Blue Monday

Nice weather for a funeral.

Cold and wet and generally vile, but at least no wind to speak of today.  We went out about 9:30 or so alongside the late commuter traffic and slate grey sky.  Same route as yesterday and Saturday; Sarah added Picktree Lodge and Rickleton to my local knowledge.

A bit slower but, for me at least, a bit less painful due to digging out some wooly gloves before setting off.  With those and the silly hat, I was comparatively toasty.

End of month 11.

6km, 37:40.


Mud and driving rain

It felt slightly warmer as we set off this morning, though the “novelty’s wearing off a bit” drizzle was still making its presence felt.

We did the same route as yesterday and I tried to pay a little more attention to where we were going.  So along to Birtley, right at the Barley Mow pub and up the hill.  First bite out of my side from the bitter wind as we got near the top, then round the corner into the driving needles of semi-hail as we went down the other side.  Round the squelchy yukky muddy roundabout (what’s wrong with a bit of tarmac I asked myself) under the A1, right again and then down to Picktree and down to the motorway roundabout and back up the hill to CLS.  Admittedly, it wasn’t necessarily in that exact order but hey, I’ve only been coming here for 18 years.

We had to stop a few times to wait for lights and traffic, so more or less the same pace as yesterday which wasn’t bad considering stiffness of Sarah’s back and my right achilles.

6km, 35:40.

From the mouths of babes

From chilly but sunny autumnal Sitges to the full-on early winter of the North East.  I brought the children over yesterday on the late flight to Newcastle where the cold drizzle bit into us immediately on exiting the plane.

Sarah was dying for a run after a week of sorting out funeral arrangements and even the bitter cold and – yes, more drizzle – didn’t put her off joining me.  It’s not called 5k-a-day-only-if-it’s-a-nice-day, after all.

I was relieved to be handed a wooly hat before we went out as although I don’t have any long trousers with me, it’s really my less-than-completely-hirsute head that feels the cold (as well as my hands, struggling to type this even after 20 minutes of finishing, but no gloves to be seen).  Rebecca took one look at the hat and said “Daddy, you look ridiculous”.  Fortunately such compliments are like water on feathers to me and so although I’m sure there was some truth in her words, it stayed on and did the trick.

We did a nice circular route – towards Birtley, then right and several more rights, back to the main roundabout for the A1 and back up the hill to the Birtley/CLS roundabouts and back to Mary’s.  Despite the chill factor it was lovely to be out, just the two of us, catching up after a difficult week and mainly just being tugevvah!

6km, 35:05.

Raising a glass


After yesterday’s weary run I got a great boost later in the day, a lovely email from an old mate from Sheffield who’d recently heard about the 5k-a-day, Les and the Alzheimer’s Reseach thing.  He works on a dementia ward and said that come forward to payday he’d be making a donation which he firmly hoped would help to make his role redundant.  He signed off with

Never met the man, but I’ll raise a glass to Les tonight.

Out for the run straight from dropping the children at school.  Av Sofia, Calipolis, along past the end of Dos de Mayo and the Chiringuito to the Fragata, say hi to the mermaid, right along to the Terramar bus stop, back to Kansas and home.

None of yesterday aches or weariness, despite being unbreakfasted.  No great rush or desire to wear myself out before the day has really begun, either!

5km, 26:34.


Earning it

Those 5km were really, really hard work today.  Maybe because I went out a little later and was lacking in energy (still before lunch, though I got a stitch anyway!), or the cold or the headwind on the return leg, but blimey what a slog.  Maybe my brain and body are tired from just working and parenting rather than having that lovely relaxation of Sarah’s company once little teeth are brushed and goodnight kisses delivered.

Still, if it were easy every day it wouldn’t really be worth doing now would it?

Pretty normal run except I ran through the Vinyet side streets for a while on the way down to the Paseo.  Apart from that all bog-standard, along to the patos and back.  Sunny but with a few clouds and that insistent wind chopping into the sea as well as my stamina.

5km, 26:52.

Old photos

There’s nothing more likely to bring out the old photo albums than a death in the family – you want to see and share the happy times.   I think that for an Alzheimer’s sufferer’s family this is even more important.  You don’t want to remember the hell after the veil came down.  You want to see them on their hols, or dancing, or proudly posing with a graduating daughter.

So the scanner has been busy while I’ve been digging through and also finding other gems.  Pics of my own lost souls.  Pics of the Jove de Sitges castellers long before we ever considered bringing a little redheaded enxaneta into the world.  Pics of my witnessing the first ever castell of 10 in Vilafranca, even!

Ten years ago you would wonder if you will ever get around to making a copy of these photos, getting some envelopes, digging out an address book and sending them out to those who might want to see them.  Facebook has made all this trivial of course, and the memories can weave their way around the world in an instant.

I sent the children out this morning wrapped up enough to survive an arctic winter, so I was pretty surprised while getting ready to run to go out onto the balcony and get greeted with a blast of hot sun in my face.  Hopefully my instructions to discard layers if it warmed up didn’t fall on deaf ears (who am I kidding) and they’re not sitting in little pools of sweat.

An utterly vanilla run.  A 99 without the flake.  Straight down, straight along to the patos and straight back.  In fact the suntrap by the window was a little misleading and there was a chilly breeze, but even so a t-shirt and shorts was enough on a dazzling lunchtime.  Strode out there and back and kept the pace up.

5km, 23:57.

Limbo days

Another cold and bright lunchtime run.  The mercury in Sitges has been down to 2 degrees today but the sun had clawed its way up to 7 by the time I went just after midday.  Still pretty bitter in the shade so I stuck to the shiny side of the sidestreets and went to the Paseo for my vanilla route.  Kept the pace up and eventually felt the sun’s heat seep through my shirt.

5.05km, 24:32.