I hope you're all getting as fabulous weather as we are down here in (not quite) leafy Surrey. I've had the bridge door open all afternoon for the last 2 days and I think it's supposed to be nice right through the weekend. Faaaaaaabulous.
So what's happened since I lost posted? Well, to be honest, not a lot really. I went out for a run the day after I last blogged but it was rubbish. I only managed 2.5 miles at an average pace of 17mins 35secs per mile. Frankly I could have probably walked it quicker. But everything felt sluggish and blurgh (that's a technical term, by the way) so I just consoled myself with the fact that at least I'd gone out and done something.
I then went out again two days after that, on the 21st, with no aim other than to see how far I could get. And I pushed myself, distance-wise. Ended up going the furthest I've ever gone - 3.7 miles, which is 6km - so I'm very pleased with that but, again, not so much with the speed. It took me 1 hour 2 mins to do it, which equates to 16mins 46secs per mile. An improvement on the previous run but still slow. There were also more walking intervals than I would like too, but I think anyone who does any kind of running is always trying to improve both their speed and distance and I'm no stranger to that.
Because I'm now doing 'proper' running (as opposed to the C25k app which was telling me when to run and when to walk - now I decide for myself) I'm trying to notice what affects my ability to run further/faster; for example, time of day (it's looking like I do better in the mornings), what I eat (bowl of porridge with fruit is too heavy and slows me down), hormonal cycle (Shark Week is definitely not good but I'm interested to see if using the progesterone cream during the rest of the month will have any effect), etc. The research is interesting (I can be quite nerdy at times!).
I was intending to go out again this morning (the 23rd) for what would have been my third run this week but it seems I picked up a bit of an injury during the last, 6km, run. I wasn't paying proper attention while running along the edge of a field and the dip in the trail was deeper than I was expecting - or possibly shallower - and I jarred my left leg quite severely. In fact I felt the jarring go right across my back and hammer into the muscles just above my right hip bone. I remember thinking at the time that that was going to hurt the next morning. Funnily enough, my back didn't hurt the next day, but the muscles in my left thigh were pretty stiff and sore, enough to make walking less than comfortable, so I've decided to rest it today, and I'll see how it is tomorrow morning.
Hmm, all this talk of running must be really, really boring to everyone. Sorry 'bout that. But this is a good way of tallying up my progress and, frankly, I don't think I'm doing too badly for a fat old broad who hasn't done any running since she left school 33 years ago!
So, let's instead talk of more colourful things, shall we? Twice a year Cranleigh Art and Crafts Society hold an exhibition, in October and March. I've been going to both for several years now (I've also exhibited my jewellery and one of my paintings in the past) and I always go with an eye to buying something. Because it's a completely open exhibition, every submission gets hung, which means that the quality of what's on show varies enormously. The last two exhibitions - Spring and Autumn 2011 - weren't, I thought, quite as good as previous ones and I didn't buy anything.
This year's spring exhibition is running now - 22-24 March - and, by contrast, I was absolutely spoilt for choice. There were at least half a dozen paintings that caught my eye and to which I gave serious consideration. There was also a beautiful turned wood box and some fabulous fat ladies in the pottery section that I also wanted to bring home. I went yesterday, the opening day, and couldn't decide so took photos of the pictures I liked (and the pottery ladies) to show TLH. I'd decided that if there was one that he liked as much as I did, then I'd go back today to buy it. Turns out there were a couple he liked. In fact, there was another one but it was expensive so we decided, much as we liked it, we couldn't really afford it. Just to give you an idea, the prices for everything in the exhibition (including crafts as well as painting) ran from £9 to £890. The more pricier paintings you find are generally created by more established trained artists who have gallery showings of their work and have their own websites, etc., but who also happen to be members of the Cranleigh Art Soc so also show their work here. The amateur painters tend to price their paintings at much lower figures and as many of them have as much talent as the professionals, you're more likely to get something that looks like it could have cost much more (if you see what I mean) if the painter had had more of a 'name'.
This year, then, I bought a colourful painting by Heather Tipton of the village of Lautrec, France:
And a lovely little watercolour called 'Birches in the Snow' by Sue Barnes:
I have to go back to Cranleigh yet again tomorrow to collect them when the exhibition closes at 5pm, so that's three times in three days I've made the journey! Still, I haven't minded because the weather's been so glorious and it's always interesting to go back and visit the place where you grew up.
And tonight I'm having a go at making Cinnamon Buns, leaving them to rise overnight so that they can be baked first thing in the morning. Mmmmmm, yummy!
PS. I should have posted the picture of the fat pottery ladies, shouldn't I? Here you go then:
The price of health
14 hours ago