Sunday, 28 August 2011

A tale of two runs

...or never judge a book by its cover (especially in running circles)

Run 1
The plan today was to run about 20 or so miles at a nice gentle pace around the Shoreham area in view of checking out the first part of the possible Night Run in October. I spoke to Michael on Saturday and it was agreed to meet at 7.00am this morning with Michael doing about 14 miles and then I would carry on by myself.

So with a little plan in my head to run the eastern section of the North Downs Way we stomped off at a very gentle pace and what with Michael recovering and I running on a back-to-back from last evening was very happy to keep it like that. The first 3 miles were fine but then we hit one of the harder climbs in the area which took us climbing 254 feet in a third of a mile and then up at a more gentle rate, lungs bursting we took a little breather and then continued on to the top  of the hill to the cross above Kemsing to get an absolutely outstanding view across the Weald's of Kent. At around 7 miles we turned around to return to the car via the same route happy with our lighthearted but tough run.

Run 2
As we turned into the carpark I saw an older gentleman (whom it transpires was 76 years old)  stretching out against a lampost and assumed that as he was wearing jeans was going for a walk. On enquiring he looked rather hurt and told me he was going for a run with his mates. So eyeing the three guys up I seemed to recollect the youngest (56 years) I thought that I could join up with them as they were doing about 10 miles and the older one was "surely" going to be slow, OH BOY how wrong could I be!
After saying my goodbye to Michael I set off with my new found friends and after introductions told me they were members of the Cambridge Harriers FELL TEAM and were training for the Ben Nevis run next week (10 miles/4400 feet) a little voice in my head screamed and I think I wet myself a little bit as these guys are legends and started talking about running a sedate 10 mile training run in about 80 minutes up and over the very hilly golf course EEEEEEEEEEEKKKK

At around 4 miles with them I said my farewells saying that I was not going on any longer using excuse such as "training plans dictate....back to backs...marathon next week...blah blah blah" and then went back, hiding out of sight under the cover of the trees to cough up a lung and watch them scuttle up the hill at speed, incredible.

As for me I turned back and ran past the local farm shop, bought a big jar of lavendar marmalade for the delectable Mrs S and a cold bottle of freshly squeezed apple juice to drink on the rest of my run at a very much reduced pace to take in a 21 miles


  1. Hee hee, no, he is one of those lovely chaps that everything is organised and as we were all chatting and getting to know each other he was going through a very well rehearsed prep, shorts, suntan lotion , socks, shoes...wee, return from wee, double knot shoes, get hat.....painful to watch but fun at the same time