Sunday, 18 March 2012

Hints of Spring

We have just enjoyed a week of the most gloriously warm, no hot, weather during which temperatures climbed well into the mid 20s. We have had the parasol out on the terrasse and have had to be careful not to get sunburnt! Signs of Spring are appearing all around us. The Spring flowers are coming through with white anemones, violets, white and purple hepaticas, lungwort and, in just the past couple of days, some primula have appeared. Leaf buds are appearing on the trees and the catkins are in full flow. It is wonderful to finally see some colour around the place.

The birds also seem to sense Spring in the air. We have been listening to the great spotted woodpeckers drumming in the woodland opposite - they are a fantastic sight through the binoculars - and have also spotted green woodpeckers and can hear them yaffling all around us. A male and a female bullfinch are visiting the bird table.....
.... and yesterday, two black redstarts entertained us with a spectacular and prolonged chase around Pissou as they vied for territorial supremacy, darting and swooping at fantastic speeds above our heads. This is the victor!
Of course, I can't do a blog post without a mention of running, can I! The Trail des Pieds Cloutés was 2 weeks ago from which I recovered well. On the Wednesday, after dropping off a van and a car load of stuff at the 'new' house, Andy and I had a gentle 11.5km trot out along the lanes near Aspet. All was feeling good. So on the following Saturday afternoon, I did another hill endurance session up the Peguere road which is now snow-free. A brisk 1km warm up followed by three sets of 1.15kms up an ave 12% gradient. I was able to complete each set at a faster speed than last time (mid January) but kept my HR at the same level which means I must be getting fitter and stronger!

I had no repercussions from the hill session so on Tuesday decided I would get in a hard, long run, probably the last one before my next race on the 25th March. I decided to tackle on foot a mountain bike circuit from Varilhes that we did back in October 2010. It was hard work on a bike and no easier on 2 feet! In fact, I felt like my legs were empty, despite taking on liquid fuel and a couple of gels. They just wouldn't go! The muscles were obviously still fatigued after my hill session 3 days previously. So I did the sensible thing and took it really steady, resorting to a walk whenever necessary and didn't give myself too much of a hard time about it. It was all good training. Another 28kms/800m+ in the bag. Full stats on the usual site.

1 comment:

Pedalling Polarcherry said...

I can sense your excitement for spring pen. Love it.