March madness

It’s been a busy spring – time for a couple of catch up posts…

I looked back at my January post on this blog. “I’ll get fit in March” said I. I generally find setting good intentions two months away works well – close enough that I might convince myself and others that I’m committed, far enough that I know I don’t have to engage any time soon. Besides, I liked it as a plan: not being a gym kind of person, for me getting fit equates to getting outdoors and there are plenty of places to run near my house which incorporate a decent dose of nature into the bargain. And of course by March the weather would be starting to warm up right? Right??

When two good friends announced they were signing up to a terrifying sounding “tough mudder” type challenge and invited me to join them, I baulked. But to placate them and my conscience, and to force the issue of fitness out of the good intention space, I agreed I’d join them in a much lower key event in the run up. I signed up for a muddy 5K organised in aid of our local hospice, a cause currently close to my heart… in March.

Two weeks before the race and I’d managed only a couple of very short runs. “I think it’s going to be OK though,” I said to one of my friends complacently, “I mean, you know, I used to run regularly”. It’s true – this time 10 (eek!) years ago I was training for the London marathon. Obviously being what could loosely be described as “a runner” a decade ago, in no way confers fitness in the present and within days of that comment I was panicking a little.  I had an (unopened) Couch to 5K app installed on my phone from around a year ago but by this point, I couldn’t even open it because I knew it was going to tell me I need more than 6 days…

Four days to go and I almost forewent my last opportunity to run any kind of meaningful distance before the race due to one of those all-day hangovers that I never used to get. Having to fess up to my friends that I was going to bottle it was my only deterrent – I went, I ran, the stars were out, I kind of enjoyed it.

Finally, the day of the race and of course on that day the Beast from the East’s bloody first cousin came to visit and before I knew it I was signed up to do a race in temperatures that BBC weather promised “feels like -6”.

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It snowed. It snowed the whole way round. Most of the time it snowed horizontally. We got very muddy, extremely cold, and far closer to nature and the outdoors than I ever EVER want to be in a blizzard again. And weirdly, I almost enjoyed that too. Look at this photo – we actually look like we’re really enjoying ourselves!

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By the end of it, our fingers were so cold we couldn’t undo our double-knotted frozen trainer laces. A hot bath has never felt so good!

A couple of days later it stopped snowing and went back to raining again – but finally, finally the rain has stopped! Today we got out into the woods and a mini-heat wave is on the cards for the rest of this week – woop woop! We did see a bit of sun on a brilliant mini-break in Somerset over Easter – more on that in my next catch-up post.

 

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