The mild weather clearly could not last for ever and finally ended yesterday… this morning there were seasonal ice-covered puddles along the road. Thus my longs and other warm gear were retrieved from the bottom of the drawer and replaced by my shorts, which I dare say will not now be seen until the Spring.
I started out on the normal muddy tracks… it obviously wasn’t quite so cold in the woods, though it certainly felt as if it was. Surprisingly though, once out of the shade it was super-warm, no I didn’t feel over-inclined to remove either of my layers!
When I reached Wivelsfield I decided to run on the road for a change. I ran through the village for a way then turned up Hundred Acre Lane. Half way along there I paused to take a photo of the landscape just as a beautiful old car drove past, honking it’s horn at me in a good natured way.
Rather than return to the mud I ran to the other end of the lane and turned right along Middleton Common Road (or similar) which took me right back into Burgess Hill. The houses along Folders Lane have changed so dramatically over the past few years, with plots being subdivided to form a series of small cul-de-sacs, or pairs of new houses. Some of these are actually of a more contemporary design, unlike the hundreds of boring cardboard rabbit hutches that the mainstream house-builders have foisted on the town recently, with seemingly little push-back from the planners. Burgess Hill could so easily have been a beacon for contemporary & sustainable design, but instead its design standards appear firmly rooted in the last century.
According to Strava I completed 7.2 miles in 65 minutes, an average of 6.65 mph.
It was warm again outside this morning but I didn’t realise, until I started running down the road in my shorts and t-shirt, that it was also drizzling. Warm can quickly turn to cold when wet is involved, so I was happy to get into the woods where it was only leaves that were falling gently around me.
I’ve been thinking about the subject of goals over the past few weeks, thanks to a series of different tangential contexts (articles, books, discussions, courses etc) and I spent the run thinking about the implications for the students I work with. Over the past few years I’ve been encouraging students to think more fully about their goals, using a simple framework, but I have some new and more profound thoughts forming in my head… I think that even I have been underselling how critical goals are.
The run wasn’t long enough to resolve this challenge and it was plenty muddy enough to require a good deal of focus elsewhere, such as in the grip department. In the summer I tend to avoid puddles, but once there is more mud than not-mud, my preference is to run straight through it. Trying to skirt around the edges inevitably leads to running on sloping ground, which along with the increased number of direction changes creates a much greater risk of slipping over… into the mud!
The only downside is soaking wet trainers, muddy legs and the occasional lapse of concentration regarding other obstacles, such as brambles looking to steal my hat!
According to Strava the run was 7 miles, completed in 64 minutes, a respectable 6.5 mph.
With a thick mist it looked pretty chilly this morning, but it was actually still warm enough for shorts and I quickly shed the hat and gloves that I had worn as a precaution.
I started out along the normal loop, but was drawn to run along a neglected path from a previous loop… neglected by me and everyone else by all accounts. It was muddier than my normal route and the brambles had made a really good job of reclaiming it for the wood. It took me across behind the former Royal Oak, which has been sold for some time yet is still awaiting redevelopment.
Then it was back to the normal route, through the end of West Woods and down Hundred Acre Lane. One of the pleasures of being an Occasional Runner is that the opportunity to stop to chat with people is as important as completing the run. As I came back through the woods, so I ran into Lew in his truck and stopped for a natter… we’ve not caught up for ages and though it seemed like a ten-minute conversation (before I started to get chilly), we were actually there for almost an hour!
I ran back through the relatively warm mirk and wet mud via the Common, completing 7.3 miles in 66 minutes (not including talking time) according to Strava, an average of 6.6 mph.