The weather has been vile for weeks now and our fields are really muddy and horrid. The poor horses are squelching around and taking refuge in the shelters when the torrential rain and gale-force winds have been battering us. We can't complain though as we are lucky compared to many poor people in the North of the UK whose homes have been flooded, some more than once, and have had to spend Christmas elsewhere.
|Esther said she doesn't care about all this new year nonsense and please could I feed her!|
|Esther's coat is really thick and warm so she only needs a rug when it's very cold whereas Kizzy's coat is much thinner so she needs a nice thick blanket with a neck cover|
I'm at the planning stage of the year. Planning projects, planning marathons, trying to define some tangible, achievable goals. I love doing it. Mike always says I like nothing better than a list with 'to do' things on it and he's quite right, I do.
My running year is looking pretty challenging, which was the idea so I'm not complaining, and I'm looking forward to testing myself. Pushing boundaries is always good because you never know what you can achieve until you step out of your comfort zone. Speaking of which, I ran 20 marathons last year and my annual mileage was 1759 which was 150 miles less than the previous year. This was a conscious decision on my part to reduce my training miles in order to accommodate an increase in marathon miles. If you'd told me at the start of last year that I would add another 7 marathons onto the 13 I'd planned I would have laughed at you!
|These are all my marathon medals from 2015 - they're jolly heavy!|
I found this little corner shelf in a junk shop and after a bit of tlc it looks fine so Mike put it up in my office to hold some of my trophies etc. As there will be a few more medals added to my collection (fingers crossed), he's also making me a new medal hanger to accommodate them.
I've taken a couple of weeks off knitting and crochet and have been enjoying playing around with some embroidery ideas for a table runner. I love researching a project and have been leafing through piles of books and making notes and skeetching out ideas.
Mike's mittens took a back seat whilst I was charity knitting/crocheting during October, November and December so they've been restarted. There didn't really seem any urgency in completing them as it's been so unseasonably mild. I've also pledged to finish a couple of UFOs (UnFinishedObjects) - one a cardigan knitting project I abandoned a year or so ago and the other an embroidery project. The other thing on the knitting front is to design my own Fair Isle chart inspired by the many photos I take every day. I've been meaning to have a go at this for some time and have just ordered the Knitsonik stranded-colourwork-sourcebook to help get me started - I'm very excited by that idea!
I'll be starting a new crochet blanket project soon - either for our bed or for the lounge. That will take several months to complete so it will be nice to dip in and out of it.
Last year I did a Craftsy course on knitted beads with Betsy Hershberg which I really enjoyed so am going to make a necklace combining junk shop bead finds and some with knitted ones.
|I was especially pleased to find the brown/turquoise beads as I love that colour combination|
My first marathon of the year is this weekend and the weather forecast is not looking at all inviting - RAIN. As the event is taking place at Fowlmead country park I know that it will involve lots of splashing through puddles! Even better, I have to add at least 1 extra lap onto the marathon distance as I'm training for an ultra marathon of 50 miles in April so need to increase my mileage.
I'll end this quick update with a glamorous photo of myself out on one of my recent training runs and some photos of Bodiam looking rather damp. It was so windy and cold that I put my hood up over my cap which forced my ponytail forwards so it looked as if I'd grown a beard. Shortly after I took that the rain started and I looked like a drowned rat by the time I'd got home. To make matters worse a passing motorist didn't slow down as he passed me and drenched me as he sped through a massive puddle!
|Rocking the beardy look|
|It isn't just the fields that are waterlogged. Even the gravel garden is struggling to drain away the excess of water we've had.|
|When I set out I couldn't tell if the river had overflowed but when I went down into the valley it became clear that it had although it wasn't quite as bad as in previous years!|
|The River Rother had in fact burst its banks and looked about 1 foot off breaching the wall between its banks and the National Trust car park|
|When I ran round the other side I noticed it had actually come over.|
|The view the other side of the road - the water level hadn't quite reached the top of the piles protecting the cricket pavilion.|
|Fancy a picnic?|
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn't rain over the weekend even though the weather forecasters tell me otherwise. Wet feet here I come!