Slow and steady

Moving slowly through the UK countryside


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Beautiful Bath

We visited Bath this weekend, and it was gorgeous.  Sunny and autumnal – my favourite weather.

The weir below Pulteney Bridge is mesmering, with the water above it like an infinity pool.

Pulteney Bridge over the River Avon

Pulteney Bridge over the River Avon

The tiny shops (not much more than a metre from front to back) on Pulteney Bridge have wonderful views out over the river. This photograph was taken right through the shop from outside.

The view through a shop window on Pulteney Bridge

The view through a shop window on Pulteney Bridge

This medlar tree was laden with fruit – we were looking down onto it from above.  They are very strange-looking – rather like gigantic hawthorn fruits.  I haven’t ever eaten one – you have to leave them to ‘blet’, which effectively means, to rot.  Which sounds rather dubious.

Medlar tree

A medlar tree

On Friday night we had an excellent meal at the Circus restaurant (spiced pumpkin soup followed by lemon sole – mmmmmm).  On Saturday morning, I was determined to go for a pre-breakfast run (ok, walk/jog) which was a bit of a challenge as I’d not slept too well from eating so much.  However, it was a beautiful sunny morning, and I ran a little way alongside the River Avon.

I found a lovely paved labyrinth to jog round.

Labyrinth

I didn’t quite complete the labyrinth, as I was distracted by the sight of this fine gentleman.

Centurion

Roman centurion in Bath – not sure where he was heading, but he was happy to have his photo taken.

After Bath, we stopped off at Westonbirt Arboretum to see the autumn foliage display.  The Acers (Japanese maples) were lovely, even though it wasn’t sunny when we were there.

Japanese maples

Japanese maples

Japanese maple

Japanese maple

It was £9 per person to get into the arboretum, but I think we had our money’s worth for the wonderful colours. I have seen reviews on Trip Advisor saying that it was expensive, and more or less complaining that an arboretum only had trees in, which seemed a bit unreasonable. Though, admittedly, when we visited Westonbirt once before, many years ago, there were sculptures in amongst the trees, and it did add to the interest.


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Thinking about Juneathon 2013

dsc03933-me-in-disguise-from-the-wind.jpg IMG-20130521-00055 rape field beyond parkrun route c

I’ve just completed the 5×50 challenge and want to keep up doing exercise every day, although not necessarily for 5k/30 minutes.  So the Juneathon seems like a good idea.  Keeping a record of the exercise I do every day does help to motivate me to do something, and it would be good to have some photos with it too.

So I think I’ll do it.

Background: I was pretty much PE-phobic at school, always very slow and lacking coordination, except for swimming.  I don’t think I’d run for longer than a minute or so since I was at primary school (where I was the slowest in my class).  I do enjoy walking in the countryside, though only fairly short distances in more recent years.  A long time ago I did a bit of yoga, and I used to enjoy cycling, but I hadn’t done either of those for ten or twenty years.

For some reason, that I can’t remember, I started the NHS Couch to 5k (c25k) programme on 15th December 2012, with eight lots of 1 minute runs, with walks in between.  I commented:

…even if I don’t get to 5k running, it has got me outside and exercising again, so that’s good – and this seems a very friendly and supportive community too.

The community is here – brilliant support for anyone new to running.

I completed the programme on 13th February 2013, and found this quote that sums up running for me:

 Being allowed to do something really badly without anybody being upset is a joy.

I ran just over 3k in 30 minutes in my final week (4.1k in 40 minutes on my final run) – so I am seriously a tortoise runner, as this is slower than my brisk walk.  I was overtaken by a man walking his dog on my ‘graduation’ run.  🙂  I have since run 5k and I have once run 10k (in 100 minutes).

In most weeks recently I’ve done two or three runs, and from 31st March to 19th May I did the 5×50 challenge, as mentioned above, which got me starting to doing yoga again, and cycling – including several 10k+ cycle rides, and one of 26km, on the final day of the challenge.  In total, over the 50 days, I ran 54k, walked 95k, cycled 92k and did 75 hours of yoga or other exercise.  So it would be  a pity to lose that fitness.

I’ve also challenged myself to do a little bit of faster running – I’ve once run a mile in ten and a half minutes, and today I ran for a minute and a half at average speed of 11kph (5:26 min/km).  Maybe one day I’ll be able to keep that up for 30 minutes for a parkrun.  Hmmm.

And sometimes I take myself a bit too seriously.  🙂