Heavy weak

Sad to report that it’s my final week up here on the east coast. 

I have done so little exercise whilst eating SO much that I MUST now be heavy (yeah, right!), whilst a litle mental & physical tiredness mixed with more than a little conversational wine has left me feeling weak more than once!

I swung a couple of days off mid-week to drop down to stay with my friends Odette & Mike in their beautiful house and catch up with Morris Miselowski, who is a brilliant speaker on the subject of the future.

Yesterday was the wrap-up day on my project so it was full-on and after a late night it was good to get back down to the local beach for some coffee and fresh air this morning.  That’s the second time I’ve been on a bike in three weeks… the previous time to that being sometime around 20 years ago!

On our return to the house, we jumped in the car and headed off to a local village in the hills for a hearty breakfast and breathtaking view!

Still no running…

More no running

I must have got a taste for not running last week as I managed to do a little more no running again this week.  There was unfortunately no cycling this weekend by way of exercise, but I did manage to get an upper body workout… otherwise known as driving a LandRover about 20km along a beach yesterday.

It all started on Saturday night when James, Kerry, Dani and I took off to the local National Park.  It was dark by the time we arrived but these guys really DO have all the gear and camp was set up, complete with a Bolognese bubbling away on the stove, within about half an hour.

Having tucked away a few beers and a HUGE delicious plate of spaghetti, my accommodation was a really smart & luxurious roof tent on the Landie… which was much easier to see the next morning.

After a superb breakfast of freshly-made pancakes, complete with honey, cinnamon, lemon & banana, we were joined by James & Kerry’s friends Tony & Anna (with their son Baz and Tony’s mother Rosie) in their Landie for a drive along soft inland sand tracks to the end of the island, where we had lunch on the beach.

With the tide turned, rising and pushing us up the beach into the softer sand, Tony invited me to drive his Landie back to terra firma.

With all my ice-driving and low traction limit-handling experience, I expected this to be straightforward… it was anything but.  The sand, with its varying textures, ruts and folds, pulls on the tyres in really strange ways and you are constantly fighting the steering wheel.  You also have to keep the wheels spinning quickly in order to get the car to float on the sand, otherwise it bogs down really rapidly.

Quite frankly, it’s HARD work… especially as we had about 20km to cover!  I have a new appreciation for the guys that do the Paris-Dakar race!

Having reached the exit from the beach, beating the tide by only a short time,  we needed to drive 7km back along sand tracks to pick up the trailer and James allowed me to drive both there and back in his Landie for comparison.

Despite being off-road, the trailer is hardly noticeable most of the time except when the going gets really tough.  Here you need to be super quick to slow down for big bumps or super-super quick to change down to keep the momentum going.

Once back on the tarmac, all that was left to do was to drop the trailer off and watch the sun set as we headed for home… 24 super-FUN-packed hours!

John Wayne re:cycled

Having trained for the marathon on the south coast with its cliffs and pebbles over the first quarter of the year, it was really good to get across to the east coast and see how very different it is.

I’ve been working really hard all week, including playing a promotional-girl role at a consumer show on Saturday & Sunday in order to really immerse myself in a business.  As a result, my entire weekend is on a Monday this week and James, my kind host, suggested that rather than exhausting myself by going for my usual run, we cycle down to the beach to have a leisurely breakfast.

The choice of bicycles, between a manly Land Rover bike and a girly unisex model was REALLY easy… the latter had a wide gel saddle!

My other hosts, Kerry and Dani, drove down to meet us there and I duly polished off a large and delicious plate of egg, bacon & tomatoes on crusty white toast, washed down with a latte.

We cycled on along the coast, finding a very happy man with a 7-kilo fish that he had just caught from a sit-a-top kayak, before we continued into the next bay.

Completing the circle back to the house meant that we had cycled 17km, or just over 10 miles, which I reckon is as good a workout as a run any day of the week.  And bearing in mind that the last time I was on a bike was probably in 1990, you won’t be terribly surprised to hear that as soon as we got back I collapsed in a heap!  Or that, despite the gel saddle, I’ll almost certainly be doing a John Wayne impersonation tomorrow!

Hot lap

This morning, delayed by a lay-in, dawned cool and overcast and after the gorgeous spring weather that we were experiencing in April, felt colder than it probably was.

I put my longs on, along with a long-sleeved top with a t-shirt over the top. This was sheer vanity, I’m afraid, as the tight black shirt and tights hide none of my bulk, or rather lack of it!

As I trotted off down the road I realised that my hips still ache when I run… I was hoping that I would have recovered from the rigours of the marathon & training programme by now.  I’ve not been stretching diligently lately though, so that could be part of the problem, but at least the discomfort faded as the run progressed.

My route today was the same as last week… the lovely path out to the Royal Oak, Wivelsfield, West Wood and the Magical Path… and early on I decided that I would at least try for a good time.   Reading my posts you might surmise that I’m more often reluctant than not and this morning was no different… I was happy to run, but it wasn’t super-enjoyable!

Within ten minutes I had got hot under the two layers but I pushed on regardless.  The going was mainly dry and rutted which meant that I was running with my gaze just in front of my feet most of the time.  It was generally hard work and I hoped that this indicated that I was running faster, rather than I was unfit.

There is little of consequence to report other than I almost caught a lady with her trousers down on the Common… she had just stepped into a snug little corner in the bushes and lifted her jacket as if she were preparing to have a pee when she clocked me running down the hill towards her… it was a close run thing and there was an almost tangible sigh of relief on both sides!

I motored along the last section of road to the house to finish in a time that was less than 44 minutes, which I was not overly impressed with.

Until I looked back at my previous times and realised that out of the 22 times I’ve run this route, my best time ever was 43 minutes and I’ve also only managed 44 minutes once before  So second-best time ever and although it wasn’t easy, I didn’t keep the pressure on all the way around so I reckon I could do it faster.


I was disappointed this week that I not only didn’t manage to run, but that I also didn’t manage to run with Daren on Thursday morning… because I had a scheduled a meeting earlier than I had remembered.  I’m hoping that he’s going to share the route with me though so that I too can run it… it sounded gorgeous from his description.

In the spirit of sharing and in the absence of running to write about, I thought that you might like to see the photo below.  The quality is not to Karen’s standard by any stretch of the imagination (her site is still under construction but will be worth revisiting in a few weeks), but there was no tripod or medium format camera here… just my point-and-shoot, taken through the dining room window, steadied against the window frame.  Please click on the image to see it more clearly.

While I’ve got my wallet out, so to speak, I’d like to recommend the film that we chanced upon last night.

Moonlight Mile is a really thoughtful portrayal of loss and Jake Gyllenhaal, whilst finding his own way, takes the hands of both the viewer and his fellow characters, played by Dustin Hoffman, Susan Sarandon and Ellen Pompeo, and leads them on a journey to acceptance.  This beautiful film from 2002 will probably bring a tear to your eye whilst the underscoring soundtrack will have your foot tapping merrily away, and I think you’ll be left feeling the richer for having watched it.


I’ve had an interesting week of meetings, networking and training events, but I had not managed to get out for a run.  I’ve also not had the opportunity to write, so there was a dual imperative that I got out there this morning and did something at least.

Cliff had decided to run (too) early from the kayak club so I had opted to run from the house for a change and when I went to bed last night it was with half a mind that I would get up this morning and run up to Ditchling Beacon and back.

But the day dawned cooler than expected and I’m reading a really engaging book at the moment, so I settled deep into an armchair for the duration of two large quadspressos.  I watched obliquely as it first started to drizzle, then rain lightly, then more heavily, all the time cognizant of a reducing desire to run.

It finally came down to the writing, as in ‘no run, no write’.  So I reluctantly pulled on my gear and headed out into what was now a torrential downpour!  I can’t think of the last time that I got this wet, this quickly… it was actually hilarious and to such an extent that there was good really bonhomie with other folk who were out and about.  None of whom, on reflection, had umbrellas and most of whom were laughing as I was.

If there was an event that involved swimming and running at the same time, then this was good training for it!

I had already given up on Ditchling Beacon and opted instead for my short woodland route.  This took me out past the Royal Oak, which, from the well tended garden and amazing new deck at the back, looks as though it has recently completed a refurbishment.

I then touched on the back of Wivelsfield, where the rain started to ease, before running through West Wood to the Industrial Estate and then on down the Magical Path.

After that it was a short run across the Common and back up to the house, where I arrived in 47 minutes, dripping wet as if I had been standing in the shower all that time.

I’m clearly not on good form at the moment as I had painful hips on the way round and I’ve felt really wheezy since returning… and whilst 6.6mph is okay, it’s certainly not the fastest time I’ve set on this route by a long chalk.

At least I now have a great excuse for curling up in a warm place with a good book for the rest of the day!