Wednesday, March 20, 2013
......and still it snows! I know us Brits like to bang on about the weather and rarely manage a conversation without mentioning it, but this is getting ridiculous. I can't remember a winter as long as this. Today's view from the window....
This time last year, we were under a "hosepipe ban" due to drought conditions. Someone up there is surely having a laugh!
Just found out it's International Happiness day!!! No more grumbling about the weather from me!
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Lots has happened over the last week. My daughter had her 14th birthday (can't believe my baby enters high school this summer). It's the first Belgian birthday that we've not had snow. Quite the opposite, it was a summery 18*C/65*F and she mused that this year she could have had the bouncy castle in the garden that she dreamed of as a 6 year old....
We celebrated Mothering Sunday at the weekend, especially nice as my son was home for a few days so I had my entire family with me. That made me very happy. We ate lunch out and generally enjoyed each other's company.
Yesterday, I said goodbye to my son again and put him on the train back to London. I also said goodbye to my husband who flew off to Madrid for the week. The first flakes of snow began to fall.....
....and today we woke up to a deep covering again with temperatures back well below freezing.
I had the worst white knuckle ride ever to drive my daughter to school. The roads were sheet ice and despite everyone driving extrememly slowly, there were several scary moments with cars around fish tailing and sliding off the road. I had just got home after an hour on the road (usually takes less than 15 mins) when the phone went - school, to say lessons had been cancelled as hardly anybody had made it in, so I needed to collect my daughter! EEEEEK! So back out onto the icerink I went.
It's turned out OK, the sun came out at lunchtime, the snow has started to melt, and we were able to enjoy a beautiful walk through the woods together - albeit a chilly one.
I had been quite happy with how my race training was going. I completed a fantastic long run a couple of weeks ago and have been out doing shorter 30 min sessions since. On Sunday, I set off to run a gentle 10K - less than 10 minutes in, my left achilles twanged and that was that. I hobbled home and spent the next 2 days limping. It has eased off a lot today, but I'm nervous about going out again too soon and causing more problems.
I was touched that so many friends had commented congratulations on my 1lb weight loss this week, although amongst the "aw that's so nice"s I was sheepishly having to admit to myself that actually, it's the same 1lb that I have been putting on and taking off since Christmas. I'm really not in the zone at the moment, and I'm not too sure how to get back there. I had lost a total of 17lbs before Christmas and was feeling very happy with myself. Slowly, most of that has crept back on and I feel so disappointed with myself. But not surprised. This is my usual pattern. Bah! Why is it so hard?
Sunday, March 03, 2013
What a difference a week makes! Last weekend's snow melted quickly on Monday, and although it has been decidedly nippy it has been dry all week. My good intentions to run regularly went out of the window with the bad weather but this weekend I decided it was time to get things back on track. I've done a fair bit of running in the past, sometimes running races where I've been woefully under prepared, so I know that I have the mental ability to get myself from A to B. I decided today to "go for it", to run slowly but steadily and see how far I could keep going for.
I got up and faffed, as is usually the case on long run day. That bit where you have to get out of the door is a HUGE obstacle for me. Once I'm out its usually ok but that door step. Wow. What powers it has.I porridged and faffed some more; cleaned the kitchen, washed the floor. By 10.30 it was now or never.
Right from the start I decided on the run/walk strategy trying to keep within 13 minute miles, which meant I had to run quite a bit of each mile so couldn't pretend I was out on a country walk. It was too cold for that. Thankfully no wind, but cloudy, dull and cold. I've had enough of the cold now
The miles gradually passed. It's not a very interesting route, going down the lane, through the woods, along the river, up the lane, through a housing estate, along the main road for a mile (slight uphill!!!), down a lane, keep going to the river, over a bridge and up the lane, but it's better than running through town or on busy roads. There was hardly any traffic apart from the uphill mile. A couple of horses, some cyclists, a handful of other runners and a few dog walkers was the total audience I had.
I got round it, running some of every mile, though the hill was walked and the last mile was hard going.
1) - 1m - 11:48(11:48/m) - 141cal
2) - 1m - 12:02(12:02/m) - 141cal
3) - 1m - 12:30(12:30/m) - 140cal
4) - 1m - 12:04(12:04/m) - 146cal
5) - 1m - 13:31(13:31/m) - 132cal
6) - 1m - 12:10(12:10/m) - 146cal
7) - 1m - 12:42(12:42/m) - 141cal
8) - 1m - 14:11(14:11/m) - 128cal
9) - 1m - 12:48(12:48/m) - 137cal
10) - 1m - 12:22(12:22/m) - 141cal
11) - 1m - 12:19(12:19/m) - 143cal
12) - 1m - 12:56(12:56/m) - 137cal
13) - 1m - 13:20(13:20/m) - 129cal
14) - 0.02m - 17(12:31/m) - 4cal
13 miles done . I had expected to be out for 3 hours and got home in 2.44 so I was very happy with that. Tomorrow I shall be back to following the schedule so that I can build up to running the whole way and hopefully knock a few minutes off the total time.
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Last weekend I was convinced that Spring was just around the corner. This week it has turned decidedly chilly again, but I was nevertheless surprised to wake up this morning to a good coating of snow (again). Hubby and I had planned to do a Long Run today, and had prepared a 7 mile route. A short fact finding venture outside had us deciding to swop the run for a hike-with-proper-walking-boots-on.
We set off and soon reached the car free part of our walk. The untrodden snow looked beautiful, resting on the trees. I quickly realised I had forgotten my camera but it took another mile or so of me lamenting to hubby that I was missing some fantastic shots before he mentioned that he could take photos with his phone, if I really wanted some!
So here is a flavour of our walk, photos courtesy of Chris!
Not sure which bird made this huge print - a heron maybe?
Entrance to the local wildlife area
Just to prove we were going the right way!
The nearest thing we have to hills here in Antwerp!
This pond is usually full of ducks - no sign today.
You can just about see the bench where we sometimes sit in summer.
This tree has fallen during the winter winds.
Chris thought the snow lying on the stream looked ghostly....
The hut where we would have had our picnic, if I'd thought to bring one.
Old WW2 pill box by the railway - they are found dotted all over this part of Flanders.
The beauty of nature!
Seven cold, wintry but invigorating miles covered in slightly under 2 hours 20 minutes. I'm now home, thawed out and enjoying the smells of the Sunday roast cooking!
Friday, February 22, 2013
It was cold this morning. -4C (25F) but with a wind chill making it feel like -10C (15F). Add to that the fact that it was snowing, albeit not settling, and I almost didn't make it out of the door.
I had to take my daughter to school so decided to run round our local park, in the hope that the beautiful scenery would make up for the unappealing weather.
I quickly realised that I could have done with an extra couple of layers on. Despite wearing a long sleeved running top and a fleece, the wind was still managing to cut through. My thighs were the coldest. You can buy arm warmers for runners but I've never seen thigh warmers.
I considered getting back in the car and driving home, but decided that I might as well run as I was there now. The first mile was really hard. My legs were heavy (and cold) and it felt like I was running through peanut butter. I turned out of the trees and into an icy headwind. That's where the run became mental. As in, I was constantly talking to myself mentally.
"Not far until you're back in the trees and out of the strong wind."
"Keep going to the next bend, don't walk yet."
"Don't let that dog walker see you struggling."
A big smile and a cheery "Goede Morgen!" and I was back to the mental cheerleading.
"More than halfway and you feel OK. Keep going."
"This bit's downhill, no point walking here."
" Too near the road, the cars will see you walking."
"Last mile and you're on for a good time. Keep this up and you'll break 35 minutes."
"It's not a race, don't be daft."
"It's race training though - go for it!"
"There's the car, you made it!"
And so it was that I completed 3.1miles in 35mins 41secs.
1) 1m - 11:34(11:34/m) - 149cal - 5.19/6.8mph
2) 1m - 11:16(11:16/m) - 149cal - 5.32/7.05mph
3) 1m - 11:41(11:41/m) - 145cal - 5.13/6.57mph
4) 0.1m - 1:09(11:25/m) - 16cal - 5.26/6.37mph
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