workshop time, next week - all workshop, all the time - that's my plan) we're off to meet Badger and Tigger for a simple spot of lunch. But then, heavenly prayers are answered - we're off to Hotel du Vin, just for dinner, as TheO's Ma is stopping there on her return trip from The Island where small boys bounced so much at their Grannu's arrival one broke his arm in 2 places. Jeesh - it's never ending with the 'phews!

Apart from working my socks off next week I have a very exciting appointment with a dressmaker. My attendants sadly can't make it but I've assured them they'll be set to work on other things asap.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

I hit the gym

And the gym hit back.

It's been a while since I acquainted myself with the weights. They missed me.

I started off the gym session with an excellent hilly 5K.
The machine went up to 7% at the highest and 19min was at 4% or higher - the total time was 29.17 so I managed to maintain a decent pace (around 9.30) despite the incline. No achillies pain, just a joyful and somewhat sweaty, run.

I then moved on to my long lost friends; the weights:
Tricept pull on 4 for 2 sets of 12. The TheO (quite rightly) pointed out that I was using my whole body and leaning into it, rather than just using my arms. So the next set was on 3 for 12 reps.

Knee lift on 5 for 3 sets of 12. Oh god, this hurt by the end. I hate the knee machines, they're at a weird angle.

Lateral pull on 6 or 5? for 3 sets of 12. I use my left arm more than my right - weird.

Leg press on weight 6 for 12 then on 7 for 2 sets of 12. It burns!

Shoulder lift on 3 3 x 12 - some of this might have been a bit half-arsed.

Tummy machine: 12 for 12 reps, 13 for 12 reps, 14 for 12 reps. Joy.

Returned home after a quick dog walk, late lunch and shop. Discovered during lunch to always ask what the Roast Vegetables are in a Roast Veg baguette. They were mushrooms, courgettes and leeks... v v weird. The kind of food you might make at home if you were desperate and everything nice had gone off. ICK.
Found a house online - it's cute, definitely not too big (!), and miracle of miracles - in the right area. We're off to see it tomorrow.
The only downside is that the ache in my arse (from going uphill for 30min) and the mental gymnastics involved in house hunting, stopped me getting to sleep until 6am - I am a zombie today.


Most of this post exists just so Blarney has something to read at work. ;-)

Monday, 21 April 2008

Mid-ish Month Search Winner

My favourite search that led to my blog this month is:

what is wrong with me

I'm tickled by this for many reasons:
a) This person is asking the internet the most generic question possible, and, one has to assume, expecting an answer.
b) My blog is obviously a carefully concealed portal to the future - t'internet believes it can actually answer the question.
c) In more paranoid moments this raises the question in me: what is wrong with me?

On another search query - my blog now appears to be the foremost research resource for sports Bra buyers. If only I actually had some answers.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Just one more thing

Oh yeah, you'll have noticed that the 16.5miler was quite specific about times and gradient. I did indeed PAY (a whole £12.30) for the privilege of torturing myself for 3hours on a treadmill; a treadmill that only allows you to do 60min at a time before stopping. I got really, really quick at hitting those buttons, it could be a whole new sport.

I also have to thank the guy who brought me water. I realise this sounds pathetic but I'd finished the two bottles I'd brought with me and didn't want to have to stop and walk out to the loos and fill up the bottle (there's no water in the gym - which should be a crime). He was entirely understanding and v nice about it - thank you!

Saturday, 19 April 2008

I am being punished accordingly ...

Oh godhelpme, it's all gone horribly wrong (but more of this later).
First some kind of terrible flash back episode that would really cheese you off if it was your favourite TV show.

We finally saw the house. Well, we saw the outside. I politely explained to the owner that we didn't really need to come inside. The final straw for TheO was a milk churn with "tits up" scrawled on it at the 'shop' opposite. Oh god.

We saw the registrar to sort out the nedding. Wow - this meeting really defined the word anticlimax. They seemed to know little and care less. The ceremony we received afterward by email turned me from a very relaxed lesbian into some kind of militant gay activist. (Luckily this only lasted a few hours.) It's all about friendship and as if it's trying not to offend any sensitive straight people who might be present. Red pen has been taken to the service sheet, but edited lowlights include:

I will value your ideas and expressions
I will always talk with you
And share our happy time and our sad times

Once in a lifetime you discover someone
Who stands beside you not over you May I say WTF

The 11th was more outstanding memorable for my fastest ever 10K. 55.28 - how simply delightful. All under 9min/miles! Extremely chuffed at how quick that was. On the treadmill though.

TheO was away over the w/end doing their massage course so I managed to get lots and lots of work done.

We trawled to Glasgow to meet the nephews, sis-in-law and ma-in-law. After a truly spectacularly bad start [We got a flat tyre and had to take Keith (Defender 90) who doesn't fit in any NCP carpark, so we drove round in circles for 40min and ended up with parking tickets anyway.] it was a really lovely day with excellent dim sum at a fab Chinese place on Sauchiehall St. Mmmm, I think I ate my body weight but I didn't care; it was worth it.

Met Pistol at possibly the best pub ever. The butterfly and pig on Bath Street - the food was brilliant and the atmosphere really makes it. Loved this new discovery. Had a very sociable and delightful time. Excellent chat. If you go - have the mushrooms!!!!!!!!!!!

It never stops at the moment. We then headed off to Dumfries and Galloway to see yet another house. [Oh, this was after a 4 mile run in Tentsmuir - 37.30.] The drive was really quite nice and it felt a bit like a mini holiday. A holiday in the early 90s if the food, service and hotel were anything to go by! The meal out that night really was terrible - I questioned whether I could eat it, and I'm not really that fussy.

Saw the house. Nice but too big and in the wrong place. We might have lost each other in many of the strange rooms, cupboards, and staircases. Pretty views of an area that just doesn't offer enough. Spent the next 8 hours meandering across Scotland on the way home. Just as Dumfries and Galloway gets written off completely certain hilly parts of the Borders come back into play.

Yesterday all I achieved was: only 16.5 (it was meant to be 18) feel like a complete failure.

6 miles at 10min/mil on 2%
6 miles at 10.30 min/mile on 1.5%
1.2 miles at 10.56min/mile on 1%

down to 0% - what a feckin quitter

then played with the speed a lot as I was bored so averaged 10.56 for the following 3.3 miles

Was fine until 16 then just couldn't go on.... 12min/mile was feeling fast
heart rate was around 180 and would not go down despite relaxing and breathing well.

It really hurts my legs - my achillies is very sore on one leg and still hurt today - ice helps a bit.
I'm nowhere near fit enough for a marathon, this realisation sucks.
I don't enjoy this - because it makes me feel weak and like a quitter, I love running halfs as it does the opposite ...

I'm never signing up for another marathon again - at this rate I just want the humiliation to be over.

Today TheO hightailed it to Edinburgh to go dress hunting with her attendants. I stayed here and worked, it was extremely productive - but surprisingly depressing. I'm having real difficulty dealing with the many things occurring at present. My desire to plan things has vanished and I just want to hide in a corner, all plans seem to stress me out unnaturally. Hoe Hum - it'll all feel better after a good sleep when my ankle doesn't hurt to high hell.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Long time no blog

Luckily whilst I haven't been blogging life has still occurred.

It may feel like I've been ignoring you all but I swear I've been really, really busy. Since I last blogged the following has happened:

1. A nice fast-ish 5K
2. An hill-arious walk up West Lomond in the horizontal rain and gales. (See what I did there?)
3. The above was followed by an excellent part-ey.
4. A Nice slow 6 miler
5. Many slightly desperate calls to an estate agent to convince them to show us a house.
6. A manic Ikea trip - in and out in less than 60min!! (Specialist training is required for this, beginners should start more slowly.)
7. A 16MILE RUN. No, really. It was painfully slow at times and should have been faster but I averaged 11min/miles overall. Delighted with it really. I can run for 16 miles! Adding on 10 doesn't seem so desperate now. Must get some good running done this week though.
8. The estate agents are going to 'let' us see the house - that happens tomorrow.
9. The Nedding packs finally got sent out. All thanks to TheO's efforts.
10. Went to Harrogate for the British Craft Trade Show - this was excellent for contacts and good for sales.
11. Received a total of 8 commissions enquiries in this time, separate to the above.
11. Returned home at 2am this morning. But still managed to get loads of Nedding stuff sorted and make an appointment to see the registrar. Genius.

Written like that it doesn't sound much for 2 weeks. Trust me, it was tougher than it sounds.
Back on track soon.