A tromp in the frozen countryside

I don’t know why the word tromp seems to come to mind, but it does.  I think it’s the sensation of running on a surface made of crinkly mud that has frozen, not as a solid, but in the way that an ice-box does when it hasn’t been defrosted.  It crunches underfoot in a most delightful way!

It was so cold as I left that by the end of the street I had decided to make it a short run… in fact I very nearly turned back right then!

I headed out towards the Royal Oak and Wivelsfield, my feet leading the way and at one point countermanding an earlier decision on the route to take.  Having realised that I had been on autopilot I turned it off and turned off left to go up through the West Woods in a different direction.

When I hit Hundred Acre Lane, I merely turned back into the wood and followed the fire breaks… I had thought it was a path, but I’m really not sure as it’s not on the map.

Eventually I came out, back onto Hundred Acre Lane, down which I tromped and then on down Streat Lane.

After a detour which proved to me how close Streat Lane is to my normal route to Westmeston, I continued down the lane as far as Streat Church, from where I took the only photos below.  I didn’t want to freeze my camera.

Going west I quickly came back to the Westmeston path and crossing it, came to Spatham Lane.  I suspect the water in my bottle would have long since frozen had I not mixed it with Powerade and I chose now to head back towards the warmth of home, en route saying hi to a chilled-looking Ron excavating his garden to fix a water pipe.

Since it was a day for abnormal routes, I crossed the Ditchling Road at the roundabout on the Common and headed down the path that runs past Freckborough Manor.  This path was well trodden by me a few years back before Daren showed me what was on the other side of the road… and back when I was only running a few short miles before being exhausted.

I returned home in 1.49 having run 10.7 miles, an average of just under 5.9mph.  Actually, I really enjoyed being out and quickly warmed back up to normal working temperature!

12 beers of Christmas

Picture courtesy of www.karenstoreyphotography.com

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Good Health!

Reversed route

In view of time (apologies again Daren!) and starting from the bottom of the hill, we opted to run our intended route in the reverse direction.

Thus we ran across the main road into New Way Lane and left up into Wellcombe Bottom, before tackling the steep side of Wolstenbury Hill.  I thought this was harder than the tank tracks, but Daren thought it was shorter, so easier.  Either way, it was steep steep steep and there was a sense of euphoria at having reached the top without stopping.

From there we dropped down into Pycombe Village, up the South Downs Way through the golf course and then down past Jack & Jill… where I had a strange sense of deja vu!

4.5 miles in 54 minutes, 5mph.. certainly an improvement on my earlier speed!

Too early

… and I mean, quite literally, too early!

I dropped Kim near to the station and hurried off to get to Jack & Jill ahead of Daren, who I knew only had a short time to run this morning.  When I got there the car park was closed and couple of workmen were busy looking at (resurfacing) it.

I quickly phoned Daren and left a message to say that I’d meet him at the bottom of the hill in Clayton.  I parked in the recreation ground and started putting my caked muddy shoes on from Monday (the Bok would NOT be impressed!)… about half way through the second one a thought occurred to me… I’ve mixed up the hours!

After another quick message to Daren to say DUH, I weighed up the choice of staying in the car with the heater on, or getting out into the morning: and went with the latter… I mean, there’s a hill right there waiting to be conquered!

It was certainly chilly out, but it didn’t seem that bad… UNTIL I turned around at Jack & Jill car park and got the sharp northerly wind in my face… WOW!  It WAS cold!

I ran back to the car park to check, then repeated the circuit to J&J, checked again and repeated a third time.  This time there was a Daren man waiting for me to go for a run!

I guess I covered about 2.5 miles in 37 minutes… 4mph.  But it was fun and the views were great!

May the mud be with you Charlie

Having missed my run yesterday I left my stuff ready in case the weather was clement this morning… which it was.

In ‘Cliffshort’ terms, the route took me to Westmeston via Blackbrook Wood, up onto the Downs, along to the Beacon and back via Ditchling and Oldlands MIll.

I hope you hovered over the pictures to read the story.

I returned home in 2 hours 22 minutes (somewhat appropriate on the 22nd Nov) having covered 12.35 miles.. 5.2mph.

I’m reminded of this YouTube video that was all the rage with the guys in Australia earlier in the year.. enjoy!

May the mud be with you Charlie P!


The weather yesterday was so good that I attacked a totally overdue task rather than go for a run.

I did have one small catastrophe which means that it’s not quite finished, but it was still pleasing to have almost completed it!

Drank and Deary

I ran the same road circuit as I did on the 30th October but, with only a short diversion to take a look at a football match, came up with an entirely different distance.  And a different one again when I remeasured it a second time!  Me & maps!

At least I remembered my drink this time!

It was raining straight down, but not heavily, so it was merely a little dank & dreary.  Whether for this reason or another, I didn’t really get into the flow at any point today… it was just constant hard work.

Only my conscious mind pushed me forwards to take another step, and another.

Still, I managed somewhere in the order of 11.1 miles (definitely more than I thought on the 30th) in 1.47 (a WHOLE lot slower, whichever way you look at it!), circa 6.25mph.

Blimey, this post is almost short enough for Cliff to read!

PS.  I’ve been watching this being built… it really is MY kind of house!

Dry run

I’m not sure what flavour of weather front blew across this morning, but it sure was wet outside.

Meanwhile, in the land of the warm & cosy running machine, I ran a de-lactic mile in 9:04.

Reversal of enutrof

I was quite relaxed about going out this morning (as in not under duress) but in my chilled state it took me almost until the afternoon to get out. I finally closed the door behind me with fifteen minutes to spare.

I half thought I would run last week’s circuit in reverse… but you know how it is with me. I ran out along Folders Lane, saying good morning to Eiddwyn, who was walking her dog… I could have easily run past without disturbing her, but I just love saying her name.

Rather than run across the common road, I ducked into the country park and thus had the treat of seeing the pond for a change.

From there I ran down Spatham Lane and turned right at the other end to run into Ditchling.  Here I briefly caught up with another runner who looked as if he had been up on the Downs and, being slightly jealous, I turned left at Sporting Cars of Brighton and ran up to Underhill Lane, en route stopping to chat to a lovely lady who was working hard moving her woodpile to its winter quarters nearer the house.

It was once on Underhill Lane that, despite having my longs on, plus two layers on top, gloves and hat, I felt chilly enough to put my jacket over the top.  It was not icy cold or anything, but this additional layer made me feel much more comfortable in the chilly wind.

I crossed over the Beacon Road and continued to the bottom of the Burnhill Bostal, where I found this not so good advert for Jewson… you could call it jewson lazy!

The majority of law-abiding subjects of this United Kingdom have to endure more and more onerous legislation designed to stop a tiny few people doing stuff like this… I expect they were really pleased with themselves for having saved a few quid at the tip.

I ran up the Bostal, noting that although I don’t seem to be getting any faster generally, it does appear to be getting easier to run up steep hills!  At the top I didn’t even pause before running on down to Jack & Jill.

Okay, that’s not strictly true, otherwise these shots from various points down the hill wouldn’t be on my camera, but I paused to take them (mainly to show that the sun was shining in lots of places apart from where I was!) rather than for a breather.

I dropped directly down from Jack & Jill to Clayton, nestling below and then, reaching the road again, realised why the direction of my circuit was so fortuitous today… it was the old crocks rally.

No, not as Kim assumed I meant, the old Crocs rally (see previous post).

I ran pretty much from Clayton to Leylands Road in Burgess Hill with a grin affixed to my face (and my mind was working overtime too, which will be apparent when you read the next blog post on my other site), sharing vicariously the spirit of adventure of the drivers and the designers of these early automobiles.  I paused only briefly, half way along, to bubble out my enthusiasm to a lovely couple standing watching the proceedings.

Turning onto Leylands Road and still more than a mile from home, I suddenly felt tired and with no external stimuli to sustain me, the last drag along to, and up Junction Road was harder work than it should have been.

However, the end was eventually reached and I felt pretty good once I had stopped & had a shower.  Must be getting more resilient!

13.6 miles in 2.24, 5.67mph.


My overused Crocs have long required replacement, but since the original charcoal grey seems to be unavailable, Kim decided to give my feet a subtle makeover.