Running For Trees: Week NINE- Running my first 5km in Wales #Treeathlon

On Friday we jumped in the car and drove across the big bridge (always exciting!) to the Welsh valleys to see our wonderful friends Ann and Nic and their fabulous respective families. On Saturday we picnicked in the centre of the amphitheatre at Caerleon, the best preserved Roman amphitheatre in the UK.

It was a beautiful sunny day and for a while we had the place to ourselves, an unexpected delight. The turf covered remains of the walls were great for the kids to climb on and lob frisbees and balls about too. After our feast we headed over to the small-but-perfectly-fascinating museum, where the kids were given a treasure map by a Pirate Lady and had to find clues to be able to open the casket containing a treasure for each of them….Arrrr. I got to try on some replica Roman armour, which was so heavy I couldn’t imagine walking anywhere in it, let alone marching about and fighting in it.

Yesterday morning Nic looked after Sam while I went for my second run of Week Nine, the last week of training in the NHS programme I have been following, ‘Couch Potato to 5k’. Taking my route through the local park, with the mountains at my back, I ran past kids playing rugby, the bandstand and the forest garden, and out through the other side, along the river, to the next village. I jogged past the premises of the local Male Voice Choir, at that point feeling like I had ticked off a lot of stereotypically ‘Welsh’ activities. What struck me though , apart from the river, the glorious amount of green and the breathtaking mountains, was the relaxed traditional ‘Sunday’ vibes in the air. The people walking dogs, ready with smiles and Good Mornings. The kids playing in the well-tended park. Everyone busy doing Sunday stuff.

I was busy running. I discovered on my first run of Week 9 that although I am able to run for 30 minutes without any trouble, I am only running about 4km instead of the 5k I have been working towards. In two weeks I run the Treeathlon for Trees For Cities and I am hoping to improve my speed in that time. With that in mind, yesterday I decided mid-run to see if I could run for 40 minutes and whether that would take me to my goal of 5km. And it did! I ran for 40 minutes with no problems apart from aching legs and when I mapped the run later I found out I was just at 5km! In the next two weeks I will aim to get to 5km in 35 minutes- I have no idea if that’s achievable but I’m going to give it a go.

After my run we had a delicious vegetarian brunch and then took the kids to the park, where a brass band was playing. Home again via the allotments to pick beans and raspberries and then a cup of tea in the garden whilst helping my friend clean the onions she had just dug up, ready for drying out.

My idea of a perfect weekend! I feel very lucky.

I have two weeks left before I run round Battersea Park to raise money for Trees For Cities. I am so close to my target, thanks to the generosity of friends and family. Please help me reach it! My Just Giving page is here.

Growing Stuff

Yesterday I planted lollo rosso lettuce, Rainbow Lights chard, beetroot and mixed salad leaves in a couple of pots on my patio. These are very late but I am holding out for a wet summer (OhLimp*ck washout) and a sunny and warm September and October.

Sadly I’ve had little time or energy for gardening and my veg patch is a mass of weeds so the patio pots will do until I’ve got it all clear again.

I need to get some spinach on the go too. I can’t afford to spend ¬£1.69 on a bag of spinach…and the rest…my aim is to be self sufficient in greens from the garden by this time next year…ambitious but also will save a fortune, taste better, have more nutritional value, and be environmentally friendly and sustainable. My son will know how to grow some of his own food as well.

There are french beans and mange tout growing in a pot by my front door too. Slight inspiration from 18 Folgate Street, aka Dennis Severs’ House, which I visited a couple of years ago on my 40th birthday- see the pics.

For more on my previous gardening and growing exploits see my Roar! Earth blog spot.

broadcast # 1

di-di-dit…dah-dah-dah…di-di-dit………………..follow that star…………………………………….keep up with the paperwork………………….boiling water and a sachet………………order nemetodes if you have money……………….a bucket and secs work just as weIl………………..if you deny death then life takes its toll……………………..stick the knife in to open the packet………………………………….does not make you the provider……………………………an intermediary………………………in a retail racket………………………………the cupboard is bare………………..stir