ABOVE THE LINE a poem by Kevin Bonfield (part of my dementia inspired collection)
Highlight, in bright pink, the chosen pictures
And trace the words below. Smooth.
Only, what’s this? Something about dates
Dates, what about dates, hang on, dates
I remember them. I think.
It has somehow changed, I wanted the chairs
The ones that turn, yes I definitely yearn
For those turning chairs.
Yet on here, it’s something about dates
Dates? dates? choosing dates. Not DATES!
I didn’t want them. I know.
I’ve highlighted. In bright pink. the chairs.
But it doesn’t say so. Only chairs.
It’s no wonder people explode. More and
More confusion, wanting chairs that turn.
But getting dates. Young people laughing.
But I highlighted it. I think.
Above the line, bright pink, above the line
Above the? Hang on, let me see that.
“You need to highlight below the line”
And yet they keep telling me he’s fine.
I wanted THIS! the chairs that turn!
I know the time. Don’t I?
Learning how to tell a man his pink
Highlights are above the line, not below
That that is why he’s got dates, not chairs
Not belittling, not patronising, not hurrying
Not controlling, not demoralising, but guiding
Take the lead. Highlight his fears.
When I started running in January 2007, I really didn’t know anyone who ran and, how shall we put it, wasn’t in the joyous, beautiful, amazing, dreamy, loving domestic environment I am now blessed to be in, to put it mildly!
So I just started sort of running. It was hard, as I imagine most of you who are doing me the flattering honour of reading this will know. The first mile was ridiculous, I actually thought I was going to die and building from there was painful. I remember searching the internet and finding generic training programs and wondering what on earth a ‘recovery run’ could be!
I found comfort, solace, comradeship and incredible encouraging support on the internet. Specifically a Runners World forum labelled ‘Inspire’ and the lovely people on there put me on to Fetch.
Fetch, I here you ask. Well, Fetcheveryone is a wonderful website, community, online training log, forum, support network and generally awesome running thing. Started by the enigmatic Ian Williams, it celebrated it’s 10th anniversary last year and I joined the 10-years-a-member-club just recently.
It appealed to me for it’s homely, yet remarkably technologically advanced and informed content. It seems to attract a certain breed. Runners, naturally, but something more than that. Something to really belong to without needing to ‘go’ to.
Strava may be the training site, app and world community of the masses, a slick machine, the mass production to Fetch’s home baked joys. I’m a member of both and have no truck with Strava, it’s an awesome thing. BUT, I could happily live without it, whereas Fetch has been a part of the runner that I have become.
I have religiously kept all my training on my Fetch log, including a diary of the way my life has unfolded in the 10 years (that’s 20% of my life!) I have been a member. It can be a dark read, in equal measures to it being an absolute joy. All of (my running) life is in there.
In 2007, I didn’t run on 10th March, on the 15th I ran 5 miles in 50 minutes and had very little to say.
Unlike in 2008 when I ran 20 miles and wrote “absolutely pissing down and blowing a gale, both calves completely cramped up in mile 20”! I was deep in training for the Paris Marathon.
In 2009 I was starting to do training sessions with others and on 10th March I did 4 x 1km with the training group, the fastest being 3m40s!!
In 2010, I was training on my own again and did 4 x (4x400m, 100m jog) in Youngs Park, quite a session!
March 10th 2011, I was training for Taunton Marathon and suffering man flu as I did a 7 mile ‘snotty’ run.
The following year, 2012, I was again training for a marathon attempt and on the Sunday of that week ran 22 miles at 8m20s pace around Torbay. Running away from the darkness by all accounts.
I raced on Sunday 10th March 2013. My Dad had recently had his hip replacement and was grateful for the ride out to Siblyback Lake in Cornwall where I ran 42m50s for a freezing, wild and windy 10k. I also plodded a 2.5 mile ‘recovery’ run in the evening. I know…..
On March 9th 2014 I did a monster 24 mile marathon training session, following it on 10th with a 3.5 mile ‘recovery’ jog! “On battered legs” apparently. No shit!?
AHHH, we enter the happy years! No running on the 10th in 2015. Nicky and I had ran the Imber Ultra on the previous Sunday. Running 50km together over Salisbury Plain as Nicky was preparing for her South Downs Way 50 mile the following month. One of the proudest days
No running on the 10th last year either, but 2 days later we did the ‘beautiful and brutal Larmer Tree Marathon’ which, as it happens, we are doing again on Sunday. It was just so wonderful we couldn’t resist going back.
All of this and every single other run I’ve every done is on my Fetch training log.
Another of my favourite running accessories is the quite wonderful Marathon Talk Podcast (to be blogged about another time). The aforementioned Ian Williams was interviewed on Marathon Talk in November 2014, and it’s well worth a listen.
Fetch has also had a nice piece written in the Guardian. But most of all, I recommend you go to the website itself for wonderful blogs, article, forums, training tools, online logs, a great race calendar, race reviews and previews, discounts on shopping and bespoke Fetch goodies to buy. I did 10 years ago and it gave me the lift I needed to keep on keeping on.
As I said, we’ve got the Larmer Tree Marathon (another disappointed face today when I told someone (the building inspector) that, no, I’m afraid none of my 29 marathons so far have been in London!), expect words. About mud. And hills.
I’m out on loan. I often wondered how those footballers, who ‘belong’ to one club but end up playing for another for a while, feel about their loyalty. I don’t technically work for one person as I’m self employed, but very nearly constantly, I have been working for the same builder for a year. And, I’ll be going back to him in a few weeks. Today was my first day for a rival builder. Actually, not a rival, a very good friend of my boss, who needs a second pair of hands for a while. It doesn’t feel dirty at all……..
Despite feeling like I’d ran good and hard at the Bideford Half last Sunday, I’ve managed to keep my running streak going. Up to 31 days, including a double day today.
It does help having the dog, he needs exercising regardless of fatigue levels amongst his keepers. Jogged about 4.5 muddy miles with him yesterday and about 2.5 watching a glorious sunrise this morning.
To help keep my motivation levels up, I put my running kit in the car and stopped on the sea front before going home after work. I know full well that once I’m in from work the mojo to change and get back out of the door will quickly evaporate with the steam from the kettle.
So I did a session of 6 x 3 minutes hard running with about 90 seconds jogging recovery. My legs felt tired but I pushed through it at a slightly reduced pace and thoroughly enjoyed it, clocking up another 6+ miles.
Television receiver remote controls are something else aren’t they? Nicky and I haven’t turned the television on since the final of Strictly but we know full well it is the entertainment medium of choice for most and, for some, it is both company and a life line.
As the population ages, we find more and more medical advancements to treat more and more ailments and as a consequence we are, on the whole, living longer. Now, I’m sure we all have someone in our lives who gets a bit more easily confused as they age. Perhaps find it increasingly difficult to understand the intricacies and complexities of modern life. And us ‘youngsters’ need to be aware of this and make sure we give people the time they need to try and understand information presented to them.
Nicky and I support someone who is struggling with a dementia and witness this first hand. Most recently, the failure of a Freesat receiver. The person concerned was quite happy and capable of operating the basic, but adequate remote control for this box. Once, I’d established that it was the receiver that had failed I searched in vain to attempt to find a like-for-like replacement. This was utterly frustrating and ended with the purchase of the simplest unit I could find on the market.
Inevitably, the remote controller was a mass of buttons for functions which weren’t requested nor required and, to the user, just looked like a panic inducing blur of new technology. Despite our, and his, greatest efforts, it simply wasn’t going to be mastered.
Modern life can quite often be truly rubbish for some.
Just thought I’d mention it.
Anyway, we’ve got The Larmer Tree Marathon on Sunday. This will hopefully be our first completed marathon of the year. Our first attempt to run one was cancelled (Dover CTS), and we only got to the halfway point of the second attempt (Portland Coastal Marathon), so we’re hoping to get all the way around this glorious festival of mud and hills in a beautiful location.