On Saturday I had a brilliant time at the athletics, but I’m going to do that in a separate post, so on to the rest of the week.
On Sunday I was up early for a run- I decided to run along the old railway line and back as I wanted to be home for about 10am so I could just turn around when I had got as far as I could go. As I got to the path I saw an animal on the path ahead- at first I thought it was a fox, but then it jumped and I realised it was a small deer. It jumped up to the bank on the side of the path and then stood still, so I walked over, but as I went to get my phone out of my belt it hopped into the bushes.
Andy’s dad came over to help with some bits in the garden, and then we tackled the rest of the wallpaper (the steamer ran out just as we reached the very final strip of paper!).
I bought this cup last summer but had totally forgotten about it until this week- it’s fab as it has an infuser basket and a lid, which can double as a sort of coaster for the basket. I have a lot of loose leaf tea but I don’t always drink it as it is a bit more of a faff. I have been loving this tea which is rooibos with almond and coconut- plus as it isn’t black tea I can re-use the leaves later in the day.
On Monday Dad came over to help with the decorating (he is so keen to do this which is great)- we finished the last few bits of wallpaper (there were a few tiny patches here and there) including getting most of it out from behind the radiator. He had a brilliant tip which was to soak a tea towel and then put it behind the radiator, pulling it up and down- this was brilliant and I have managed to get all of the top layer out and most of the bottom layer too. While I was finishing that, Dad sanded down the walls and woodwork.
We enjoyed a cup of tea (and some of those lovely wafers) in the garden as a well earned rest, before painting the ceiling.
Dad was itching to paint the walls but we need to leave that until the fireplace has been sorted.
On Tuesday I headed out on a 5 mile run – I’ve pretty much perfected the route now, although I thought I could detour through a park but could not find the path to the right exit so I think I ended up cutting a corner there somehow. I was then off to brunch at The Waffle House- I had the banoffee one which is a waffle topped with sliced banana, toffee sauce and flakes of chocolate.
The weather was gorgeous so I decided to stop at Heartwood Forest on my way home and have a walk around.
They are doing something to the car park though so it ended up being a bit stressful as the entrance is along a road with passing places, but all the passing places were closed, and on either side is a big ditch so you can’t even pull onto the verge- I got a bit stuck between a lorry and a people carrier when I was leaving. Anyway, the walk was lovely but next time I’ll park in the village!
So, when the weather is lovely, it’s the perfect time to buy winter running kit right?
Tribesports were having a sale, and I really like their kit (and my beloved Thoosa winter tights have seen better days) so I got a pair of thermal tights, a long sleeved top and a long sleeved jacket (they both have thumb holes! I am so easily pleased…). I do find their sizing a big difficult to work out though. On the parkrun milestone range (the 50/ volunteer tops, plus the apricot range) the small is a perfect fit for me, leaving me a bit of room but not too baggy. It does say that the parkrun range is relaxed fit (or something to that effect) which is fair enough. Anyway before I had ordered some long sleeved tops and chosen a medium, which is basically the same size as the milestone small, so the medium has been fine.
So I got the jacket and top in medium- the top is fine but the jacket is a little snug- I laid them on top and you can see that the top is a fair bit bigger than the jacket- and I would think it should be the other way around as you are going to be wearing the jacket on top of other things? Anyway, it’s fine (I mainly can’t be bothered with the faff of sending things back)- it will keep me toasty in the winter!
After dinner on Tuesday we drove up to IKEA as I have decided to get a bigger desk for my office. In our old house my desk was in a sort of cubby in the spare room, behind the airing cupboard, and it fitted perfectly. But now I have a whole room to myself I could do with a bigger desk. The one I had before was a build-your-own desk; you choose the size of the top, buy separate legs and then the options of cupboards or drawers to go under. I had drawers on one side and the smallest table top (120cm I think) but really I need a bit of space next to my laptop for paperwork, so I got a 2 metre wide table top, and a second set of drawers to go at the other end.
I also bought a laptop stand as I think it will be better to have the screen more at eye-level. I did look for the standing desks but we didn’t have a great deal of time. It’s something I will look more into as now I have a bigger desk I will have space for something like that.
My favourite bit of IKEA is the little food shop at the end- last time I got some organic mixed berry jam and it is really tasty, so I went to get some more of that. I found cloudberry jam (I had only heard of them as they were mentioned in my Hygge cookbook), and those green things are basically marzipan filled chewy oat things so I was never going to not buy them. At the moment I am reading “A Year of Living Danishly” and so I could not resist the mini cinnamon rolls either (they seem to eat them a lot in the book).
There is a new half marathon taking place at Knebworth House (by Stevenage) in the autumn, and after thinking about it for ages I signed up. I then panicked about not being able to run that far, so I decided to attempt a much longer run as I had some time on Wednesday morning. I was pretty sure that I did a half marathon in December last year with a parkrun sandwich to Ellenbrook Fields, so I decided to run there, do the parkrun route and then run home.
I set off later than I had intended as we had got back very late from IKEA the night before, and of course there was the usual pre-run faff of getting enough podcasts etc.
I actually enjoyed most of the run, and made it to the parkrun course just fine. It was pretty good weather as it was fairly overcast and not too warm.
I forgot to turn back at the end of the first little loop (it’s one small loop which goes back to the finish, and then a big loop repeating some of the first loop, so when I got back to the start/finish area I was a little under my target distance. I felt so thirsty though. Recently they have had a stand pipe fitted, with a dog bowl at the bottom. I spent ages looking at it, (and then a bit more time trying to work it)- first I splashed my face with it and then I decided to risk it and have a little drink (from the pipe, not the dog bowl I must add)- it’s a new pipe right? Then, even though by that point I was at 7 miles and had only 5 to run home, I decided to head back. Then I spent most of the run home worrying about the water that I had just drank in case it wasn’t drinking water…
(I was fine though, just very thirsty)- in the end I did 12.2 miles, but it took me ages- 2.15. I was questioning how on earth I managed a half marathon in less time than that, but of course races are different, and I haven’t been training for anything, I have just been pootling along and enjoying running, so I managed to talk myself out of the panic after a bit. The half isn’t until November so I think you can agree that I was being a bit irrational.
By the time I’d had a shower it was basically lunch time, so I went for a big brunch- soya yoghurt with cherries (I’d defrosted them before my run= more pre-run faff) and almonds, coconut water, tea and a pain au raisin- these are brilliant as they are frozen and take about 20 mins to cook= shower time.
I had a few hours to plough through some work before heading into town as I had a massage booked. I have been trying to go about once a month or once every 3 weeks when I can afford it, as I find it helps so much. I get terrible tight shoulders, and it also keeps the hip issues at bay. The lady I see (Katie) is brilliant- it feels like a treat as the room is lit by candles and she plays zen-like music, and there is a diffuser with lemongrass and other lovely scents. Most of the massage is relaxing and wonderful, but some points are not exactly painful, but not such a treat as she works through the knots. This time she paid a lot of attention to my lower back and it really felt like bliss (for the most part). I notice it so much too- I reverse onto my driveway and as the weeks go by I find it harder and harder to look over my left shoulder- I’m nearly as good as new when I get back from a massage!
On Thursday I had to stay in as we were having the log burner fitted- I spent the morning taking apart my old desk, building my new one and then moving the shelving unit (which meant take all the books off, move the shelves, then put it all back on again). Now I have two sets of drawers I feel like I can be so organised- I have one drawer just for sharpies and highlighters at the moment!
After the builders left I walked into town for some fresh air I was getting a bit of cabin fever! Friday morning has been the same so far ( they are finishing off) but I am hoping for a run before lunch as I think they will only be here for a few hours.
Do you buy clothes online? And if so, do you have problems with the sizes? Do you do much work at home? Would you have risked a drink from the stand pipe?