Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Reasons to Run

Ivinghoe Beacon
  • Raised heartbeat - I know it goes much higher than my Doctor recommends.  Looking at him I doubt he's a runner and he certainly doesn't understand why anyone why I want to run saying "it's not as if you're training to be a top class athlete so I don't understand why you want to run"
  • Strengthening my bones - there's no way I want to have fragile bones when I'm older
  • Strengthening my ligaments, tendons around my ankles when I run over rough ground - when I ran with Dave McRoy in Snowdonia I remember having to work hard keeping balance over that rocky ground
  • Weight control - a nice steady 10st 7lbs seems about right
  • Better, deeper sleep - this is blissful!  Sometimes I almost seem to know when I'm in a really deep sleep and my body is repairing itself
  • Listening to my body breathing, working, being in tune - perhaps this is what people who do yoga talk about
  • I am more healthy than I was 20 years ago - I wasn't in bad shape but my diet wasn't very good and I did smoke.  I certainly couldn't run far.
  • The Runner's High - wow what can I say?  I sometimes feel so elated, so much on top of the world, happy and able to handle anything
  • Feel unbeatable
  • Problem solving; working through problems - the only snag is not being able to remember what I had worked out
  • Seeing things clearly
  • Makes me feel alive! Especially if its been raining, or cold or maybe after a really fast fluid kind of run
  • I feel great all day if I run early in the morning
  • Keeping things in perspective
  • De-stressing myself - the main motivation that got me going originally
The joy of it
  • Listening to the sound of gravel dancing behind me, following my footsteps
  • Listening to the rhythm of my footsteps - almost hypnotic and a great way of maintaining a steady pace
  • Listening to music on my ipod - Invitation to the Blues by either Tom Waits (the best) or Jennifer Warnes (pretty good), Young at Heart by the Bluebells
  • Being the first to run through the new day - such an immense privilege that is utterly priceless especially when I'm the first to run through the dew covered grass
  • The challenge of it - I have only once cut a run short and gone back home early
  • The satisfaction of it
  • Where does this path lead...?
  • Every run is different
  • The clouds
  • The smells in the woods, the pockets of cool air on a summer's evening
  • The different seasons
  • Running along the edge of fields and noticing how crops have grown, changed colour
  • Running through puddles, feeling the water splash my legs and make my feet wet for a bit

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The "tallest" person in Wales

Hannah, tallest person in Wales, Mount Snowdon, October 2010
I was so proud of our girls as we made it to the top of Mount Snowdon.  They were like mountain goats as they clambered effortlessly up the rocky track.

Amazingly, no complaints, just got on and enjoyed the challenge.

Afterwards I asked Becky what she thought of Mount Snowdon.  She said it was nothing like what she's expected.  She went onto explain that she thought it would be a flat landscape with a triangular mountain sticking up, with snow on the top.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Another great day in the Cotwolds

Just about every thing went to plan on this bike ride.  We did this on 10th November 2010.

We arranged to meet at Burford again, a really nice car park, free and the same as the night ride earlier in the year.  The clouds were clearing to allow the sun to shine through just enough for us to feel the warmth when we stopped.  It was pretty cold but Wallie, as ever, thought it was great.

We pedalled off going east from Burford in an anti clockwise circle, arriving back in Burford at around 4.00pm.

It was really funny listening to Wallie talk about bike rides with Angela; the slow speed, the need to constantly stop to put more clothes on or off etc.  We drew comparisons with Rachel frequently announcing "this is definitely the last time I'm going on a bike".

The whole day was such a well needed tonic for work induced stress, something to look forward to, something to get me thinking about other adventures.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Geo Bar Rant

We're trying to do "the right thing" but it's a bit frustrating and sometimes wonder whether it is really worth the bother.  Notwithstanding this, here's a little product review cum rant.

As a family we are being more proactive and making more effort in buying responsibly these days, accepting it will sometimes cost a little more.  For some time we have been buying more organic food and more recently, we have purchased much less meat.  A while back I tried a Geo Bar and really liked it - moist, chewy and very fruity so I thought I'd maybe keep some in stock.

Then today a mail order box arrived, from Goodness Foods, containing quite a variety of foods and the above box of Geo Bars were included.  I was amazed at how light the box felt (pictured) so I opened it and it's obvious why - just look at the tiny size of that bar in relation to the box!  So much packaging is misleading and very unnecessary.  You can see from the above photo that the Geo Bar is roughly half the box and I just can't see the justification for this, or can I?

Costing 37p each or £2.22 for a box of 6, you'd expect to get something fairly substantial for that, wouldn't you?  Why do they do this, how can they possibly justify this?

The actual bars taste fine.  They're quite moist and don't appear to be fragile - staying stuck together very well.  The first ingredient is Glucose Syrup which clearly helps the structure stay together but I wonder if the bar were more substantial, perhaps less syrup would be needed.  There is a nice combination of nuts, wheat, fruit and different flavours available - perhaps I ought to try these for a fuller picture.  For the above bar, the actual ingredient list looks fine from my perspective.  According to the box, the Fairtrade elements amount to 50.8% which isn't bad at all but could certainly be better.  With 142 kcal per bar, that's sufficient fuel for about 2 miles running, again, not too bad.  With only 1.4g of fibre in each bar, perhaps it could do better in that department!

To conclude:

  • Taste-wise they're nice
  • At 37p they are not cheap
  • Fairtrade portion is 50.8%
  • Ridiculous packaging
  • Healthy