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Unexpected but satisfying outcome

Woman crossing the finish line

Good morning my lovelies. I hope you all had a fab weekend. As you know mine featured a 5K race for charity on Sunday  morning.

The morning dawned wet and breezy, not ideal for fun runners, especially when the course is run on horse racing course! The going was rough under foot, great for sprained ankles and knees! I could feel panic mode setting in.

‘What if I sprained something? My long-awaited holiday is less than a week away!’

Very quickly I realised my mind was heading off towards Catastrophe City. I had to head it off to my happy place otherwise my panic would become reality.

‘Deep breaths Cath. You can do this. Let’s practice a little yoga breathing!’

As I looked around the race course I saw a sea of girls in pink. From little ones in pushchairs all the way to some very senior ladies, all with one goal in mind, raise funds for Cancer Research UK and have fun while doing it. Each participant was wearing a reason to run on their t-shirts. Some were running in memory someone who lost their battle(that was me for Mr D’s Aunty) while others were running for someone currently fighting. Everyone had a reason.

Most of us were running in groups but a few, like me, were solo runners with a support team on the sidelines. Mr D and my daft dog came to cheer me on. Even the support teams joined in the pink theme. Dogs were sporting pink bandanas. Even some bearded men had their beards decorated with pink glitter. The atmosphere was brilliant. Once I’d got my head back in the zone, I was able to absorb the positive energy surrounding me.

I had to laugh when the hosts on stage started the mass warm-up. The track they chose was my earworm nemesis – Baby Shark! (Ooo! Recent #SoCS reference!). I can honestly say it was the most hilarious warm-up I’ve ever taken part in. Seeing over a thousand people do the actions to Baby Shark squashed the last dregs of panic out of my system. How can you panic when you’re giggling?

With us warmed up, the hosts did their best to get us into some sort of starting order. Runners to the front, then joggers,¬† with walkers and pushchairs bringing up the rear. I got boxed in somewhere at the back of the joggers. Mind you, one person’s idea of jogging could be another’s idea of running flat out!

Five. Four. Three. Two. One. We’re off!

I spent the first kilometer trying to dodge round people and keep my footing. The next kilometer passed without incident as the route followed a tarmac path. I was still overtaking people. Glancing at my watch I could see I was keeping to my ideal pace (the one I trained at) and not remotely out of breath. My mind relaxed as I switched into mantra mode.

‘I am full of health and vitality and can easily run this 5k.’

I kept this mantra going, zoning out everyone else, so much so that I didn’t see Mr D and daft dog at the half way marker! At this point I was only aware of running past more people. In a moment of self-doubt I wondered if I was running too fast and would run out of steam! Checking my watch again I was amazed to see all was going well.

With the 4k marker in sight I knew the finishing post (haha – another reference to #SoCS!) was near. Then I heard my name. Mr D and daft dog were running beside me, cheering me (and barking!). That was all I needed to spur me on. As the finishing line came into view, I glanced at the race timer and realised, that with a spurt of speed, I could beat my own personal best from 10 years ago when I first started running.

With determination and exhilaration, I kicked hard and shot past the finish post and forgot to slow down. I was still running with plenty of juice left in the tank. It wasn’t until I neared the water station that it registered in my brain to slow up. One of the race helpers had to shout to me to remind me to pick up my finishers medal and water!

‘Yes! I did it. OMG I’ve beaten my best time from back when I was 40!’

Now I need a new goal. As I’m not keen to run further than 5k I think my goal is to run faster. I may be 12 years older than I was when I set that last record but that’s no reason to believe I can’t improve my time. Age is just a number not a state of mind, or body for that matter.

I’m taking a break from running until I come back from my holiday. Autumn will be well under way by then so all I need to do is buy some autumn/winter training kit and get back out there.

Wishing you all a lovely Tuesday.

Cath xx

 

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#SoCS -Passing the finishing post!

Woman crossing the finish line

Tomorrow I know I will not be first past the finishing post, and I’m fine with that. I’m running a 5K race to raised funds for Cancer Research here in the UK. Over the past 8 weeks my village has been entertained by me, dressed in bright pink (the colour of the charity), speedwalking, jogging, running, sweating, waving to passing cars, and admiring the gardens, as I gradually increased my distance and time. I looked like a liquorice allsort in trainers!.

I’m not racing against anyone else, I’m too postmenopausal for that nonsense. Nor am I racing against my current personal best. I’m running in memory of Mr D’s Aunty Helen who died last year from cancer. I also run just because I can. I have the joy of health and improved fitness. Mr D has noticed an improvement in the tone of my posterior!

I imagine that by the time I reach the 4K marker the most important thing on my mind will be the postrun celebrations. I hope the finishers goodie bag has some lovely treats inside. I bet they won’t contain a ready mixed Gin and Tonic. I’ll make one in case. If I’m clever, I’ll be able to disguise it as fruit-infused postexercise rehydration!


This is my last #SoCS post for three weeks. If you would like to fill in for me while I’m off sunning myself, click here.

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#SoCS…. aargh no! Get out of my head!

So Linda’s writing prompt popped up on my reader feed and I laughed. Not because the topic “earworm” is hilarious, but because I was already in the grip of one.

Usually I develop earworms from singing along to the radio (how retro) or from a good movie sound track. However, todays earworm was passed on to me, like a Chinese whisper.

There I was, midway through a training run (my fun run race is in two weeks, eeeek!) when another runner approached from the opposite direction. Being the sociable runner I am I said “Hi”. He blanked me. How rude! And then I spotted his earbuds. Aha. He’s listening to music. As he got closer I realised he was singing along. I wondered what he was listening to. And that, dear readers, is when I caught it.

He was only singing the blooming “baby shark” song.

What the actual heck?!! Some playlist!

As we passed each other I swear that bloody song jumped into my ears and it’s been there ever since. I know what I need to do to get rid of it but am afraid I might make it worse by doing the actions!

Anyhoo…. here’s what’s stuck in my head… sorry.

Baby Shark Song

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Nearly knocked out by my …

… boobs!

Yes, lovely readers, I did go shopping for new bikinis as I said I would yesterday. And very successfully too. One set, a bright sapphire blue, was in a half-price sale, while the other, a luscious turquoise, wasn’t, not that the price stopped me (Mr D nearly had a dicky fit though!)

Cost Centre 1 came with me as my trusty fashion advisor and changing room runner. She earned her keep today by bringing in a continual supply of new tops and matching bottoms to try on, until we had the perfect sets.

I’m pleased to say the purchases satisfied my two criteria, keeping the ‘girls’ under control and being pretty.

So far so good. But how on God’s green earth can you possibly knock yourself out with your own boobs while shopping for bikinis? Surely it’s not that physical an activity? The answer lies with my next purchase, a new pair of running shoes.

I’ve always gone to a running shop to have my trainers fitted. It’s good to make sure you have the right type of shoe for the distance you plan to run, the terrain, as well as for your running style. I popped into the shop, pleased with myself that I’d remembered to bring my own running socks, and waited my turn to have my running gait analysed.

With my first test shoes on, I jumped onto the treadmill while the assistant set everything up. The belt started off nice and slowly, and with the word “ready” he turned up the pace. I was super-pleased with how quickly I adapted to the pace and how cushioned the shoes felt.

The belt slowed and I was given the results… “great news, you have a lovely neutral gait.”

All that yoga has helped me strengthen my legs and ankles so I do not overpronate (roll in on my ankles) any more. No more clunky trainers for me. I tried on another pair and got back in the treadmill again. This time the assistant, confident that I was capable on the machine, turned the speed right up. And that’s when it happened!

The ‘girls’ took on a life of their own, much to the amusement of everyone passing the shop window! Their wild oscillations were gaining momentum until I gave up my last shred of dignity, took each one in hand, and clutched them tightly to my chest.

Slightly breathless and very red-faced, I stepped off the treadmill, beating a hasty retreat to my chair. Taking my new shoes to the counter, I hastily paid for them and shot out of the shop as fast as possible.

Note to self, next time I test out new trainers, make sure I am suitably upholstered underneath as well as bringing running socks.

Wishing you all a serene Sunday xx

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Friday fun in the sun

How much fun is it being able to make a snap decision and take the day off? The weather is just too beautiful to watch it from the office window. It doesn’t happen that regularly in the UK that we can afford to pass up the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. As the old saying goes “Make hay while the sun shines.”

I planned to sleep as long as I needed. Didn’t happen though. The cuckoo had other ideas.

Clearly, it is a master of long distance travel and to be commended on its endurance. I’m sure it has other talents, but time-keeping is not one of them. At around 5am it started to cuckoo. By 25 o’clock I thought it might stop to draw breath, but no. It was going for the world record for non-stop cuckooing! By 5:40am it decided to call it a day, by which time I was now wide awake.

Not willing to waste a lovely morning trying to get back to sleep I slipped into my running kit and headed out. Initially I was only going for a short run but the conditions were too good to resist, my legs felt great, and I kept going until I’d completed 5K.

Once home, the run data transferred from my Apple Watch app to my phone, and to my astonishment, I’d knocked off 2 minutes 30 secs off my previous best time! Go me! Time to celebrate with a post-run yoga session on the sun deck. It seemed only appropriate that part of my routine should be Sun Salutations. The only slight blot on the horizon was dog shaped. Molly was so eager to join in the fun. She has Downward Dog off to a fine art but is absolutely rubbish at Bridge, and Corpse pose. She’s also rubbish at letting me do these poses unmolested!

After much face-licking (the dog, not me) she gave in and let me carry on. With the sun well above the horizon, I was able to have breakfast outside while I planned the rest of my day.

My trip to the beauty therapist was excellent. She doesn’t just do my nails and waxing, we exchange news, and generally set the world to rights while having a seriously good laugh. By the time I was ready for home I was in the best mood I’ve been in all week. I think this is why these wonderful people are called therapists.

And now?

It’s mid-afternoon. I’m in the shade of a majestic weeping willow tree, with a big glass of minted water (soon to be Gin and Tonic), listening to Dark Side of the Moon while I write this post.

This is the best Friday I’ve had all year.

Wishing you all a chilled and fun weekend.

Cath xx

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One swallow does not a summer make!

birds on a background of sunrise

… but I saw two! Does this mean we are heading into summer at last, after such a long, cold, wet winter?

Yesterday in the UK the sun has finally popped out to say “Hello”. It was so warm that I had to ditch running tights in favour of shorts. Argh! I wasn’t prepared to bare the legs. They’re still in winter mode (AKA I haven’t bothered to book in for waxing). That said, comfort won out and I headed off in running shorts.

It’s amazing what a blink of sunshine does to banish the winter blues. I felt I could have run for much longer and my pace was effortlessly faster than usual. At the end of my run I usually walk for around 5 minutes before stretching out. My walk took me past some stables, and that’s when I spotted a swallow. Not just one, but two. And then I heard another sign of spring, a cuckoo!

I think it’s safe to say spring/summer has finally arrived. I’d better book in with my beauty therapist for some timely leg deforestation!

Wishing you all a fab Thursday.#

Cath xx

 

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Thoughtful Thursday… daydreaming

dream

I have to say, some of the things that whizz through my mind while I am walking the pup, sometimes take me by surprise. It varies from the mundane “what am I going to cook tonight?” to the curious “I wonder how deep that puddle is. Will it reach the top of my wellies?”.

Today’s thought was along these lines –

“If I didn’t work, how would I fill my days?”

Surprise, surprise! I made a list once I got home and removed all the mud from the pup. Here are just a few of my ideas in no particular order.

  • Gardening
  • Writing
  • Cookery
  • Dog agility classes (might channel pup’s excess energies)
  • Running
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Cycling
  • Photography (this one came out of nowhere!)
  • Travel
  • Knitting and sewing

My ideal day would start with a few affirmations and a yoga session, before tucking into breakfast on the patio with hubby. Obviously, in my head, the weather is being kind for a change.

Then I’d spend the morning gardening, working up an appetite for lunch on the sun-deck (weather is still glorious). While lunch settles, I’d sit in my she-shed (I don’t have one in real life, but a girl can dream) and write blog posts and my book. Once the temperature¬† cooled enough, and lunch digested, I’d head off for a cycle ride or a run. Either of them would give me the opportunity to observe other gardens and their plants.

Once home again, following a stretch session and a shower, I’d join hubby on the deck for a civilised gin and tonic followed by cooking up something delicious and healthy.

At sunset we would head out to the hot tub to soak away the day’s exertions and chat before heading to bed.

I wonder how soon I can retire? I would love one of those days right now.

For all you lovely working readers, what would your ideal day look like? And for those of you already out of the rat race, how do you fill your days?

Wishing you all a fun-filled Thursday.

Cath xx