Sunday, 23 October 2016

Low light, long shadows and falling leaves.

Lyme boy seems to be getting better. Thanks goodness. The photos above are from last weekend. We never got going until the afternoon and enjoyed a run in the late afternoon sunshine. Unfortunately the coffee I had at 4pm worked its stimulating magic until 2am, so I was a bit tired the next day.

We went out for an 11 miler yesterday. It was cooler and the light was more blue-grey. Setting off down the Archerfield road, leaves were falling silently from the trees. Neither of us had much oomph but it was good to get out. The tide was a good way out so we could run below the rocks on the sand.

On the last stretch back to Gullane we were hailed by a cyclist - who turned out to be Peter's brother Neil. He's just finished an intensive spell at work and was finally getting out on the bike.

I am driving myself crazy today, trying to ready a book on anxiety disorders and finding it impossible to keep my eyes open. Just how in the hell am I supposed to read a book if I can't stay awake? Eh? Eh?
It's potentially interesting. It should be interesting. I've got all the disorders in the book. Obsessive compulsive? Did I lock the door? Did I put the cooker off? Will the street be a sea of fire-engines when I get home?
Social Anxiety. I meet people and I think thus. "There's spinach on my teeth isn't there? Why are they wrinkling up their noses? Do I smell of onions? Are they judging my moustache?"
Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Worry and the secondary worry about worry. Am I worrying too much? Will that make me ill? If I get ill, who will drive Peter around in the van?

Not quite enough anxiety left over to keep me awake though.

I was hoping to do a lot of studying today but we're stalled at 12 pages and that'll have to do for today.

There's one great cure for anxiety that I know but I can't recommend to punters. Perspective. Go climbing and scare the living daylights out of yourself and all your worries disappear. It's simple. Or go swimming in the sea in the winter and all the other stuff just floats off.

Childish thought for the day. The only thing that is keeping me going with this course is if I don't finish it I might have to pay the £3,500 tuition fees. There are a thousand good work-related reasons why I should be doing it, which is why I am doing it - but I wish I wasn't doing it. It's too short ago since I was last studying and I'm absolutely sick of it. I hope I win the lottery. £100,000 would do. If I did, I would stop the course immediately. Immediately. And happily pay the tuition fees back. I would not spend one more moment on it.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Gullane Run with Michael and a shout out to Rich.

I'm trying to study again, so I mustn't tarry long here. I've just been out a quick run and I need to get some lunch and then a shower and then get some serious reading done - not falling asleep on the sofa. That would be counter-productive in so many different ways...

Anyway, we had Michael G along as a special guest on the Gullane run yesterday. Running with Michael is always dangerous because his enthusiasm for all things running is so infectious that by the end of the run you can  find you have agreed in principle to all manner of races.

By the end of the run yesterday we were thinking quite seriously about the Hoy Half Marathon next year. And what Foxtrail winter races to do. And maybe parkruns. And maybe the Stirling Marathon. Michael was trying to get me thinking about doing ANOTHER Carnethy 5, which is just cruel.

After the usual 6 mile circuit we arrived back at the van and we were weighing up whether to go for a swim or not. The temperature had dropped however, and the sea looked a bit cold and uninviting. Michael wasn't enjoying the prospect of trying to see if he could squirm his way into my spare wetsuit. It's a bit big for me, but Michael is just all round taller and musclier than me, so it would have been a squeeze. We went a loop round through the woods and back along the shore instead and took it up to just under 10 miles.

On a completely different note I've been saddened by reading in one of my favourite blogs - Running Around of the author's on-going story of getting depressed, going to the doctor's, getting antidepressants and then having a reaction to the antidepressants which is probably worse than the original problem. There's no contact details on his blog so - just in case you happen to be reading this Rich, there are lots of different ways of thinking about and approaching depression, and talking therapy and antidepressants have just about equal results in clinical trials. Your GP should know this, but not all of them do. If you wanted to discuss it, just email me. I'm a mental health nurse. I could maybe point you in helpful directions....and, I love your blog. Your love for your running and the beautiful places it takes you to shines through...

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Sun, sea, sand, suits and selfies

New Camera. New Panorama!

Saturday Peter was away on some Carnethy drinking run in the Pentlands. He asked if I'd put off the Gullane run and swim until the next day and I graciously conceded. It's his birthday tomorrow so I'm trying to be nice. 
I've been trying to incorporate a longer run into my week to keep the mileage up a bit as I'm struggling to get out more than 4 times a week at the minute. I decided to stay in town and run along to Cramond and figure out a way to come back.
The first 6 miles were great and then my feet and achilles started to protest so it was a bit of a slog coming back. I think it's time for a new pair of shoes. Using Strava makes it very easy to keep a track of how many miles are in your various shoes and I'm getting an impressive amount of miles out of mine. Maybe adding to my foot problems.
I ran 13.6 miles in all which secured me a hearty lunch.

I've got a new waterproof camera as the old one mysteriously died. I checked if I could return it but I'd missed the deadline by 21 months. Oh well. It had a pretty rugged life.

Today we headed off for our Gullane Run. Once again the sun was shining and there was hardly any wind.

Here's us being attacked by a dolphin-spaceship.

He looks great doesn't he?

I know what you're thinking. "Lovely couple."

Too many hearty lunches.

And nowhere to hide 'em!

This new suit is so easy to get on and off though. I love it.

We ran round the usual run at a leisurely pace with Peter telling me about yesterday's run in the hills and some more things he's been reading in his butterfly book. The sun shone down. The sea looked blue. I'm not much of a doggy person so don't pay much attention to them but did notice a self-possessed looking Golden Retriever loping by on its own. The reason I paid attention to it was it reminded me of an utterly bizarre painting of A Golden Retriever beside one of the royal couples (Fergie and ???) painted by Harry Hill, which bore the legend "I spoiled it for them." I reminded Peter of it, and we both laughed.

When we got back to the car park at Gullane Beach a lady with a baby asked us if we'd seen a Golden Retriever on our travels. We told her we had! About half a mile ago at Maggie's Loup. That he was looking relaxed and appeared to be having a good time. He had gone for a walk on his own and her husband was off looking for him. We hummed and hawed, both of us were feeling like maybe we should go and retrieve the retriever for her. But then her husband happened along with his nibs, still looking relaxed and wavy tailed. I wonder who he spoiled it for today.

Swimming in the icy waves didn't seem that appealing, but with a new under water camera you kind of have to put it through its paces, so we went in, and it wasn't too bad.
The end.
How the hell can it be Sunday night already. It didn't aughter be.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Selfies "n" other stuff

 I've been having some holiday time and doing what I believe the young people call "dicking about".
 Peter's already covered this, but we went to the Portrait Gallery to see an exhibition of self-portraits thinking it would be interesting and we were both under-whelmed. I think part of it for me is I can't think when there are too many other people around me because I just want them out of my aura. So exhibitions are no good and neither is shopping. I couldn't enjoy looking at the pictures because of the people and their smells. There was one lady moving at the same pace as us who smelt like our neighbour Rose. I don't think Rose would quibble if I said she "liked a drink". I can tell if she's been on the stairs when I go out the flat because she has this flowery smell which I think is a mixture of perfume and gin or vodka or something. The woman in the exhibition...well she was taking up more of my mind space than the pictures. Afterwards I wished I could go back and review it all - because retrospectively I started to find it interesting. People depicted themselves in all these different ways. There was the odd person who'd decided that they were just young and handsome and that's what they were going to show. Far more common were haunted eyes and allusions to loneliness, anxiety and death. Guilty secrets. Baggy old eyes that said "I might be a bit of a perv." I know this would all be better if I could illustrate it. But I was lazy with the lens.
Then there was a section of "friends and family" and the artists were generally a lot easier on their loved ones than they were themselves.
If I had my time again I'd take more pictures so I could look at them without the distraction of people around me.

 Then another day. Well many other days we went for a run round Gullane. Here's a picture of Hoka man in his natural habitat doing his thing.
Since I'd been to that exhibition I was still thinking about self-portraits, which are, essentially, selfies.

This is me as seen from space.

Yeah. I don't really know.

Bucky's eye view.

Moral Outrage and Indignation.

Waiting for butterfly man.

"Egg, larva, pupa, butterfly!"

Today we went for... a run round Gullane! I knew I wouldn't get much resistance out of Peter as he did a 30 miler yesterday. I've got a new wetsuit and I needed to try it out.

It was ace. Stretchy extremities so it's really quick and easy to get off. In contrast to my last one. No more nearly dying of hypothermia in an icy wind while struggling to get out of the suit...hopefully.

 We ran into this fellow! The photos don't do justice to what a cute little toad this was. Lovely little hands and golden eyes. But he wanted to get back to the pond, so he wouldn't stay still for long.
Looking like a bat.

And this one was under some ply.

Oops. Number one again doing some crafty climbing moves.

Angel Skeleton.

The narrative isn't great for this blog, but what the hell.