This is another late blog. Very tired this week and doing extra work (proper work, not exercise work) so just not fitting it in. Decided to up the fitness work in the week before Oxford. Joined my local running club – Lliswerry Runners – and went for my first run on the Tuesday after Bristol. Well… it wasn’t exactly a run – gosh those guys are good! Even the improvers. Even the beginners! There wasn’t exactly a category for how awful I was but I have not enjoyed something so much in ages – everyone was really really friendly! I loved the optimism of one of the lovely ladies I trailed behind who was convinced I was fast enough to run with her (it turned out she had run Bristol too, only her time was around 54 minutes compared with my 66!!!) No wonder I stopped being able to breathe at around 8 minutes into the run! Anyway, no one left me behind, they kept checking on me and they were lovely. Was aiming to go again this week until the flash storms on Tuesday night reminded me I appear to be a fair weather runner and I crawled off to the gym!
I also joined a new Yoga class at my gym – well that was very hard work – I even did a backwards crab for the first time in around 40 years. I genuinely feel like my chest is broken – it is only now getting back to normal.
In addition to this, in a burst of energy, I did my first kettlebell class. I knew it was going to go horribly wrong. The guy leading it was so sure that a 6kg kettlebell would be easy for me and I was so sure he was wrong! I was right! By the end of trying his patience to the limit by forgetting each exercise of the circuit and having to have private tuition, I was not only crawling between stations, unable to walk, but he had removed my kettlebell from my possession as I had such weak upper body strength that lifting it above my head turned it into a dangerous weapon, ready to knock me unconscious. As I couldn’t even pick the kettlebell up once, I did most the circuit for upper body stuff using only my own limb against gravity. I think my performance was a whole new level of beginner that the instructor had not known existed. He was lovely and very patient though -fair play!
Anyway, the follow on to that was my intense leg and buttock pain. It was only after the run and a lifesaving massage that I could actually sit down with any form of control whatsoever!
This week I was accompanied by my lovely sister, brother in law and niece. Yep – guaranteed adventure that one, especially with the eagle eyed Jorja Grace never missing a trick! We left late as I had to go to a study morning and Paul drove us. I pretty much fell asleep – I was amazing company! We got to our Premier Inn (again!) and settled in. Jorja and I inspected both rooms as usual and we decided mine had by far the better view. We watched Little Mix on Jorja’s kindle, I joined in singing, they were good, I was terrible. I then degenerated into a child needing to be led everywhere as having Kerry with me meant that I had no need to think about anything at all – she had plans, routes, timings and distances organised with military precision, laminated, backed up and duplicated – absolutely what I needed!
We went for a walk to loosen up a bit but soon discovered that we were pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Jorja reported our walk to and from the well known Oxford beauty spot of……..the power station, to my Mam and Dad when we returned. Sure there must have been something better to leave in her memory but never mind. Morse would be very disappointed!
We are pretty much experts on the menu at all restaurants attached to Premier Inns and we had a fab meal after discovering a “new” menu. It was so fab that we couldn’t even fit in pudding. This didn’t matter as next to the hotel was an M and S at the petrol station – this took our dining experience to a whole new level!
I slept fab. Kerry, Paul and Jorja unfortunately were in the middle of a party group and hardly slept. Fair play to the P Inn though – they did the goodnight guarantee thing and gave them their money back! Awesome eh?
Getting to the run was interesting. It involved car (no problem), bus (someone told us to get off at the wrong stop – luckily prevented by Kerry the Guru) and walking (just following Kerry and her map really!)
The weather stayed fine and there was stuff for the family to do whilst I was out trotting (this turned into Kerry having a full blown discussion with Christine Hamilton, advertising my challenge and Luca’s cause, distributing cards and somehow getting the announcer to repeat the information about the challenge and Luca all the way round!) To top it off she got me interviewed at the end of the run by the same guy and hopefully that will help the publicity bit!
The run itself was in a lovely location – running past the lovely Oxford buildings and Colleges- and it was not too bad (apart from the on going leg and buttock issues). I beat last weeks time but am way off my “PB” (Oh, what an athlete I am!) but I didn’t mind.
We walked into town at the end of the run (and Jorja recited all those who had overtaken me – this included the obligatory banana (am really, really going off fruit!), batman and robin (they get around too!), a lot of totally orange people (the run was for Muscular Dystrophy) and also a cow (I had been pacing myself by him till 4k and thinking I was on for a good race time but then his true speed kicked in and I added a new animal to my “species to get beaten by”) Jorja remembered each and every one. Thank you JG!!!
We had a lush lunch with cake for pudding and then I got driven home! My flatmates were away so they said I could use the rented out bath – it was heaven!!!
Steve Prosser – my lifesaving masseur then came round and beat my legs to oblivion which meant that I returned to nearly normal walking by the middle of this week. Phew!
So, off to Birmingham tomorrow night as the flight to Aberdeen for this weekends race leaves at 6am (changed from the much more reasonable 10am I originally booked!) Just what I need! This is another “mam and me” journey – will await with interest x