Baguettes for legs

In case you were wondering, I’m still hard at it for the Viceathon cause, well the eating baked goods bit anyway. I had visions of running every day while Edward had a week off work, but bugger me, didn’t we just go out and do fun things every day instead?! I have managed a handful of runs this week, one of which took place on a running track on Good Friday at 8am. You read right. I was delighted to see that our local leisure centre have started a series of outdoor classes for the summer: bootcamp, Nordic walking and – woohoo! – running club. So, I ran over on Friday morning to find it was just me and the instructor. This could have been slightly awkward, but I sort of know him a bit anyway because his family live across the road from us, and he was very kind and gave me my very own tailored one-to-one session. It was superb. I pushed myself running the five 400m repeats and managed to maintain my pace throughout, with only one moment where I very nearly threw up. This session actually made my legs ache, which is always a good measure of how hard I’ve worked (this doesn’t happen very often!).

On Easter Monday I kept on looking out of the window and saying ‘urgh!’ until I eventually decided it wasn’t going to stop raining, and took myself out anyway. It was quite lovely actually – there was hardly anyone around, apart from a few grumpy runners and two scallies who I was delighted to see were carrying a large potted plant through the park: ‘Ah’ I thought ‘how nice that they are taking an interest in horticulture’ and I smiled appreciatively at them. As I ran on it dawned on me that the big bushy plant was in fact marijuana and they were taking advantage of the deserted park to take it for a walk.

Today’s run was rubbish. I made the mistake earlier of saying on Twitter that I had ‘run a crappy six miles’ which, when I read it back, seemed very dismissive and wrongly worded. What I meant was that the experience itself was awful, I was pleased to have run over six miles, but hadn’t particularly enjoyed it. I really wanted to get my Viceathon debt down, so aimed to run a bit further than usual, but as soon as I set out I could tell things weren’t right. I felt heavy, tired and wheezy and ended up resorting to popping into McDonald’s to use their loo (this is a place I only ever venture into in running gear, head down, eyes on the little lady sign). I enjoyed taking  in the madness of Greenwich as film set, seeing the ‘Les Miserables’ scenery, complete with gigantic elephant. I then crossed over into the park where preparations are underway for the Olympic equestrian events. All this distraction didn’t help get me up The Hill, and I had to pause halfway and pretend to admire the view as I found enough breath to make it up to the top.

Greenwich, France

So, the Vice part of Viceathon has taken over somewhat this week, with home-made bread picnics and Easter Panatone given by visiting friends and Edward’s lovely little simnel cakes…and not much running. I did, however do a bit of cycling, and up hill at that, so will take advantage of this to shave off some miles (using a version of JogBlog’s 1 unit=2 cycled miles).

Edward's Simnel Cupcakes

I’ve done some workings out in my diary and have arrived at a figure of 10.94 miles in debt. I can get out tomorrow morning and work that down a bit further, but Edward is back to work on Monday and Hector is not back at school until Thursday…excuses, excuses.

Beach-comber

A year ago today we were in Brighton, stuffing ourselves with pasta and getting all excited about the Brighton Marathon. On Tuesday we went for a day trip there, and it all came happily back to me. Good luck to all those running tomorrow, it’s a fantastic place and a fantastic race.

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Adventures in Geocaching

This three-week Easter holiday lark is proving challenging in the think-of-something-to-get-you-out-of-the-house-for-free department. I was in danger if being lured under yet another pile of Lego this morning, but was enthused and rescued by the idea – out of the blue – to try geocaching. I registered on the geocaching website and discovered that there are lots of caches in our local area so, not being in possession of the right kind of Garmin or an iPhone, I went all old-school and wrote down the details and clues and off we went. The idea (in my head at least) was that I would run and Hector would cycle, but he soon started to get distracted and I was pulling his bike along within the first mile while he hunted for sticks to poke around in the locations where the caches were hidden. Thankfully we found our very first cache quite close to home and quite quickly, so our enthusiasm was maintained and not dampened at the first spot.

Happy Geocacher

The next one involved us rummaging around at the wrong tree whilst avoiding nasty piles of dog poo for while before I suggested another tree. When I had described it all to Hector, with my limited knowledge, I had said that the caches might be like a sandwich box and could contain treasure, so we were surprised at just how small some of them were, but not disappointed, there is a real sense of delight when you eventually find your little capsule.

Tiny cache

For some reason, my normally bike-loving boy decided he would now spend the rest of the outward journey on foot, so I gradually acquired a bike, a jacket, a helmet, a rucksack and a particularly ‘important’ stick. This meant my idea of sneaking in a run was now in danger of being dashed completely. A few of our searches were unsuccessful, though we will go back because one was just off-putting due to being the favourite haunt of the local winos and therefore strewn with discarded beer cans (and worse) and not especially child-friendly. We made a team decision to head towards the last one on our list then take a refreshment break at the Big Sainsburys cafe.

In terms of increasing my Viceathon mileage stash, this outing only brought me even (I ran the return journey). The half a bread roll and a scone I consumed in Big Sainsburys didn’t really help the cause, but I did find myself walking away from a particularly lovely-looking hot cross bun (baked by Edward’s Mum and brought all the way from Manchester) this afternoon, in favour of an avocado, how very odd.

Today’s Viceathon totals

Baked goods eaten:

1/2 a bread roll

1 scone

Fruit eaten:

1 avocado

1 apple

Distance run: 2.54 miles

Time: 26 minutes 30 seconds

Average Pace: 10.26

Best Pace: 6.39

Calories: 268

Baked goods total for April 2:

2 slices of bread

Fruit eaten:

1 avocado

1 apple

1 orange

some dried apricots

Miles left in the Viceathon bank:

0

On the first day of Viceathon…

…my true love gave to me a lovely lemony loaf. It would be plain rude to turn down a slice. Wouldn’t it?

Before I indulged in such citrus delights I went for a run in the sun (I was very happy about this because the weather forecasters have been promising cold, cold, cold all week). As I ran I thought about what might pass my lips today and decided five miles should do it, hopefully leaving me with a bit of extra fuel in the Viceathon tank – I didn’t want to start panic buying too soon and end up with burnt fingers. Though, with this being the school holidays I have swiftly gone from being a six-days-a-week runner to just three this week, so I can’t sit back and let the miles take care of themselves as I have been recently on the school run.

My Viceathon vice, as I revealed in my last post is baked goods. I have decided that:

1 baked item=1 mile run

(a baked item could be a slice of bread, a piece of cake/a muffin, a hot cross bun – my vice of choice right now -, a biscuit or an oatcake.)

I am also going for a mega price-match and having a piece of fruit for every baked good eaten. In our house I compete with the miniature fruit monster and allow him to eat all the fruit, neglecting my own needs, imagining that ‘he needs it more than I do’. Given that Hector can consume his five-a-day in one sitting, I don’t get much of a look in.

Today’s Viceathon totals

Baked goods eaten:

1 slice of lemon cake

3 slices of bread

Fruit eaten:

2 bananas (0ne of which had gone past the stage of brownness I find acceptable)

1 pear

1 apple

Miles left in the Viceathon bank:

1

Distance: 5.15 miles

Time: 48 minutes 26 seconds

Average Pace: 9.24

Best Pace: 4.31

Calories: 548