Ups and downs betwixt first and second breakfast

My hearty breakfast this morning consisted of porridge with banana & yoghurt and a glass of orange juice followed (after a short break) by two eggs on toast with fried tomatoes, a large piece of coffee & walnut cake and two cups of tea… now three. Yummy!

The short break involved a particularly enjoyable run on the Downs with Daren.

It’s fair to say that the very first words usually spoken, when we meet in the car park next to Jack & Jill windmills after a typical few months’ absence, usually involves a question: ‘Shall we go for coffee instead?, asked from the warmth of one or other car. Today, as my car window whirred quietly down and the chilly wind blowing in made me wonder if coffee really might be the better idea, Daren smugly lifted a Small Batch cup to his lips :-))

The chilly wind encouraged us not to hang around & discuss whether or not we were going to run. This was a good thing as we quickly realised that we were on better form than either of us expected. After a short uphill section we coasted easily down to Pyecombe, already deep in conversation. After Pyecombe the gradient is against us all the way to the top of Wolstonbury Hill, but the conversation carried us all the way up, almost without effort.

It was a flat grey day and not so very cold for December provided that we were out of the wind. We thus paused only very briefly at the top before coasting comfortably down the other side and into the middle of a deep valley. The route then goes directly up the other side and is steep enough that steps have thoughtfully been cut… and effort is definitely required to climb them!

We then continued to do really well all the way along through Clayton until we reached the Tank Tracks, which cover 420 vertical feet from bottom to top, in half a horizontal mile. This is always our nemesis, but it’s fair to say that I really struggled with the climb today and that, but for Daren, I would have stopped to walk. In fact, even as we neared the very top, I was feeling the pressure building to walk, like the children in the marshmallow experiment who succumbed to temptation moments before they would otherwise have earned themselves a second marshmallow. Even our engaging conversation petered out!

I’ve never before needed to sit down at the top, but today I could hardly stand. Only the biting wind drew me back to my feet to finish the 6.4 mile run in a respectable 73 minutes. This is actually much closer to the times we were running a couple of years ago and a full 11 minutes faster than the last time we ran the circuit! :-))

As with my run with Nick three weeks ago, I now need to recover ahead of a two-hour yoga session this evening… time to do some work before lunch and a mid-afternoon nap, methinks!