Firewirks over Sydney Opera House

Firewirks over Sydney Opera House

Monday, 15 September 2008

Mind games (with myself)

The River Wye at Miller's Dale

I love these giant Gunnera (I think!) plants. The colour is fantastic and they're massive, at least 5 if not 6 foot high. It's like the tropics!!

White water

The Monsal Trail (a disused railway track) on the viaduct crossing the Wye and Minty-Chops, oblivious to the view!

I liked this track, it still had a slightly summery feel to it and Minty turning round looked very "Littlest Hobo" (does anyone remember that?!)

Rain -soaked hills - it was one hell of a wet walk

A hint of sunshine from time to time just to keep me going until the next shower

The river was racing, really high. Shelagh was desperate to swim but I wouldn't let her. I thought she'd be carried off by the torrent if she got into the strong flowing part of the water.

Yes - I'm a crazy woman and I talk to myself far too much

I managed to drag my sorry carcass out for a run this evening. It is not getting any easier to do but I'm being gradually more sucessful and consistent. I'm managing to run frequently enough that I can remember that, although I really don't feel like it, it will feel better soon! This evening I had promised myself that I would go out whatever the weather and it was a process of slow bargaining and, basically, lying to myself to ensure that I did it!

It's a bit depressing - I enjoyed it more when I genuinely wanted to go out running but at least I'm doing it.

By lying, I mean that I bargain with myself internally. As I drive home and it's spitting with rain (very gentle stuff) I'm saying "you don't need to go out running, but, if you don't, you have to do at least 30 minutes on the trampoline and crunches instead. To stop yourself getting out of it, you have to get changed into your exercise gear straight away".

Then, as I get nearer, I start thinking about the dogs and how much they like getting out. I say "Well, you won't have time to walk them and do your exercise, so you may as well go out for a very quick run. Only 20 minutes. No hills. Just round the block."

Then I get home and force myself into running gear and tell the dogs that we're going out. This ensures that they're really excited and I would feel like a total heel to back out.

Once we're running, I bargain with myself the whole way round - "Right, just up to the gate and back"; "Well, just the small hill." "Okay, you feel better now, do the big hill"; "Well, it would be bad to do less than you did last time out, keep going and do the full circuit"!.

And, somehow, I make it round the full circuit and even, on the way back, run a bit faster.

And the weird thing is I do feel better. I have been in a foul, pre-menstrual mood all day, wanting to snap at colleagues and having very little patience with the dogs and yet, when I came back in, I was much more relaxed and happier. I know it but somehow it still isn't any easier to put it into practise. I'll get there. I'm just breaking the back of the resistance stage!!

The photos are from a walk I did a week last Sunday round Millers Dale (another one of my random, walks-out-of-a-book). It seemed like a nice-ish day when I set off. I thought there might be some minor showers but nothing too bad. About a third of the way round a 6 mile, very hilly and muddy route, it chucked it down for at least 40 minutes. It cleared up but then chucked it down again. Luckily it wasn't cold but it made it pretty hard work, trudging through the wet grass and mud! Still, it was beautiful and I enjoyed the solitude and time to think.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Good long run...

A grey start but the geese were enjoying the view.

Shame they're not edible.

I always admire this garden and the setting is gorgeous.

Terrible photo of me - you really can't rely on passers-by these days! Still, it's proof that I was running and a view of the water spilling over the Derwent Dam which is not surprising after all the rain we've had!

The sun peeked through at the end

Shelagh loved her swim but Minty wouldn't dip a toe in!

I'm pleased to report that I managed to get out for a really good long run yesterday morning. I bottled it on a rainy Friday evening saying "I'll definitely go out for a proper run tomorrow"! In the past I might not have done so on Saturday but this weekend I did. I get dressed straight into my running gear when I got up and checked a few blogs which gave me some inspiration (particularly Shelley from Running My Life - thanks Shell).

I think one of the problems I've had recently is slight boredom with my running routes so I decided to to go somewhere totally different. I drove up to the Ladybower Dam (only a few miles from home) and then ran round the lower section. It' s about 6 or 7 miles or so and I took it nice and steadily. Stopped to take the odd photo, let the dogs say hi to other dogs, and have a swim and just generally didn't push myself too much to make sure that I enjoyed it.

And I did! Now I want to go out running again soon so I think my less pressured approach will pay off. A few months ago I was in serious training and had to pound out the miles; now I'm just running for fun and exercise and to help keep my weight under control. That's not to say that I won't take on another challenge some time in the future but for now I just need to get back to the place where regular exercise is a natural part of my life.

I never let it go completely, always did my personal training and the dogs walks and the odd run but it was definitely fading and now it's coming back in. Phew!

Anyway, I hope you're all having a good weekend and I'll catch up with you all soon.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Is it autumn?

Minty enjoying the view - don't jump you daft mare!

Very wet on Stanage Edge as it has only just stopped raining.

The sun was trying to peek through...but didn't quite make it.

We had to retrace our steps as we couldn't cross the stream at the stepping stones as there was so much water!

I've been feeling very willing to hibernate over the last few weeks. Maybe it's the rubbish weather. Maybe it's the change of seasons. Maybe it's the fact that I've been eating more carbs than usual. Who knows. I haven't been going mad foodwise but I haven't been dropping any lbs recently. Real balancing on the edge stuff.

I've been clawing my way back to exercise though which is a positive. I'm managing 2 sessions of personal training and 2 jogs per week on top of the usual dog walking duties. The jogs are painfully slow and don't involve much in the way of hills compared to my previous form but they're getting better. I've gone back to my 5 miler up to the dam wall but I retrace my route along the path now rather than going back along the road so that I can bring the dogs. I couldn't run properly with the 2 of them on a lead for any length of time. Minty would trip me up into the road and we'd all perish knowing her...!!

Minty is an absolute gem. So naughty and lively but really sweet. I was blowing bubbles for her for the first time this evening. I remembered that Shelagh used to love it so tried it with Minty. She was scared of them to start with but before long she and Shelagh were jumping up trying to catch them and barking and whining like crazy when they popped. They're such good company when D is away.

Anyway, my mate Nicola was up from London last weekend. We went out for a good long walk on Saturday afternoon despite the rain. It chucked it down for the first 40 minutes but cleared up after that. Lovely, but I'm really looking forward to the sunshine of South Africa!!!
Nicola has just come back from SA and had brought a selection of her best piccies from Kruger. They would blow your minds...they were so gorgeous. I doubt I'll get anything as good. She had a whole load of perfect shots of a family of lions sitting around a buffalo carcass in mid dining!! All blood stained maws and fat stomachs...simply stunning. I hope we're even a quarter as lucky as that. We aren't going to Kruger (this time) as it's just too tight timewise but we will go to Addo Elephant Reserve which is the next best thing. Not just elephants, loads of other game and much closer to Cape Town.
On other news, I've set up a new blog!! Nothing exciting, just a bit of a bit of fluff about our local play area which me and few mums from the village are trying to raise funds for. It would be really helpful if any of you could pop in and leave a comment or so just so it doesn't look so fake! The only reason I set it up is to "evidence the community suport for the project" or some such blather from the Lottery application form! I swear, it is easier for me at work to apply for over £4 million for a town centre redevelopment project than it is for us to apply for £40k for a new playground. The hoops they have made us jump through - 250 signatures on a petition; 80 questionnaires; a 40 page application form; a blog; a stand at the local carnival; smarming up to the local Recreational Ground committee (believe me, a fate worse than death which I did NOT do...) and God knows what else. We had better get the money now!
Anyway, the addess is and any droppers-in would be much appreciated. My pals from the village are not very au fait with blogs and stuff so I'm having trouble getting them to leave a comment or post something so it's all on me...
It's good to be back talk to you all soon. Kiss kiss

Saturday, 6 September 2008

The prodigal returns

I've not been on holiday just very busy at work and doing other things. I've been meaning to come up here and get back to the blog for ages but somehow it never happens. Anyway, this is not going to be a long post as I'm expecting a friend to arrive any minute but I thought I would just put fngers to keyboard and say hi! Diet mosying along whith only marginal sucess but not gaining so that's not too bad. We're off on holiday to South Africa at the end of the month so that is still a target.

I hope all are well and I'll be checking you all out and posting properly very soon.

Love and hugs and stuff.