More effort equalled more reward – A frosty Janathon

Opportunity for a trip out from work was zero today. A full on morning preceeded a busy afternoon and I fear that’s what will occur tomorrow with site meetings and snagging after. The extra time made me more reluctant to run the worse the weather got.

A dusting of white stuff lead to a flurry or two more as the temperature hovered around freezing this morning but some bright spells made me itch to get out before lunch despite the wind being a bit raw. The promise of warmer temperatures looked slim as the cloud closed in and steady rain started after lunch. Giving up on a jog on the lanes the seafront looked like a promising plan b.

Only to be scuppered by the steady rain become more steady; bloody steady for an hour or so, starting at 4. So steady it needed full wipers and slow speeds as I sacked off the seafront and headed home, my heart sinking with every mile I got closer to home and the thought of a doom filled couple of laps of the local estates. I’ve avoided them so far this Janathon for a reason. I hate them, even if they are easy miles.

But as the temperature on the car display rose to 4 before dropping to 2, so the rain eased until it was but a steady torrent as I carried the dustbin up the drive. So in I went, changed I got and on with two plasters I dressed. Yep, despite my avoidance of rain coats for running in normal situations, cold wet runs make me reach for it. And in turn (it being cheap and crap), so I don plasters onto my nipples to stop the carefully designed chest seam rubbing me raw within a mile. At least I know that I’ll be warm, if only through friction.

And a plan to avoid the estates had been hatched. A full loop of the town centre was planned instead. An uninspiring two miles to get there, maybe, but it’s a route that fools the mind into forgetting it’s been travelled. A few landmarks split the route until the petrol station at two miles leads to the bridge over the railway and the start of the proper run.

As long as I’ve lived here I’ve not before simply looped the town. Heavily trafficked, I passed the closed Blockbuster video shop. The closed Pizza Hut. The closed hairdresser. The closed pub. All that was thriving was Fitness First. Inside, many pairs of well muscled men appeared to be gazing lovingly at each other, one of each partnership apparently lifting a weight, while several other brightly clad human forms appeared to be walking on treadmills. Very curious and thankfully all taken in while I ambled past at my steady trot. Dressed in grey and black and puffed out I definitely wouldn’t fit in. I may have to employ JB to watch me in the conservatory while I do my weights in future, too, if that’s the fashion. Not sure how you train while laughing self-consciously about the absurdity of being watched but there must be something in it for so many others to be at it, as it were. Maybe it only works if you wear too-tight shorts and a vest designed for a small child. I’ll never know.

As I passed the bottom of town I glanced my Garmin and realised I’d be around a mile short on target distance and was feeling tired but fine for an extended outing having got this far (if the white stuff does ever arrive I don’t want to fritter my miles just because of a bit of rain and cold), so I looped up the high street to see the closed tool shop, the closed…oh, you get the idea. Ashford isn’t doing too well in the retail stakes, it seems. Wonder where everyone will go when the town closes after they build another 7,500 houses here over the next planning strategy period? The loop also brought about my first loss of concentration culminating in a wet foot as I found a loose cobble filled with water. Bah.

But it was diverting and fun enough. A lap of the railway station and the underpass to add a little loop brought me right back to the two mile to go petrol station and nothing else much bothered my straggling mind. I had to tell a cyclist to keep pedalling on the narrow path by Ram Jams the hairdresser (which has been where it is in the most unlikely spot for a hair stylist with the oddest name out there ever since I’ve been visiting the town, which started in 1988. No parking, nothing near except a car spares shop [another oddity that survives selling batteries, wiper blades and number plates; much the same window full of stuff that’s been on display again as long as I remember. Just like car spares shops used to be before they all became chains. Halfords is just around the corner. And just as shit as it’s always been. Maybe that’s the secret.]; I presume it must do a fantastic job to keep going) since he was slowing me up but then I rolled in the last bit and was home.

Warmed up at last, straight into the shower, happy another 10k has been outed (plus a bit spare) and hoping for warmth in April.

Heatwave tomorrow? 4.5mm rain today.


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