Buts and butts

Janathon day 24 & 25

So it had to happened at last, day 24 of Janathon I did nothing that can realistically be classed as exercise. It was always going to be a busy day; setting the alarm for 7 am does not usually herald a day of relaxation. Walked into town and back for the shopping by 9 am, unpacked all the goodies and was out the house by 9:30. First stop was a new event, a monthly area 10 bell practice. The poor husband had been “volunteered” to run this, so not going wasn’t an option for either of us. There were a lot of people there, must have been 35 or so, but it wasn’t a bad practice. Not too many people trying to ring beyond their capability, but an awful lot of people with nil or very limited experience on 10 – we’re an area of mainly 6 and 8 bell towers and ringing on higher numbers is a different kettle of fish in so many ways. I got inveigled into ringing a number of times, managing to muck up Yorkshire Royal when both my course bells went missing in action. oh well – that’s what practices are for…

From there it was to the pub (as is traditional after ringing) and we had some lunch. The afternoon was another ringing event, this time the branch AGM, with ringing, service and tea before the meeting. I gave the ringing a miss here – long draft and cramped ringing room are two things I really don;t enjoy ringing on, the long draft especially. I knew I wasn’t going to enjoy them when I saw a central tower and a ground floor ring. Give me stairs any day – the more the better – it means the ropes are shorter. Fortunately there were enough people that I wasn’t required to ring, saving that over production of adrenaline for another day. The tea was a classic of the species. If you’ve never had a ringers’ tea, you’re missing out. It usually comprises buckets of tea, sandwiches (and other small savories) followed by loads of home made cakes. This spread did not disappoint, and I enjoyed an excellent sampling of cakes.

Meeting finished in good time and we headed off for the third event of the day, the church quiz. These are usually good fun, and so it was. After 2 rounds we had the lead by 1 point, but round 4 was questions on The Bible. Ringers are not renown for their diligent attendance at church, and we didn’t upset the demographic. 5 out of 10 was better than we expected, including a complete fluke relating to what the 10 unprepared virgins forgot. What made it more amusing was that we scored the same on that round as the team including the vicar and curate! oops… From the 8 question rounds we were half a point behind, but there had been 6 sets of puzzle sheets, that were worked on between the rounds and during supper. On these we headed the field by 4 points, so emerged as winners. Hurrah and general rejoicing, with an unexpected prize of a bottle of prosecco and a box of chocolates each. Some of the answers exercised the brain somewhat, but the body did very little in the way of exertion all day. By the time we got home it was approaching midnight, and straight to bed, ready for another 7 am alarm call on Sunday morning…

Sunday was a different story. Ringing in the morning was followed by getting home and changing to go out for a run. Exercise can be had, I just need to be disciplined about making time for it – and not have my days booked up doing other things! I headed out with a plan to extend the run and to up the run interval. 10 minutes run intervals, went OK for the first two, including the nightmare that it getting across top field. The farmer must have worked really hard on this field, as the soil is so light and fine. It was also wet still, so that I again ended up wearing most of the shire on my feet and a significant portion of it up my legs. Instead of heading right up the track and into the village, I’d checked the map, I could go straight on (ish) or right (ish), both of which would take me into the village and each would make the loop progressively bigger, thus extending the run. I opted for the straight on path. The first field was OK, the crops are clearly ahead of top field and the farmer has cleared the crops from the path, so clearly showing the correct route and (I assume) limiting damage to the crop by errant walker drifting in the wrong direction. The corner of the filed I had to hop over a ditch, trying to avoid putting a foot in the stream at the bottom, then climb over a stile. Then a second stile and into a smaller paddock. Here things took an odd turn. There was a hut with chickens and a solitary sheep in this field. They took a bit of an interest in me, and I soon found myself being surrounded by chickens and followed by the sheep. And then the sheep headbutted my behind! That wasn’t very nice, but I got butted 4 times as I crossed the field. I ended up shinning over a 5 bar gate to get out of the paddock, as the path wasn’t clearly marked, and heading for the gate seemed the safest option. At least it wasn’t a boy sheep! But I’m not risking my behind being subject to that again and will not be trying straight on path as an option again.

That kind of put me off my stride (well, wouldn’t it you?). The third & 4th 10 minute run intervals were rather disjointed, what with sheep, stiles, ditches, roads, gates, steps and the like. After starting and stopping a number of times, I allowed myself a bit of a longer walk break, the ran a 5th set of 10 minutes, 1 minute walk and 5 more minutes to run home. So I started and ended in reasonable shape, but the middle got a bit messy for multiple reasons. The run lasted over the hour, making that the longest run, both in time and distance, since I started back running.

There were a mixture of people out today, a couple of walkers, including a most elegant elderly lady in a fabulous purple coat and hat who was serenely gliding along with her dalmatian as I lumbered past, pink & black lycra abounded and blowing like a steam train. Then there was the lady walker who held a gate open for me, to allow me to run through it. I could have done with the 10 seconds respite to stop, open the gate and close it behind me; instead I had to just keep on going while she smiled broadly. But I wasn’t the only nutter out in lycra, one friendly cyclist, one miserable cyclist and a friendly (rather more speedy) runner were all passed today. The weather was a little less cold than it has been, although there was still a chill breeze that made me glad of the two layers. All in all, rather an odd day.