Sunday, 22 June 2014

Bending not breaking

The big clock is now ticking for getting this darned dissertation written. It's due in in the middle of August but there are only so many days a week I can work on it. Well two days really. The weekend. I did quite well on Friday evening, doing a good 4 hrs before dinner and bed. Then yesterday I put in a good few hours too but I was getting grumpy and narky. It was too hot, what I was doing was annoying me, I couldn't think very well and I wasn't getting anywhere....except deeper into a mood. I backed off and did some chores. Then Peter and I watched 'The Cement Garden'. We got this off Love Film at my request. It was partly just a way of taking charge of the choosing. Peter usually chooses what we watch because he can be bothered to read what the critics say about films. This works out most of the time, but we have had the odd Korean film where the grandfather is a ghost...and well...who really knows what was happening. Neither of us, that's for sure. I had a vague memory that the Cement Garden was about a family where the parents have died and kids just carry on without adult assistance. Beyond that I couldn't have told you. It's quite a shocking and very atmospheric film.

Anyway. I thought today might be better. Peter was away to run the 7 Hills race today. (He warmed up by racing Largo Law yesterday.) I was too slow putting an entry in for this this year. It's now pre-entry by entry central with no last minute entries or exchanges with other runners. I was firmly ruled out. Part of me wanted to do it, I think I've done it about 7 times, and it's a Porty Championship race at which I'm likely to do better than at other races....but then it's quite good not doing it too. I was going to stay home and take advantage of having a quiet house. But I was also bored and there was an up-rising starting inside. I was reminded that the me that wants to get my dissertation done is not the only me. There is also the me that has been working all week and wants a weekend. I was going to go my well trodden recovery run and then I had a better idea. Why not just take a small jaunt to Gullane and go and run about in the undergrowth?

I've been having more van trouble. I developed a bad vibration during the week. I took the Berlingo in to the garage yesterday morning and told the man. "Maybe you haven't been to the beach enough!" he said. (I think this was a reference to the Beach Boys.) He wasn't wrong though. I hadn''t been to the beach enough. It turned out my bad vibration was my silencer flapping on the end of the exhaust as it had rusted through and broken. There was another bit higher up the exhaust pipe (the guy let me come under the van with him and see) where the pipe was rattling against another bit. He had to order a bit so it'll go back in on Wednesday, but he'd put on a new silencer which took care of most of the problem.

So the van was there, all ready to go. I drove carefully so as not to rattle it further but it was sounding fine. Better, in fact, than it has in ages.

My legs were a bit stiff because I did some hill-reps yesterday but I eased off after a while. I've run the same routes round Gullane much too often now so I changed it up by heading up beside the big posh houses next to the golf course and over the hill and down onto the beach that way. The sun came out, which hadn't been forecast. There were flowers everywhere, and the sea and the sky were very blue. As I ran along in the sultry warmth I kept thinking that maybe I should go for a swim when I was finished but I doubted I would. I KEEP thinking I'll go for a swim after I've run and then it seems like too much effort. Part of the problem is that we've been swimming in wet suits this last couple of years and dragging them on over your skin if you've been sweating is a nightmare. But today it seemed just possible that I could go in without a wetsuit on.

When I'd finished I'd only run 5 and a bit miles. My plan was not to exhaust myself. After all there was studying to do. This was just a little time out, not a whole day off. The idea that I should swim wouldn't go away though, although I didn't want to. It was the thought of that first shock you get when the cold water reaches your tummy.

But I went down to the beach anyway and got changed into my costume, which I had in the boot.

I talked myself into it by telling myself it might do something for my muscles. They were a bit achy yesterday. It would be therapeutic. The first bit was pretty awful. There was a small child in the water, and a black lab, and then there was me, with my farmer's tan, some very white bits and some quite brown bits. I stood for a long time with the water at my waist summoning my courage and then I dived in. It never gets any easier. It was a horrible shock to the system. I swam a few strokes and then jumped back up. And then the adjustment takes place. I wasn't insisting that I go back in but then I found I wanted to. Maybe it wasn't so bad. And then I found I was swimming quite comfortably...except there was water in my ears and I was a bit dizzy. The black lab made a bee-line for me, sensing a kindred spirit, but I discouraged its advances. The last thing I needed was some doggy breath and getting hit with a wet smelly tail.

So that was it. I came out the water to get the camera to take a very cautious selfie for "proof". Once I'd been out the water going back in lost its appeal. I'd been in a wee while and was starting to shiver.

So I drove home. But I felt amazing. I'd forgotten about how good swimming in the sea makes you feel. It's made me want to do it again soon.

Well you know the drill. I better get a shower. I have work to do n'est-ce pas?
Soon Peter will be home and whether I want him to or not, he will tell me the story of his race. The adrenaline will not allow him not to...

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