Christmas 2013 to New Year 2014
So, what did you get up to over the festive season this year? Are you regretting the food consumed, drink taken and ‘recovery’ slumped in front of the TV? I think I could answer yes to all of that, even although we have not over-indulged (OK, well maybe the bottle of champagne between us on 1st January was overindulgence but I had won it, and flat champagne is . . .).
We have a very low key time during the festive season as I find the whole spend / eat / drink to excess rather distasteful; why spend all that money and abuse your body as well? I must be getting old, or is it just that we do not have kids or relatives around so we can enjoy having a holiday time, doing what we want to do.
As I mentioned in the last post, I managed to complete 33+ miles between 22nd December and 31st December (a Strava challenge). Most of that was running while listening to podcasts or music. There have also been lots of local orienteering events to go to.
Anagach in the dark
Tim Sands had held an activity on the area earlier in December but very few had been able to make it. He had maps left over so offered to hold it again and to place the reflective tubes out as well. Paul and I had been there the first time so we ran the course in reverse (the first time my headlamp mounting bracket had broken so I had it in my hand; a call to Silva and they replaced it very quickly with the new one arriving on Christmas Eve, excellent service). I managed to correct my previous errors - but also make new ones!! For instance, when I arrived at the former dump for the second time I just could not orientate myself at all; yes I used my compass, yes I beamed my brand new headlamp around and yes, I had not a clue where I was so I ran round two thirds of the edge before I left it on a path I was happy with! Not long after that I was jogging along a path and came to a path junction - but it was the wrong path junction as I had run past the one I wanted (must be fitter and running faster!!); very fortunately I had put my compass on the map to check the direction of the path I wanted to take and it did not fit so I corrected myself and took a different route to the control.
Hogmanay, Tuesday = O ‘Dib a Depression’
This was at North Granish which I was organising / planning. 40 depressions (well, 39 large ones and one small one), 40 minutes to see what you can do. North Granish is a small area which is very runnable, especially at this time of year. Paul and I went to put the controls and SI units out - but the cattle were around in half the area so we delayed that load until the morning of the event. About 30 people had indicated they were coming; we ended up with just under 60 people taking part on the day! I used very map which had been printed! At the end some volunteered to collect the controls (thank you) and then we had a ‘spot prize’ time; many had brought along something for this so we had loads to give out, again very many thanks to all for the contributions. The winner of the event was awarded with a Santa Suit (one very careful owner, used once). Once the event was over the cattle returned and no doubt the deer were very relieved as they had been dashing about trying to escape from people for 40 minutes.
This was the location for the INVOC New Year’s Day Frolic and again there were about 60 people there. It was a lovely day, cool but sunny and dry. This event was a mass start score and I did not take the time to look at the map properly and plan. Never mind, I ran over 7km, was about 6 minutes late back but had had a good time. It was very sociable at the end as everyone finished together and stayed around to chat.
Moravian had had an event at Roseisle in November. Paul and I had been at a coach development day so had missed it. When they said they would use up the left over maps for a night event this was one to go for. Roseisle in the dark - all those lovely contours and darkness, how would I cope? First part of the strategy was to get there early so I had plenty of time between starting and courses closing. Next part of the strategy was to be very disciplined with myself regarding use of compass, distance judgement and safe routes.
So, now it is after the event, did my plan work? Basically it did as I was never totally wondering where I was; I had a few wobbles but nothing I would consider major. Distance judgement was useful (mainly pacing); routes were not always safe but I always had a plan; compass work was still a bit sloppy, I really have to wean myself off reading detailed contours at night as it does not work all that well! And I beat Paul by 10 seconds (and I ran 900m less than he did). Now I call that a result.
We had a meal out at the Kimberley in Findhorn afterwards and I did not even have pudding - well not so much my will power but they had run out of sticky toffee pudding and I did not fancy mars bar cheesecake (and after tasting Paul’s I was glad I had refused, too creamy for me).
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