Aliveandrunning June 21 2014 Juneathon Day 21

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A lovely, leafy, sun dappled long straight path in Milton Country Park, the venue for Cambridge parkrun. On the immediate left (out of shot) is a large lake, so useful for nudging arch rivals into. We have around 400 doing Cambridge parkrun now but by the time this point is reached, we’re reasonably spaced out. I had a good run today and finished only 23 seconds outside my personal best. I think getting below 23 minutes is possible after Juneathon, after I’ve had a few days rest, if  it’s not too hot, if I start nearer to the front, if I do some distance training, if I can fortify myself with lashings of Brussels sprouts, if any of the Greek goddesses are smiling at me from above, and if I’m feeling invincible. So, if all this criteria is satisfied, I’m suited and booted. If only!

We have two timers at Cambridge and Lorna was one of them today. It’s always a slightly anxiety producing job because of the sheer number of runners coming through in bunches, overtaking on the line (and funnel), being joined by children who may or may not have run, pressing buttons hard enough to register as a result and being distracted by the crowds around you. I collected the signage around the course after the run which allows me to take part in the race and volunteer. I came back to the cafe just in time to have a delicious coffee with friends in the sunshine. No matter what time you do, parkrun is such a feel-good experience. Tomorrow is the Hatfield Forest 10k. There should be plenty of shade, at least at intervals. It starts at 10. I’ll have to make a decision about when and how much porridge to eat in the morning. Probably a large bowl around 7 am.

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Here is a fine bed of nettles I’ve cultivated over several years. The key to such an impressive display is to leave them to set seed annually and also to cut them down but leave the roots. They thrive on the challenge to recover their strength.

I can usually pull the young ones up successfully. The older, much more experienced nettles that have been around the block and attended the school of hard knocks are a different matter. They find novel and ingenious ways to sting me, I try to grasp them with gloves and they duck out of the way so I clutch thin air, they hiss and murmur insults. This time , it’s personal. I’m going to apply a lot of time , effort and cunning to make you history, a small footnote in my illustrious gardening career. Anyone for nettle soup?

 

 

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