Short of time to run on Sunday before we went out to lunch, I took to the machine for a 7mph tempo run.

At that speed the conscious seems able to detect thoughts bubbling up from the subconscious and I managed to find some really inspiring ones before I finished.  These I captured briefly on the white board in my office as: Emotion -> Problems, conscious/subconscious.

Alas, I now seem to have amnesia about what those ideas were… somewhat frustrating as I was clearly excited about them!  My memory is not my strong suite though so there’s no point in beating myself up… hopefully I can rediscover them on a future occasion!

5 miles in just under 43 minutes.

More workshop material

A damp, grey morning did not inspire me to want to run outside.  I knew that my favourite paths would be ankle-deep in cold and watery mud and running on the road didn’t especially grab me either.  Instead I headed for the machine.

After a half mile warm-up at 6mph I jumped to 7mph and then increased by 0.2 each quarter-mile until I reached 8mph.  I returned to 6mph for a quarter mile and repeated the exercise before returning to 6mph and running the final mile at 7mph.  This may seem a little convoluted, but I saw it as a mild form of interval training.

Though I focused my cognitive resources on the mechanics of running for a change, I also alighted upon an interesting exercise for a workshop later this week.  It’s amazing how similar the approaches for training people to run faster is, to helping people to think more creatively.

5 miles in 42.35, a little over 7mph average.

Mud, sweat and fears

It’s always a challenge to write about my in-run thoughts when I return, let alone a week afterwards.  It’s a little like trying to recall the salient details of a vivid dream as input from the senses rushes in to fill the newly awakened conscious mind and crowds them out.

Had I written this post last week it may well have been a lengthy and candid expose to the way I was feeling that day, hence the fears in the title.

I shall instead focus on the mud and sweat, but the fears are a side-effect of the material I have been reading and developing for my workshops on self-awareness, team performance and creativity.  Honestly embracing our fears and failings, alongside of a demonstrable understanding of our skills, experience, motivations and goals, is a solid foundation onto which we can each build a truly fulfilling life.

This is not to say that I was in a morbid mood… I was not.  It was  a totally glorious day and I was on top form, both mentally and physically… hence my thoughts flowing freely.

I decided to run towards the Beacon but be satisfied if I turned around at Ditchling.  The sun was so bright through the trees on Keymer Road that I was super-careful with any passing cars lest they did not see me through the glare.

There was sufficient surface mud on the path to Oldlands Mill to use ‘straight through’ tactics, but it wasn’t deep enough to drench my feet or throw more than a thin layer of splatters onto my back.

Lots of people were out and clearly also happy, as more people returned my cheery greetings than normal.

I soon found myself running up the steep Beacon track and arrived at the top in 56 minutes.

I shared the top and a little conversation with a lovely couple from Clapham who had walked from Jack & Jill and intended to return via Wolstonbury… a more involved walk than most of the numerous people thereabouts.

I then retraced my steps down the Beacon track, through Ditchling, up onto Lodge Hill (intensely hard work for a couple of minutes), back past Oldlands and on home.

Longs and three layers proved on the warm side, but not monumentally so, though my hat and gloves got stowed before climbing the Beacon… it must have been at least slightly chilly.

I’m pretty sure that the time was 1.45 when I returned… slightly slower over the 10 mile route than on the 2nd September due largely to the conversational pause at the mid-point.

Overall a great run and good thinking time!

A return to Blackcap

It was a surprise this morning to wake up to a beautiful sunny morning and after getting my brain going with the help of a Sudoku puzzle and a Kri-Kri tumbler of quadspresso, I climbed into my running gear.

At the very last minute I changed my mind about running from the house and instead drove up to Jack and Jill… a good decision by all accounts.  The car-park was almost full and there were loads of people out enjoying the unseasonal weather… there was still an edge of chillness in the shade, but shorts and t-shirt were all I needed!

I ran along the top of the Downs all the way to Blackcap, encountering the back-markers on the Lewes Downland Ten as I neared my turn-point.

The return leg was equally lovely and with the vague breeze now behind me, it was even warmer.

Lovely, apart from the flies that is.  Fortunately they were not along the whole route, just where the cows were grazing, but there were ‘fousands of the little blighters, all out enjoying the sun, cow dung and alas, my sweaty face… YUK!

I returned to the car in 1:35 having run 9.4 miles or so at a pretty steady and comfortable 6mph.

The sky has now clouded over which makes my effort this morning even more worthwhile!