"for the happy, the sad, I don't want to be, another page in your diary"

Tuesday 30 April 2013

An Epistle

We’ve had a letter from the council asking if we have any parking issues on our street. Do they mean like people parking across the end of our drive, leaving me just about enough room to get my bike out. The epistle I’m writing on the subject may take me some time to complete.

I’ve started a new book, Zoo Station by David Downing. Already it’s had me doing an L and reaching for Wikipedia. The opening scenes are set in 1938 in the Free City of Danzig... or Gdansk as it is more commonly known. Somehow this had passed me by until now.

After work I attempt a run and ease my way to 8 miles, including a few walks along the way to make sure nothing snapped. It was about time I restarted the half marathon training, as its only 12 days to Sheffield.

(Tuesday 30th April)

Monday 29 April 2013

The Woodcutter

I have finished Reginald Hill’s The Woodcutter book, which was pretty good and based in some of our favourite parts of Cumbria, which was a plus. L loved it too, although I’m struggling to understand why she didn’t make the sign of the cross at it, as a lot of it is about money.
Seems she has the hots for the principal character Wilfred, better known as Wolf. I hope it’s because she saw something of me in his character. He's a bit the worse for wear - weathered and with a limp, he lives with his collie in his rustic little Lakeland cottage. I tick all those boxes, even the Lakeland cottage.

Sadly this was Hill's last book in 2010 before he died last year.

We’re also finished the DVDs of Pillars of the Earth. Which L has sat through, mostly with her head in the hands muttering ‘why why why’ as they butchered the novel she so loved. I suppose it’s not unusual for the scriptwriters not to bother reading the book they're scripting but as Ken Follett had a hand in this one himself, you would have expected better.
It’s not put her off another of his books though; just don’t watch the TV version.

I have a committee meeting tonight, so no dog training. Which the dogs don’t seem to mind because I take them on the park first. Though Doggo apparently rebels after I've gone and when I get back, it's a surprise that L hasn't carried out her threat to tie him to a lamppost in the street.

(Monday 29th April)

Sunday 28 April 2013

I Came, I Ran, I Conkered

After preparing well last night, we head to the ‘Run In The Forest’ 5 mile race today at Conkers Discovery Park. Slogan - ‘I came, I ran, I conkered’. Well that’s what is says on the t-shirt, the bright yellow t-shirt. That’s another one for the bag in the loft then.

Organised by South Derbyshire Road Runners the race has a pleasantly not too early 10:30am start and even my parents are tempted to turn up to support.

It’s a run mainly on tracks through the forest but includes a bit of tarmac and grass. It’s not hilly but there are a few undulations.

At the start the race organiser complains that someone has stolen the 2 mile marker and asks us to wing it, but afterwards we’re more concerned with the fact that the 5 mile marker was about 30 metres before the finish. Does that mean the course was long? or the marker wrongly placed? These things matter.

My time for five and a bit (maybe) miles is 37:01, which is an improvement of a whole minute on my last attempt at five miles in February at Wombwell. So that’s good. Although my PB remains a scarily quick 32.08. I must have been fit and injury free in those days.

It was a pleasant enough race though and well organised, save for the marker confusion and a long walk to get water after the finish.

Then it’s another birthday meal, Sunday lunch with the folks at the New Inn in Shardlow before going home for the usual post-race warmdown.

(Sunday 28th April)

Saturday 27 April 2013

In The Dungeon

It’s my birthday today and it turns out to be just about perfect. It helps that the Birthday Gods schedule it on a Saturday this year. It's always good when you don’t have to spend the majority of your big day behind a desk.
There’s no football match and I don’t schedule a dog show, so I get to spend it all in the company of an attractive young woman. She even skips this morning’s Park Run, although this is more due to a nagging ankle injury than out of devotion to my birthday.

The dogs still insist on doing the park, but you can’t have everything, and they do let us have a long lie-in first. Then we do a very un-celebratory gym session because I need to get one in before the end of the month if I’m going to get my cash back at year end.

I mainly do the treadmill, 5 whole k without getting injured, so that’s promising and I also do some leg weights.

Back home L makes me a cake amid cries of ‘cake, you can't not have cake, can you?

In the evening we head into Nottingham and hang out in Brewdog for a while. The beer range is a little down on what it usually is but one of the barmaids makes up for this by, clearly catching my birthday vibes, coming to our table to refill our glasses. So we don't even have to get up to go to the bar.

Then we head to Iberico Tapas for a meal in the dungeon below the Galleries of Justice. We were going to go there for a friend’s birthday last year until he found out it was underground which didn’t go well with his aversion of anything subterranean. It sounded great to us though and we’re vowed to go there ever since.
We are sat at a pillar in the bar as the restaurant is fully booked. It’s a popular place. It’s also in the Michelin Guide and there are no prices on their website... e.g. it’s not going to be cheap. Apparently not only is it in the Michelin Guide, it’s one of only 137 restaurants nationwide with a Bib Gourmand, whatever that is, and the only one in Nottinghamshire... e.g. it’s going to be really expensive.

Apparently the bib denotes ‘good cuisine at a reasonable price’ but yes, it's still pretty expensive.

Although that may be because we pigged out a touch. After a starter, we had five tapas dishes to share between the two of us. Then three more for dessert because we didn’t fancy anything sweet. Then there was the rather nice 6.4% Alhambra 1925 Reserva beer, basically San Miguel with balls and the fact L was hitting the Spanish Sherry.

All rather nice though. We’ll be back.

(Saturday 27th April)

Friday 26 April 2013

Operation 70.3

We had a few drinks last night but not too many, or so I thought. L claims not to recall a lot of the evening... tut tut, including how amorous she was. So when I give her chapter and verse on it, she doesn’t know if I’m winding her up or not.

I'm back on the bike today, to top up that improving fitness.

Sort of inspired I enter us for the Cross Bay Challenge. It will be a useful training run.

I will loathe it but it’s the sort of thing you have to say you’ve done at some point. Although the means of proving it, e.g. the t-shirt, is extra.

It could be done as a double header with the Great North Swim the day before... so I book that as well. My first open water swim entry and this was before the first drink of the evening. It has to be done at some point if ‘Operation 70.3’, a project hopefully culminating at the 2014 Nottingham Outlaw Half Ironman, is going to happen. 70.3 miles is the distance covered by swimming, running and cycling.

So I book into the one mile swim, my smart arse partner books into the two mile, naturally. She says I’ll never forget my first Lakeland swim. I’m sure I won’t, particularly if it’s spent clinging to one of the rescue canoes.

(Friday 26th April)