Good things #6
First race of the year, first van night of the year, speaking in Shakespeare's hometown and a rhubarb cake
It’s Thursday morning and I’m writing this from my parents’ house in Northampton. There’s a cake in the oven that I made with rhubarb from my dad’s allotment. It’s a good one, I’ve made it a few times before. I’ll put the recipe in this week’s list of good things below just in case you also have a relative who has rhubarb growing like a weed (which, according to my grandad, it is). I’ve got a Zoom meeting in a few minutes and hopefully the cake will be finished before then because I suppose it’s a bit unprofessional to ask somebody to stop talking for just a sec so you can go and stick a skewer in a sponge. Later this afternoon I’ll go and visit my Nan and then catch the train to London, where I have a friend’s wedding tomorrow.
The past week has been full of dubious firsts: I ran my first race of the year, slept in my van for the first time this year and gave my first talk of the month.
The race was the Derwentwater Dawdle and I’d say I mostly stuck to the dawdling brief, chatting to Kirsty for the entire 23 miles and making the most of the cake at the aid stations. The route takes you on a big loop around Derwentwater (unsurprisingly), with ascents of Catbells and Walla Crag along the way and it was actually much nicer than I expected. Not that I wasn’t expecting it to be nice - I’m not really sure what I was expecting but whatever it was, it was better. It also served as a good lesson in how quickly basically anything can become normal. There was about 1300m (4400ish feet) of elevation over the 23 miles and once upon a time I would have said that was very bloody hilly but, after four months of living in the Lakes, it felt pretty manageable. In fact I distinctly remember thinking “great, not too hilly” when I saw the course profile.