The end of half term, a parkrun sandwich, Garmin trouble and a spot of decorating

No, not an actual sandwich, but a sandwich of a run.

But first, the end of half term. I love being able to go for a run when I fancy it. On Wednesday I went for a short run in the morning.

If I run (or walk) into town, I pass this Mr Bagels factory, and it smelled amazing this week (cinnamon raisin day)!  Much better than the dog biscuit factory that I can sometimes smell. Anyway, later on the same day, I ended up driving behind a car with the reg B4GEL- Mr Bagel himself perhaps???

I enjoyed a lovely 8 mile run one morning this week (Thursday?). The sun even came out for a bit. I ran down to the lake which I haven’t done for ages, and it was great to see all the birds swimming about.

I had some friends over and in the afternoon we walked to the local park so their kids could play on the equipment- it was a bit colder and I wished I had worn my hat- the run in the morning filled me with false hope about the weather.

After a walk into town on Friday to buy new paintbrushes, and sanding it all down, I started to paint all the woodwork upstairs. Since decorating the bedroom and my office, the new whiter bits have really made the old paint look very yellow.

Annoyingly I ran out of blue tape (and I had even seen some in B&Q but decided not to buy any as I thought I had a whole roll). I managed to do most of it, but it needed a second coat.

Our driveway is still mainly blocked because of the waterworks, so after some deliberating I decided to switch my long run to Saturday, and try out running to Panshanger parkrun- it’s slightly closer at 4 miles versus the 5 miles to Ellenbrook, and when you are running there and back, plus the parkrun, those two miles make a difference.

Kit at the ready- making the most of my 50 top now as I am nearing my 100th parkrun.

Someone had posted a discussion about their long run plans on our running club facebook group, and I mentioned that it was my plan to run to parkrun, and one of my friends (Louise) messaged to say she would be at an exercise class near me in the morning, and would like to join me.

We met at the entrance to the old railway line, and from there it’s about 3.5 miles. I had not seen her for a while so it was great to catch up.

We got to the parkrun with about 10 minutes to spare, which was just about right (if we arrived a few minutes late they would let us go as we would catch the tail runner, but it would make us both feel a bit more stressed). We ran the parkrun starting near the back, so a lot of stop/starting at first as it is narrow, and finished at 33.09 for my 97th parkrun (and Louise’s 27th- she is aiming to get to 50 this year).

We then walked a bit (you have to cross the dual carriageway and then the path was very busy with runners walking back to their cars), and then ran more slowly on the way home, stopping at the top of a few of the hills. When I loaded it onto Strava I had seen another running friend had run to Luton parkrun and back, and called it a “parkrun sandwich”- I told him I was stealing that name as it described perfectly what the run was.

We then had a breakfast of toasted hot cross buns- so good. After walking into town again to get more blue tape, Andy helped me with a second coat of pain (plus a first coat to the bits I had missed off on Friday). The preparation for decorating is what I don’t like- sanding it, hoovering, wiping down walls, putting down the tape- it all takes so long and is so fiddly. It only took us a couple of hours to paint it all for the second coat, although after a while I felt I was going “snow blind” and could not tell where I had painted and where needed doing. And of course now the banisters look yellow, so we will need to work our way downstairs next- one job leads to another….

My Garmin is getting on a bit now- I have had it since 2012, so it’s doing pretty well. Now it likes to do this- I plug it in to the computer, and it starts charging, but it won’t sync- the message on the screen tells me to plug it in, but I know it is plugged in because it begins to charge. I have to spend ages (sometimes 2 mins, sometimes 10) doing and un-doing the clip, sliding the little metal bits around a bit until another box pops up to tell me that the Garmin is then connected. It’s very annoying! I am sure there are some that connect via bluetooth, so I think when I need to replace it (which won’t be long as the strap is breaking a bit too, and it is on it’s second charger as the first one broke) I will look for one that has that as a feature.

Later on I had a message on Strava saying I had lost my course record on one of the Strava splits- it is a bit of a random one as it cuts through a housing estate instead of following a main road- it’s 0.7 miles uphill and my time was 7.43- it’s funny looking down the list of people as pretty much all the ladies are from my running cub- it must be a route that we do a lot. But the person who now owns (?) it is not a name I know, and she stormed ahead with a time of 7.26- way ahead of me! I hardly ever look at these things on Strava but I do like stats, although you can get lost clicking through from one thing to another.

I have to mention right now that we have started to re-watch the series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which if you need cheering up is just the perfect thing. We’ve been watching a lot of dark things recently (Case- an Icelandic crime drama, and then we are part way through Vis a Vis, a Spanish prison drama- another one of the Walter Presents series) and we just needed something lighthearted and happy. Even the theme tune is brilliant.

On Saturday evening we realised that our boiler had stopped working- we had a problem with it back in October, which turned out to be the fan jamming. Luckily back then we got the immersion heater hooked up again (as the previous people had disconnected it). On Sunday morning I had a short run (finishing in Morrison’s as I wanted some cornflour for a recipe) and then thankfully there was some hot water waiting for me. (Someone came out to look at the boiler and it is the fan again, so this time we are getting it replaced). I then had to walk to B&Q yet again (I feel like I have been partly living there this week) as we were putting up some pictures and needed masonry nails- and of course they were out of stock! Ah well, lots of fresh air which is always good.

To warm up I made myself a matcha latte using Bluebird tea rooibos matcha which I love a lot more than green matcha. I have the honey with rooibos matcha in it, and this powder tastes like that – sweet and earthy.

I did make a right mess though as you were meant to whizz up the powder with a little milk first, before adding the warmed milk- there was not quite enough milk with the powder so it went everywhere!

I made these little Swedish almond and strawberry bites on Sunday afternoon, from the Fika and Hygge baking book. There was a slight jam explosion in the oven, but once left to cool they seemed OK although I should have copied the photo and put the flaked almonds around the edge instead of all over the top.

Somehow I have run 42 miles this week (partly because I did my long Sunday run on Monday morning, so it’s into a new week), and with Brighton half next weekend I will be taking it slightly easier. I am not sure what our club run will be on Tuesday (they are getting longer as lots of people are marathon training) but I will be only going on a very short run on Thursday.

Which smells do you love walking/running past? One of my runs went past two different Simmons bakeries, and that smell first thing in the morning is pretty delicious. Where I used to live I ran past KFC quite a lot, and I am not a fan of the oily smell. Mr Bagels is pretty high on my list though!

Any Garmin recommendations? I like that mine is simple to use, so if I could just add Bluetooth it it then that would be fab.

Which TV series have you been watching lately? I have also been enjoying It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia- you need a certain sense of humour to enjoy it, but I just laugh the whole way through.

Do you like looking at number plates?  A weird one but I always like to look at the numbers and see patterns or add them up. I saw one today M15 1 SPY, and I did think if you were really in MI5 I don’t think they would let you have that as your number plate. Although it could be a double bluff…

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2 thoughts on “The end of half term, a parkrun sandwich, Garmin trouble and a spot of decorating”

  1. Ergh yeah greasy smelsl like KFC are the worst when running. I’m not sure what smells I like when running… maybe freshly cut grass in the summer.
    I love my Garmin 920xt but that’s probably a bit much for your needs, as it also does swimming, cycling and triathlon.
    I must admit I’m still watching the Sopranos, like it’s 1998! I’m behind the times!

    1. I only recently watched The Sopranos- maybe a year or two ago!
      Yes, grass is such a lovely smell- or rain on warm tarmac.

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