Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Other Place 07 - Furniture Assembling

Cisternino, Puglia, Italy. Thursday 25-May-2017.

While we were away the kitchen worktop was fitted which looks great but I forgot to take a picture. However the main feature of this trip was getting furniture into the place. Plus buying all the lights for every room so the electrician could come in and fit them.

When you are two stories up centuries-old narrow winding stairs there are two options with furniture. Flat pack that goes up the stairs or pre-assembled and winch it up the outside. Fortunately the builders scaffolding and hoist are there until the end of the month.

Most of the furniture were pre-ordered from Ikea for delivery the day after we arrived. Two wardrobes, two chest of drawers, two bedside cabinets, two hanging rails and a bed. At least I didn't have to carry all that lot up two flights of steep stairs. The poor delivery driver looked well puffed by the end.

By the end I was getting pretty slick at assembly. Thank goodness for the power screwdriver.

The sofa was a different matter. It was delivered a couple of days later and came as a piece. It had to go up the outside - a scary thing to watch.

The hoist is rated for more than the weight of the sofa but even so it is not a spectacle for the nervous.

Once on the terrace it was a bit of a manoeuvre to reverse it into the small bedroom and back out through the kitchen and dining room, across the landing and into the living room.

A week later a sideboard from Calligaris went up the same route. All very stylish and in one piece.

It was not all work, there was eating and drinking. One difference between London and Cisternino is that here you actually know the name of the person who made your Easter egg - Antonietta Pinto founder of Chocolab. We've met her and she's the sister of the brothers who run Bar Fod across the piazza. Buona Pasqua.

That's the Limoncello and Arancello started. I have made Limoncello before using Chris's recipe but this is the first time I have made Arancello.

We'll be back in a couple of weeks to complete the recipe by adding the syrup.

While we are away at least one of the bathrooms should be installed and the boiler up and working so we can actually move in. We will be driving down with a car stuffed full of all sorts on a three day road trip and now be based there for the summer.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Brighton Marathon 2017

Brighton, England. Sunday 09-April-2017.

I thought "How hard can it be to run a marathon. Tens of thousands of people do it every year. I could do that!" Mary wisely counselled to try running a half marathon and see how that goes. Last year's Royal Parks Half Marathon was a training run for this full marathon. I couldn't get into the London Marathon so Brighton was plan B.

Well I crossed the finish line. Ran 22 miles. Ran out of steam. Had a 50 min rest until St John's Ambulance finally got back to me to give me the all clear. Walked the last 4.2 miles with a final jog over the finish line. Time immaterial, I finished.

My splits were consistent. I was with the pace runner up to 30km. Not sure was caused the problem but being hottest day of the year didn't help - much hotter than predicted even that morning. To say I'm disappointed doesn't cover it. But not *bitterly* disappointed. I did the training - 35 runs, 416km (256 miles). I had a plan. Just didn't go to plan. Thank you to everyone who sponsored me so generously. Running total: £1,391.00 Total raised incl. Gift Aid:£1,727.50

So when the final Brighton Marathon results came out I was 6888 out of 7757 male runners; 116 out of 145 in the 60-64 category. Total time 5:45:39 made up of 3:45 running, 0:50 sitting and 1:10 walking.

I have learned that I have a real problem accepting praise which I don't feel I deserve but I have to ask myself, "Did I give it my best shot?" The answer has to be "Yes". I did the training. I ran till I was spent. I was literally staggering all over the track with exhaustion or dehydration.

The full story...

Training for the half I got bored running round and round and round Wandsworth Common so I used the Wandle Trail, out-and-back, as my training route getting longer and longer each run. My longest run in training was 30km which took me all the way to Beddington Park and back.

The optimistic prediction for crossing the finish line was twice my half marathon time, so 4:30. I followed the training plan pretty much: a total of 35 training runs totalling 416 km. Plotted in Excel, best fit graph, and revised my expected time upwards to 4:40. Vectored in on that time using three different calculations I was feeling confident it was achievable.

The plan was simple:

  • Pasta meal the night before
  • Go with the 4:30 pace runner
  • Drink water little and often
  • Fade a little towards the end and hit 4:40

Found the 4:30 pace runner:

At the Half Marathon mark it was all on track, here is me in the blue baseball cap just a few metres behind Mr 4:30.

Then it all went pear-shaped. What I hadn't counted on was:
  • it was the hottest day of the year - much hotter than predicted
  • I found it impossible to drink from paper cups whilst running - and I didn't want to stop otherwise I'd lose sight of the pace runner
  • I should have carried my own water supply
As a result I didn't take on enough water and at the 22 mile mark my body had had enough. Apparently I was staggering all over the track. Two fellow runners asked if I was OK, the second of them steered me into the arms of the St John's Ambulance volunteers.

After being checked over, I had to sit for nearly an hour till they gave me the all clear to carry on. It shouldn't have taken so long but the heat had taken out so many other runners whose needs were greater that I was triaged to the bottom of the queue. Eventually I set off at a gentle walk but determined to cross the finish line.

On the walk section, every now and then, I tried to run, took three steps and just couldn't do it. The tank was empty. You can see the second heart rate spike as I jogged over the line.

I was stationary so long the Garmin auto-paused and finished the activity so I know how long the run part was.

As an aside I had a DNA test recently which, amongst other findings, informed me that I have the genes of a world-class endurance athlete.

Shame I don't have the body to go with it!