If the cap fits, still check the weather

Okay, so I got told that my previous post about Spring wasn’t really about Spring at all, but, yawn … running again. I think she made it sound more polite than that but I took this to be the inference.

A running cap and a woolly hat
My slim stock of running headwear

This blog is about hats, but then again it’s about running as well, as the only time I consistently wear one is when I run. A woolly one for the winter and my peaked cap for the summer. My hair is not super short nor long enough, most of the time, to fully tie back and the most annoying thing is those escaped wisps tickling your eyes or slapping at your cheeks if the wind is up.

Today, the wind was up, it is still March after all, and I pulled the woolly hat back out from the bottom of my running drawer and tugged it snugly on. I may not have had to worry about my hair giving me whiplash but the trees have been shakin’ their thang rather vigorously and I contemplated putting my bike helmet on as extra protection but decided that it was better to die from flying debris than look a twonk.

It felt good to be out for a short little two miler, as I’d had another attack of the CBAs this week, and despite Bev trying to entice me several times, I wasn’t having it. Partly because it was my time of the month, and partly because it was rainy and miserable and who in their right mind would venture out voluntarily in skimpy clothing in this kind of weather anyway!

Today’s blustery but not freezing wind just felt invigorating, even when it buffeted me. But it was not a cap day. If you can see what the wind did to this fence, you can imagine the kind of lift-off my peak would have given.

A fence panel fallen down
Wind damage or dodgy carpentry? You decide.

It is quite astonishing sometimes how a mood can affect me. Yesterday, I wasn’t exactly low, but I definitely wanted to hunker down and keep myself contained. Whereas today, I felt like dancing with the bud laden branches, and hollering in the breeze!

There are many poems about March winds, but this little ditty captures the current mood of the day:

March wind is a jolly fellow,
He likes to joke and play.
He turns umbrellas inside out
And blows men’s hats away.

He calls the pussy willows
And whispers in each ear
‘Wake up you lazy little seeds,
Don’t you know that Spring is here?’


Spring is in the Air

I am just watching the pigeons. Three were sat merrily on my neighbour’s apple tree just now, when a fourth landed in the vicinity. It sidled up to each and they all flew away one by one as it got close. I wasn’t sure whether I was witnessing a bully or a failed attempt at pigeon chat up lines. ‘Tis the season after all.

It is a rare moment of wilful idleness as I’ve been unusually busy but after my long run this morning (I got to 9 miles), I feel like I can put my feet up for a bit.

It took me 1 hour 45 minutes ish and I realised that I’d need to start taking a gel in the middle of my long runs now as my quads (or ‘thighs’ to normal people) were starting to turn to rubber. That may also be because I’d been for my first proper cycle ride of the year yesterday. It was just under 12 miles done in a leisurely 1.5 hours and by the end my thighs (or ‘quadriceps femoris‘ if you want to be technical) were very happy to see the bike go back in the shed, as were my buttocks.

Now, for me, gels are tolerable but many people find them sickly. There are a ton of makes and flavours etc. and I use the SIS ones as I tried them first and I didn’t throw up, so. They definitely help me get a little more energy in my slow but steady legs and I would recommend them, ( or dextrose, or chewy sweets, or whatever works without making you barf), for any run that is going to take you well over the hour mark. I’ve heard of some people use them for a 10k, or even a 5k. If your 10k takes you an hour and a half then maybe. But, otherwise, I’d go for porridge (or other real carbs) a couple of hours before you run and that should be enough. I personally only take these gels while I’m running, probably around 45 mins in, and then 40/45 mins apart. They do help but they don’t give you superpowers and they’re full of artificial shite.

PLUS, the other thing to remember, is to put the packet, once tipped into your gullet, in a BIN or in your POCKET.

The amount of empty gel packets lashed onto the ground, even during races, should not be allowed. We have enough of a problem with litter and fly-tipping without adding to it.

I’ve come back to this blog this evening, while watching an episode of Drag Race UK (weirdly compelling). It looks like I was about to rant about litter, as it is a REAL bugbear of mine. But instead of that I shall keep it positive. Yesterday my biking buddy Gary told me about a facebook group, the Wirral Wombles, an incredible local group that goes around picking up a lot of this rubbish that people throw, to make our streets and country lanes nicer places. I’m going to join it and get out there with them.

You can read a little more about gels here.