parkrun tourism: Oriam

I’m a bit behind with my parkrun tourism blogs, but seeing as we won’t be parkrunning again any time soon due to the coronavirus lockdown, it’s a good time for me to catch up with them!

Oriam parkrun
I love those pop-up signs and am always really disappointed if I’m visiting a parkrun and they don’t have one out! Geth had to ask the volunteers to put this one out again specially for the photo as they’d already packed it away by the time I finished. Sorry, volunteers, but one’s 100th parkrun only happens once!

On the 28th of December, while visiting Edinburgh for the Christmas period, Geth and I got in the car and drove to the new local parkrun at the Heriot-Watt University campus in Riccarton. The parkrun takes place in the woodland trail behind the Oriam sports facility (hence the name), which is a much nicer setting than I’d originally assumed – I’d thought we’d be doing laps of a football pitch or something!

Oriam parkrun was only a few weeks old when we attended, and the Scottish winter weather had resulted in a lot of mud. Like, a LOT of mud. More mud than I had ever seen on a parkrun course, by quite a considerable margin. The trail is not at all flat, either, so you’re basically staggering uphill through a quagmire at various points. Not one for your PB. (Apparently the mud was more manageable by the end of the winter – whether this was due to weather or land management I’m not sure – but I still don’t see this ever being a fast course!)

It also happened to be my 100th parkrun. I had hoped to do my 100th at home, either at Newcastle or Jesmond Dene, but a really nasty cold took me out of the game for most of December and so the date for my 100th ended up coinciding with my Christmas visit to my hometown. (I could have done it on Christmas Day… but I’ve never yet made a Christmas Day parkrun, as Christmas morning with the family is fairly sacrosanct, and 2019 was no exception!)

As such, while it was too busy and disorganised a time of year to organise any real celebration, I did wear my red 50 shirt for the very last time, and after the parkrun, Geth and I drove back to Mum and Dad’s and ate lots of the cake that we already had in due to it being Christmas. You can’t have a parkrun milestone without cake!

I will return to Oriam at some point… but it will almost certainly be in the summer!

Redirecting

I did my run on the treadmill this morning…

…because we woke up to snow. While it melted quite quickly, I didn’t fancy wading around in the slush!

I’ve been having a bit of a think about my blog structure today, as I’ve been finding that I’ve not had much time to get my review posts done. There may be a bit of a change in direction soon, but it’ll take a bit more time for me to work out the details.

Snow
The world is still very wintry. All melted now so hoping to get outside again for tomorrow’s run.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Paula Abdul – ‘Straight Up’
Janet Jackson – ‘Together Again’
The Lancashire Hotpots – ‘Shopmobility Scooter’
Brotherhood Of Man – ‘Save Your Kisses For Me’
Calvin Harris and Rihanna – ‘This Is What You Came For’
VNV Nation – ‘Beloved’

Sunday afternoons hibernating

A speedier-than-expected long run this morning…

…and since then I’ve just been dozing and browsing on the sofa. Love Sundays! I’ve got lots to do tomorrow so I’m glad to be able to have a break today.

France, July 1995
Yup, it’s another summer holiday flashback, this time to France in July 1995. While winter can be beautiful in its own way, I’m looking forward to seeing some colour in the world again.

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Midnight – ‘Crystalline’
The Midnight and Nikki Flores – ‘Jason’
Scandroid – ‘Aphelion’
Traditional – ‘The Blaydon Races’
Del Amitri – ‘Nothing Ever Happens’
Lindisfarne – ‘Fog On The Tyne’

A dreary Thursday

Short run today…

…and a bit of a disappointing result at Slimming World – only half a pound off despite working really hard for it this week 🙁 Still six pounds away from target range. I really had hoped to get there by the end of February but it’s looking unlikely now.

I’ve spent the afternoon working on house stuff and admin. Other than my counselling appointment, it’s looking like tomorrow will be similar.

Snowdrops
At least the snowdrops are out now! Always appreciate these early signs of spring when the weather is still miserable.

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Midnight – ‘Jason’
The Midnight – ‘Collateral’
The Midnight – ‘Vampires’
Soft Cell – ‘Say Hello, Wave Goodbye’
FM-84 and Ollie Wride – ‘Running In The Night’

A quiet Wednesday

A midweek-length run today…

…and a fairly good afternoon of admin before I headed off to ukulele class this evening. We learnt (-ish) a new song, so I’ve got lots to practise over the half term break.

It’s weigh-in tomorrow, and I’ve had another good week, so fingers crossed…

Keeping warm, 1985
Winter layers in 1985! I wasn’t quite as wrapped up as this today, but it wouldn’t have been a bad idea – it’s really nippy out there at the moment.

Del Amitri – ‘Nothing Ever Happens’
Frankie Miller – ‘Caledonia’
Sacre – ‘The London Marathon’
Carl Orff – ‘Gassenhauer’
Vangelis – ‘Chariots Of Fire’
The Midnight – ‘Collateral’
Justin Bieber – ‘Love Yourself’

Pre-resting

I drove out to a parkrun I hadn’t done before this morning…

…but other than that, I’ve just been resting in preparation for a long run tomorrow. I’m meant to be doing thirteen miles, and Storm Ciara is meant to hit Newcastle at about 7am. We’ll see what happens. Hopefully I’ll manage to get it over and done with sooner rather than later!

Gibside National Trust
The National Trust at Gibside is really lovely – I’d like to go back for non-parkrun purposes at some point.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Del Amitri – ‘Nothing Ever Happens’
Vangelis – ‘Chariots Of Fire’
Timecop1983 – ‘Tokyo’

Grey runs

I went for my long run this morning in the mizzly rain. Newcastle was super, super grey, and looked very wintery, and of course now that it’s February I’m getting a bit impatient for it NOT to be winter. Apparently most of the North American groundhogs predicted an early spring today, but I don’t think their forecasts apply to the British Isles. Not even mystical animal meteorologists can predict our weather.

The lake at Exhibition Park did look really beautiful, though, when I lapped it a few times to make up an extra mile. Lots of swans and ducks and geese all flapping away against the cold grey water. I might have appreciated it a little more in December, though, which is something to remember for later this year.

I’ve had a much-needed dozy afternoon and evening since the run. Hoping to be all refreshed and proactive tomorrow.

Window reflection
End of the OOTD: you’ve probably noticed that I’ve not been posting many OOTDs lately. This is partly because my 2018 target weight clothes shopping spree came to a natural end, and so I don’t have many new clothes to post about now. It’s also partly because as my running has become more of a focus over the last few months, I’ve tended towards comfy leggings/’80s jumper/no makeup days, and don’t really feel like posing for pictures. I’m hoping to remember to take more photos while I’m out on my runs over the next few weeks, as I feel the Newcastle scenery is a bit more interesting than my cosy post-run outfits right now!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Rei Kondoh – ‘Storm Clouds’
Bronski Beat – ‘Hit That Perfect Beat’
Duran Duran – ‘Falling Down’
Duran Duran – ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’
The Midnight – ‘Explorers’

Midweek miles

Still battling various aspects of winter weather while running. High winds in Newcastle meant that this morning’s four-miler felt like a bit of a struggle! However, my overall pace was consistent with what I’ve been doing recently, which is great.

I did some day job work and admin this afternoon, and then headed out to poetry night this evening. It was good to get back into the habit of reading for a room again – I’d only missed one month, but November in some ways feels like ages ago now. I got some good comments on my poem, so am feeling motivated to keep writing over the next few weeks.

Other than that, will just be keeping fingers crossed for another good result on the scales at Slimming World tomorrow! Geth and I have been really good this week so here’s hoping…

Night walk
Not an OOTD: the dark nights can be quite pretty, but I’m getting a bit sick of them now.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Duran Duran – ‘Tel Aviv [AIR Studio Version]’
Sugababes – ‘Hole In The Head’
The Midnight – ‘Explorers’

Out of the dark

I’m trying to enjoy the present this year rather than always barrelling onwards to the next thing, but it is quite hard during the post-Christmas depressing bit of winter, and so I have to admit that I’ll be fairly happy to tick another month off at the end of this week. I’m not really a February fan either, but at least it’s marginally less dark and (hopefully) marginally less cold.

Other than my short morning run, the day was largely spent catching up with admin – I always have a backlog after Christmas. It’s tax return week as well, so there could be a bit of a theme for the next few days. It is nice when everything gets sorted though.

Wii games
Not an OOTD: and to be fair it is a really good time of year to curl up with some videogames. From my current position on the sofa I keep eyeing up all the old Wii games I never got round to finishing!

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Midnight – ‘Explorers’
Soft Cell – ‘Tainted Love’
Kelly Rowland – ‘Stole’

Running over the hump day

I had a REALLY good run this morning. Midweek middling distance, which is four miles at the moment, and I felt I was able to get a bit of speed up in the second half. Lovely mild morning for it too – really hoping we don’t revert to ice and snow during February and March.

It’s weigh-in eve so I’m making slow cooker curry (with neeps rather than tatties as Geth and I tend towards SP (low carb) meals on Tuesdays and Wednesdays). The house smells lovely as a result!

Slightly sleepy after my run, so while I am looking forward to ukulele class tonight, I’m also looking forward to getting home afterwards and curling up with some YouTube and videogames.

Slow cooker curry
Not an OOTD: curry in the early stages of slow cooking. I promise you it smells better than it looks 😀

Today’s earworm playlist:

Revo – ‘Ship Upon The Open Skies’
Russ Abbot – ‘Atmosphere’
Lady Gaga – ‘Always Remember Us This Way’