Archive | March, 2022

Just One More Thing…

27 Mar

I took another lateral flow test on Wednesday: still positive for Covid. I was a bit gutted, because although I was still tired, I’d been really hoping that was simply post-viral fatigue, not still-fighting-Covid fatigue. On Thursday I felt a bit better in the morning, but then started to get some slight pain when breathing in the afternoon, which I just couldn’t shift. My best guess is some kind of post-Covid chest infection. Anti-inflammatories seem to help, especially with ensuring I can sleep comfortably, but it’s a bit frustrating.

On Friday this week, I finally tested negative for Covid. It was good timing, because I’d completely run out of fresh fruit, and also needed to pick up some more lateral flow tests. FFP2 mask to hand, I set off. I was conscious that I was very, very, very behind where I wanted to be mileage-wise in terms of Bristol-Kyiv, so although I wouldn’t normally use my Garmin to measure walks, I am claiming that one mile round trip!

On Saturday I felt brave enough to try a slightly longer walk around the Downs:

I went down ‘Goat Gully’ (sorry, the zoom on my phone isn’t great, so the goats are quite small in this photo…):

Along the Portway (past my favourite Mr. Bump):

Up through the beautiful faded glory of Bishop’s Knoll:

and finished near this rather appropriate flag:

Now, it’s fair to say that although I felt fairly ok whilst walking (a little light-headed on occasions, but otherwise not too bad), afterwards I could definitely feel in my lungs that I had pushed myself, which is a bit humbling given that 2 weeks ago I had run 7 miles.

It was a similar tale today: 4 mile walk (but I left my phone at home, so no photos), when a fortnight before I had run 11 miles, and as I sit typing this I can feel that I have apparently worked quite hard. It’s a sign that I’m going to have to be very careful. Still, 9 miles for the week is better than no miles for the week, and hopefully I can at least keep the walks going next week, even if run/walking, let alone running, might have to wait until the week after that.

We’re still trying to reach that fundraising target of £5,000, by the way: Many thanks to those who have donated already.


Absolutely Positive

22 Mar

When I was in my lengthy cycle of comebacks and attempts to rebuild fitness, I had this slightly superstitious sense that whenever I committed to a target race, something went wrong. It didn’t play a factor in my decision to retire from racing, but the frustration of regularly having to abandon target races did!

Anyway, I couldn’t help but think of that slightly superstitious sense this time last week. On the Sunday I’d published the previous blogpost, committing to 100 miles in 14 days. Ambitious stuff for someone who’d been doing something between 20 and 35 miles per week for the past 4 months. I’d been feeling a bit tired all weekend, but I figured that was most likely because I was a bit burnt out from work, and – with almost 3 weeks of time off coming up – had been able to finally stop running on fumes. I told myself this was my body finally acknowledging that it could stop, rest and recuperate. Result!

On the Monday, I felt even more tired, and mid afternoon noticed that I had a slightly sore throat, but didn’t think a huge amount of it. I thought rather more of it when I woke up on the Tuesday feeling completely lousy, with a very sore throat and sneezing loads. T asked if I’d done a Covid test, which was a good point (I’d been away with work the week before, and let’s say that mask wearing is now very clearly optional in shops, cafes and on public transport, so had doubtless been exposed to lots of coughs and sneezes. As we know, they spread diseases). I did a lateral flow test, and it was positive. Not only do I believe that the guidance to self-isolate should be followed, but frankly I didn’t really want to even leave the sofa, let alone the house.

The real bummer was that it meant me having to miss our holiday to Norway (see above re: self-isolating. If I had given Covid to someone vulnerable, or someone who went on to infect someone vulnerable, I would feel awful). Still, by dint of me moving into the lounge, having windows open 24/7 and never being in the same room as T, he somehow managed to evade catching Covid, so at least not all of the money was thrown away! I did another test on Saturday, and it started to show positive before I’d even left the bathroom. I repeated a test on Monday, and it had the decency to take a little longer to show positive, and was also a much fainter line. I still feel pretty tired, and although I am definitely feeling better overall, it feels a bit like each good day is followed by a slight dip: overall the trajectory is positive, but with lumps and bumps along the way… I’ll try another test tomorrow, in the hope I could at least then go for a short, gentle walk to try and cover some of my outstanding 75 miles. I’m not at all sure I’m going to be able to cover all of the miles remaining on my pledge, but let’s take it a day at a time, and see what can be managed.

Back (But Not) For Good

13 Mar

I’ll do the catch-up later: what’s with the title?

A little over 2 weeks ago, Russia invaded Ukraine, sparking a humanitarian crisis, and a mass exodus of Ukrainians fleeing for their lives. The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), along with many other organisations, is doing what it can to help, and the barristers and staff of St. John’s Chambers have pledged to cover the distance from 101 Victoria Street, Bristol (our office) to Mariinskyi Palace, Kyiv, with a fundraising target of £5,000. I’ve pledged to cover 100 miles in 2 weeks, plus whatever I can manage to wobble and tumble my way through whilst cross-country skiing in the third week (safe to say that holiday feels particularly poorly timed right now: another 50 miles’ running would be a walk in the park compared to staying upright on skis!). You can sponsor us here:

As the granddaughter of a refugee, my knowledge of my family’s history gives me some small sense of the reasons why people flee and seek sanctuary. For my grandfather, who arrived in England a little over 100 years ago, his family shrank to just him, his sister and his parents. Attempts to contact those who had stayed behind resulted in silence at first, and ultimately a request from the Russian/Soviet authorities to not try and contact them again. Who knows if his aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents had died of natural causes, been killed in the civil war, starved in the famine, or even been killed by the revolutionaries? Countless Ukrainian families are currently separated, and the DEC is providing support to those they can help.

As for me, being a fun runner is suiting me. I ran a reasonable amount in January, relatively little in February when work was ridiculously busy, but should have a good chance of covering the 50 miles per week pledged as I have some time off to recuperate and refresh scheduled.

Thanks to T for making my Ukrainian flag face mask