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Thursday, 23 January 2014

Marathon training Bear Grylls style

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.

I'm taking a break from writing about my head and feelings and all that guff today as I have a story that just begs to be told and frankly it just makes me giggle thinking about it. It's all true, every last word of it.

Once upon a time there were two fuzzy and cuddly guinea pig brothers. Bumble Bee and Carlos. These little chaps were not known for dangerous stunts or daring deeds but all that was about to change. The cheeky fellas persuaded their owner that it would be a good plan if they were to get a bit of fresh air as a change of scenery from their winter quarters in the shed and were duly placed safely into their carry basket and were soon off on an adventure swinging down the road. Thing is that adventure was just about to get very dark.

Now what happened next is still unclear. Maybe the to and froing of the basket made them feel a little seasick, maybe they got the wind under their tails, all we know was there was a sudden Mexican wave inside the basket which tilted it sideways. Suddenly the lid flew open and for a moment there was a matrix style slow motion guinea pig flying through the air.
'Noooooooo' we both yelled. Bumble bee sat in the middle of the road and glanced casually at his owners before scuttling under the nearest largest bush.

Couldn't swear. Little ears were present. Now what?

I made a mad dash to place his brother back into hutch leaving youngest in a staring game with bumble and returned to start part 1 of the great guinea pig hunt. Well we clambered through bushes, we placed random slices of cucumber and then it got dark.

You can imagine the scene can't you. Tearful children, wide eyed mother trying to keep her blood pressure down( let's not forget that I'm not supposed to get too excited) , probably half the cats in the neighbourhood peering round corners not to mention local mr. Foxy getting his bib and tucker ready.

We had to admit defeat and had to hope that neighbours placing shoeboxes filled with kale would do the trick and at least provide some sanctuary. ( how middle class am I that my neighbours eat kale?)

The girls , grandparents who had joined the search and I headed home a little sadder and thinking that we would have to tell Carlos that his brother had gone up to the stars. We hadn't however take into account marathon dad who on returning home was not to be deterred by the challenge of hunting for a black guinea pig in the dark.

He donned his running headlight and was off into the undergrowth. Truly a Bear Grylls moment to behold as he crawled along on his belly encouraged by neighbours who had brought out nets and boxes in search of bumble who frankly was not enjoying his Born Free moments who was sighted near to his launch point. Now at this point I can honestly say I do not ever thing there has been a marathon training plan that has included night time rescue of guinea pigs. It took stamina, determination, strong stomach muscles and a single bloody minded ness that this pig would be coming home.

And he did. Bumbles gratefully accepted the hand that reached for him and came in from the cold. Two happy girls, one amazed wife, one slightly chilly pig and a hubby who can now add guinea pig wrangling to his cv.

Happy endings. What is it with us and rodents. Guinea pigs, gerbils.....

Anyway if you are as impressed as I and enjoyed our tale then why not cheer my boy on as he continues training for London, which he will hopefully complete without chasing guinea pigs by sponsoring him and helping a fantastic charity at the same time.

Sponsor London marathon

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Making Hay

Happy New Year to all. I personally am hoping for a pretty uneventful , even bland year. Keeping to a slightly smoother path would be welcome too rather than my potholed if eventful route of late .

Him indoors is stretching his muscles and upping his training regime after agreeing to run London marathon this April for  The. National Brain appeal. There will no doubt be plenty of shameless plugs for sponsorship in next installment. I am considering selling space on his shorts or is that just inappropriate? Anyway the dog is already beginning to flag in the training as they are up to the 10 miler runs now. (I know, the thought of that  is just painful to me.)  Anyhow dog was used to 6/7 mile distances but this is a bit much for his aging bones so Hubby is now having to run one shorter circuit , come back drop the dog off and then go out again. If he doesn't do this  and leaves him behind then our mutt sulks even though he's been spared a tortuous distance. He thinks he's the original hunter runner dog I think.  There's just no pleasing some animals. Just goes to show we all resist change!

So I'm sure you know the expression, 'making hay whilst the sun shines', well I have decided to make a small amendment to this adage so my version of it now reads ' make a little bit of hay everyday if the weather is good and the gate to the field is open and it's good underfoot '

I have learnt somewhat begrudgingly that if I do too many of the familiar and energy consuming tasks I used to just do quickly and unthinkingly every time I feel a little more well and have the strength to do them then I very fast deplete the reserves that my healing brain is working so hard to rebuild. I think I've said before I have to go very slow and it's still taking some getting used to. It's a bit of a quandary for me to be honest, taking the decision not to do something today because I know it may possibly mean I am worse for it tomorrow, it goes against the grain to do very little.

Maybe it's not such a bad thing though. I mean this style is not all that unusual at all in many cultures but it's just so in contrast with the fast paced, grab and have it all society that is primary in this country and not always considered good and worthwhile.We all slow down as we age, that's not unique to me I know but I am learning about the limits and brakes of a body with less energy to spare and adjusting to that change.

I catch myself sometimes labelling myself as not being as useful, as successful, as valuable as I previously thought  I was which was probably rather egotistical of me.  So I have learnt some more about myself through my illness and it was a surprise to me that my subconscious bias linked the value and worth of a person , myself especially, to how much they manage to achieve. That's why it's called subconscious I guess . Anyway It's been an eye opener for me that whilst I have managed to reclaim many prior skills and abilities, and maybe I can do stuff to the same quality , I definitely can't do it as fast as I used to and that's ok , it doesn't make the achievements any less, any better or worse , and hopefully that's teaching me a few things.

It makes perfect sense to me that my brain is still using masses of energy as it heals and creates new connections which probably leaves less spare processing power to keep up with the other day to day stuff.  I have to take that into account these days and I think I still have plenty of contributions to make with any luck but I'll have to do them in my own way and time and not necessarily in a way I might think is expected of me and that's really the greatest change I've noticed in myself since all this kicked off.

Interestingly I suppose hubby is doing the same thing with his running. He will prepare for and run the same course as everyone else in April but he'll do it in his own style, time and capability, he can't do anything more or less than that if he wants to finish the race. Ooh that's a bit deep. Too much thinking. Off for a lie down.!