Aliveandrunning September 22 2014

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Weather fine today so we had lunch on the lawn. Mine was cold and consisted of left overs from yesterday’s  meal – chicken in Thai Green curry sauce, a few Brussels sprouts, runner beans, lemon rice, Mediterranean vegetable mix (originally frozen) and a radish, cucumber and red onion salad with cashew nuts, mint and honey.

Should have gone for a run today but didn’t get around to it. Just under two weeks to the next half marathon on Wimpole Hall Estate and I need to be running longer distances more frequently. If I don’t do this, I’ll run a mediocre time (by my own personal standards) but not so poor that spectators will boo and throw rotten fruit at me.

Saturday’s Cambridge parkrun went OK. I ran another sub 24 minutes but still more than 30 seconds off my personal best. If I don’t improve I’ll start wearing a hair shirt (at this point I looked up “hair shirt” and found a forum thread concerning a man asking advice about wearing a cilice (or hair shirt ) for spiritual/religious reasons. Very interesting! I think I’ll forget the hair shirt and cut down on my daily consumption of Brussels sprouts as a penance instead.

The proposed gardening therapy project took a step forward last Friday when I met a manager at Cambridge MIND, the mental health charity. She liked the idea and didn’t think making referrals or encouraging volunteers to get involved would be problematic. I’m now in the process of making an on line planning application to the District Council. I’ve also emailed  someone who has a remit to identify and develop green spaces which would have a beneficial impact on the health and well being of local communities. Might my project fit into this criteria? Who knows. I’ll have to look at funding and how to set up a charity shortly but this can only go ahead if planning permission is not an issue.

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Aliveandrunning September 10 2014

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Thank God (which one?) I was eating this meal when I heard  David Cameron talking, in Scotland, about the upcoming referendum on whether that country should become independent of the UK. Beware! These Tories mess with your mind and one way of dealing with this direct address to the credulous is to offset the unrealness by eating good, healthy, simple food. Look no further than Brussels sprouts and broccoli aided and abetted by chicken in an achari marinade, lemon rice and roast vegetables.

Dave anticipated feeling “broken hearted” if the Scots broke away. He was passionate about the UK remaining intact and apparently a rich vein of raw emotion was evident in his voice. In fact all three party leaders were in Scotland at the same time to support the No vote and they all vied to out do each other on the sincerity/passion/you gotta believe me, I beg you front. This is the same Tory leader who reassured us that the NHS is safe in Conservative hands and demonises benefit recipients. A very skilled liar and emotional manipulator.

Out with the club last night. We did a one kilometre time trial followed by four further one kilometres. I felt a little tired but overall it was OK. I made a new pal and chatted amiably. Hearing his parkrun 5k time, I thought he would be in the top third of our road running group that evening. After the time trial, we formed three separate groups and he did indeed go into the speediest set. Will this go to his head? Will I be snubbed because I was second last in the slowest group? Does he read the Daily Mail and hate non Mail readers. I think not to all three questions. He seemed normal, friendly and grounded. Damn!

Eco project update – I have been in contact with Cambridge MIND and I am meeting with them next week.

Grunty Fen half marathon this coming weekend. I’ll still do Cambridge parkrun the day before but I’m taking it relatively easy this week.

Aliveandrunning July 30 2014

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My supper last night watching the Commonwealth Games. I ate late because it was club training night with Cambridge and Coleridge RC. Alarmingly it did not include broccoli. However, accompanying the basmati rice, chicken curry with cauliflower and courgettes, mixed salad, naan bread with mint sauce and poppadum, I made a Shirazi salad, an Iranian dish  (in the bowl). I needed this after the running. We didn’t go for distance. We simply ran 8 x 1 minute intervals with 3 minute recoveries. So only 8 minutes of hard running in all. It doesn’t sound much but it’s demanding.

Far less than usual attended, possibly on holiday, possibly fearful of the heat and cowering in front of an open refrigerator. Anyway, the cream of the elite were present (yes, I unashamedly include myself in their ranks) and I acquitted myself with distinction (well, second to last in the speed stakes but it’s not really about speed, is it?) On these warm days I drink 500 mls of water as soon as we finish and, with further water later, this seems to keep the cramps away.

I made another new salad today – radish, cucumber and red onion salad with mint and orange blossom dressing. I went to Tesco to buy the ingredients and also for other new recipes I’m trying. Of course, I had to ask for assistance.

“Excuse me, I’m looking for orange blossom water, za’atar and a bottle of Corinthian red wine vinegar”

“Mercy me, sir, we don’t stock those kind of la-de-da things. You must be cooking foreign. May I direct you to Mill Road (a notorious area of Cambridge well known for the louche lifestyle of its inhabitants). I’m sure they eat loads of that kind of stuff. You can pick up some falafel that your kind can’t get enough of at the same time. Why not treat yourself to a box of our Krispy Kreme  doughnuts and tuck in as you drive over.”

So, not the positive response I hoped for. But what do you expect from a chain of supermarkets which appears to have a national policy of displaying plants for sale that are dead or dying as a result of not being watered. This happens so frequently at my local Tesco I believe that the staff must be prohibited from watering or possibly projecting their anger and frustration with customers onto the defenceless plants. Who hears them screaming. They just wither away, poor things. I’ve taken photos to prove it and I may publish them when the world is ready. Tesco, STOP IT!!

 

 

Aliveandrunning May 18 2014

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I ran a good 5k Cambridge parkrun yesterday and todayI ran 7.7 miles at Willingham, Cambridgeshire. I felt tired warming up and tired during the race. End result? I finished around 6 minutes slower than last year. The temperature a year ago was 10C and today it was around 22C. I had 3 drink breaks and walked whilst drinking. I think the problem was more to do with me running too much over the past week without sufficient recovery time rather than the increase in temperature. I’ll go running with the club in two days and then rest until the next parkrun on the coming Saturday. I’m doing a half marathon on June 1st and may not do another long run before this.So now the world knows! Nothing is hidden. I’ve been completely open and frank. I have mortal weaknesses. My legs won’t carry me at the moment but my head is erupting with light and energy (see above picture). Possibly this is why children were running away screaming from me today.

Much euphoria  around the pond this afternoon. Lorna noticed two fat flower buds poking out between the lily pads. The air was electric with a frenzy of  exhilaration. It doesn’t get better than this. And that’s on top of watching two dragon flies copulating yesterday!

I cooked a delicious curry tonight. Unfortunately not accompanied by Brussels sprouts.

Signed up for Juneathon.

Aliveandrunning Janathon January 23

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Day 23. I took Rupert the Dalmatian for a walk this morning and got drenched through and through. Then the sun came out and it was a beautiful day. Big bully type clouds muscled their way across the sky followed by angry types which pelted everyone below with hail. The weather never recovered its sunny disposition and when I eventually left the house for my run it was cold and dark. It wasn’t a difficult 2 miles but I seem to be getting slower as the month progresses. It may be that I need to take some rest days. I remember feeling tired towards the end of Juneathon last year. If the weather’s OK tomorrow I may go for a longer run to blow the tubes out again.

On my return I immediately started cooking the family meal – a chicken curry with homemade mixed salad, Brussels sprouts, rice, pappadums, mint sauce with Greek yogurt, naan bread and pieces of raw onion. It was late because I went running at the precise time I should have been cooking. This pic is similar to one I put up last year. Possibly the quality of the image doesn’t do justice to the little, torn segments of pappadum and naan bread with mint yogurt sauce sat on top with sprinkled with raw onion which are around the edge of the plate. Of course, by the time I’ve finished decorating the food, Lorna has finished her meal and is ready to start clearing up. Most pleasingly, my son is now doing something similar with his chicken curry. Is this normal or should we be contacting a helpline?