Monday, 28 October 2019

Always planning something

It's Monday again (these seem to come around with alarming regularity) and another chance for me to reflect on my weekend.

The clocks went back on Sunday, which was a nice surprise as I had forgotten this was happening. I woke up at 7 am on Sunday feeling thoroughly refreshed and slightly perplexed, until I realised why. I managed to reset the clocks on the microwave and the cooker, which entailed rather a lot of button poking until things flashed in the correct places.

This weekend was another busy one for our family, and I mentioned to R that we hadn't actually spent a weekend together as a family in over a month, due to cub camp, him doing Three Peaks, another Scout camp this weekend, and something else that I have forgotten what it was. Anyway, 4 weekends of spending time away from each other means next weekend we need to do something memorable as a family (we have already discussed going to MK to do some Christmas shopping, which is unheard of for us as we usually favour the last-minute Amazon prime approach to Christmas).

On Friday night I drove R, C and his friend O to Gilwell Park near Chingford in Essex for Scarefest, a Halloween-themed camp for Cubs, Scouts, and Explorers. C and O are Explorers and R is an Explorer leader now. I've never been to Gilwell, so it was nice to experience the place, albeit in the dark. I was slightly worried at the already-quite-high levels of mud, which was on a dry day, and the fact C had only brought one pair of boots with him and no waterproofs (he announced this in the car as we pulled up to drop off). After berating him at length for being an idiot (and in front of his friend, who was bemused and possibly a bit scared of getting a similar telling-off) I left the three of them for the weekend.

On Saturday I received an early-morning message: essential kit had been left behind, could I bring it to camp please? The regulators for the new cadacs had been left behind, which connect the stoves to the gas bottles. So they couldn't make breakfast. I traipsed back to Gilwell with N in tow, with the kit, R's pillow, and a spare pair of boots for C. For my trouble I received a sausage muffin and a cup of tea, so all was not bad. However, it did highlight to me the potential for illegal entry on-site, since I was not challenged while walking through the campsite and there was no security border or official entrance. I made a note to never bring my Cubs to Gilwell for this reason, I couldn't cope with worrying about them wandering off!

N and I decided to go via our friend's cafe on the way home for an early lunch, since we had been made to get up early. We visited Box of Cakes in Stotfold for ice cream waffles and sausage rolls, very nutritious. Then instead of going home, we headed to Boyd Scout campsite in Henlow, because I had planned to recce a walk route for the Cubs in a few weeks. We had a fun 3 mile walk in the rain, finishing at the park and then the pub (Five Bells); decision made that we wouldn't take the Cubs on this walk as it was a bit too far, so I need to recce another route next weekend. We finally arrived home 5 hours after we had left that morning, and it was lovely to get the heating on and our boots off.

Thursday, 24 October 2019


I've started work quite early today as it's half term and I don't need to make packed lunches or shoo my children around the house to get ready. I do love school holidays; we rarely go anywhere, it is just nice to be home and let my kids relax and chill out and sleep a lot. Although today I have booked them both eye tests and hair cuts, so they have to get dressed.

I'm still unwell, it's about 10 days in now and I'm bored of being a bit phelgmy and hot. I can't tell if my hot sweats are due to a resurgence of fever, if the heating is on too high and I'm wearing a jumper,  or if I'm perimenopausal. At age 42 any one of those could be true, although I don't think the heating is on.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Self-fulfilling prophecy

On Sunday I ran in my 7th Standalone 10K, which is a 6.2 mile running event near where I live. I first ran it in 2011 and have done every year since, except twice when I was injured. Sunday was my worse ever showing, managing the distance in a slightly enjoyable 1 hour and 8 minutes. But, my best ever time was just under 50 minutes in 2011, and since then I've only managed one other race under 50 minutes and the rest under 1 hour.

My running history is quite sad and boring, and is detailed in depth on my New Trainers Please blog (that I've not looked at for years). Briefly, I started running in 2011 to lose weight and get fit, was surprisingly successful, set super-fast (for a nearly-40-year-old) PBs at 5K, 10K, and half marathon distance, then stupidly decided to run a marathon and injured myself, causing a slow decline in running ability, fitness, and mental health.

After getting a spot in the London Marathon in 2015, I got injured again (during the race), and I've not really run again regularly since. I have fits and starts. My most recent one began in March this year, with slow run-walks and lots of long distance walks to get my legs working again. After much trying, I finally managed a full 5K without stopping at the beginning of July, only to then stop training again because it was Summer and too hot to be outside.

Am I always destined to be rubbish at running now? Only if I say so! I am quite buoyed by my surprising achievement on Sunday, which although slow was actually 10 minutes quicker than I expected. Once I have got past this weekend (Cub camp), I will have brain space available to process the idea of training again. (At the moment it is full of risk assessments and schedules and worries about not having enough help.) But is this just another excuse for not training? Probably. I am a great procrastinator (for example, I have just written this blog post instead of doing any work or writing a plan for Cub camp).

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