Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Easter Fun

Easter Sunday saw the last of my long runs before the London Marathon in just 3 weeks time, and I was really pleased with how it went. We'd had a little snow overnight and the pavements were somewhat slick the following morning which meant starting off in trail shoes, only for the snow to melt a couple of hours later which had me yearning for my far more comfortable and much more cushiony road running shoes!

I've now completed 4 runs in excess of 40km and several more over 30k, and with some good speed and strength sessions also in the mix, I am feeling pretty good about London as things stand.

Last week I went for a deep tissue massage and was pleased to hear that my muscles are "in damn good shape" considering some of the sessions I've been doing. Strangely enough, the most troublesome muscles were in my neck and shoulders and it was quite amusing trying to relax whilst on the massage table with those particular muscles going into spasm as the lady prodded and kneeded them like lumps of dough. I felt so much better afterwards and I've been making a conscious effort to stretch everyday at the moment,as I want to be in tip top shape for April 26th.

We've had a pretty good winter here in Calgary compared to previous years, and with the warmer weather and lighter nights, I'm really pleased to say that the Mahogany Running Club is now back up and running. I'm one of those people that runs throughout the winter months regardless of how cold it gets and how much snow we have, but many of the those that attend the running club are not quite so keen and will openly admit that they are fair weather runners.

We restarted the group last Monday, and already we've had an outstanding turnout with at least 12 new faces coming along for some fun. I've mentioned before that the running club scene here is a far cry from that in the UK, so these numbers are pretty impressive, all things considered. It's a great way to meet folks that live in the local community and also invaluable support for those that are new to running and need that extra encouragement and confidence to get out there and give it a go. Thankfully we have a willing volunteer to carry the running club forward once we move to Arizona and I know that it will go from strength to strength when Sheena takes over as the main coordinator from next week.

As some folks will already know, I have been out of work since mid-January and despite applying for lots of jobs, nothing has come up in my favour. The good news is that it has given me plenty of time to read all the books I hadn't read as well as making considerable progress with my Level 3 Diploma in Dog Behaviour. This course has been absolutely fascinating and I am finding myself so engrossed in the subject matter that I've spent tons of time doing research about dogs. I still have ambitions to set up my own pet sitting business some day but having worked for Clever Canines, my hands are tied for 2 years before I can start up my own business in Calgary. The good news is that last week, I was asked by a friend if I would like to look after her 8 week old puppy during the week whilst she's at work. I obviously jumped at the chance and have already had so much fun walking and playing with their young puppy Jade, as well as watching her closely and seeing what I have been learning about on my course in "real life". Of course I have Wilson and Brandy to observe, but I'm inclined to say I'm biased about their behaviour and cannot see anything wrong in what they do - what mum doesn't think her kids are the best ever?!

Dropping in on Jade every day has given back some structure to my day, and having not worked for almost 3 months, it's great to have a focus and some responsibility elsewhere. If that wasn't enough, I'm really pleased to say that I have an interview on Wednesday evening for a part-time job with the local community association. The hours are only 15 per week which suits me fine - I can still do my course, I can still walk Jade, I still have time to work hard on my running, and of course, I have tons of time for Wilson and Brandy and our old moggy Khayman. I'm under no illusions that the job is already mine and I know I just have to get through the interview and see what happens.

I guess some folks would question why I would want a job if we are moving to Phoenix pretty soon. At present, we are still awaiting our interview with the US Consulate here in Calgary but the wait time is a couple of weeks and with having the London Marathon in between, it pushes things back further. However, we can get an appointment immediately if we head to Vancouver, so it may be that we do a mini road trip in the next couple of weeks to the west coast to see if we can speed things up a bit. In the meantime, 3 months at home trying to keep myself busy has been great, but I also feel the need to get out and do my bit in the world and that's why I need a job. I'm not fussy about what I end up doing so long as I'm doing something productive.

With not working, it has given me the oppotunity to do lots of things that I wouldn't normally have time for, and one of the things on out bucket list of things to do was to go panning for gold. Andy and I have always been extremely spontaneous and frequently do things on a whim, and whilst The Yukon would have been our preference for gold panning, it was a little too far to go in one day. Instead, last Friday we found ourselves driving over to Fort Steele in British Columbia to do some gold panning. We knew we wouldn't make our fortune, but we did find some flakes of gold in the nearby river and I have to say that it was pretty exciting finding it! The stretch of river was set aside for public panning unlike other areas of BC where people have already claimed their rights to pan, but the location was amazing with forests surrounding the area and mountains towering across the valley. We did a 9 hour 800km round trip for around 3 hours of panning, and we had the most amazing time and a great day out - I can certainly recommend it!

So as you can see, life is still pretty busy and still pretty exciting, and I'm sure we'll find other things on our bucket list that we will get round to doing before we leave for Phoenix.

For now though, the London Marathon is fast approaching and I need to start mentally preparing myself for a good run. I'm excited about being back in London but I'm going to find it difficult leaving Wilson and Brandy behind in Calgary on their own. This is the first time we have ever left them since we moved here and even though I know they will be in safe hands with our good friend Nenette along with Glady and Michelle, I know that I will still worry about them and miss them immensely. I guess that's one of the benefits of the social media that we all hate - it is a way of staying in touch with people, where we can post photos and be assured that everything is ok. I therefore make no apologies with my obsession of checking emails and social media when I get to the UK in a couple of weeks, and of course, if anybody wants their pooch walking whilst I'm there, I will happily oblige just so I get my daily puppy fix :-)

Positive Start to 2020 :-)

2020 so far has got off to a good start - I'm enjoying my running again and with a variety of road, trail, track and treadmill, it'...