Apart from needing an ice axe to break my way into the car this morning and needing twenty minutes to clear the ice from the windows (thank god there aren’t many), the route to work was painless enough. The journey I did on Saturday was obviously enough to melt the first layer of snow which fell after I returned home, producing the icy layer. It meant I couldn’t be bothered to clear the snow off the roof or rear window, limiting myself to the lights and windows I needed. Lack of early traffic meant that the blizzard that trailed behind me didn’t bother anyone – the best bit (as I found on Saturday) is that it all settles down until the nifty little rear spoiler lifts above 54mph when the change to aerodynamics creates a fresh blizzard twice as bad as any before. The only time proof of body-shape can be demonstrated, I guess. Odd how such things make me smile.
Still, once at work things were a touch tricky. An hour spent gritting the car park and access route to site warmed me right up. Maybe I should have used the Garmin to reduce the running need later in the day. Which, despite the sun not making an appearance, saw the temperature rise to the giddy heights of 2 degrees C. Along with the bit of grit they’d laid down on the Hawkinge to Etchinghill road, I knew where my run would take me.
As I set off after lunch, I soon realised there was a clear road but that was all. No passing places and all the banks were vertical snow walls; every car I saw was going to need a climb to avoid it and let it pass.
Which doesn’t hide the fact that it was my most boring, painful run yet.
The water from the thaw made the road a cold (spray up the back of the legs) affair and it took 1.5 miles before any shock-absorbing capacity returned to my limbs. Before this it felt as though I was trying to stab the road with my bones and joints. The flood at the bottom of the hill at a mile, soaking right through to my ankles didn’t help. The worst bit was the route, though. The side routes that I usually loop out onto were ice-covered threads. I didn’t want to wear my trail shoes from the office, knowing it’d be the best part of a mile before I came to a bit needing them and I don’t want to unnecessarily wear out the aggressive tread on tarmac. So the main route it was. But it runs into a main road at way less than half distance. So today, Matthew, I ran out from site. Turned around and headed back home. Stopped before I got there. Turned back and headed back to the furthest point. Then turned again and ran for home.
The most soul destroying thing; far more demoralising than lapping a track or a field. The same road, between snow laden hedges, wary of cars needing to pass, on knackered wet, cold legs, heading for home but knowing there’s a need to go back before getting there.
I guess it could be said to be good for the soul. Not by me, though. I hope it thaws enough for a decent route tomorrow. If not, the sea-front will come into use again, I’m afraid.
10 runs to go and I can rest. Suddenly it doesn’t seem half soon enough. On the other hand, in a mere 29 miles I’ll have equalled last year’s total. Maybe I’ll shorten my target to 3 a day from here and give myself something to aim to beat next year…