|Romsey Abbey in the snow|
We've been without internet, house or mobile phones for the best part of a fortnight. This has affected me less than other members of the household, but even my patience was worn wafer thin by the terrible customer service we received.
After a week of waiting for it to be fixed, I drove into Romsey to find sufficient signal to find out what was happening and spent fifteen minutes sitting in the car in a car park running through a seemingly never-ending loop of the game can you spell your postcode? followed by one of can you spell your email? Why do you need my email? I queried. So we can update you on progress. But I don't have any internet at home so that would be rather pointless. There was a short pause, then: well, I need it to fill out the form so I can ask someone to find out why you've got no internet. It went on like that for half an hour and I was none the wiser at the end, poorer by half an hour of my life and consumed by the desire to deprive the customer service representative of her phone line for a fortnight. It's back on now, although at a slower speed than before it got broken.
The snow that came last weekend put an end to our plans to drive to Devon on Sunday and run the Grizzly. Our running chums were here for supper on Saturday night. The meal was dominated by frequent glances outside to gauge when they needed to leave to be in with a fighting chance of making it home, and doubts that any of us would be going anywhere tomorrow. In the end, the only friends who ran the reduced course (bravo to the organisers for stoically marshalling in freezing blizzard conditions) were those who'd driven down before the snow came. I've seen the pictures- it looked epic. It was the first year all eight of us had got in so we're sad we couldn't be there as planned, but everyone gets priority entry for next years' race so I expect we'll all do it then instead.
M went out on Sunday with the intention of running 20 miles at home instead, and returned three and a half hours later having done 24, and with a frozen face that meant that, for five minutes at least, he was unable to make much sense. Once I'd ascertained it wasn't permanent and he wasn't in pain, I allowed myself a good ten minutes of being bent over in a fit of giggles at his fish-lips and failed attempts to force coherent sound out.
Pop and I did a more sensible 7 miles along snowy lanes and through snowy woodland with not another soul present. It was bliss, and very beautiful, on virgin snow.
On Tuesday, we did a half marathon (13.1 miles) together around the lanes at home. Poppy celebrated afterwards with some posh dog nosh and I celebrated with a starbar (which I think you'll find is an essential component of marathon-training kit).
Yes, that's right, I did say marathon. I've been steadily upping my miles over the past six weeks and after successfully navigating the half on Tuesday, can now let you all in on a secret: my marathon ambitions for 2018 have been reinstated. Barring complete disaster (and you never know with endurance running), in nine week's time Poppy and I shall be setting out on our first trail marathon together. M is cycling to strategic points where, if she isn't happy, he will collect Pop and cycle on to the next one with her. We are in discussions at the moment as to whether she goes in a basket on the bike or in a rucsac :o)
Joking aside, I have taken advice from people who run marathons with their dogs and the organisers of the race and the general consensus is they are more than capable of doing 26.2 miles, as long as they've done the training and the weather is appropriate. So, if it's a boiling hot day, the fall-back plan is for her to join me on the last six miles only. She won't like that but her welfare is obviously my top priority. I have no qualms about her being fit enough to run the distance- she did a fast 19 mile run with M last year and after Tuesday's half, she slept for an hour and then was up annoying Ted chasing him round the house and garden all afternoon. You'd never know she'd been running at all.
I'll leave you with a text exchange L and I had this week while I was trying to find him after the bus had apparently returned to the bus stop without him....
Have a great weekend, all.