Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Crunches, Squats and the rest.......

7.30pm last night and I was transported back to that feeling of utter dread that would assail one before a school PE session. Never one for en masse exercise I did not settle easily into school games sessions especially hockey on a winter afternoon when each thwack on the hand/shin/foot delivered by the faster, keener (teachers favourites) players would go purple with bruising and cold. However this was not hockey but "boot camp" at the joint campus at the high School.It was not so much chosen for the friendliness of the name but the fact that it slots in nicely with the children's athletics club. It was a last minute decision to register after an impromptu weigh-in plus the thought that some cross training might be a good plan. The session was fast and furious and despite the fact that I am totally unable to do squats properly (this was pointed out to me by a faster, keener girl at the end...)I managed okay. No big girls being mean to me anyway......So no running yesterday as I did not want to peak before the class and none today as I have inveraray jogscotland tonight.If only I could get off this computer I shall have a wee stationary cycle...maybe...

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Time seems to have grown extra long powerful wings since Thursday night...the weekend has been and gone but not without a good deal of enjoyment. After skiing yesterday we had a brief lie in but the horses and paint-ball guns were waiting and so up we got. The girls and I went and cleaned a moderately dirty Lewis and Barra. Luckily the dirt was dry and okay to remove. Just as we were tacking up a horde of assorted camouflaged beings emerged from the riding stable officelooking very scary to us let alone the horses resulting in a little bit of horsey dancing on concrete....as they got closer we recognised various friends and even some relations. Toby and Garret had been invited to trial run the new paint-balling venture and to put it crudely...had a ball! The horses thought otherwise and we girls had a very gentle session in the outdoor ring with the horses, especially Barra tiptoeing around the bottom end of the ring with ears a-prick for distant "Thwacks" and whistles. They will get used to it and indeed Lewis was quite chilled out by the end of the session and was thinking only of haylage so nothing unusual there. Barra is more sensitive and so continued to draw our attention to what to he patently thought of as a major threat to horsey well being. The girls and I tidied the garden this afternoon and had a very satisfying bonfire aided by a friendly chicken. Sadly we were a bit short on the marshmallows to toast front but at one and a half each they seemed happy, the chicken did not get any. The temperature seemed to plummet this afternoon and the air turned very damp misleading Liz and I into piling far too many clothes on for a trip up Dun na Cuiche in the dark....We made a slow ascent and an even slower (well, on my part, Liz was a shining beacon ahead of me) descent. It was really dark by the time we came down, the owls were hooting across the woods to each other, even the dogs eyes were spooky in the head torch light. Shades of teen horror films were flitting through my mind when I was not concentrating on not falling my length over the rough stones. However the point was the getting up and down not the time......Stoked up a really good appetite for the haggis, tatties and neeps for tea.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

"No Falls - No Balls" Anon

Well....it is that time of year and it is Scotland so you have got to take your chances when you can. We headed en masse to the slopes and were not the only ones! The kids had a good lesson whilst I terrified myself on Mugs Alley, the entrance to which had changed out of all recognition over night with the result that I descended it in several different ways i.e on my bottom, on skis but sitting on the back of them, on my side sliding away down that slope (proving in a variety of styles that yes, in one way I do have balls...) and even once without falling. Unfortunately this took its toll on already tired legs and I admitted defeat eventually retreating the the lower slope and leaving Garret and Toby to be Kings of the Hill today. I wonder what the word is for "fear of T-bars"...... The girls and I had a more genteel but fun time skiing along a little used track the other side of the plateau until our legs gave out and begged for mercy and chips. We made it to the bottom cafe with 11 minutes to spare to order the latter....stylish girls stylish!

Friday, 22 January 2010

Soooo tired

A good day skiing followed by really really scary 4 mile run in the dark round Inveraray practising for The Deer Stalker... summed up thus....dark....fading head torch...forest tracks...scary!!!!!!

Monday, 18 January 2010

Just got to get the miles in now!

Running, Running, Running...lovely sunny day.....Running, running, running....so nice to be out and stretching my legs...running,running,running..... Happy Lucy dog with tail held up high running,running,running...hmmmm a bit wet under foot but hey no ice! running running ru....Yeuk! Large boggy patch masquerading as a stony totally hard bit of path. The result of this was both feet but the right one most were covered in a gritty clay heavy soil that allowed a steady trickle of tiny, tiny stones into my trainers. This is so very comfortable when running providing a kind of pedal ex-foliation treatment whilst getting out and about However it does gives one an excuse to stop when multiple blister development beckons. I did manage to enjoy the rest of the run although not at a pace I would like to pretend to have aspired to, when one foot weighs more than the other an interesting gait develops. However no ICE! This is looking good for inveraray jogscotland tomorrow. The three recent runs are to try to get the motivation back up for some serious training and some shifting of the Christmas tummy roll as The Mighty Deerstalker beckons in March.Other events hovering are the Anthony Nolan 10k in Lochgilphead first weekend in May, Inveraray Jail Break (running as well as organising.. Gulp) on the 9th and the good old Mull of Kintyre 1/2 marathon at then end of the month. May is going to be a busy month and now I really really wish that I had not written them all down like that. I was once advised that the way to ease acute nerves is to enter more events... Nah just means the ulcers take a step closer.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

The Ice Queen lifteth her Grip.....

It is like being released from an evil spell! After torrential rains overnight the ice has lifted its grip from the drive and track completely meaning that we are free to walk, run and drive once again! The girls and I were booked into an important date with the athletics club Competition, if a place is gained qualification looms for the regional finals so serious stuff. The annual contest always manages to combine a measure of competition and friendliness which the children rise to really well. It is great to see the children so dedicated to sport. I slipped off mid session for a run round Lochgilphead and Ardrisaig which was unique for recent days in that the only ice I saw was on the canal. Stiff limbs and sore joints trudged along to Franz Ferdinand on the iphone for 6 miles or so. They eased off round about mile 4 when a sore heel took over to occupy my mind. It was pleasant to see quite a lot of people out walking with dogs/babies/grandparents etc all looking slightly startled at the privilege of walking without multiple layers in place. There were still a few over the top hats that seem difficult to ditch, interestingly several worn by folk driving cars....not really necessary?
Back at the hall things were hotting up with Rosie first in the shot, I arrived just in time to see Freya take first in the high jump and then watched the running which is always exciting. Freya was pipped to the post by Olivia Kerr, a truly remarkable runner. She managed to get second overall though so made it to the next round. Rosie was a good competitor too and takes it all in good part!

Friday, 15 January 2010

Ice...melting and otherwise

Time to take drastic action...over a month with no proper running is making a Fat Fee and two fat dogs and this must not be allowed...so despite an ice rink for a drive Liz and I ventured out into Inveraray for a run around. She collected me from the end of the road which I slithered and slid my way down. An event at the top of the hill which involved several small tottering steps followed by an inevitable contact of bottom on ice was luckily unobserved by any one. The ice around the town was variable with the town itself virtually clear, the tracks around in the woods icy in places and some downright lethal areas on the Castle roads. Chilly legs were eased by a quick swim (pool not Loch!) then home. It seems strange to not have Mum here. She finally made it home yesterday but not without adventure as she left Glasgow just in time before both stations suspended trips along her line and then a broken track south of York meant the journey door to door stretched into 12 hours or so. And to think the train was the easy option.....just remembering an old ad "Let the Train Take the Strain" I think I have been taking the strain of it all the last day or so. Just glad she is home safe and sound.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

" Victory belongs to the most persevering". Napoleon Bonaparte

So long as the weather is not Arctic and the road you wish to run/cycle/ride or even fight on remains clear of almost clear deathly dangerous ice.....The novelty of walking Freya down to the main road in the freezing cold every morning is wearing off now and so is the excitement of risking a broken bone when walking around the outside of the house! Rosie fell yesterday at the house and Toby fell coming out of athletics club onto his sore arm of course. This has helped me make my first ever decision to cancel the running club tonight to avoid any broken runners on my conscience. The thaw seems set in elsewhere but here has merely laid a dangerously slippery film of water on top of the ice. Everywhere else life is returning to normal, for now, apart from at Glasgow central Station where trains are still not travelling to Edinburgh causing us problems in getting mum back home...still. I am getting used to ringing the "help" (shall resist a haranguing dialogue on what I think of that misnomer) lines for a couple of hours everyday and shall miss our friendly discussions......Not really got back into the work scene since New Year as the garden is unworkable and Garret is too busy to start on the home jobs, no running is making me cranky and cycling on the static trainer in the shed takes a lot of determination! Ho hum, off now to make some phone calls......

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Ski Saturday

Another day on the slopes unfortunately without Toby who managed to take it in reasonable part lending goggles and helmet with only the smallest of nudges in the right direction....The visibility and wind was better than on Tuesday and the girls made more progress with their individual styles showing through now. Freya careful and precise...Rosie more of a "go for it and hang the consequences" merchant. I managed a few trips up the main basin under the helpful wings of various others. i did have to avert my eyes from the red snow at the bottom of the Main Basin tow...puts you off a bit and did actually get down the wall (as it sounds) as I had to follow the others not knowing my own way along the other route.....We had a brief flurry of excitement near the end of the girls lesson as Garret was summoned by phone to a fallen Rosie. He arrived with aching legs to find me already there and a girl enjoying the attentions of the ski patrol man. A bruised knee and no more luckily! The immediate treatment of hot chocolate and a brownie was very effective.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Yup...It is Glencoe time again!!

With the New Year there seems no sign of the icy weather letting up although I must say that in this particular corner (no pun intended) of Scotland we are feeling just a little bit left out as we actually have very little snow just rapidly diving temperatures that saw -11 at 8am this morning with little raising of that throughout the day. A trip to Glasgow Central Station tomorrow to deliver Mum onto the first stage of her journey back South may be postponed until next week as there were no trains today. We did travel north to Glencoe on Tuesday to seek out some proper now with frineds and had a good day skiing...well, mine ended prematurely as my goggles froze on the inside and I was not really too keen on making my way down the slopes, even the easiest ones with the snow driving into both eyes. Garret had a great time and practised filming with his new helmet cam....we now have impressive footage of my very tentative and frankly bad skiing (even before the blindness), impressive because it is all sideways! At least we know it works.

Friday, 1 January 2010