First 7.5k run, and learning Root

A couple of firsts today:

This morning I decided to push myself to a new running distance. I’ve been doing 5k more regularly and feel more or less comfortable with that now. I’ve been thinking about going to 10k, but decided I should go for an intermediate distance. So today I went for 7.5k for the first time. Given my time for 5k is around 27-28 minutes, I was hoping to be able to complete the 7.5k in under 45 minutes as a goal.

I combined my two 5k routes, which overlap for about 2.5k, so the combination comes out to the right distance. I kept a slowish moderate pace to make sure I didn’t get too tired, and managed to keep it up for the whole distance. I was pleased when I completed it in 43:16. Here’s the Strava log.

Scully had an overdue groom today, losing a lot of hair. She looks a lot neater now. In the early afternoon we took her for a walk down to the harbour to run around and chase a ball for a bit.

And then in the late afternoon and early evening my wife and I learnt how to play the board game Root. I’d bought this a while back, but we’ve delayed it some time as it has a reputation for being difficult to learn. It’s a game for up to four players, battling to control an area of woodland. Each player controls a different faction of woodland creatures, and each faction follows different rules for what it can do, so it’s asymmetrical. We started with the two simplest factions, the Marquise de Cat and the Eyrie (i.e. the cats and the birds). It was actually not as difficult as I expected to get through and explain the rules. The complexity comes the large number of possible choices you need to make during your turn, and needing to figure out the tactics that will or won’t work.

It’s a race to 30 points. My wife played the cats and I played the birds, and we kept the same roles for two games to get used to them. The first game I won, 30 points to 27. The second game my wife won, 31 points to… uh… 1. I got stuck in loop of being unable to do anything and losing points each turn. I needed to draw cards in either of two suits to get out of it, but for something like 5 or 6 turns in a row I only drew cards of the other two suits. So it was a bit of a debacle!

Here’s the end game state of the second game. You can see my blue score marker on 1 point and my wife’s orange one on 31. My blue bird soldiers are confined to just one clearing in the forest, at upper left, while my wife’s orange cats are in charge of the remaining 11 clearings.

Root, endgame

If you know Root, in the first game my wife was shocked by how quickly my birds expanded across the board. So in the second game she proactively took the fight up and knocked me back so I never had more than 3 roosts on the board. Eventually I got stuck in the fox clearing, with a handful of mouse and rabbit cards, which meant every turn I ended up in Turmoil. Game over, baby. But we had fun, and are both looking forward to trying it again soon.

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