Now the clocks have gone back and it’s dark by half past five (and going to be dark by half four before long), we’ve had to make a few changes around here. Gone is the whole ‘finish work, head out with the dogs’ thing. Because if you work for yourself and get to set your own hours, you might as well acknowledge the changing seasons and adapt accordingly. Yup, it’s time to switch to winter mode.Continue reading
As Ozzy gets older, I’m increasing gradually the distance that she comes running with me. She’s just gone eighteen months now, and we’ve worked our way up slowly to a little over three miles. Well, I run just over three miles, but she races around so much she probably runs about eight. But that’s not the problem. The problem is something a bit less Strava-friendly. The problem, as per usual at this time of year, is mud. Continue reading
I read somewhere or other that our lives are a series of moments. Now, the physicist in me is quick to point out that this is a statement of the bleeding obvious. But my philosophical side would counter that, in any life, there are likely to be some moments that have greater salience than others. They just might not be the ones we’d expect.
Picture the scene. You’re enjoying a pleasant afternoon stroll along the coast path. You have the sun on your face and the sea breeze in your hair. The only sound you can hear is the gentle lap of waves against the shore below. All is right with the world.
Suddenly, the peace and tranquility are ripped asunder by a large bloke with a rucksack, racing along the path as if chased by the hounds of hell. In his right hand, he is clutching a yellow wellington boot.
He gasps a cheerful greeting and grins at you inanely as you step aside to let him pass. And then he is gone. Continue reading
I’d seen the chap in the green wellies way up ahead as I ran along the coast path this morning. And bit by bit, I’d gradually caught up with him.
“Morning,” he replied, stepping to one side of the path to allow me to overtake him.
He looked me up and down slowly, in the way that farming-types do.
I tried to adopt the air of someone for whom it’s perfectly normal to run around the Cornish countryside while caked completely in mud down the right hand side of my body, from my ear right down to my trainers.
“Yup,” I replied. “Lovely morning.”
He glanced again at the blood oozing out through the mud from the large graze on my knee and dribbling its way slowly down my shin.
“Bit slippery out.”
“So I noticed,” I grinned, and limped on my way.
I’m not much of a fan of running on the road. Sure, I can if I need to. And it’s much easier to run fast if you don’t need to worry about where you put your feet. But road running is, how shall I say – a little in the boring side. Each step is very much like the one before and the one after. Running off road, however, is much more my cup of tea. Because you never know what the hell is going to happen next. Continue reading
One of the best things about living (albeit only temporarily) in Cornwall is the proximity of the South West Coast Path. A recognised national trail, it stretches a whopping 630 miles from Somerset around to Dorset. And it passes only a half mile or so from ‘my’ house. For someone who likes running off road, this is great. And for someone who likes running off road on hills, it’s pretty much heaven.
We’ve had a fairly hectic weekend, as usual, but earlier this evening the weather was so perfectly calm and still that I couldn’t resist a quick run before the sun set beyond the horizon. So I put on my trainers and headed out of town towards Tickenham ridge. This is the highest point around and has a view across the whole county. And even into another country.
It is done. After four hours, thirty nine minutes and fifty seconds of bimbling through the Somerset countryside, I have now completed my very first marathon. Yes, it was the Somerset Levels and Moors Marathon on Saturday and, after six months of ever longer training runs, I found myself on the start line and ready to go. My support team (Natalie and Molly) were a little less enthusiastic, but had managed to drag themselves out of bed to cheer me off at the start and peel me off the pavement at the finish.
You might remember that I’ve rather rashly signed up to run the Somerset Levels and Moors Marathon. Well it’s now just a couple of weeks away, and I’m slowly tapering off my running so that I end up on the start line with at least some energy left. But while it’s been fun training for the race – and, hopefully, I’ll enjoy the race itself, too – I can’t help thinking that it has taken up a rather significant amount of time. Perhaps a little too much. Continue reading