Sunday, March 18, 2007


So, I had a fab weekend. I've written a full report about the run over on my running blog, so what about the rest? Friday night was the rugby, then to the hotel. Saturday was taken up mainly with running, preparing to run, and recovering from the run. I'm never in much of a state to do much after the run (which might bode ill for my birthday celebrations in Edinburgh). I tend to feel weak as though I've used most of my energy, but not able to eat much because my stomach still feels full and all sloshed around. Maybe I extract the energy from the food and then direct it straight to the running bits of me rather than wasting any of it on digesting it properly? I'm working on my pre and during run nutrition to try to sort that out, but in the meatime, I headed back for a quiet night in my hotel room with a salad and a slice of apple cake from a supermarket on the way back, a bottle of wine and a DVD.

Not that I fancied pubs. It was a double whammy of Wales v England in the RU, which I didn't desperately fancy watching (in Wales) when Hull v Saints was on sky in my hotel room, and St Patrick's Day. I've never really been into the St Patrick's day thing. I'm not Irish, and I've not been brought up to see it as a special day. I don't have Irish friends who have a reason to celebrate and invite me to celebrate with them. If I wanted an excuse to go out and drink, then maybe, but I tend to see it very much as a marketing ploy dreamed up by Guinness rather than a celebration that means something to me. So I decided to give it a miss. After all, I wanted to rest my legs and recover for the rafting on Sunday!

So, I watched Little Miss Sunshine and read a bit, had a bit of (less than expected) wine, then slept. And despite a relatively late night for me, I still woke up at 6am on Sunday morning. I just can't sleep much past 7, no matter what time I go to bed. Sometimes it's really frustrating if I want a lie in, but I just can't sleep. This is why I tend to exercise first thing.

So, I had breakfast, had a bit of a wander round Llangollen and went up to the rafting place. I should mention the weather. The cold weather that was being predicted most certainly arrived, but in an odd sort of way. You'd get bright sunshine, and then hail showers. The sunshine wasn't too bad as long as you were out of the icy wind, but the hail and snow was just nasty. Still, I was going to get wet anyway...

The wetsuit went on without any dramas. I guess I must be getting used to the sight of my legs in tight shiny black stuff from all the times I wear running tights. I needed to ask for a smaller helmet because my head has apparently shrunk, but all kitted out I was ready to roll.

It was great! We weren't out for as long as they usually do because of the cold, and apparently it's not a great time of year because the river isn't at its winter levels, but it's too cold to do the summer stuff where they deliberately tip you in, but it was still fun. Although I think that if I do it again I want to do canoe/kayaking rather than the raft.

There's a bit of history there. When my dad was at school and uni (before the scuba diving took over) he was into canoeing in a big way. When I was growing up there were always several canoes in the garage, and I've been told that he used to be at a standard where he went to olympic trials. He used to teach (or at least he was a scout leader so maybe he only taught his scouts rather than other people), and I'd go along to the pool sessions and do eskimo rolls and stuff like that. He's always been big on watersports, and while up until now I've preferred land based stuff, it's something I wouldn't mind getting more into.

Anyway, my feet froze, and my arms were sore from all the paddling, but I had a really good time. I figured that two hours of rafting was a decent work out so treated myself to a decent lunch in the cafe on site before heading home, and managed to get into the car just before the snow started getting heavier.

Definitely a good reward for a year of maintenance. Outdoors sporty stuff is what I like now, not pampering in a spa or even shopping. I was looking at all the leaflets and guides while I was there and I'm starting to really fancy going back for a weekend to do some walking (or possibly running one of the flatter walks, if that makes sense) on the Saturday and canoeing on the Sunday. Last week in the Dales and this week in Wales has opened my eyes to what stunning scenery there is to play in in this country without having to dash round Europe.

Although I'll be planning my next trip for summer, when there's a reduced risk of snow...


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