The best part of being injured is the buzz you get when you know you’re on the way back. I have a new pair of trainers after a visit to Absolute Running (thanks Nick & Lawrence) I have entered an event, On The Whistle’s (OTW) Woodland Way Challenge and this week I’ve had two great runs.
Wednesday was a steady 5 miler with Kiernan from OTW and about 15 other runners from various clubs. The run was billed as a “tester” for the loop that will form the 6 hour multi lap event. It certainly wasn’t flat but as Sir Isaac Newton says “what goes up must come down” if I had to describe the route I’d say it was like the uneven road sign.
I met 3 twitter runners on Wednesday and that’s always great to put faces to names so hello and good to meet you Jane, Richard and Paul. Ros & Kiernan, who I know, both said Paul Jeffrey was also a blogger so here’s Paul’s Blog for the night . I liked the challenging 3.8 mile loop so I’ve signed up because the choice of running as many laps as you like really fits in well with my return to fitness and takes away any pressure of entering a half or full marathon. The other piece of advice I took on board from Absolute Running was “stretch – stretch – stretch” and that’s what I’ve been doing.
Sunday soon came around and it was time to add a few more miles. Paul Coates, Ros & I were joined by Dean & Lynsey so between the five of us that was Fareham Crusaders, Gosport RR, Stubbington Green and Portsmouth Joggers all represented. The 9am start was again from QECP but this time we were venturing out along the South Downs Way.
A lovely sunny day greeted us and the it just reminded me how much I’d missed running through the countryside. The SDW route has a number of short hills as it winds its way towards Harting Down but with a combination of chatting, a cooling breeze and the trees shading the sun we hardly noticed the miles pass. The path is usually quite narrow but the scenery constantly changes what with fields of wheat, cows grazing and corn on the cob. There are no cars, no junctions and no roads to cross but you do have to concentrate on the tree roots, loose stones and not missing the weathered signs that do tend to blend into the hedge rows. The words peaceful and beautiful just don’t do justice to it. Paul and Dean ran together and looped back while the three of us ran at a steady pace.
The SDW is new to Lynsey and it’s always great to hear peoples reaction of “why haven’t I done this before”. From that point on you know they’ll be hooked 🙂
I knew I ought to turn around before the rest so at 5.5 miles I made the decision to let them carry on. All in all I ran about 7.5 miles and then combined walking and running for 3.5 which as far as my return from injury is concerned was the right thing to do. The guys carried onto Harting Down (pictured at the beginning of the blog, thanks Ros Clarke).
I’m not religious but today felt like I’d returned to my spiritual home, I think we all left feeling physically and emotionally recharged. Thanks to Ros, Lynsey, Dean and Paul for their company and Paul especially for the photos. The South Downs …. #lovethem.