Back down to the coast

It was late in the morning by the time I managed to motivate myself to run and I needed a little help from Kim to decide whether to run locally or from my folks’ place… I (she) chose the latter and it was a great decision!

The sky to the south of the Downs was slightly brighter and it was almost warm down on the coast.  Nevertheless I was taking no chances and wore a really soft t-shirt under layer (we call it a bunny-rabbit, it’s that soft) under a long sleeved top and my Gore jacket.  I probably could have got away without my jacket but I was really glad of it running back up the hill into the wind.

I ran down the old track that links Woodingdean to Ovingdean and reflected that this may have been the first place that I ever went ‘running’, more than 35 years ago, thanks to an enthusiastic Scout leader.  He was also a Police Diver and thus was able to teach us about the build up of lactic acid in the lungs (aka the stitch) and how to overcome it.


From this ridge it’s easy to see how the villages nestle into the valleys and how much green space has been left… there is space for many more houses, but the quality of life would be dramatically lower.

At Ovingdean I ran in the opposite direction to the other week, dropping down to the valley floor and running on down to the steps that lead to the Undercliff Walk.


Protected from the chilly north wind by the cliffs, the path was a sun-trap and I could easily have run along in t-shirt & shorts… this might actually have been better because when I reached Rottingdean and turned to run up the hill, the sweat from wearing too many laters exacerbated the effect of the cold wind.

I ran up past Rottingdean windmill and back up through Ovingdean, where I deliberately included the steep hill back to the ridge.  It was then a comparatively short run back up to Woodingdean Primary School and back to my folks’ place.


I’m guessing that the run was about the same 5.8 miles as last time and it took around the same time too at 64 minutes.

Santander Ad Remix (Proper Planning Prevents P Poor Performance)

It was a cop out and I can imagine Cliff et al shaking their heads in despair at me, but better that than no run at all.

It was raining this morning and I just couldn’t face the idea of running out into soggy mud & puddles… not today, at any rate.  Fortunately we have an alternative in the form of a running machine, which regular readers know gets used a fair amount in the winter: one year, when training for a marathon, I actually ran 20 miles on it, though my mind was numb with boredom before I even got half way.

This morning, in a bid to stave off the boredom of looking at a wall for an hour, I grabbed the iPad and found a playlist of endurance exercise music videos on YouTube.  I’m not a regular YouTube watcher so I have no idea how it works, but the concept of a playlist seemed pretty straightforward so I jumped on the machine and set off to the pumping music.

The military adage ‘proper planning prevents P poor performance’ is as relevant to this situation as it in in other areas of life: the third video was a Santander advert, the fourth an ad for a DJ (who didn’t come across as too inspiring from the endless stream of text scrolling across the screen), the fifth a track where the visuals were simply the text from the repetitive song.  I had remained hopeful, but at this point I tried to skip the track and ended up out of the playlist and back in YouTube.  And frustrated since it’s not so easy to control an iPad where you’re running.

Kim came to the rescue (of the iPad, probably, on reflection) and tried to find something to keep my mind engaged, but found only music with no video.  Since the iPad is not really loud enough to hear over the roar of the running machine, she booted up the stereo and after a couple of tries, found some energetic Jazz Funk for me to run to.

My mind was still pondering the Santander ad: I couldn’t help feeling that the client here had not got great value from their ad spend.  Aside from the fact that I’m not target market (trust me on that), the insertion was an unwelcome two-minute interruption into a music playlist.  Even though the ad was humorous, in its own way, it left me with a distinctly negative feeling towards the company.

And towards YouTube, which has presumably taken money from its client but has clearly misunderstood the reason that someone might choose to use a playlist feature.  I won’t bore you with the range of nascent solutions that I started to come up with, suffice to say that it doesn’t seem so very difficult to resolve.

Back on the running machine I had completed 50 minutes of my 60 minute run and with all the musical shenanigans was ready to give up.  However, I’m a great believer in the drive towards general resilience through the setting of realistic goals and then seeing them through, so I was forced to push on through to the end.

I was still standing in the same place at the end of an hour, though the belt beneath me had travelled 7.23 miles, an average speed of… hmmm… I’ll let you do the maths!

As a vague appeasement to Cliff, after a cold shower to cool me down, I put on my FosterRuns Gore jacket and got out into the rain to wash Kim’s car.

No photos today, alas … I’ve just bought a MacBook Air and it’s too clever to simply allow me to download photos from my iPhone into my folder for November via a USB lead…

Longs on 14

Actually, I probably could have got away with wearing shorts today, but I decided to run from my folks house so I had to guess the temperature.  At home it was decidedly chilly in the shade, but down near the coast the sun had made it a pretty warm day… I wore two layers just in case.

It was Remembrance Sunday and my Dad had my Grandfather’s medals, along with those of his siblings, from the various conflicts in the early twentieth century.  It gives me pause for thought that my Grandfather, his brothers and a good proportion of the young men of Britain were trooping off to war a hundred years ago… many not to return.  It also amazes me that my grandfather grew up with horses & carts and was in the cavalry, yet lived to see men on the moon.


I ran down the track that leads from the Primary School that I attended to Ovingdean and then on down into Rottingdean.  The people I passed were all so friendly, smiling and saying hello as I passed.  I put this down to the sunny day… people often say hi, but not always in a happy way.


I was surprised how sprightly I felt despite not having run for three weeks, but then it was all downhill!


At Rottingdean I turned right and headed along the Undercliff Walk and was soon feeling tired by the flatness… exacerbated by the climb up the steps to road level at Ovingdean.  Running up Ovingdean valley was particularly hard work, maybe because its a long section of pavement and the vague gradient is against you.


I paused at the church to pay my respects to an old friend, before chugging back up the hill to the Woodingdean path.  This super-steep hill was actually easier than the flatter stretch… maybe because it feels as if you’re getting somewhere!


As I ran up the path so the sun disappeared behind a bank of cloud and the temperature dropped… two layers was a good idea after all!

The 5.8ish miles took me about 65 minutes, including my pause at Ovingdean Church… 5.35 mph average.

I was delighted to find that my sister had dropped in for lunch… though having caught up over a cup of tea, I left the four of them to eat.