This morning dawned windy and Kim decided that she would run/walk along the top of the Downs to break in her new shoes… and start to get back into the swing of things since hurting her knee skiing earlier in the year. Despite new shoes, I wasn’t really in the mood, but she kicked me out into the ferocious wind at Jack and Jill anyway and off I ran.
The first thing to report about the new shoes is that they feel pretty much like the last ones… which is a good thing. They really are extra light and super comfortable bearing in mind the range of nasty surfaces I run on. My right shoe grazed my left heel a few times and I started to think the soles were spread more than before, until I realised it was the southerly wind blowing my foot across… it really was blowy up there. I had fortunately opted for my Gore jacket this morning and iQ beanie and I really needed both!
I reached Ditchling Beacon in 15 minutes (I’m sure that we used to take 20) and continued east at a good pace. The rain was sporadic at first, but every drop was supercharged by the wind and really stung my bare legs. There was some kind of Horse event on, but it must have been organised by the queen from Alice in Wonderland as they were all going in different directions.
Having reached the Beacon so quickly, my plan was to head for Blackcap so that I could see just how much I had improved… progress certainly felt good. I was busily tromping along, thinking that my pace was now strong enough that I should call Mark Johnson to arrange a long-overdue second run… when there he was, running towards me. SO bizarre!
Deciding that Blackcap could wait for another day, I turned round and headed back towards the Beacon with Mark. We passed Kim on the way, who was still heading out towards Blackcap, and the conversation helped to lessen the impact of the rain, which was starting to increase… or it might have been that Mark was running on the windward side of me! We parted at the Beacon, agreeing to organise another run.
From here I ran down the track underneath the road and despite the stony conditions and exposed roots, I let the brakes off. My normal speed is around 6 or 7mph, but the average for that one kilometer section was 9.375mph… I reckon some of my more intrepid peers could have run down quicker still, but not without being on the raggedy edge!
I dropped into Ditchling and climbed back out up to Oldlands Windmill. I feel really sorry for these guys. They had an open day a couple of months back but it was a glorious day without a hint of wind to turn the sails. The people attending the one today were all huddled in the marquee out of the rain and wind… too much wind to allow the sails to turn!
Heading back towards home, I had to pass a dog-walker with her hood up… I was hoping that she or the dog would notice me approaching from behind as I didn’t want to just run past her in such a narrow space. As it was, neither did and my spoken warning caused her to jump… visibly! Very sorry ‘n all Miss!
The rest of the route home was as uneventful as it was windy and wet, but I finished at an acceptable pace and quickly jumped into the shower before I got cold. The morning’s exertions had netted me 10.5 miles in one hour 35 minutes and had elegantly taken the shine of the new runners, shown below with Kim’s colour co-ordinated and equally wet & mud-splattered pair.