Thursday, 27 December 2012

Night Run - Unhappy sheep in an unhappy field

There are Night Runs and there are Night Runs, tonight this was one of those.

My good ultrarunning buddy Rob had placed an Event on Facebook advertising a run from Knockholt Pound, Kent but has decided to call it NRG....Night Running Group (see what he has done there?eNeRGy!). Sadly I have been off the running since 19th December with a horrible chest infection, cough and high temperature, it was touch and go if I could go but left the decision to the very last moment to say YES.

The Delightful Mrs S was none too pleased when she saw me getting my kit together and sneaking some cough medicine packing a pair of gloves, then went into a frenzy when she saw me donning my VFFs.

Arriving at the RV point I met, Andy from my club with Rob and his two club mates George and Phillip all bedecked in full night kit and obviously experienced enough to get on with the run. The first 1km was an uphill road which joined the North Downs Ways which we were soon to join to find ourselves squealing and howling through ankle deep mud which was wet, cold and clingy. So now officially anointed we  ran over the top of the scarp and with almost comic timing we all started to tumble and totter as the wet mud tried to take us to the floor, none of us fell victim but it was a close thing my Monkey Feet were not up to this level of abuse. Then entering a new field we were met by hundreds of yellow eyes, all twinkling in the beams of our torches that soon dispersed....unhappy sheep in an unhappy field.

Reaching the road and the first bit of flat, Rob, who was run leader took off just a little too quickly for my tired lungs but I kept up realising that if this pace was to continue I would have to turn back and go at my own pace (this was my passing promise to Mrs S before I left) and so after another mile of seeing the guys another 100 yards ahead of me I chose my battle wisely and requested that they continue on without me and I would return from whence I came.

On the promise that I would text to say when I was safely back at the car I bimbled off, an amazing sense of relief came over me as I felt the pressure to perform removed.

I was in my element now, the place where I feel most comfortable in this sport as I trudged off at a gentle pace sucking in the air and savouring the path...later I was to wax lyrical on Facebook:

Pitch black darkness, wet, windy, cold, mud half way up my shins, stranded by myself on the North Downs Way with just my Monkey Feet to keep me company and 4 miles left to the perfect evening out has just finished.

So returning past the unhappy sheep in their unhappy field I ran to the car alone, slipping, clambering and smiling to myself to savour the end of my training drout.

1 comment:

  1. You were a legend for even getting out of the house with all that Man Flu. The "witches" pub lived up to its reputation and the only thing that would have helped our crusade would have been 4 pairs of Hunter wellies! Next time!