Archive | December, 2012

Bog Snorkelling Home For Christmas

25 Dec

This morning it was business as usual for Christmas Day, i.e. a run, breakfast, presents, champagne and then dinner. The run was supposed to be along the canal (12M, so 6M out then turn around and run back home). The bit out to the canal was slightly flooded, which turned out to be a sign of things to come, but I decided that slightly damp feet was something I could cope with, and splashed through the puddles. The canal was very high and flowing very fast, but hadn’t actually burst its banks, so I kept on going. The first route I tried had a very significant flood (and I couldn’t tell where it finished, i.e. it went around a corner), so I opted for the towpath. And then hit some of the boggiest conditions I have ever experienced. I couldn’t quite face squelching my way back through it all again (wet feet as a concept becomes less appealing after about 45 minutes, it would appear) and so I turned off the canal at Theale and took the A4 home for Christmas breakfast.

I’ve now had not just Christmas breakfast but also two thirds of Christmas dinner (just waiting for sunset to enjoy the pudding in full flame). It’s been a lovely day and so it simply remains for me to wish you a very merry, but admittedly slightly sozzled, Christmas.

PS: Llanwrtyd Wells (home of the World Bog Snorkelling Championships) here I come: I’ve done the training now 😉


One Year On: Home For Christmas

24 Dec

Having opted for yesterday’s 4pm from Temple Meads Home for Christmas (unsurprisingly Chris Rea didn’t sing about that one…), I set out for an easy 5M run from my parents’ house this morning. Rather than retracing my steps along the canal I chose a loop which took me past some childhood haunts, namely my playgroup, nursery and primary school (and a site of less successful memories, that is to say the church hall where I used to have ballet lessons. Suffice it to say that Anna Pavlova was undoubtedly turning – albeit more gracefully than most – in her grave). So that means that in the last 3 days I have covered 35M, or Bradford-on-Avon to Little Bedwyn on day 2. It’s much easier over 3 days 😉

It’s pretty dreich here today, but I’m looking forward to a comfy, cosy day inside. Definitely a day for counting your blessings.

Day 2

23 Dec

Appropriately enough for reminding myself of how I’d felt a year ago, my legs were a bit tired and heavy this morning, and so my 18M training run was ground out. The weather was probably a bit similar to last year’s: windy and a bit of rain. The terrain was generally better (albeit mostly because I was on pavements for the majority of the time, apart from a mile through Blaise which was reminiscent of the towpath at its worst!) but I’d deliberately picked a hilly route because I’m at the stage of training where I need to focus on leg strength. Job done!

Day 1: 1 Year On

22 Dec

Last year: 30.5 miles on slippery towpaths, but with generally good weather.

This year: 12 miles in the pouring rain, including a stint as a marshall at parkrun. As per last year the fancy dress contingent were out: I particularly loved the entire Nativity scene provided by my own running club. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a ‘proper’ tea-towelled shepherd!

One Year On

21 Dec

This time last year it was down to the last anxious few hours. This year I can look back and reflect (and reassure all those who ask how I’m getting home this year that the answer is a more prosaic “the 5pm from Temple Meads…”).

One comment that always stuck in mind was made by my friend Laura, who said that in a way RHFC was what Christmas was about: helping others. I’m not religious, but music and singing played a huge part in my childhood, and I have always loved Christina Rosetti’s words (preferably set to Holst’s beautifully simple tune):

“What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wiseman, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give him: give my heart.”

A year is a long time in MND. There is still so much work for MNDA to do and so many families who need the support which is helping Chris.