I’m writing this a week late, on account of the fact that last Sunday afternoon I unaccountably fell asleep on the sofa for two and a half hours. Poor excuse, I know, but it’s been a busy week.
During the previous week I had visited The Run Shop in Hove. I arrived good & early to beat the rush but, em, found them closed! Fortunately Ethel’s Kitchen opposite does the best cakes ever and I sat whilst an Americano and a hot chocolate brownie slipped deliciously down my throat.
While sitting there I had two surprise visitors: Fred who was off to Run’s store in Worthing and then Claire, who was taking baby Emma for a walk. Claire informed me that the BIG man Daren was home so I took myself off there… for more coffee and more cake!
When I returned to Run, Kurt was mobbed with customers, but he’s a really good juggler and he managed to seamlessly add me to the people he was attentively serving.
A little later I was kitted out with new splodge and new socks and the weekend couldn’t come quickly enough!
The previous week I had also met the lovely guys from Armadillo Merino and although their gear is designed primarily for professional risk takers, it seemed as if it would be pretty good for amateur runners too. Aside from this, my brother Nigel loves merino wool gear, which is a pretty good recommendation, so I invested in a new t-shirt.
One of the things that Armadillo said is that I’d only want to take it off to wash it (which is not that frequently due to it’s natural odour control properties)… and they were right! I’ve been wearing it pretty much non-stop since I got it!
In between meeting Armadillo and going to Run I had spent a fun evening in Lewes with Mark Johnson… in fact I was sat at dinner between him and Richard Garland of Gradient Consultants, who just happened to also be an ultra-marathoner! A recurrent theme of conversation was my elusive next marathon!
I’ve been caught like this before, by Grant in 2004 (hence doing the Berlin marathon that year), so I’m quite wary of what I say… and reserve the right to change my mind again Mark!
So Sunday eventually came round and there I was, like a small child at Christmas, getting ready to run before 8am! One final touch was required… some energy!
And then I was off, curious to know what my new splodge could do straight out of the box…. and whether I really could do a marathon in three weeks time. I headed up to Oldlands Mill where the view was beautiful.
Then to Ditchling and up the Beacon track, where I was grateful that a walker commented on how hot and humid it was… I thought it was just me!
I continued along the top to Jack and Jill then turned around to do the return journey. It was hard already and I was way past half way through my water, but hey-ho, it was a lovely day to be out and about.
The sun went behind a cloud as I reached the top of Lodge Hill so I took a few photos looking back at the Beacon (aka quick rest).
Then it was back to base for a cold shower and, as I previously mentioned, a rather long snooze on the sofa with my feet angled up onto cushions.
So the new splodge and I managed 13.75 miles (more than half a marathon) in 2:37, a respectable average of 5.25mph. Socks, t-shirt and shoes were all great… I’ve lost count of the number of these shoes I’ve had in the ten years we’ve been customers at Run (though I still have them all so a photo will be forthcoming in due course!).
Right, now on to write about this week!