Sunday, 28 September 2014

Saturday Gullane Run & Sunday Shrew Run and Submergathon

It was a nice day yesterday but I was slow and tired. I beat out 10 miles round the shore and went home too tired and uninspired to write any words about it.

Today, perhaps because Peter was crippling a bit as the after effects of the 2 Breweries Race, I felt a lot more spritely. We never saw a shrew (mores the pity) - it was just the shape of the run on the map looked like one. I chased Peter down the beach, not letting him get away until in a stroke of genius he shouted out "I'm being chased by Metal Mickey!". This was so ludicrous I had to laugh and lost the ability to run.

I've got us wetsuit socks now so we were trying them out today. They delay the sea reaching you but reach you it does. It trickles through the zip at the back and down the neck. The tide was way out and the water felt pretty cold. Hence the ooh matron face.

The submergathon is still on...

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Sick Day

If this pony ever learns to read it will be livid.

After Sunday's Submergathon, Lucy was ill on the Monday. I'd had some cold bugs floating around in my head myself and on Tuesday when I woke up in the morning I had a hot head and a stuffy nose and I felt kind of out of it. I phoned and cancelled my clients for Wednesday thinking I'd take it easy, get better quick and not spread my bugs about where they weren't needed.

I'm sure it was the right thing to do. I woke up at 4.30 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep. Got up, ate breakfast, took my turn at Scrabble on line, read some stuff and then went back to sleep until 10.30am. It was nice not having to worry about being at places for certain times or any of that. When I woke up the 2nd time I had a stonking headache, but also wanted to get out the house for a while. Unless I can't get up at all I feel imprisoned staying in, so I thought I'd take the car to Cramond and do the airport run. It was going to be an easy peasy run with stops for taking photos. I thought it was just about 5 miles.

It's been a while since I've been there and it was a good idea. The sun came out from time to time, the clouds were piled high in the sky. I was completely sheltered from the West Wind by the trees all around me. I took it dead easy and my head was a lot better after a mile and a half or so.

Peter had mentioned that more places had become available for the Borders XC series and I had snorted my indifference. I am a runner-mystic these days, not a competitive runner. Running under the trees made me think again though. I like quirky courses. If I can just not worry about how much slower I am now than I used to be I could actually enjoy it.

So anyway, I saw berries and spider's webs, I possibly saw the nice doctor who did my ablation out with three spaniels, but my eyes are hurting so maybe it wasn't him. He had a green gown on last time I saw him. I got a big smile anyway.

I'd forgotten how exciting it is getting so near the airport. Planes are landing and taking off all the time. The sound is tremendous. I got that holiday rush just listening to it. Taking off is like leaping into the unknown...

My memory had distorted the distance and it was actually 7.5 miles, but I was quite happy with that. Despite being ill I was starving when I got home. I went onto entry central and there were 5 places left for the XC so I bagged one and now there are four. I already have it sorted in my head that since Sunday is swimming outdoors day we can go swimming after each cross-country. Maybe it's going to be a winter of colds and flu!

Sunday, 21 September 2014


 I have to keep this short because...damn I'm hungry.
The submergathon has become a thing. Feel free to join in!
Peter was out until late with Carnethy runners drink/running (drunning? rinking?). By late I mean until 9.35pm. I was in bed when he got in.
But he'd left a note for me to see this morning. "Don't go swimming without me." So at 8am he got a cup of tea and some instructions.
My plan this morning, and probably every Sunday morning, is to go for a tiddly recovery run at a very low heart-rate. (Today's average was 124 bpm) and then get in for a swim.
Meantime Lucy C had messaged to say she'd be up for a swim.
So round about 11am we were all climbing into our wetsuits and setting off down the beach.
I am still no great shakes but it is getting easier every time I get in, and I'm swimming further every time I get in too. We set off East up the beach and I kept beaching. I thought subconsciously I was just clinging to shore because I'm a baby. But on the way back I discovered what the problem was - because twice I found I was out my depth, which I didn't like. My right arm is obviously a more accomplished swimmer than my left! I was roundly outswum by Peter and Lucy but still quite proud of myself, as we got a discernible distance along the beach for once. I was jittering by the time I got out and had to run about on the beach to warm up.
Presumably by December some kind of adjustment will have taken place, although I'm not sure what form that might take. Do you think it's okay to sneak a hotwater bottle into your wetsuit?
Oh and it was the equinox. And it was a lovely day.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Swearing at kiddies

Another easy Sunday run with a swim in the sea afterwards. I'm trying to swim in the sea once a week all the way through the winter, just as a thing to do, like the Marcothon, but less intense, and for longer, and more wet. It's called the Submergathon. I'm hoping Julia Henderson of Helensburgh R.C is going to do it too...

It was decisively Autumnal today. The temperature had dropped a few degrees, the skies were grey, the berries were out, there were toadstools in the woods. The beach was delightfully free of people. When I went to get into my wetsuit I discovered that I had let it lie, wet, in the boot of my car for a week, so it was damp and smelled damn fishy.

The water was a bit rough, so quite exciting, but also exhausting. The waves rolling in made me lose my bearings and to my embarrassment I "beached" in shallow water, right near a child who shouted "go deeper, go deeper" excitedly. I muttered "fuck off" very quietly under my breath, and getting up and turning around swam off with great dignity.

I was recently reading a paper by a Barbara Almond, about the psychoanalytic underpinnings of Bram Stoker's novel Dracula. She said that Dracula was a monster baby, unfed by an un-attuned mother and therefore powerless and furious, feeling he must feed from others using mind control, magic and coercion.

I was obsessed by Dracula as a child, not in a magazine collecting way, but more in a having-to-wear-my-snorkel-parka-with-the-hood-up-indoors kind of a way. I was scared to look at the window in my bedroom at night in case I saw someone floating there, three flights up.

Reading about it made me want to re-read the book, to see what I thought of it now, being an adult and all, so I ordered it second-hand and dirt-cheap off Amazon.

Yesterday I waited in for the Postie before I went out my run, just in case there were any parcels for me. There often are, because I've got a bit of a 2nd hand psychoanalytic text habit now and I honestly couldn't tell you at any one time what's coming for me. Especially since I order things from America and forget about them. Who knows when they'll turn up.

So the postie did come yesterday and he did have a parcel for me. I ripped it open with anticipation and then my blood turned a shade cooler. The horses became restless, snorted and pranced. The postie got into his black carriage and then hurtled away down the cobbles as if pursued by the very devil himself. It had arrived...Dracula. A terrifying tale if ever there was one. I couldn't actually bring myself to read it. I put it in the sitting room and avoided it. Peter is away running in Tiree so it was just me in the flat at night. I tried to relax, doing things on the lap-top in the bedroom, but every little noise made me jump...

There was no way I was going to start Dracula at night in the flat on my own with a nearly full moon outside, staring in the window. I don't know just when I am going to read it. First thing in the morning doesn't seem the right time either. It would appear I'm still afraid of Dracula.

Anyway, so, I did a bit of googling and discovered to my surprise that Bram Stoker was an Irishman (I had assumed he would be Transylvanian to be honest with you.) Bram stands for Abraham. He spent the first 7 years of his life with a mystery illness and bed-ridden after which he recovered completely. I'm sure that must have warped his brain. I'm off for a stretch and to get a shower, and wash out my wet-suit this time too, before the shadows lengthen and the darkness falls....