Less mud, more cold

This morning there was one of those chilly north-easterly winds blowing under a blanket of cloud and I decided to run out from my folks place for some variety. In the car I wondered whether I had overdressed, with a thick second layer plus a jacket, hat & gloves. Fortunately my Mother told me that it was just 2 degrees outside… not counting the wind chill factor. My extra layers were definitely needed.

As I ran across the common land towards the ridge, it was clear that the wet mud of the last few weeks had gone. In its place was firm mud with just a little give… a perfect running surface! Perhaps because of this I felt as if I was running a little faster than normal and Strava saw fit to award me a medal for my fastest mile since I’ve been using the app… though I’m somewhat surprised that it equates to 7.75mph.

I didn’t keep it up for long!

I ran down through the middle of Ovingdean to the sea and along to Rottingdean. The sea was nearly calm, which seemed slightly odd given the brisk wind, but I guess that the water was in the lee of the chalk cliffs.

Then it was the long slog back up the hill… this was always one of the downsides of living towards the top of the hill when I was growing up! As I cleared the protection of Ovingdean the wind was really chilly and as I neared Woodingdean so a shower of sharp sleet hit me, pricking painfully at my face. Fortunately it was short-lived and I was soon off the ridge & running back down across the common land.

According to Strava I completed 6 miles in under 59 minutes… an average a little over 6mph.

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More mud, less cold

One glance outside at the inclement weather this morning started me thinking about all the other things that I could more easily do for exercise… such as trying to repeat the Ashtanga Yoga routine that we did when we swapped classes the other week.

However, after a philosophical discussion on the similarities between organisations and individuals, when it comes to the trade-off between efficiency and flexibility, the rain had stopped and there was a trace of warm colour in the low cloud.

The warm colour was matched by the warm temperature… I could easily have gone out in shorts.

I started on the same route as last week and had quickly transformed my clean runners into dirty ones… in fact they seemed to change colour every ten minutes or so with the different kinds of mud.

I took the elongated route in West Wood and ended up running down Hundred Acre Lane.  Given how muddy my shoes were, I was dismayed when my shoelace came undone and I had to retie them… it’s amazing how much of your hands are involved in the process… and thus how muddy my hands were afterwards!

The Magical Path seems to have a drainage problem at one end and was particularly muddy, but at this time of year it still has something a special about it… it almost seems like a throwback to an earlier age.

Then it was back across to base for a bowl of warm water and a scrubbing brush to get my runners ready for their next mud bath.

According to Strava it was 6.4 miles in 66 minutes… not exactly but then it’s not so easy to go quickly when there’s this much mud around!

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My dear, what a run

Pronounced muddier water run.

After a frustrating day yesterday, where having too many work tasks to do meant that I failed to get into the flow of any, I felt it was super-important to get out this morning and run.

Despite being chilly, it was a bright spring-like morning as well… one of those mornings that just simply makes you feel better somehow.  This said, I knew exactly what the conditions underfoot would be.

I opted for a short local run… out to Wivelsfield, up through West Wood and back along the Magical Path.  As expected it was super-muddy.  This was the the kind of mud that has deep footprints & hoof prints, has then frozen, has then been filled up with water and has finally thawed… but only recently, judging by the water temperature!  Despite being deep in places and gloriously splashy, it was safer to run through the middle of it than risk sliding on the super-slippery gradients at the margins.

The photos below should tell you all you need to know!

5.6 miles completed in 58 minutes… not bad given all the slip-sliding around!

On another subject all together, whilst I still have your attention: we have a tradition in our house of ‘unexpecting the expected’.  The upside of such an arrangement is that there are occasional Tuesday or random day presents.  The flipside is obviously that cards or presents aren’t always forthcoming on those days when it’s traditional to give them.  Like today, for example.

So Kim, if you’re reading this… Happy Valentines Day gorgeous!

Sorry that the expected card is absent, but maybe there’s something unexpected hiding behind the sofa to make you smile?

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Glad of the gloves

It was a glorious day today, but there was a really chilly wind.  I ran from my folks place again and my brother questioned whether I really needed the three layers & hat that I was wearing.  Oh yes, I did!  In fact as I ran down the ridge path towards the sea, the wind was so biting that I was glad that I’d also sneaked a pair of gloves out with me!

I ran down to Ovingdean Church, on down to the Undercliff Walk and then along to Rottingdean.  There are days when I have less physical energy, but today it was more like I had less mental energy as well.  I even stopped at the window of an Estate Agent to look at the houses… a very thinly veiled excuse to pause for a couple of minutes!

At the top of the High St I turned left onto a path I’d not been along before (which is always odd when you’ve been in an area for 50 years!).  It turned out to be a middle path between the one I normally take past the windmill and the main road up the hill.  After a slippery ascent, it eventually led to the top of Ovingdean, from where I ran back up onto the ridge.

It was at this stage that I received an apologetic call from someone at Barclaycard.  They have been inundating me with direct mail for the last couple of years and my cheerful calls asking to be taken off the database last year obviously had little effect.  A month ago I asked in a more pointed way.  Yesterday I received another letter so I had another more robust conversation… the last two of the three agents I spoke to across 30 minutes assured me that I was no longer on the list as of the beginning of January, but that they print mail 8 weeks ahead so I may even receive another letter or two before they stop.  The nice lady today (remember that it’s Sunday), called to say that the job had not been done properly in January after all, so the 8 weeks would start from today.

I mention this simply to point out how effective having a phone conversation is at taking your mind off running… by the time she rang off (having presumably endured the sound of the biting wind that I mentioned earlier in the earpiece for at least five minutes) I was almost at the top of the hill.  The rest was easy.

According to Strava I ran 6.3 miles in 63 minutes.

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Sneaking a run into January

Last weekend I decided that, having not run yet this year, I should at least get one run in before the end of January. I’m sure that I could have chosen a nicer day, but it was the 31st, so needs must. As you can see from the photos below, it was a mirky day, but at least it stopped raining before I started out.

I ran from my folks place down to Rottingdean the muddy way and then ran back up the road.

According to Strava I ran 5.9 miles in 61 minutes

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