Both feet off the ground

October 29, 2017 at 10:29 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

treesOk, so I’m on a roll now… not only have I run twice in a week, I’ve blogged about it as well.

It’s a bit of a preparation for November, where for some reason I can’t remember, I try and do something excercisey every day for a month. Just because I want to, or at least because I can.

Anyway, I’m taking a run-up to November, and starting now. And today was the coast path to Maidencombe, because I don’t like running on the flat, and on the coast path There Is No Flat.

Strava tells me that some bits were quicker than others, and more bits were slower, but not that the sun was out, and so was the gorse in places.

When I started, I didn’t know it was a run to Maidencombe, but that was where I ended up by the time it was time to turn. Maidencombe is always good value because of the sign threatening a £50 penalty for climbing up the rocks. There is never anyone collecting the money, so I have saved £hundreds now.

Unusually, it was a run all the way. Before on this path I have walked (fast!) (ish) up at least two stupidly-steep-stepped sections. Today though, the autumn sun had brought out spectators inconveniently walking themselves on the hilly bits. As I pointed out to them, if they weren’t there I would have been walking myself, and not pretending-to-be-running (both feet off the ground, just not very quickly).

So if I run up the hill just because someone is watching, does that mean I’m pretending? Or just that my legs always could run the hill, and it’s actually my will that needs strengthening rather than my legs.

On the last-hill-but-one, when there was nobody to watch me, I pretended that there was, and managed to stagger-run all the way. And on the last hill, again sans spectators, the me’s who had run the other hills all got together and watched this me make it messily to the top.

And as it happened, I’d forgotten about the last hill back to the car, but that almost looked after itself. Strava at the end did say it was a slow run, but I think the ‘run’ part was the most important bit of that.

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Corner pieces

October 22, 2017 at 9:29 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

turn (1)

We’re well past the equinox now, turning the corner into autumn, but out running today the countryside is still having a Bucks Fizz moment about it, deciding what it wants to be.

Most fields are brown-red now and furrowed, but from the top of the hill the holiday parks are still growing neat rows of caravans. The bracken is turning, except in the deep wet lanes, but the nettles are still high. I happily kicked through chestnuts in the leaves, but I was startling butterflies in the long grass too.

I startled bigger things too, and they startled me back. Something large and grey (not me) cluttered through the woods, and reminded me that back in spring, I found a very dead stag here.

deerTurning the corner, I found eight very alive deer en famille (about eight times more than I’ve ever seen here), who rushed back for cover needlessly quickly given how fast I can run at the moment.

It’s not all rural idyll out this way of course, the hedges dying back now show the holly more, but also the beer cans and the McDonalds cartons. But, the pylons have ivy growing up them, and there’s enough lanes for me to lose myself before following the sea back again.

Running up almost the last hill, they’ve put a carved wooden owl on a post, and drilled a hole so you can look through its eye and see Berry Head about three hours running in the distance.

That’s part of the plan for next year, a run to there I think. It’s further than I can run, so I’d best start working on a me that can.

And that was what I’d spent a lot of the run doing already; not quite making race and other plans for next year, but at least thinking about the shape of them. Finding some of the pieces of next year’s jigsaw, at least one or two corners and some edges. And some bits in the middle that could go either way up, and might be sea or sky, and others that could be snow or clouds, and they can just sit in roughly the right place until I find the joining-up pieces (when I’ll probably find that those bits were sheep after all).

Slowest run of the year probably, but it was a run that I did, and they are always nicer than the ones I didn’t.

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