Friday, 18 November 2011

In need of a plan

Its been a busy week and running has been crammed in around the edges. I'm definitely feeling reluctant to go out in the dark. The last 2 winters have just  put me off the whole thing. I need a plan or a goal or something. A something that trumps reluctance.

On Monday night it just looked so dark and cold outside the only bargain I could strike with myself was that we'd take the car to Tesco and en route park at Arthur's Seat and run around the thing. The 1st mile is all uphill and then the next 2.4 miles are flat and downhill and by that time I was warm so it was quite a nice way to do things. Then I bundled on lots of extra clothes because in Tesco's beside the fridges is one of the coldest places on the planet.

Tuesday afternoon we were at Peter's dad's funeral in the beautiful Binning woods. Couldn't help assessing the woods for running potential even though I was at a funeral. I've been reluctant to write about this because I don't want to step on anyone else's emotional toes and fear that my acceptance of his death might seem like callous indifference to someone who had a stronger attachment and has a bigger adjustment to make. Peter's dad was a nice man who was well into his 80s and he hadn't been very well in the past year. I felt glad it was relatively quick and he didn't have to spend much time in hospital.

It was a green burial in a bio-degradable coffin and there was a humanist minister to give a service. No one mentioned the G word, which would have suited Peter's dad. The setting was absolutely lovely - if a bit cold, and the high trees above seemed to dwarf us all and emphasise that we are just a part of nature. I don't know what it would have been like earlier in the year if the midges had come out though - pretty unbearable I would imagine, and I don't know how well it would work further into winter. I was concentrating on fielding Peter's mum who I was afraid was going to trip on a stick and take a header into the leaf litter - or worse yet, the coffin hole. (I think that's called a grave - ed.) Peter's mum was Mrs Buchanan no.1 and they separated and divorced in the early 70s I think. Elizabeth was Peter's dad's 2nd wife and it was her and Caitlin, Peter's half-sister who had organised the day. Both families get along fine and there were no rumbling grave-side tensions. They are  a nice bunch. It was interesting to hear Alistair's (Peter's dad's) story and hear how he never threw anything out and always had a camera handy. There seems to be something genetic going on there. A good number of the Buchanans are variously involved in taking photos and filming.

I had a presentation to prepare for Wednesday but not til the afternoon so I had my best run of the week, a 10ish mile route around Arthur's seat and taking in the innocent railway path and Duddingston. At last the November fog blanket had lifted and it was sunny and bright. The autumn colours were lovely and the sun had warmed things up enough so you could smell the trees and the gorse. My presentation was not very good but it was good enough so I've passed another bit of my course.

Yesterday I could not persuade myself out after work. Enough was enough. Today I forced myself out. It was okay but I wouldn't want to be doing too many forced runs. That's what people who join  the gym after Christmas do. See it as a chore. Regard it as being "good". Force themselves to go a few times and then give up because its all stick and no carrot.

I've got a couple of thoughts in my head about what I should be doing. One is doing lower mileage and running more frequently. Some people say its better training and I'm willing to give it a go. Just I'll have to find ways to get myself out there. Even better would be finding something that I really want to train for - and then I'll know how I should be training because I'll know what I'm training for. But there's no point in trying to force that, I need to let the thing come to me.

In the meantime there's maybe a Park Run tomorrow and definitely the Dunbar leg of the Borders XC series on Sunday. Peter and Michael G. have a bit of a mad notion that they'd like to do Dunbar and then get to Livingston in time to partake of the East District XC there. Unfortunately I wouldn't be able to make the ladies' race at Livingston.

Vive le weekend.

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