Tuesday 31st Aug
Hello dear friends,
Well, here we are at the end of August and I am but a short run away from achieving my goal.
At the start of the month, 30km seemed quite a tall order, as it had been a while since I'd run. It's been great getting back out again. Without your sponsorship and encouragement it would never have happened, so huge, heartfelt thanks to you all.
A two-legged friend deserving of special mention here is Kate, who has encouraged me to go further each week when we've met for a run along the banks of the River Beauly. :-) Thanks Kate. Let's work towards running the whole route in a oner!
I've been accompanied on all my runs by Sula, our nine-month old collie. She's full of fun and her training in staying calm and not barking and jumping is progressing.
Until the middle of August we were a two dog household. Abby the Jack Russell lived with us for five years, having come from Ardnamurchan after the death of aunt Roida.
She spent the first years of her life roaming on the family farm there with our uncle George. After George was incapacitated by a stroke, she joined Roida on the road, visiting folk across the peninsula and beyond as Roida carried on her travelling hairdressing business into her 80s.
Abby also roamed far and wide by herself, visiting households and no doubt chasing wildlife and having adventures aplenty. However her freedom was curtailed when she went blind in her middle years, and as Roida's health deteriorated she was confined to the house more and more.
These years must have been difficult for wee Abby; lack of exercise caused her to put on too much weight and she developed behavioural issues from being cooped up in the house.
However when she came to live with Stewart and I at Redcastle for her retirement years, she embraced life to the full once more.
Long walks, forays throughout the Highlands, camping trips, islands, mountains - she got out and about loads and regained her fitness and her figure. An operation to remove a painfully diseased eye was a success and gave Abby a fresh lease of life. She made loads of new friends and was sociable and full of fun once more.
Sadly old age caught up with Abby and a couple of weeks ago we made the heartbreaking decision to have her put down. She was fifteen and a half.
Inspired by Abby's indomitable spirit, I've decided to carry on increasing my running until I achieve double my initial monthly target of 30km.
So I'll aim to run 40km in September and keep on increasing til I reach 60km in a month.
You never know, maybe, like Abby, I too will slim down, smooth out some behavioural issues and get a whole new lease of life, ;-)
Ciao for now,