Hasty post

It’s been a long day (I’ve just called a halt to work now!) but I feel duty bound to report on this morning’s run before I collapse into bed!  I have to apologise because it was 16 hours ago and my memory never was that great, but I’ll do my best! 

It was a morning where a pair of shorts and a t-shirt would have been appropriate and seeing as how we both had tights and jackets on, running was a little warm.  My jacket quickly got rolled up and tied around my waist.  It was not dry underfoot though, by any means. 

I had received a sharp comment when Nick arrived about the state of my runners… basically they were still caked in mud from, er, every run I’ve done in the last six weeks.  It was a delight then to see his pristine white laundered trainers refusing (like a horse) at each new puddle of mud. 

And more of a delight still to see them sploshing in when he’d not seen one coming!  He must have been confident of taking a still-immaculate pair home with him too as he had to ask for a plastic bag for his bedraggled steeds.  Still, there must be hours of pleasure to be gained from laundering them again for next time!

It was hard going for me this morning, despite the above.  I kept having to pause, although for a few seconds at a time, to catch my breath.

I’ve realised that I’m now spouting un-adulte-rated (rated for one adult?) drivel so I’m just going to drop in the results (6.4 hard miles in one hour 3 mins: average speed 6.1mph), apologise for not writing / running last week (busy with work) or Sunday (busy with flat) and wish you a jolly good night’s sleep!  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Splish splash splosh

I ran earlier.  Much earlier.  Before eating Kim’s delicious chili.  Before spending the day tiling the bathroom at the flat and working out what still needs doing in the kitchen.  Before hand-washing my mudden (my new technical term suggesting muddy AND sodden) running gear and showering me off too.

Eight ate handsomely at Grant & Karen’s last night and we were treated to a riot of flavours along with some of Grant’s friends that we’d not previously met.  Grant, a chef of some renown, was in a Moroccan mood and whilst I can’t begin to remember what any of the dishes were called, they were certainly very tasty!

After such great food and a late night (and after a heavy day working at the flat), the alarm went off too early this morning and I took the tiny window of opportunity to get up, otherwise I would have fallen back to deep sleep!  The espresso machine dished up the goods and I sat supping it until I was at least half awake.  Then I was out the door!

I quite fancied a long run, but I really didn’t feel up to it, so I started with a short run instead, thinking I would see where it got me.  It had to be the wettest morning underfoot so far this year… thank goodness for Kurt’s woolen Thurlo’s, otherwise my poor little toes would have been washed away in all the cold water.  If you’re precious about how your trainers look, running in the countryside at this time of year is probably not for you.

I ran South towards Ditchling, thinking I would then track East as far as the tunnel under the railway line and then come back via the Common, but when I emerged onto Spatham Lane with a choice to head North or South, I had only been out for 25 minutes so it seemed churlish to head for home so soon.  So I headed South again towards Westmeston at the foot of the Downs.

After trying one or two paths that didn’t take me in the right direction (a habit of mine), I eventually found myself running up the scarp slope of the Downs and arrived at the top between Blackcap and the Beacon.  There’s more to say about the climb, of course.  It was muddy, very muddy and I reckon that Dai’s new shoes would have been a real boon!  As it was, I had to stop running several times on account of nearly falling flat on my face, each foot sliding out behind me quicker that I could replace it!

I ran towards the Beacon, but was pretty knackered so took the path down before I got there.  Having overtaken a couple of horse-riders, I then slithered down the muddy track using skiing techniques as much as running ones!  The track returned me to Westmeston and from there I paddled down to Ditchling… I kid you not, the path was sub aqua much of the way.  Splish splash splosh!

Energy levels really were on LOW by then, so I took a rare decision and took the roadhome.  I’m not a great fan  of running along the side of the road, but there was not much traffic and whatever getupandgo I had remaining was at least applied with good traction, so the going was faster than it would have been… shortening the agony.

By the time I’d nearly got to our road, my legs felt like they did at the end of the Barns Green half marathon… pretty much lifeless!  But I kept the machine running right up until the end and was pleased to see two hours and seven minutes on my watch. 

Having stretched and peeled of my mudden kit, I sat down with the map and a couple of slices of toast & peanut butter to find that I had run 20km, or 12.5 miles.  Despite the sodden going, the muddy climb and run home on empty, I had averaged 5.9mph.


I’ve just noticed, for the first time since putting Clustermap on here in October last year, that there were NO visitors yesterday!  Does no-one want me anymore?!

Slip-sliding away, la la laaaa…


As I sit here, quickly recording this morning’s activity so that I can get back to work, the sun is streaming through my study window.  Beautiful!

I think there must be a new moon about now, as it was super-dark when I got up and even when Nick arrived it was cold and grey with little prospect of good cheer… as was his mood!  It’s amazing how quickly the weather, and our moods, can improve and surprise us!

I didn’t really assimilate the information when he mentioned that it would be muddy out today and I have only just remembered, hours later, that it was throwing it down with rain for England last night.  And so it was muddy!  We headed out to the Kings Head, along the secret path, before turning and coming back across the common.

At some point, on an incline, I experienced a little ‘wheelspin’, which unfortunately showered Nick in large globs of mud and later he accidentally ran through a puddle, drenching my leg in very cold and watery mud!  Fair is fair!  And to be honest, we were both so covered that it would have been hard to determine which of the mud was inflicted!

Anyway, the result today was 4.7 miles in 47 minutes… a very straightforward 6mph, which was not at all bad considering that I had to pause a couple of times to catch my breath and we were both slip-sliding away!

Latte: whisked doubleshot please!


Point 65 have just launched a couple of new kayaks, both of them designed by Nigel Foster

The Doubleshot is a kayak for two, whilst Nigel says that the Whisky 16 is the kayak for me as it’s slightly shorter than a normal sea kayak and designed to be FUN!  I’m really looking forward to trying one out and might have to schedule a trip to Seattle to hasten the experience!

And for those amongst you who have not tried the turning technique that Nigel is demonstrating above, it truly is amazing.  Takes a bit of getting used to though, as every fibre in your body is screaming at you to lean into the corner! 

Maybe he’ll explain how it works some time?

Civic pride

It was such a glorious morning and there was ice on all the cars so I dressed warm for a short run.  The first thing that hit me when I went out into the sun was how warm it was.  Odd really, as whilst all the shady parts were slippery with ice or crunchy underfoot, everywhere else had that look of Spring having arrived.  And the depth of the mud attested to how unfrozen it was!

Still knackered from my Friday run and from refurbing all week, I fancied a short, unhurried run around town.  I quickly revised my intentions when I realised how slippery the shaded pavements were, so I headed for a more forgiving surface… mud is always slippery!

I ran out towards Keymer  and then round to the South of the town by Tesco’s.  There was a rumour of a path being created so that people could walk right around the outside of the new perimeter road and a few months ago I managed to get lost whilst trying to discover where it went.  That was August and uncertain whether the local Council acts quickly or slowly in these matters, I decided to try again.

The path has certainly been extended, but only as far as Gatehouse Lane, but I persevered by trying to get around the back of St Pauls School again, to no avail again.  Chastened by the memories of getting caught astride a barbed wire fence last time, I sheepishly retraced my steps and ran along the rest of the perimeter road.

I continued through Sheddingdean Industrial Estate.  I think it is such a shame when an estate such as this, with some excellent companies such as Sussex Sport KTM and the wonderful Earthworks, has so little self esteem as to allow an age old and decrepit sign to herald the entrance.  Far worse still, it’s one of the first things that visitors see as they enter Burgess Hill.  If anyone from Burgess Hill Town Council reads this and wants to understand how a few small (and inexpensive) changes might make a large difference to the feel of the town, please get in touch!

Beyond that, I ran past Burgess Hill Football Club ground and on through the tunnel to Valebridge Road. Here I was tempted to run through the twitten and up to Ote Hall, but to be honest, I was knackered, so I ran back up Junction Road instead.

In all I was out for one hour twenty minutes, covering about 7.4 miles at a sedate 5.55mph.  I’m not sure where the boundary between short run and long run is, but it sure felt like the latter!

The day has turned grey now, so I’m really glad that I made the effort while the sun shone… and my Oakley’s were happy to get a breath of fresh New Year air too!


After working on a project late into the night, the alarm seemed to go off all too soon this morning but though it was still dark, I alighted from the bed with a spring in my still-stiff-from-the-last-run legs and got the coffee pot on.  It’s amazing how much easier it is to run (or motivate yourself to do many other things) when there are two or more of you.

Nick duly arrived and we headed out into the grey morning, which was not as cold as I had anticipated.  He was after a short run so we looped across the Common as far as the industrial estate, but on the way back the Bok in him decided 35 minutes was too short so we continued on into Wivelsfield and came back via Ote Hall.

Lots of surface water & mud today so lots of slip-sliding-away (we know a song about that mate) and Nick tried patiently to explain the idea behind transmogrification, which I now reckon might have been one of the inputs that Philip Pullman had in his mind when creating daemons in The Golden Compass.  It comes from a comic book strip, but I’ll get him explain it to you some other time!

I can imagine that I was a bit like a sack of spuds for company this morning and having dragged the sack around most of the way, I think we were both surprised when I picked up my heels and sprinted (only for a minute of so) towards the end.

Overall, 6.06 miles according to super watch in one hour one minute makes 5.96mph and not, somewhat importantly, the 9 point something that the watch was claiming… which casts doubt on the Bok’s earlier claim of an 8.57mph run last week.  Some quick retro calculation puts the figure more correctly at 7mph for his run, which is still great by any standards after the excess of Christmas!

Showing the outgoing year a clean pair of heels


It was a really good start to the year… waking up about 30 seconds before my alarm went off at eight.  Not that early I know, but too early for most and a great time to go for a run.  

The morning was mild , quite still and slightly misty and sound seemed to be deadened, which meant that I probably scared the tails off about 20 squirrels.  As I ran out towards Ote Hall there was no-one around and the first person I saw was a farmer going about his chores.  There were a couple of cars on the main road at Wivelsfield, but I could have crawled across on all fours with no danger.

The Alpacas eyed me hungrily but I made it past both them and the sheep in the next field without becoming a tasty new year snack.  I passed a cheery family out for a walk as I dropped down into the village centre and then I headed out onto Hundred Acre Lane where I saw the bunny-rabbit tail of a red deer bounding into the undergrowth… clearly a relative of the Bok.  Down through the wood, a slight detour around a field looking for the exit and then back up into and through the wood along to the end of Spatham Lane.

From here I cut across the Common, over the railway line and down to Wellhouse Lane, past the water tower and over to the other railway line.  There I following the path alongside it to the station, stopping en route to take the weird photo above, before pushing up the last hill to the top of town and back down to home.

In all, I was out for one hour twenty-nine, covering 9.125 miles (or so!) at a speed of 6.08mph.  I was very happy with this, despite the fact that Nick had emailed me to quite frankly, er… gloat, that he had run nearly 6 miles in 45 minutes… a speed of 8.57mph.  I always said he was faster!!  Way to go Nick, although that was technically last year!

The rest of the day was spent relaxing in front of the… that’s rubbish, of course… we’ve been working our little socks off lately doing up Kim’s flat and today was no different: cutting down an old cupboard-side that I just cannot remove as it’s had the gas pipe and the dist-board for the heating system carefully woven through it; cutting the kitchen worktop (and pulling the muscles in my back trying to test it for size… which I didn’t manage to do!); working out where the tiles will go in the bathroom and fixing the first couple of rows; getting the bathroom door-frame ready so that I can hang the door on the other side; failing to remove the skirting and having to rebuild it (work in progress… sorry Kim!); drinking tea and occasionally swearing… though these latter seem to be the only aspects of being a builder that come naturally!