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Tired at last

An early start upset me, a good day cheered me, a decent ride on the motorbike encouraged me and I decided I’d run until 6 whenever I set off.
Which turned out to be 5.20, so 5 off-road miles ensued which were less fizz and more slog.
Sadly pretty, the views aren’t to last-the last date for planning appeal against the 5750 (yes, best part of six thousand! Plus schools and shops) houses planned for the fields was yesterday. But the infrastructure has been in for 20 odd years so it’s a bit of a sham, really.
Guess I’ll soon have to head SouthEast instead of West on my runs to avoid the blight.

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Saving crops and fixing fences

I had aimed for a simple 4 miles this evening, so set off for a jog alongside the Tillingham river.
Went out across the field of cows which were all in the far corner and thus distant from becoming too overbearing.
Which made the first bit a touch longer than the through the direct field route. Some omen there.
The next three fields were good, then came a surprise.
Sheep. Not surprising in themselves-the last field I jog is always full of them.
Only I wasn’t in the last field. I was still waist deep in wheat. Surrounded by sheep. Which were slightly more nervous about the situation than me. Like a class full of kids caught scribbling on the blackboard.
So as they started bounding about, I shooed then toward their right field. And tried to find how many were out. And see what damage they’d done.
Somehow they knew how and where to return quickly and filed through as fast as I could shepherd them.
Only to have to find a way to repair the fence. Hoping I’d got them all, of course.
Well three bits of rope later and another half mile jogged out and back and I confirmed they were all safely home.
Only to run back to the cows and find they’d crowded the gate again and that I had another half mile detour to get home.
So a brief 4 miles became more, harder, slower but overall a lot more fun.
Same again tomorrow?

Still tired

I had ideas of a jog but couldn’t really be arsed if I’m honest.
So I pedaled to Tesco, bought some rolls, came home and threw the weights about a bit.
I hope I rediscover enthusiasm soon. Aside from that I’m feeling good. Strong, healthy and fit. Just a little jaded.
139, 95, 49

Almost missed it!

The usual Friday panic prohibited even a small run-ette from site yesterday and rushing around to get out on time to meet the boys (including Steve for a ride) made things worse.

The ride itself was horrible. Mud sums it up.
To be expected this time of year but it was relentless and vile. My home-made bodge mudguards were superb (even if a little impromptu lie-down following a slide on an exposed pipe did fracture the seat mounted one) and my face at least stayed clean. I put one on Steve’s bike but he had put a balloon tyre on the front (he’s had zero grip for about a month of rides now and, instead of putting mud tyres on he opted to leave the back as-was and put a balloon tyre between his forks) and it clogged and stopped him about a mile into the first mud. To be fair to the guard, I’ve a bike which boast enormous mud clearance and my swingarm clogged solid on the same bit. Still cut the guard off though. And smiled everytime I saw his muddy face. The mud was followed by mud, then mud, then mud. Then Steve also got a puncture.
It’s a shame really because the riding weather was perfect. Cool, dry and clear.
Just muddy.
I’ll be awaiting drier times before the next outing. Or a seriously altered route. On tarmac. Or skatepark.
The biggest pain was that the ride took hours. And since I’m quickly typing this out from work before my air-test, getting home at 8.30 and then eating then emptying the car of bike and bits meant I was never going to run.
Still – I’m off the mark for target cycle outings for the year.
141, 97, 49.

Food

While the good thing about exercising too much is that the type of hunger usually makes me inclined towards healthy food, it also allows guilt free junk consumption.
This evening, food had run out. So as I ran out I went shopping.
image

This is what I returned with. Apart from the pizza it all fitted in the rucksack. The last half mile from the shop was slower than the previous 3.5 with an empty bag.
But once home I confirm it tasted superb.
Shame it’ll do my recovery slightly less than no good at all.
142, 98, 50. And 3.5mm more rain.

Summer running

In a long sleeved top.

Well, that’ll most likely be tonight. Once again, Hawkinge is bathed in gloom – clouds, Northerly winds (not a breeze; a proper wind requiring jumpers and everything) and temperatures not rising higher than mid-teens.

Rubbish.

I can’t moan, though. On Monday I decided I’d not run since it was a bit warm, being 22 when I got in the car after work. Lovely. Tuesday sorted that, though, so I did run while it was around 18. And I took a camera. And my turnaround spot looked like this:

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Almost worth running towards and not just because it means you’ve escaped the gravitational pull of Hawkinge when you can see it (it’s the view from the top of Etchinghill with Dungeness Nuclear Power Station in the background). The lanes all the way there are single car width and I take the less direct route of the three available to ensure they’re as little trafficked as possible. The view mid-way back home is almost as nice:

CIMG2066

Were it not so hazy, that would be the coast of France in the distance. The only bad bit of this image is knowing it’s little more than a mile from The Shittest Place On The Planet. But at least it isn’t quite there.

So the run was pleasant enough, it kept my legs moving and was better than nothing. Tonight I plan some intervals over my 6 mile undulating route. Hopefully there’ll be a few interruptions in sheep, cows and horses to poke as I pass their fields, otherwise it’ll be a nice jog out followed by a reluctant return to the car before I escape the nasty town for another evening.

I need a holiday.

Quietly progressing

Life has been busy of late, even to the point of prioritising proper life (doing stuff, enjoying spare time and that), over Juneathon and the last week.

But exercise has been continuing.

I’ve missed out two weekends of long runs, though. One because of time, the other a combined problem of that and – at last – warm weather. I don’t perform well when the temperature exceeds 21C and yesterday was well above that, so a trip to the seaside combined with stripping the suspension on the mountainbike filled the day without a jog.

Still did weights in the evening, though, as a warm-down routine ready for the week ahead at work.

Runs have been good in the week, though. After work mileage has gradually increased so that, while I’m still only out twice the distance is ok. Monday saw 5.8 very hilly miles in a scenic route around the hills. Tuesday was weights in the conservatory. Wednesday was a mountainbike ride on the jumps and berms around Seabrook in preparation for the trip to Morzine in two weeks, Thursday was an interval session of 6.25 miles around Paddlesworth; it’s hilly and scenic and the splits were slow, what with uphill gradients in all the intervals at some points (the worst was 0.4 miles up a vile hill towards Etchinghill, averaging 7.15/mile – more average flat pace than interval!) but my breathing was pushed, so hopefully they’re keeping me fit. Friday was 15 mile mountainbike ride night, again on some superb hills – the climbing was rotten but the descents more than made up for them.

So the summer is here, I’m enjoying the weather and keeping fit without feeling a slave to running. It feels good for a change.

And this time last year was a few very easy runs following my broken ribs, so all in all I’m in a much better state than then. If I do enter any races as the year wears on, hopefully I won’t disgrace myself completely.

Roll on France…hopefully nothing will break but occasional online videos of the terrain and speed keep reminding me I’ll need to be on decent form while out there.

I’ve a little plan for a jog while in the Alps, too…