Too much, too little

It seems wrong to post about not having enough time to blog lately, but that’s been my biggest problem! Trying to cram in window construction, sorting out the bits that keep breaking on the house as well as getting the veg plot and greenhouse ready for spring, at work getting a housing estate close to handover – it’s all enough in itself.

Having said that, I have increased my running again after a lull through early February, so fitness isn’t suffering too much for all of it, even if updating on here has – even uploading the Garmin to SportTracks has suffered!

Runs have included an 8 mile day while getting the motorbike serviced, a return to my hill run, my favourite 6 mile Gill Lane loop a few times, the odd 7 mile outing and a couple of jogs to town to pick up JogBlog’s bike from the station followed of course by the return cycle. One of those in jeans and jacket, not being bothered to put on running kit for two miles (and a 7.28/mile average pace for the jog made me happy, considering the weight and restriction of movement offered by the jeans alone!).

Cycling has increased as well. Mainly short-ish outings making sure the mountainbike is ok ready for a trip to Wales (Afan Argoed for the new pump track amongst other things and CwmCarn for the downhill – uplift van all booked already! Yay!) and the following outing to Morzine in July for some really serious downhilling, chairlifts the lot (and since it’s been 5 years since my last trip there, I need plenty of practice for the inevitable jumps, drops, roots, braking bumps and physical demands of 10 minute downhills rather than the 2 minute affairs we get over here. To say nothing of the horse steak I’m already looking forward to assuming we pop over to Switzerland on one of the days).

Today has seen the South East of the country see a spectularly small amount of snow ruin us. Getting home last night, despite only around an inch of white stuff falling, was “interesting” (including sitting on a hill with the handbrake on only for a gust of wind to start the car sliding down the hill, necessitating the footbrake to lock all four wheels to stop progress on the ice. It was serious!). The radio this morning announced that the motorway and following road I needed were blocked and that Hawkinge was cut off.

Best thing for it short of a small nuclear device, I reckon.

Have I mentioned I hate Hawkinge? No? Maybe I will one day. It’s shit there. Before anyone moans about where they live, I insist they visit Hawkinge. It’s shit. Have I mentioned this…?!?

But I decided I’d try to cycle in, anyway. All went ok (apart from being in 4th gear out of 27 on the flat into the wind on two sections), drifting snow through Sellindge made things interesting and Swan Lane was almost impassable (the worst snow to cycle in – semi compacted, around three inches deep, little traction and a front wheel going all directions except straight. Makes sand seem straightforward), but only when I got to the top of the Downs at Farthing Common did I get stuck.

Photo0294A monster of a drift (around 6ft tall, my bike in the picture as I wedged it into the drift here is on hard-pack snow about two feet above the road – the hedge to the right is a typical country-lane affair, for scale!) was completely blocking access. I climbed onto it and got about 300yards until i was a) exhausted, b) cold and wet and c) worried that by using my bike as a snow-shoe as I was (the wheels stopping me sinking past waist deep into the snow), the 10 miles home from that point might become an awful long, cold walk. Knowing the same was in store on the top of Etchinghill, I turned around, phoned work to say I couldn’t make it an pedalled home (at twice the speed I went out in – nothing smaller than big ring, 6th gear despite the ice and snow…the wind suddenly became the best thing in the world!

So now I have an afternoon to make windows and enjoy the day, hopefully with an easing wind so I can go for a jog later (won’t go if I don’t enjoy it, I’m actually living through my romise from two years ago! The joy of running with no pressure of races, simply run when it feels right to do so) with a return to work tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

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