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.