Happily Ever After

Life in The Rural Retreat with a beautiful wife, three cats, garden wildlife, a camera, a computer – and increasing amounts about running

Earlier posts can be found on Adventures of a Lone Bass Player, where this blog began life. Recent entries can be found here.


Creaking Cats And Quiet Times

by Russell Turner - 16:04 on 29 November 2023

There’s been little to write about since the Brodie 10k concluded this year’s race calendar. Life at The Rural Retreat remains quiet, with aging cats causing much less mayhem than in the past, although that’s cancelled out by an increase in medical alarms, mostly involving the arthritis that’s crept up on Pandora. Matchgirl and her hips can sympathise.

Black Friday came and went with no financial outlay beyond a new heart rate monitor, which I needed anyway. That was despite an inbox filled with unrepeatable offers on foreign races, shoes and other kit – I could have spent hundreds. It might be time to unsubscribe from a few sites.

Gales and Chatterbox have kept me from running much recently. Both are now done with, just in time for some sub-zero temperatures to make life interesting. Fortunately, I don’t mind the cold if it’s not teamed up with wind. Last Saturday’s 5k outing with the Black Isle Runners (all two of us) took place at around freezing point but was bracing rather than miserable; I’m still in shorts, although the upper body is well protected.

Athletic excitement will be low for the foreseeable future, especially as muddy cross country and hill races have no appeal, so an email from London Landmarks HQ was a welcome reminder that there’s plenty to come next year. Its missive was to confirm my charity place for Young Lives vs Cancer and request the usual details, including my estimated finish time. I plumped for the 2hrs-2:15 band, which seems about right. There’s time to move up or down, depending how training goes.

Because I won’t be doing next year’s Nairn 10k (late gig the night before and a boring course anyway), and the Wakefield 10k keeps eluding me (I’ll be cat-sitting), Landmarks, in April, was set to be my first race in 2024. However, after deciding I’d run my last Inverness HM – the scrum inside and outside the sports centre at the end is too chaotic – I’ve changed my mind. There’s a half marathon run in the Landmarks/London Marathon training plan that weekend so it seemed like fate, which means that the next race year begins in March, unless something unexpected turns up.

In the meantime, it’s now barely a month until the marathon training programme begins. I’m looking forward to it.

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