Friday, October 29, 2010

I Need a Hedgehog Ramp

This might be my most cryptic blog title every - my apologies. Allow me to elaborate.

In the UK, especially in rural areas, like the part of Scotland where I spent some of my childhood, we have things called cattle grids. These are deep pits with a sort of rack laid across them, placed at strategic points where cars and pedestrians are allowed through, but livestock should not venture . Basically, their hooves can't negotiate the slats and so savvy sheep and cows stay on the correct side. (As a child, there was a memorable moment where I fell down between these slats with my tiny feet, but that's another story.)

Anyway, these ingenious devices pose a terrible hazard to hedgehogs, who seem to fall in there quite often and then can't get out. I assume that means a slow and sad death for these creatures. Happily, many caring cattle grid owners are now installing ramps to allow our prickly friends to climb out of their predicament.

Right now, there is more than a touch of hedgehog-in-the-hole about me. My running was already getting less attention than it deserved - excuses like dark mornings and a (useful, important) hunt for a new career were creeping in. Then I added getting really, really tired.... house guests.... obligatory extra shifts at work... and finally, a stinking cold. I don't believe I've done any exercise for 2 weeks; my nutritional intake is currently appalling and all I want to do is knock back another flu remedy and snuggle in bed.

I'm totally in the cattle grid and could really use a ramp round about now. Tomorrow, I'm planning a short run (or a run-walk, if necessary) and I need to start chowing on some serious fruit and veg, rather than Halloween candy.

Have you any suggestions for easy, nutritious, comfort food? This hapless hedgehog thanks you.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Rude Awakenings

OK, I need your help.

What tips do you have for stumbling out of bed in the darkness for early morning running, rather than turning the alarm clock off and grabbing another half hour of sneaky snooze time?

I prefer to do my shorter runs around 6AM, because then the rest of the day's distractions can't get in the way. Also, it just seems more efficient to shower only once :)

However, I doubt anyone in the northern hemisphere has missed the fact that the days are getting distinctly shorter. And I'm really struggling to lug myself out from under the duvet, which means a few runs are not happening, or I lose a chunk of time from the other end of the day - also not good.

I did think about getting one of those alarm clock lamps which gradually get brighter before it's time to wake up, but Beloved Husband was concerned that this habit, once learned, would wake me up at 4AM in summer, too. It would be nice if I could find a method for getting me out of bed (and out the door in the darkness), without disturbing his last few minutes of sleep too much.

Any suggestions? When and how do you fit in your winter-time runs?

Image thanks: Upcast Magazine
Blog Widget by LinkWithin