Sunday, 23 November 2014

Does the Buddha's Face Look Bothered?

I've had a quiet weekend. My very faithful readers will remember I nearly went to a day's mindfulness retreat about a month ago but then things happened and I ended up putting it off. Well it was on Saturday. I did think about not going again. I had things I needed to do you know, like going for a run, picking up a parcel from the depot (I swear the postie waits round the corner until I go out and then dives up the stairs with a red card) I didn't have all that much I had to do. I got up at 5 though, so's I could run and get my parcel. I was hoping that the parcel was a neoprene vest I've ordered off Amazon, for going under my wetsuit, but it turned out to be a book. I did the weekend shop at Tesco super early and I was back and showered in time to get to Mindfulness. The revelation of the day was really pumping up the tyres on my bike. I noticed the other day that they were a bit soft so I put some air in there. I swear when I went out on it it was like it was brand new again. Rolling resistance is real!

I suppose Mindfulness is about not being constantly distracted by your own mind. For someone who constantly tells themselves stories like me, that's a big ask. And I'm tempted to make up a big story about it. But I won't. I sat perfectly still for ages and never said anything and my mind did quieten down considerably. In fact on the last leg, at about 3pm, stretched out on the floor with a blanket over me, I did accidentally have 40 winks.

Peter was away in Nottingham at the Masters so when I got home I never said anything either. I ate my dinner to the sound of one hand clapping and then retired early to bed.

Appropriate outfits for the weather.

There's nothing Freudian about this picture. It's all in your filthy mind.

LOOK at my long shadow. No I'm not trying to put off going for that swim.

This morning when I got up it was dark and cold. I knew today was submerge day and I was sorry my neoprene vest hadn't come. I didn't put the heater on at home in case I lost the courage to go out. The forecast had said it was going to be sunny but the sky was grey and thrawn and there was a sharp wind. I told myself this was the point of Submergathon - to confront this very fear of the cold and exposure. "In fact" I told myself, "This is relatively easy. In an ultra you have to run for quite a long time before the real challenge starts, whereas with the submergathon you get the hard bit over at the start!"
Well nearly at the start. First of all I needed to do a wee recovery run, which I wasn't really in the mood for. The sea was grey and bleak and I wasn't looking forwards to this swim. But then the sun came out and things felt a bit better. Just a bit better mind you.

And finally I did get in. It was intense. Another couple had gone in just ahead of me. The man swam off and the woman pottered around in the water. It was very cold and very choppy. Julia Henderson had assured me the face freeze eases off after about 50 strokes so I forced myself in and on. I was getting lifted up and dropped pretty regularly by the waves though and it was exhausting. Because Peter was away I'd taken a bumbag to put the camera in and this was acting a bit like a brake in the water. Or at least I like to think so, because I was getting nowhere fast. My shoulders were really freezing and after setting off with good intent I found I was having difficulty keeping my poor little arms moving through the water. That thermal vest will not be a moment too soon when it comes. I gave it 200 strokes and decided to call it a day. Just the heel of my accelerator foot was still numb as I arrived back in Edinburgh. I got held up in what seemed to be a queue for Kinnaird park. I assume that Christmas Shopping has commenced.

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