It's been a busy couple of weeks since my last post. The daughter of one of my oldest friends, Ruth, came for a visit from the UK, as did a couple of old friends from Calgary, Carolyn and George. We had a great time hanging out and sightseeing with them but there wasn't much time for running amidst all the other activities.
Ruth arrived late on a Tuesday night and Carolyn and George arrived on the Thursday. Since Thursday was cool and rainy, we ate supper indoors and built a small fire to take the dampness out of the air, then spent the evening talking and making music by the fire.
Friday, we headed to Risser's beach for a walk...
...then took the ferry to the east side of the LaHave and made our way to Lunenburg for lunch. If you look carefully, you can pick out the iconic Bluenose. She was pulling away from the dock just as we arrived.
After lunch, it was on to Hirtle's Beach, where most of us completed a brisk 6k hike along the beach and around Gaff Point. Though the weather was cool and breezy, we older folks enjoyed the chance to get moving - not to mention the gorgeous views - while Ruth stayed in the car, which was parked next to the beach, to nap for a bit.
After another great evening of good food and music, Carolyn and George hit the road Saturday morning, and Ruth, Husband and I headed back to the city, where we were hosting a neighbourhood BBQ. We managed to cook the meal and eat outdoors but the cool temperatures eventually forced the party inside, where we stayed up laughing and talking until nearly midnight.
Ruth's dad is Scottish and we wanted to make sure she got a taste of Nova Scotia's celtic culture while she was with us so on Sunday we made a beeline for Antigonish to take in the last of this year's Highland Games. The Antigonish games are the oldest outside Scotland, having begun as a fund raiser for the local parish in 1863. We arrived in time to catch the challenge round of the Caber Toss, the men's and women's tug-of-war finals, and the last of the pipe and drum competition. Fortunately, the rain held off until the outdoor events were mostly finished and we were tucked inside the big tent enjoying some local music.
Monday was low key since we were all tired from our busy weekend but I squeezed in a short run before supper and then we all wandered up the lake to grab icecream and watch the sun set.
Tuesday was Ruth's last day with us and the weather was spectacular so we jumped in the car after dinner (a fantastic Indian feast cooked by Husband) and drove the 45 minutes to Peggy's Cove. Husband and I hadn't been there in decades and, to be honest, we'd almost forgotten how special it is - particularly in ideal weather - so we all enjoyed spending an hour and a half or so clambering over the rocks, savouring the sultry air and spectacular views.
Ruth and I both brought our cameras and spent much of our time snapping photos. The light was perfect! Unfortunately, I forgot to check my camera settings when we arrived so took mostly lousy pictures. Once I realized what I'd done, I adjusted the settings and managed to get a few images I like okay - but I'm itching to get back to Peggy's Cove soon so I can take another crack at it with my big lense.
These two are my favourites from the outing. Though they're by no means technically perfect, I like the mood they capture.
Ruth headed on to Montreal Wednesday morning and I spent the rest of the week getting back into my routines. Thursday evening, Husband and I did a quick 5k around the lake, then got cleaned up and headed out to a wonderful gallery and restaurant nearby to have supper and attend the opening of a new exhibit.
This weekend, I've managed two runs - a brisk 5k yesterday morning before we headed to the beach for the day, and a slow 17k this morning. Neither felt especially easy on account of the heat and humidity but I was glad to get them done. If I'm serious about running the Valley Harvest Marathon in mid-October, I need to start training a lot more consistently than I have been. From what I hear, VHM is a hilly course so my plan is to do my weekend runs on hilly routes whenever possible. Fortunately, the road to Risser's is perfect for that!
Speaking of Risser's, here are a couple of photos from yesterday. It was stinky hot in town so the beach was far more crowded than usual. Nevertheless, Husband and I spent a very pleasant few hours camped out at the far end of the beach reading and napping before making our way home for supper in the gazebo.
So, friends, that's the news from here. Sometime this week, I'll draw up a detailed marathon training plan and post it here to help keep me honest in the weeks and months ahead.
Until then, happy running and writing!