Russell: After a great weekend with our friends (see post Group Therapy) who were all fantastic guests, it felt like they were gone too soon. We were left with just each other for company, memories of the funny conversations and debates, and all the high class food they donated! As we were getting settled back into the quiet life, Ellie and Scotty surprised us with a whirlwind visit…
…and wow, they were really like a whirlwind! They stormed up the hill armed with raspberry jam, Mr Naga Chilli sauce, incense and some great guitar tunes. They made us delicious crepes, they chopped up firewood, engraved on slates, washed dishes and totally looked after us. It honestly felt like they were the ones hosting us.
On Friday they took Nina rock climbing, I came to watch after my morning run and sat at the bottom of the crag with a bottle of cold cherry coke. Ellie and Scotty made climbing the rugged faces look effortless with their grace and elegance. Nina, who had no grace or elegance to speak of, had to rely on sheer guts and muscle, and a lot of expert mentoring/ encouragement. She was attempting a ‘Very Severe’ climb, harder than anything she had done before, and I was very proud of her heaving herself up to the top, I thought to myself that it could be just the confidence boost she needed for her upcoming race!
Nina: Climbing with Ellie and Scotty was brilliant. It looked pretty impossible from the ground, but Scotty scaled the crag face like he was born on it. Then Ellie showed me step by step what to do, eg Ellie: ‘Roll over your right hip and go into a frog position’ – I would then frantically riggle myself over the rock in more of an octopus position. There was a fair bit of using my knees, head and elbows, as well as sheer arm efforts, and all of these areas were aching the next morning. Worrying, as I’d been advised climbing is all about the legs.
Russell: Sunday Morning and Nina was due to run a local 10km, of course the weather was nasty. I had a track session to do before Nina’s race, and as I warmed up in the rain I just wanted to go home it was so miserable. I tried to pretend it wasn’t that bad so Nina didn’t start dreading her race. Maybe it worked as she walked off to the start line in good spirits, wearing a black bin liner to try and keep warm and dry. The winner came home over a minute slower than he expected, and all the early finishers moaned about their terrible performances, caused by the weather and hills. I thought to myself that if Nina could just finish the race without stopping and crying, then I would be happy. I was over the moon when she came into view over a minute ahead of schedule. She finished very strongly, storming through the field to a big Personal Best of 46.57. Almost a minute and a half better than her last PB! She hadn’t noticed the weather at all, it was all sunshine and rainbows inside her mind!
Nina: The race the next day was a dream. Sure the weather was rubbish, but that is no excuse these days. I thought it was an excellent 10k. I hadn’t checked out the route at all, but my game plan was to attack the hills rather than conserve energy for whatever lay ahead. There was a particularly rough uphill km which cost me over a minute in time. But the following downhill was the perfect antidote and I grabbed all the time back and more. I’m sure that breaking 47mins for most people won’t mean anything, but it was such a good feeling for me as I haven’t run a PB in a very long time and it was better than I had hoped for. Of course you’ve got to big up these occasions, so we celebrated with a movie and meal. Driving home in the dark, we came to a standstill as a tree had been blown over across the road. I was feeling invincible so jumped out to move it. It was pretty rotten and broke into three easily, but it must have looked like an impressive show of strength to Russell who had chosen to stay behind the wheel and grumble.
More reason for celebration as our blog reached 50 followers, 52 to be precise! We marked the good news with gingercake and custard, Russell’s 2nd favorite dessert in the world (his favourite being gingercake and custard made by his mum), and discussed what we will do when we reach the inevitable world domination stage. A massive thank you to everyone for your patience and perseverance!