The last time

Suburban Camping Tent Pic 2

Well not quite the last but the last for a while. Of extreme fun that is. Tomorrow I am off to a festival for the weekend, and I have pledged it to be the last blowout before the Spartan Race. Which is now only 32 days away. I think the word I am looking for here is fuck.

Never mind. On my return I will have just under four weeks of serious training, so I shall just do what I can. At the moment, I alternate between moments of calm complacency and mind blowing panic. Especially when I read articles such as this. I know the guy is only trying to be helpful, but when I read it, (not deliberately, it popped up on my Facebook feed) I just wanted to cry. At least I have started back at training again, although I am still avoiding running – whoops. Running starts next week; cross my heart and hope to die. And even the 30 Day Spartan training programme has three rest days, albeit you are not supposed to take them all together…


The good news is that since last week, I have lost three pounds from low carb eating and exercise. So if I keep it up I will be on target to lose a stone before the race. I also intend to squeeze in a bit of hillwalking the weekend before it, so that should toughen me up a bit. Yesterday was the first time I had trained with some familiar faces from the old gym, and it was great to see them. And while some of them were still machines, there were others who were struggling a bit too, which made me feel a damn sight better. One of them farted during a squat and that made me laugh a great deal. I’ve said this before, but group training of this kind is the best, because at least you get to have fun while wondering if you are going to expire. There’s a lot to be said for camaraderie in the face of extreme pain.

The other blight on my life right now is sleeplessness. As we approach the summer solstice here, there are only about four or five hours of darkness in 24 hours. I keep waking up in the middle of the night and thinking it’s time to get up, but usually it’s only about 4am and already light. I toss and turn, then manage to get back into a comfortable, deep slumber just before the alarm goes off. Each working day about 3pm, I am prising my eyes open to stay awake. I fear that I actually dozed off in a meeting last week, but it was a big room and I hope no-one noticed.  In hindsight, I know I should just get up and do something Zen, like dawn yoga or meditation, but instead I lie there, willing sleep to come and trying not to look at the clock to see how precious little time I have left for sleep. I feel exhausted and a little bit run down.


Under canvas over the weekend it will be worse, with only flimsy tent material protecting me from the dawn chorus. However, in this instance I will not care, as I will be having too much fun and if tired, can lie down under a tree and relax as much as my hyperactive boy will let me.

Festivals are brilliant. If you’ve never been to one, put it on your bucket list immediately. Perhaps I’m just an old hippy at heart, but some of the happiest times of my life have been lying in a field, listening to music in good company. In truth, festivals are probably more enjoyable without kids; with them, you have to compromise a great deal and not get too pissed. But dancing around with your child is also a great experience and they love it.   Especially as you are feeling more relaxed and carefree and I think that makes for better parenting. Camping is an adventure and much to my son’s glee, there are no showers at this one, so we get to go unwashed for three days. I’m not so keen on this aspect but what the hell, at least we will all be stinky together. Dry shampoo and baby wipes will be my friend.

At this small festival, there are no huge bands, but lots of folky stuff, world music, drama, poetry, interesting talks and loads of kids’ stuff. There is even a capacitar session on the programme. The challenge will be getting to things that interest the grown-ups, while the boys will want to climb, play and get mucky. Bribery will be used as an effective bargaining tool, possibly involving chocolate. This could be construed as the passing on of bad habits and a dodgy use of sugar as reward for compromise and good behaviour.   It’s all wrong I know, but sod it. It’s my holiday too. So forgive my sins and pray to the Goddess for dry weather.

Therefore, bring on the last weekend of joy before the last month of pain. Because it will be pain, I have no doubt. Do you like my motivational posters for people who don’t want to do anything? They made me smile anyway. I found them on this site and they seem very appropriate for how I am feeling about the whole race thing right now. People say that it’s good to have something to motivate you in your training, and that’s true up to a point.   What I have discovered in the last six months is that my motivation is general good health and not being fat and fucked up. That’s a good enough goal on its own, with or without a race to train for.


At the start of this journey, I wanted to be a Queen of the Spartan Race. At the moment, I’ll settle for being a page boy.

Until next time,


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