The morning after the night before


Both Daren & Nick are friends with Jamie at The Half Moon in Warninglid, so it seemed only right and proper to go and sample the fare there last night.  Jamie has apparently transformed the place in the last year or so and it’s now a real, proper gastropub.  The food was totally delicious!  I had tender liver & crispy bacon with mash potato and shredded cabbage that would have won a competition in a sculpture contest – I ate every last scrap despite the fact that it was a rather large portion.  In fact, all six plates were virtually scraped clean!  And despite having a full-on meal for six with liberal quantities of wine, yummy sticky puddings and coffees, the bill was only £25 per head.

My only beef was the fact that of the range of great bitters that Jamie serves, he doesn’t currently have any Hepworths… I can see I’ll have to work on him!

Anyway, it will come as small surprise that the 7.30am gathering this morning was slightly more muted than normal!  But it was a beautiful, brisk morning and it didn’t take us too long to get over the edge of tiredness.  Once again it was a real pleasure running with Daren (his being slightly less fit than normal) as the pace was gloriously manageable and we could all chat contentedly without running out of steam.  The Bok would shoot off every so often like a springer spaniel, egging us to join in the fun, but was eventually reigned in to enjoy the gentle run & conversation.

We headed out to the Royal Oak and round the back of the (fast becoming monstrous) St Georges Retreat, out to Hundred Acre Lane, back across to Wellhouse Lane and returned alongside the railway.  The going was firm with muddy interludes and I managed to get called rude names when I, er… missed my step and splashed in a puddle.  Twice.  I felt particularly triumphant that Nick’s trainers looked as if they had actually seen some countryside!  Mine, of course, were still dirty from last autumn and were once again dripping with mud by the time we got back: so no change there then.

We ran for one hour twelve minutes, covered 7.25 miles at an average speed of just over 6mph and used sufficient of the calorie intake from last night to be able to woof down half-a-loaf-of-bread’s worth of toast with honey & peanut butter.


After working on a project late into the night, the alarm seemed to go off all too soon this morning but though it was still dark, I alighted from the bed with a spring in my still-stiff-from-the-last-run legs and got the coffee pot on.  It’s amazing how much easier it is to run (or motivate yourself to do many other things) when there are two or more of you.

Nick duly arrived and we headed out into the grey morning, which was not as cold as I had anticipated.  He was after a short run so we looped across the Common as far as the industrial estate, but on the way back the Bok in him decided 35 minutes was too short so we continued on into Wivelsfield and came back via Ote Hall.

Lots of surface water & mud today so lots of slip-sliding-away (we know a song about that mate) and Nick tried patiently to explain the idea behind transmogrification, which I now reckon might have been one of the inputs that Philip Pullman had in his mind when creating daemons in The Golden Compass.  It comes from a comic book strip, but I’ll get him explain it to you some other time!

I can imagine that I was a bit like a sack of spuds for company this morning and having dragged the sack around most of the way, I think we were both surprised when I picked up my heels and sprinted (only for a minute of so) towards the end.

Overall, 6.06 miles according to super watch in one hour one minute makes 5.96mph and not, somewhat importantly, the 9 point something that the watch was claiming… which casts doubt on the Bok’s earlier claim of an 8.57mph run last week.  Some quick retro calculation puts the figure more correctly at 7mph for his run, which is still great by any standards after the excess of Christmas!

Sunday morning escapade

I awoke from my dreams at 7.55am and whilst it was not the sunny morning I had envisaged, I was rearing to get my trainers on… after a very large expresso, of course. 

The sun was straining through light but wet clouds as I ran up the road and as it was also wet underfoot, I chose not to follow the mud-fest route that Daren, Nick and I often take.  I was in the mood to explore, happy to follow my nose and see what there was to see.  This took me to the south and east of the town where I discovered that the council was in the process of extending the path across an area where I had often wished there had been one.  That they had not completed the aforementioned became apparent as I ran around the boundary of first one large field, then another, a third and a fourth, in search of the exit. 

It had been lightly raining with big drops of warm water, but around this point there was a deluge, almost accentuating that I was going in the wrong direction. 

I eventually came to the boundary of the golf course where there was a gate of the locked variety and no clear route through the golfers playing in the rain.  I soldiered on finding a farm track heading in the right direction, but blocked by a farmyard with some impressive looking security gates on the other side.  I hedged around the boundary and came to a point where a low barbed wire fence and six feet of driveway stood between me and the route onward. 

I almost hope that the owners of the house did see me step over the fence because I can imagine them smiling as my shorts snagged a barb and I was left pinned to the fence for a few embarrassing moments until I figured out which way I had to pull the material to free myself. 

I ran onward, back up through the eastern side of the town, smiling back at the dog-walkers and on back to the house.  Here, a glance in the mirror confirmed that I was a sodden, bedraggled, mud covered monster.  No wonder they smiled at me!

Eight miles in one hour forty.  Not exactly speedy (Nick and I ran just over six miles in 55 minutes two weeks ago, although I did nearly throw up afterwards!) but passable for a wet Sunday morning escapade.

And the sun is now burning through the clouds.  Better late than never!