Monday? Tuesday?

  • Wednesday, August 31, 2011
  • 1
On Monday I think it is Tuesday so I put out my garbage for Wednesday and go off for a club run. I arrive and realise I am 24 hours early. I decide not to wait and drive home. Because it is Monday and I've returned home I run 2.4 miles with my six year old son at 9:45 pace. We discuss fatal collisions and trail running etiquette. He wants to know why I am left handed and he is not. He remembers to land on the balls of his feet but doesn't offer to bring in the garbage.
On Tuesday I remember it is Tuesday and I get a text inviting me to run eight miles offroad as a guest with our rival/ sister club. I accept, we meet and greet and we run across the land and through darkening woods at a pace that exhilarates me. I've had the blues for the last few weeks and even running has been a chore but this night I feel it all drop off me, as a run it is as close to perfect as you can get and I feel euphoric and recharged.

Path 164

  • Monday, August 22, 2011
  • 2
It's a pretty picture in a 37 hectare park but it is misleading. To get there I run along busy roads, through housing estates and endless industrial parks. I run down fenced urban footpaths with exotic names like path 164. I dodge windblown litter and swerving kids on BMX bikes. I eventually reach the meadow but pause only for the briefest of moments, my achilles is aching and I'm not sure of the best route home. I resort to my satnav to guide me out of the maze of streets and end up crossing a busy 6 lane roundabout. Not my greatest run and I limp the last two miles. I will be back.

damp running

  • Friday, August 19, 2011
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Damp running/ High vis and waterproofs/ Five fingers/ Jerry/ Missed turning/ Floundering around in wet undergrowth/ Like Carry On movie/ re orientated/ familiar old route/ Gloomy/ Headtorch/ Roots/ Good conversation (is Jerry an axe murderer?) = good pace/ Great run/ 8 miles/ Tired/ Happy/ Shower/ Book/ Bed.

Fruit, fibre and survival

  • Sunday, August 14, 2011
  • 1
Sunday. North Downs, Kent. Another morning spent freedom running. I go out with Jerry, Liz the thunder runner and Michael the gazelle. We freewheel down grassy hillsides like children, we discuss the beauty of the French language and colonic irrigation. All around us are the classic motifs of summer, knee high crops, cows, sheep, horses and knats, above us the clouds are streaked with blue. Liz and I discuss survivalist running - there are plenty of blueberries and plums to be plucked and eaten. We could live off the land we argue. I don't partake though, to much fibre while running could spell disaster. I share out my fruit pastilles instead and Jerry delivers an impassioned and informative lecture about flood defenses before leading us up a 1:14 gradient hill, where I am forced to run/ walk/ shuffle my way to the summit. A wonderful way to start Sunday with fantastic people, the only downside is a niggling achilles that I felt the whole way, I hope this is not going to become a problem. Driving home I almost but not quite obliterate a peleton of cyclists.


  • Saturday, August 13, 2011
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I go on holiday, a weeks camping in Lincolnshire. I've been here before and I've had some good runs both on the beach and along the paths. This time days go by and I don't run. I can't work it out, I am as empty as a clear morning, the hungry black dog inside me that demands that I run is silent, I have nada motivation. Then on the penultimate day something stirs as I sit lizard like outside my tent. I recognise the voice and change into running gear and off I go. I run down to the village of Alford and then along the path to Rigsby. I run through pristine wheat fields somnolent under a windless sun before retracing my steps along the disused railway line toward Well before doglegging my way across ploughed fields and country roads, it's good to run after a hiatus and I return to camp satisfied.

Zimbabwe cricket

  • Wednesday, August 10, 2011
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A rare, non running post to celebrate Zimbabwe's triumphant return to test cricket, this image says it all.

Night run in search of ghosts (isog)

  • Wednesday, August 03, 2011
  • 0

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright 

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay, 
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
(Dylan Thomas)

We don't rage against the dying of the light but gentle into the dark in a steadfast and yeoman like manner, we run resolute, the dying light lying across our shoulders like a golden yoke and burnishing the green fields around us. We are in search of ghosts and history and nightfall. We find none of the former but hear the stories of hanged highwaymen on the gallows outside William the Bastards pub and weeping Spanish smugglers. History is
easier to find in Kent, we learnt that Knockholt is the highest village in Kent, about the Norman knight called Vital who lived in the Shoreham valley and is shown in the Bayeaux tapestry and how Shoreham was the most bombed village in WW ll. We are a good mix of runners from two clubs. I know most of them and I am one of two minimalist runners, the other being Andy. Night suddenly comes outside Eynsford taking me by surprise, we fumble for torches and continue. We stop in a friendly pub, The Crown after 10 miles to rehydrate and engage with the locals. Recommended. It's hard to get going afterward, my muscles cold and stiff as we climb upwards in the dark en route back to Knockholt. I graft it out picking up fragments of conversation and good humour from disembodied runners in the dark. It is another fantastic evening begun in the sun and ended in the pitch black of a new moon, 15 miles according to my GPS of downland running. Thanks to the Union flag clad Jerry for his usual meticulous organisation.