Sleepless – me. Damaged – the house. Janathon – the constant to allow perspective.
Last year I had a Janathon hiccup when a blog post was a day late when mum died. I’d been for a run before going home and was half way through dinner, completely oblivious to any ill health even, when a 125mph drive to try to get to see her proved fruitless. I know everyone reacts differently in what are on the whole similar circumstances. One of my reactions was to continue Janathon, to chase my goal, to keep running and while I did so I had plenty of time to collect my thoughts and reflect on life. Many people wondered how odd my behaviour seemed. In hindsight I can relate to their wonder but it’s simply how I coped. It wasn’t planned.
This year, having had a couple of injuries but also having ploughed in some consistent miles, my initial target was passed. Then, while brushing my teeth, I heard a similar noise to JogBlog. She thought the initial sound was the mice/rats/squirrels we have in the roof doing some hardcore gnawing. They’re odd buggers and can make a din. I thought the wind had picked up enough to dislodge some mortar from the ridge tiles (we live in a 1750 converted bakery). A couple more brush strokes and I instinctively ducked, wondering what the increase in noise was and whether I was about to be joined in the bathroom by the chimney that adjoins it. JB thought the mice had turned to dogs and had gone wild – that or the mice had eaten something structural and something was about to fall on her. With a final crescendo of sound, I put my brush down and came out of the bathroom to meet her on the landing, both of us bemused. A little scared at what I might find, I must admit, I put a shirt and jeans on and went outside to see what had occurred. And, believe it or not, I was relieved to see the chimney still there. Less happy as I went around the porch though and saw the Ash tree leaning on the house, branches having removed roof tiles and brushed the window (without breaking it…miraculous!). To be fair, Cathy was a bit shocked. Seeing the weight of the tree had landed about 4 feet above her head, she had every right to be. Don’t tell her, though.
I’ll bet the inhabitants of the roof were as scared as us. Certainly put the wind up the cat.
The worst bit was not knowing if it had done structural damage and not being able to see. So we decided to leave the upstairs to itself and decamp to the conservatory as far from the tree as possible. Onto my futon which is a superb place to sleep unless it hammering with wind and blowing a gale and you’ve already lost half the house just when you wanted to switch off and relax. A good nights sleep it certainly wasn’t. Prospects of a fruitful Janathon appeared scuppered.
Come this morning, though, and a damage assessment, things looked better. A call to my regular tree surgeon found him able to come away from the trees he was removing and sort me out. Three hours of skilled removal saw the roof/tree interface concluded with a no score draw. The tree had somehow survived with a massively reduced rootball – it had simply leant over out of the ground – no damage to the fence it was alongside, the drain it borders or the water pipe that runs alongside. Very lucky. Indeed.
Which lead to a reduced day and Janathon to squeeze in.
Tempted to say forget it, I popped out for a singular mile for milk while awaiting the boys. Then waited until I got home to run depending on energy/guilt levels. And as far as my leg would allow following yesterday’s scaffold board interface, of course. Either 3.8 or 4.8, I felt. As it turned out, guilt kicked in and I wanted another 6 mile day, so 5 it was. Resulting again in 6.1 miles and a Janathon running total of 195.84 miles.
So…will I do 4.16 tomorrow? Or anoher 6 to make all of the month 6 mile or more days?
I’ll wait and see. Fingers crossed we don’t have 10mm more rain. At least there aren’t any more trees to fall on the house.