I was considering running both a 5K parkrun & a 10.30am 10K down in Southsea today but instead I chose to answer a couple of running related questions that have been on my mind over the last few weeks.
No. 1 … would soft flasks suit me better than my usual 500ml bottles i.e. drinking wise, space wise and ease of use wise. Secondly, there’s a limit to how much liquid you can take on a run so I was keen to find a Post Office hidden somewhere in Meonstock. The significance of a post office in the middle of the countryside is that I’m starting to plan my Race to the King training as this double marathon is June 24th 2017 so re hydrating on long runs means finding practical water sources.
I had time for about 10 miles today so I chose to park in the Forestry Commission (FC) car park at West Walk about a mile and a half outside of Wickham, just past the Roebuck Inn. Considering all the good work the FC do I was happy to pay £1.80 for 2 hours. The fog was quite dense when I set off and what with there being no one else around the setting was like something from a Dracula movie, I almost expected a black coach to come thundering along out of the woods !!
Once into my rhythm I pondered on my tasks for the day, drinking from the squidgy soft flasks and finding the right railway bridge /embankment to climb up to Meonstock. With each drink I tried a different approach, squeezing it like a toothpaste tube, biting the tube with different amounts of pressure etc. I soon realised I was over thinking this when I tripped on a tree root !! I find concentration is one of your key requirements when you run in the country and avoiding falling over is high on my list 🙂
After 2 false alarms bridge wise I realised I’d cracked it on the 3rd when I recognised the road that leads into Meonstoke village. I asked a chap who was cleaning his car where the Post Office was and in no time I was standing outside. It’s nearly a half mile diversion from the Meon valley trail but it will definitely feature in my longer runs.
The sign mentioned locally sourced produce which sounded inviting but I had a time slot to be back home so that treat will have to wait. On my return I passed through Droxford which has the original railway station still in tact as it is a private residence now. The station was a focal point for troops in World War 2 and had none other than Sir Winston Churchill and other leaders pass through it ahead of the D Day landings. This video is a favourite of mine as you get a real sense of history when running past.
The sun had burned off the fog by now and I took the photo at the beginning of this blog with the old railway line stretching out ahead of me. These solo runs are great for mental fortitude and the much longer distances that lie ahead in 2017. The soft flasks were definitely a winner too.
As I reached the Forestry Commission car park my garmin said just over 10 3/4 miles, this extra mileage was a combination of the post office hunt and bridge climbing !! I was in no rush today for my last run of 2016, I’d call it “photos” pace 🙂
If you’ve enjoyed reading where I’ve been and why I went there, as well as some local history, this is the link to the Running Awards Best Blog which is still taking votes. You do have to register but it doesn’t take long. Just scroll down to irunoffroad. Many Thanks. Roger …… Happy New Year