Hill Running (sort of)

After a GREAT party in London last night and a 3am bedtime, I didn’t much feel like a run this morning… mostly because I was still asleep!  When I finally did get out it was for a short run around the local roads of Burgess Hill.

The weather is still crazy warm so my shorts and t-shirt got yet another unseasonal outing.

I would show you some photos but new settings in BlueHost or WordPress today (dropping file upload size from 10mb to 2mb) make this too much hassle… any recommendations for a new host gratefully received.

According to Strava I ran 4.1 miles in 37 minutes, an average of 6.5mph.

Shorts, eight for the road

My friends will tell you that I rarely drink and that I will often drive so that I have an excuse which is plausible for those people who have already started drinking (if you follow the logic).  Part of the reason for this relates to an intense dislike of hangovers and part to a preference for retaining my faculties in unpredictable environments.

This said I do really enjoy an occasional G&T (Blue Sapphire of course), a few glasses of wine over dinner with friends, or a glass of Hepworth’s Old if I’m cooking Bolognese sauce (which gets the rest of the bottle).

All of which bears no relation to my post this morning… I’d be under the table (rather than writing this blog) if I’d drunk eight shorts.

The unseasonably warm weather has continued and I couldn’t face the thought of wearing my longs again today… so the shorts made a reappearance.  Not that I particularly wanted to run this morning and though Kim assures me is a normal Sunday sentiment, this was a different kind of reluctance.

Nevertheless, after imbibing a couple of quadspressos and a chapter of a good book, I duly turned up at the front door in my running gear.  So clean was I when I returned to the front door 80 minutes later that Kim actually accused me of having sat the around the corner for the duration.

Good idea (for future reference) but not what happened.  Instead I opted for a rare road run, choosing a boring out and back route which simply saved me the effort of thinking where to go next.  Added to which I know roughly where the mile markers are, so it’s easy to gauge when to turn around.

I actually turned around at the 4 mile mark, scaring a few people by stripping off my base layer and putting just my t-short back on.  Then, feeling slightly less hot on this December day, I retraced my steps, most of which looked a lot like this:

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Overall, according to Strava, I completed 8.2 miles in 75 minutes, an average of 6.5mph.  Now for another drink… maybe a tea without the G.

Shorts required

After a day of unseasonal grass-cutting yesterday, I felt as if I had already done enough exercise for the weekend.  Sadly that’s not how this running-blog thing works, so still I had to go out for a run.

The forecast had been for rain (hence the grass cutting yesterday), but there was obviously a change in plan and it was warm (like early October) when I left the house… though the sky was still very dark to the north.  Still expecting rain, I had my longs, a hat and a jacket on… all were superfluous and I could easily have run in shorts and a t-shirt.  In fact, by the time I got back I was wearing just the t-shirt… the other two layers tied around my waist.

The mud underfoot was much more seasonal (apart from being far from frozen) with some firm going and some squidgy, sploshy, slippery stuff… I was quickly splattered from ankles to neck (including the phone in my hand).  It was really lovely out there though, such that I would have stayed longer if I’d had more energy.

As it was, I took the shortest variant of the local loops… according to Strava I completed 6 miles in 60 minutes… an average of, er, 6 mph.

I was going to say that it seems unlikely the grass will need cutting again this year, but having just glanced at the forecast it seems that we are in for at least another couple of weeks of relatively mild (though wet) weather… maybe there is still time for a shorts & t-shirt run before Christmas!

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Windy day run

After a really lovely meal with my school friends on Saturday (aka a late night, for me), meeting Daren at 8.30 on Sunday morning at Jack & Jill was a bit of a stretch.  I got up at 7am to make sure I was fully awake by the time I left the house… though I very nearly fell asleep again whilst imbibing a quadspresso!

The weather forecast was for gusts of 40 mph, but that wasn’t quite right… it was a steady 40 mph wind and it kindly blew us up the hill, across to Ditchling Beacon and then on to Streat Bostall with barely a chance to get Daren’s new runners dirty.  Running down the bostall was also easy, but then we had to run back along the main road as far as Westmeston.

The current breed of (nameless and faceless) UK road planners like to slow cars down by reducing the sight-line at the apex of corners… once you know this, you tend to notice the way that hedges, trees etc are allowed to grow out just where it would be helpful to be able to see ahead.  This obviously means that runners (or walkers, cyclists etc) are effectively hidden from view along roads like this one.  Cars also can’t see if there’s anything coming the other way, so they are forced to stay right in (& justifiably so), close and personal, when they come across pedestrians.  Not nice for either party, but better than crashing into someone driving the other way.

In the scheme of things, however, it was of little consequence.  We were soon onto a quiet narrow lane and enjoying ourselves again.  In the lee of the Downs, the wind was barely a breeze and we trundled gently along until we reached the bottom of the tank tracks.

Then the really hard work began… the path goes directly up the scarp slope, which makes it steep, added to which we have a rule that we’re not allowed to stop until we get to the gate at the top.  I think that we were on comparatively good form and we made good progress right up until the ground flattened out at the top… and we got the full force of the wind against us!

From the gate at the top it’s downhill all the way back to the cars, which allowed us to really enjoy the wind blowing any remaining cobwebs from our heads!

According to Strava, we ran 7.7 miles in just under 80 minutes, an average of 5.8mph.  Despite having had only one early drink the night before, I then spent the rest of the day recovering on the sofa as if I had a hangover!  Oh the joys of getting older!

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