Went for a run, found a cat

So half marathon training is going well. After 6 miles on roads on Monday, I rewarded myself with the promise of 3.5 miles back on lanes and footpaths.

Everything is much more overgrown than last time I ran here, but the lushness of last month has turned into a seedyness that speaks of cooler, damper days and the reminder that autumn is on its way. The field of wild flowers has been cut and bailed, which led to great relief when I realised the large brown things on the other side of the field were bails and not cows.

Bails not bulls

As I headed up the last, steep hill home I was greeted by a small face with a loud meow. Convinced I was hallucinating I looked more closely – nope, definitely a cat. I have never seen a cat here, certainly not such a loud and pretty cat that was so demanding of my affection.

Definitely a cat, not a hallucination

What followed involved dithering and cat cuddling whilst I tried to work out the best thing to do. I decided to head home (just over a mile), encourage the cat to come too, so I could feed it and take it to a vets to see if it had a chip.

After a couple of minutes I changed my mind, turned around and headed back down the steep hill to see if the cat lived in the house at the bottom. Nope, apparently he didn’t, but the nice man I accosted suggested it was a farm cat and probably perfectly fine where it was.

I headed back up the steep hill, found the cat again, and explained it should go home because that was what I was doing. I think he understood.

Cat looking perfectly happy in a field

What followed next shows that social media can be a force for good, as I posted on our local community page about the cat. Through various posts, pages and messages I found his owners who lived several miles away.

I jumped in the shower, jumped into clean clothes, rang the cat’s owners, told them where I’d seen their cat, and then shot back out the door to walk back down to see if he was still there. He was, but wandered off when I didn’t have any food. His owners turned up, and after about 10 minutes of calling we heard a loud meow and the cat appeared! He swerved his owners (obviously didn’t want his big adventure to end) so I grabbed him as he rubbed against my legs and handed him over.

Turns out he did this a few weeks ago, and ended up further up the lane in one of my neighbour’s gardens. I shall be keeping my eyes open for the beautiful Simba in future, and his owners will be trying to attach another GPS tracker to him to keep an eye on where he goes. Wonder if he’s on Strava??

Half Marathon Training – in 8 Weeks

I hate road running. It’s boring, too many chances for altercations with other road users, and fewer opportunities to take photos. And it’s boring – did I mention that?

Now I’ve got that out of the way, the reason I was road running this morning was that yesterday I had an email from the organisers of the Bournemouth Half excitedly telling me it was “8 weeks to go!!!” Ah yes – 8 weeks to go until a half marathon I entered early last year, as a push to do something a little different towards the end of 2020. Naturally it was deferred, and I have been in complete denial since then about it.

Now I have 2 courses of action. I can wimp out, lose the money on the race place and the coach ticket I’ve already purchased and continue pootling around our lanes and footpaths. Or I can pull my big-girl-running pants* on, do some training, and run this thing.

Okay – let’s unenthusiastically do this thing!

I set off to run 6 miles purely on road. No sneaky footpaths, no little puddles of mud to splash in, no stiles to hang around on- just roads. I can report that my fears were confirmed and it was mind numbingly boring. And hard. Tarmac is hard underfoot.

I actually pushed on to 6.23 miles so at least I could say I’d run 10K, and I surprised myself by running it in 64 minutes. Not bad off very little training. Maybe I can run a half marathon again …

* Running pants are built for comfort, so it’s goes without saying that they are generally huge!