Sunday, 4 June 2017

Going from strength to strength during weeks two and three

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All the pictures on this post have been taken by Mrs

Week 2: It's the end of the second week for my super Mrs, continuing her epic six week solo and unsupported run from Land's End to John O'Groats. Last week, she was quite unhappy when I caught up with her on a narrow track in the middle of nowhere. This week was much better. We met up in the bar of Shrewsbury Premier Inn (is there no end to the luxury?!). She was sat with a beer and her feet up, looking happy. Much better!

It looks like, if we're careful and considerate, we can have nice things after all

Although not having planned another rest day, she had wisely decided to take a rest day on the Saturday. I think this is a good decision - going for 8-12 hours or more every single day is bound to wear you down, sometimes a rest day before you think you desperately need one can be a good decision for long-term success.

I for one salute my robot overlords

On Saturday I went on a tourist visit to Shrewsbury parkrun, a convenient 10 minute stroll from the hotel. Mrs came too, and was feeling so good she jogged round with me - enjoying the opportunity to run without her large rucksack and go a bit faster than in recent weeks.

Round the back there's Happy Cottage Cow

I was so pleased she felt well enough to run round - I do enjoy sharing my parkruns with her. We trotted round, chatting, and enjoying the spirit of parkrun on a beautiful sunny Saturday morning.

For once, a wonderful vista that comes out well in a photo

In the afternoon we tried to find somewhere quiet to sit and look at next week's route in detail. We found a bizarre little tea room cum fairy garden that unfortunately was full of giant flecks of pollen, smokers, and, after half an hour or so, rain. After one drink we moved over to a bar next door to the hotel, the Alb. This had all of Shrewsbury's stag and hen parties in it, complete with inflatable dolls and complicated cocktails orders at the bar.

Hello, Mr Sheep!

We found a quieter table upstairs, and Mrs got to work looking at her route and planning out B&Bs and camp sites to aim for over the coming week. It was a bit of a challenge, but she got there, and the week ahead came into shape.

It's stunning up North

She should be well up in the Lake District by the end of this coming week. It's going to tale me a long time to get up there and find her, I suspect I'll have to get the train to Penrith or Carlisle and hire a car. Hard to believe that all the way up North beyond Manchester is still only half way from Land's End to John O'Groats. Scotland is much bigger than it looks on our normal map projection.

Beware the sheep - sign written in blood by the last runner to make it out alive

It was my birthday during the week, so in the evening we went out for a slightly belated birthday celebration meal, before strolling back to the hotel to get a good night's sleep. Early start and back on the road tomorrow.

The grass is greener on the other side

Neither of us slept very well, getting up at 6:15 was a bit challenging - but we managed it, and after repacking her bag and a few reviving cups of tea, Mrs was back on the road by 7:30.

We all wore our hair long when we were young

Off on week three, with hundreds of miles done, but more hundreds still to go. Happier this weekend,  and no more talk of stopping, but still tired - mentally and physically. I continue to be so proud of her journey, and her determination.

Good morning, ladies

Week 3: It’s now the end of week three, and Mrs is just one day away from arriving in Scotland. How amazing is that? She’s very nearly run from Land’s End to Scotland!

This sheep is incorrectly configured

As she gets further into the adventure, now a little over half way, she’s grown in strength and determination. There was no talk this weekend about stopping, or even the smallest hint that finishing was in any doubt. She’s driving right through to the end, and spent Saturday’s rest day planning in a bit more detail the route, overnight stopping places, and lunch stops.

We can haz food?

We stayed in an old country house called Dalston Hall, and for dinner on Friday were joined by Suzan and Pete - which was lovely, as we certainly don’t see them often enough.

A beautiful reflecting pond

Mrs has picked up a few scrapes and scratches along the way, mainly due to unkempt paths and trails, but apart for that is in great shape - and is more tanned than ever! I’m amazed at how free from aches and pain she seems to be - I’d be dragging my legs around uselessly behind me by now, even if I’d made it this far.

Not a bad morning view

I’m not going to be counting any chickens, there’s still a long way to go - almost half, and who knows what challenges Scotland will bring - but I feel like as this challenges continues, she’s only getting stronger!

Sometimes, it rains

Each day is uploaded onto Strava, and you can follow her with a day or two of delay:
She tweets pictures and observations on twitter:

Sometimes, visibility is poor!

She also has created a Facebook page for the journey:
Our friend Ben is making a map showing where she's actually been:

This is not my wife - she found another person running end to end (who was picked up by a van!)

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Heading off for week four... 

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