Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Arrrg, passage of time faster than I would like.

So, whilst Juneathon didn't kill me, July seems to have taken me hostage and kept me well away from the ol' blogosphere. It wasn't an uneventful month.

* There was an excellent lunch at Sangsters with the neighbours. Much laughter and good wine.
* Some running, but not enough. I managed an adequate 10K outside before heading to ...
Santorini: it was a wonderful, relaxing (read: lard-inducing), hot, luxurious holiday. It's been 2 years since I was away for more than a few nights in the UK, and it was bliss to not have a phone, any internet (ok, internet would have been nice), and just be in the heat for 7 whole days. I could describe more but I hope the following images give a clear picture.

On returning I'd barely carried my extra stomach up stairs before we were heading out to compete in the 2009 Mouse Race. (Posts from 20th-ish July 2008 will give full details of the concept.) This time it was held at Wheeler and RFs - this is because Wheeler won last year by amassing such a vast stack of points for various activities that he could not be beaten.

This year we were treated to Bacon butties and coffee on arrival :-) Not only that but the only blissfully sunny day of the last week! Then the games included dog agility (Baffie's bidability proved to be useful, and Bridie's biscuit addiction was no bad thing), space hopper jockey racing, treasure hunt, boule, gladiator battle in a river (see below where I can be seen attacking a small child), tree swings and pinata, skittles, quoits, arts and crafts, costume show and some genius rounders in grass as high as pooch; Teech's slide into the last base to win our team the game was a stroke of brilliance but TheO deserved all the plaudits as she scored 80% of all the rounders and was a force to be reckoned with. Throughout the day food was brought out to keep our strength up. And we finished with a barbecue, some excellent jamming on the guitar, fiddle and cello, and a little impromptu ceilidh dancing.

The outcome of all this was that I went into a highly competitive points frenzy and WON! You know when your serious rival is 11 that you should probably calm down, but who cares, as I was an organiser last year I couldn't take part. And yes, this does mean that next year I can't take part as we'll be hosting "Mouse Race 2010, bringing it home".

Since victory was assured I've not been resting on my laurels, today I finally dragged myself out for a proper run, a 5 miler, although it was hot, and hard, and quite unpleasant at times. But I had to do something to try and recover from the meat feast that was a barbecue followed by a huge roast Sunday lunch with Teech and HH.

Having just discovered that we don't have to go and cat sit in the middle of August this coming month is looking like it should be full of nice meetings with friends, work and pooch walks. Oh, and maybe a little more running if I want to be ready for the Island half in 3 weeks time. Eeeeek. I might even have a moment to blog it.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Not dead, Juneathon did not kill me. Although it might make me ramble a little.

Well Juneathon seems to have come and gone. I can report than I was a complete blogging failure but my Juneathon exercise stats are getting better.

Last year 10/30
This year 22/30

I'm happy to call this a result! Although I just read a quote that says, "flexible goals lead to mediocrity" - a statement that is all too true; there's nothing like pesky self justification after-the-fact...

Since I last blogged there's been a lot of walking; some in Little Glenshee with Tigger; and an epic 3h explore in Glen Garr which was bloody marvellous, although there was a little breaking-a-path through head high braken that made it less than perfect at the end. The views and complete peace was fantastic when we were in the heart of the glen.

Also walked to the pub one night which was lovely, it's so nice to live somewhere where there's a pub you actually want to go to. Where the food is tasty and the welcome friendly.

A few circuits classes have also been completed, I'm finally feeling like I might be making progress, the (knees down) press-up no longer fills me with dread. Still shit, just not as shit. Arms are definitely feeling stronger. That and I keep using them for gardening!

The garden in question is slowly, slowly getting a little bit clearer. The work to do is so enormous I only tackle a little piece at a time, and just enjoy the flowers and being outside. TheO is doing the veg patch so we might even get some food from the wilderness. People are beginning to walk in and comment on some bits that look nice though, which definitely lifts the spirits.

Had a fantastic BBQ w/end a few weeks ago with many friends and even some family. Those who were here for the whole w/end went shooting (clays) and pottered about in a boat on Loch Tay. It was a ridiculously "Perthshire" w/end. Marvellous in every way, and the BBQ and wicker man all worked a treat, friends, family and neighbours all mingled very happily. There's nothing like previously calm friends attacking a pinata with coloured sticks! Even the calm can appear to lose their minds. I will add that the shooting was particularly brilliant and I can't wait to do it on a regular basis. I need a gun licence, and a gun!

On a sadder note the dogs had a horrid fight (again) - it was a week ago now, and Golden dog still has a huge gash on her leg (despite vet intervention). She's such a cutie and doesn't deserve it. And damn it, the black dog is still adorable to us... ah well, life carries on as it ever did.

I've also been running more, which does nothing less than make me a MUCH happier person. It's so ridiculous; all I have to do is go for a run to be in a good mood (ok, the run has to be somewhere below disasterous).
I managed a 5 miler that was fine; a 10K in the gym which was damn fine (59.13), a horrible 5miler outside when it was so hot and heavy that I made it 2.5miles, had a 5min rest and ran home. NOTE TO SELF: when it's summer, and hot, and horrid, remember to take your preventative inhaler before going on a run, also remember to take your antihistimines. OR YOU WILL DIE. The less said about that run the better. I think I melted and sneezed myself to death simultaneously.

Today it was still a bit hot, and I'm a wuss, so I went for a run in the gym. 8 miles completed! Also my best ever time, 1.16.29. The machine was on 1% for the whole time, and I just toggled the speed between 9.40 and 9.13. Hard, and I will ache tomorrow; but definitely worth it. Proper distance running definitely fills my heart with joy. All the 3 and 4 mile runs just don't do it, they don't provide the same sense of completion and the same rush. The endorphins really get going after about 5 miles. Joy, joy, joy. (Even if I did consider going to bed at 10.06pm.)

TheO managed to cover the dinner we went to with our neighbours. We'll call him Tay and her Pickle. They were giving us a lovely 7lb salmon in thanks for past dinners and BBQ event. We were lacking in a freezer that would hold such a beast - so they set up a dinner party which was not only delicious but very good fun. We drank FAR too much and rolled home at 1.30. Luckily no apologies had to be made, but my liver may never recover. TheO manged to, very temporarily, have a little nap on the bathroom floor. Sadly I'd already passed out in bed, after forcing us to drink pints of water and eat some toast - a hangover is all in the planning!

Also - and quite finally for this huge catch-up, managed to fit in a nice, little lunch with Dr in Edinburgh, then we went to see Spartan and Blarney and Babybelle - I am delighted to report that they are not only alive (contrary to what phone and text silence would imply!) but seem to be doing wonderfully. For people who are still about to move house, and got themselves a new wain 3 weeks ago, they are coping like pros. Babybelle is alive, adorable, and always dressed beautifully. I'm reliably informed (and can feel the difference) that she's also gaining weight just like the little bloater should. Parents are looking human and able to make conversation on a number of topics, this is surely even better than can be expected at this point in time. I'm sure with a little more sleep they'll be partying like they always have. (Just a few friends, scattegories, and a little glass of wine.)

Tomorrow is a trip down the coast to Sangsters for lunch with Neighbours. Should be delighted. If I can walk after the run.

**Quick mini edit - just discovered that my fastest ever 8 miles is exactly a year after my last fastest ever 8 miles. Bizarrely feels like quite quantifiable progress.**