Tuesday 17 March: Aqua jogging, 1 km (40 lengths). To add interest, I broke it down into 4 sections of 10 lengths each: the first 10, very easy; the second 10, more effort; the third 10, just about as fast as possible; the final 10, back to 'comfortably hard'. Reckoning with the usual 1 hour, I was a couple of minutes behind after the first batch, held the pace in the second, caught up in the third, and maintained the status quo in the fourth, to finish on time. (Not sure of the exact time - the clock I was looking at didn't have a seconds hand.) A bit disappointed that our allocated lane today was the one furthest away from the window - I do like to look outside as I'm trundling along, it helps to alleviate the boredom! A bit hampered by having to share it with 3 ladies swimming very slowly 3 abreast and chatting (but I think they got the message after I accidentally kicked one of them! - it WAS accidental, honest!) Not the most exciting way to spend an hour, but it got done.
Wednesday 18 March: an unprecedented third Wednesday morning in a row free, so out with the Runningladies again - 34 of us this time! They had recruited an extra leader in case anyone wanted to run particularly fast....... but no-one did, and the 'Espresso' group with Ariella stayed pretty much together. More or less the same route as the previous week (Meggen, Meggerhorn), but with the loop in the reverse direction. I did find it a bit harder work this time, for some reason, but stayed somewhere in the middle of the bunch. Chatted with a couple of people (Renate was new), and renewed acquaintance with Regula, who gave me a lift home again, after collecting her young daughter from the crèche. Couldn't get satellite connection for the first few minutes, so Garmin's recorded 8.29 kms was actually nearer 9.
Friday 20 March: I can't really count this as training, but I did ride my bike to Hubelmatt and back (about 2 kms each way!) to watch the eclipse from the Sternwarte, a little astronomy station on the roof of the school there. They have two telescopes there, and had set up a couple more in the school yard. Hordes of people had had the same idea, so it was a bit crowded but very sociable, queuing up to look through the telescopes, and passing special viewing cards around. They also had a screen set up inside, with an image of the eclipse projected onto it. I took a photo a few minutes before it reached its maximum:
"Just a cheese rind now," I commented......... though "a slice of melon" might have been a more apt metaphor. It did get a little gloomy, but not really dark, and I cycled home in bright sunshine once more. The same day (I can't really count this as training either), I went to try out some new apparatus that has been installed at the nearby playing field. It's been put there specifically to encourage senior citizens to exercise, but is available to all. There are 6 machines ranging from a 'bicycle' you can pedal while sitting on a bench, to one simulating cross country skiing. Also some sloping parallel rails handy for triceps dips and not-too-strenuous push-ups - I can definitely get some use out of that one, my arms having reverted to their spaghetti state again.
Sunday 22 March: My 20th runniversary! - 20 years since that day when, fired up by a temporary but energizing infatuation, I spontaneously broke into a run while out walking in the woods, and had a minor epiphany: 'This feels good!' (Documented in a blog on the occasion of my 15th runniversary in 2010 http://www.realbuzz.com/blogs/u/crooxi/scarlet-runner/posts/happy-runniversary-to-me/ , should you require more salacious details.) For someone who had always been a no-hoper at any kind of sporting activity, this came as something of a revelation, and I certainly never envisaged it becoming a permanent fixture in my life - indeed a life-changer (how do you think I met J?!) For the past few weeks I have been thinking I would like to do something a bit special to mark the occasion, but in the end, plans didn't work out, and the date saw me back where it all began, in the Bireggwald. A very different day, cold and gloomy, unlike its sunny predecessor of 2 decades earlier, but the same familiar paths (though I know my way around them better now.) J. had hill training on his plan, so I decided to join him. Up the side of the woods, a warm-up round of the fig. of 8, down via the hut, top path of Vita Parcours, ponds, and Waldrand. J was going to run back up the side of the woods, I proposed to do the amended version up the zigzags, and meet him at the top. "See you by the Christmas trees," I said, as we went our divisi ways. Tacitly I planned to race him - not strictly fair, as he had further to go, and a bit of extra elevation to conquer too, but it was good to have a target to keep me going. Arriving breathless and achy-legged by the Christmas tree plantation, I was clearly the winner! - no J. in sight. I set off along the way he would come up, and met him a couple of hundred metres further on (so I got an extra bit of uphill too.) We then proceeded to do this all over again! The second time up the zigzags felt quite tough, even in the slowed-down version........ but I won again! (and by more - I had to go further down the path before I met J. coming up.) A third time the return across Oberrüti, down to the hut, VP, ponds, Waldrand; J. proposed to do another round, but for me, it was enough. My right knee had hurt almost from the outset, and at some point my left one decided to join in too - by the end, I didn't know which leg to limp with! Garmin made it 16.9 kms (though as it took about 100m to pick up a satellite, I'm claiming 17 kms) in 2:25:46, with 489 metres of up, (that's 1,604 ft!), and the same amount of down. The Garmin track also made a rather nice picture - like a dog lying down with its head up and nose in the air.
Last week won't take too long to document, as it consisted of......... absolutely nothing. Work; cranky joints; seriously uninviting weather; the absence of any specific, urgent reason to get out there and do it............ pick a cause, they all apply. In combination, they defeated whatever motivation I had. Monday: still too painful. Tuesday: can I count 3 hours' 'gardening' on the balcony? - it left me with backache, anyway. Wednesday: work, so no Runningladies this week. I did give the apparatus up the road another 20 minutes, though - I thought it might help the gardening-ache. (Not sure it did.) Unfortunately I tweaked my knee again, rounding a corner a little too abruptly in the supermarket! Thursday: I had a date to accompany G. to the swimming pool, but I had to stand her up - two rehearsals and a meeting seemed like enough to fit into one day. (I did think it might be nice to find time to eat, some time.) I also did something to my ankle, just walking down a flight of steps. Help, I'm falling apart! Friday/Saturday/Sunday: work rules! Who decided it was a good idea to have 3 performances of the same piece (Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday afternoon) in the very weekend where we get an hour less?! I thought I might profit from the newly-lengthened day and get out Sunday evening, but in the event, tiredness, hunger, and stormy weather put paid to that idea.
Sorry! I will try to get it together again this week.
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