Wind at Mark two

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.

New splodge

I still have some old posts to catch up on, but I thought that I’d get some new ones down while they are fresh in my ailing memory!  Yesterday was a red letter day, as, after threatening for some time, we finally made it down to the Run Shop.  It was a great choice of day to go as both Kurt and Fred were in there.

I spend a lot of time talking to my clients about good strategy and I’m going to write a short piece on my other site about this place, as it’s such a great example.

Suffice to say that the range, though not vast, is carefully selected from the perspective of runners and the guys engage with each customer to find out what they really need… and quite simply help them buy it.  No pressure sales here, just good old fashioned, quality service!

Kim’s shoes, though not high mileage, were getting on a bit, having seen life before the Berlin marathon in 2004.  My runners, though only bought last October, have been used extensively right through the winter mud, have probably clocked up over 600 miles and have not been kept in pristine condition (especially in comparison to the Bok’s shoes) and have thus deteriorated… that’s my finger sticking through the webbing above and the other shoe has the same damage.

So, after five short runs around the block in different pairs of shoes we came away with some lovely Run shopping bags.

Imagine my surprise however, when I looked at what I had bought.

Okay, so I bought two pairs… and the other pair has an orange right shoe, before you start to worry.

The white ones are the updated version of the Saucony shoe I’ve been wearing since October (in fact, my last three pairs have been Saucony) and they are very light and yet sufficiently splodgy for the off-road terrain I favour.

The orange ones are going to sit and wait for the return of the autumn mud and a quick glance at the soles will explain why!

If you recall, yesterday was a beautiful day and I wondered idly how long it would take me to take the shine off the new purchases.  I guess that I needn’t have worried.

Disco dancin’


We all love new KIT, so yesterday, with its visit to Run, was a red letter day.  We also love Kurt and Fred (who was conspicuous by his absence!) because they’re just SO passionate about running and they want to pass that on to their customers. 

When you’re buying new trainers, they always want to see the old ones.  This is to see how the soles have worn so that they can recommend the most appropriate replacement.  They also get you to run up and down outside the shop to confirm their prognosis.  I was told to run off around the block twice to compare two different shoes: the equivalent replacement for my two-year old Saucony’s and a pair of Nike’s.  There was no contest, added to which the Saucony’s are a hoot… real discodiva strutyourstuff shoes!

The other item on the shopping list was a rain jacket.  Their stylish range of Rono gear is excellent and their new gore-tex jacket is a joy to wear… I half hoped for rain today so that I could christen it!  A new supersoft base layer t-shirt and a fab iQ beanie hat completed my acquisitions.  Kim went for two new top layers… a mid-season zipped top and a rain resistant jacket in red… it’s gorgeous and she won’t be missed when she’s wearing it!

We were so happy on leaving that I left my socks behind… any chance of posting them back Kurt?

Mid-week exercise

We joined the Burgess Hill Runners on Wednesday night for some track work at Lewes sports centre and my, what a track it is!  Floodlit and in great condition, the slightly springy surface is a dream to run on. 

From the people I met, the club has a really broad mix of members but all keen to improve their running… and their banter!  It was a really fun hour and despite being newcomers, we were welcomed like good friends!

The downside?  We now need to go to the Run shop and buy some new winter kit… we were really lucky as although dark, it was quite mild, but I think that the warmer weather has now been washed and folded up into a drawer so that it doesn’t get dirty until the Spring needs it!  I definitely need one of those rain jackety things (damp is okay, cold is okay, cold and damp… ugh!) and both my pairs of Saucony’s are showing signs of distress… even the newer pair has no splodge left after the Ligurian descents!

Okay… so I just looked out the window to see a gorgeous day sitting in my garden, but you know what I mean!  Soon it will be winter drawers on, mark my words!  ‘Til then… I must go and see if it really is warm out there!