Monday 27 January 2014

......and days when I'd rather be home

      It's been a lean week as far as running is concerned. Leaden skies and bitterly cold gale force winds
From my window - the first snows arriving....
brought the first snows of winter sweeping across the valley. From the warmth of my study I watched the wuthering whiteness hurtling towards me, obliterating everything in its path, and decided it was time to turn up the central heating, make myself a bowl of warm soup, then go into semi-hibernation until this perishing cold front passes over and drowns itself in the North Sea.  It could be a long snooze....       

This is a path....
   My running diary contains just two entries for last week. The other five days are all zeros. Of those two runs, one was rubbish as I sloshed through waterlogged fields unable to find any purchase or momentum in the oozing quagmire. By the time I got onto Castle Hill, where there are reasonably good paths to run on, I felt too knackered and exhausted to raise enthusiasm for anything quicker. I jogged home after a miserable four miles, made a large mug of strong coffee, sat down and questioned my sanity.
      On Saturday we drove to the Dales in
Water, water, everywhere I run....
glorious sunshine with the thermometer registering 5ºC.  Good running weather, we thought. Unfortunately, by the time we'd lit the stove to warm the cottage, had a coffee and got changed, it had clouded over just as the forecast said it would, and by the time we'd jogged down to the riverbank it was spitting with rain. Undaunted we launched into our planned interval session which actually exceeded expectations. Quite by accident, of course. My 4 sets of (6 x 100m) somehow worked out at 31 x 100m - but I wasn't complaining. It doubled my mileage for the week and with a bit of quality there too.

My mind is fine, it's my body that says 'sod off'....
    Sunday teemed with rain and sleet from the word 'go'. The lane turned into a fast running torrent and little
lakes of water flooded the main road through the village. People trying to reach Hebden from Wensleydale were turned back at roads blocked with snow. A 150m journey as far as Chapel for our annual Methodist Covenant service was epic enough, sleet soaking my trouser bottoms, wind blowing my brolly inside out and water intent on leaking into my shoes. Even my Bible got wet and it seemed appropriate I should be reading from Jeremiah - the prophet of doom! But the Word failed to get watered down, our minister made sure of that, and I left Chapel refreshed in mind and spirit - though the bread and wine did little for my old body which refused to be spurred into any form of action but remained within spitting distance of the fire for the rest of the day. Come to think of it, I did twiddle my toes and stretch my legs occasionally, but that's hardly enough to cancel the zero in my diary.  Ah well, there's always next week....


  1. Your words read very poetic and flow like a smooth beverage. Are you a professional writer - Mr. Fox?

    1. Me? Professional? Not by any means Marc, and it's possible some sort of smooth beverage - preferably a large dram of Ardbeg - might even improve my literary outpourings, though it wouldn't do my running much good....

  2. Well I can almost feel the winds, rain and awful weather you experienced. I suppose I could say 'what else do you expect it is January' but January can also be gorgeous with blue skies, sunshine and a chill in the air. That glorious feeling to be outdoors and returning to that lovely warm bowl of soup .... now will it be tomato, oxtail, vegetable?

    Here's to better weather and a good run.

    Enjoyed your post - thank you.

    All the best Jan

    1. None of those soups Jan, it was mushroom. Maybe it's a little hallucinatory? Ah yes, that would explain all those funny thing I write....

  3. Beautifully writen, but all thoughs 0km days in the diary aren't going to help your climb back to the top of the rankings...

    1. Must agree with you there CD. I need someone to give me a good kick up the backside and get me out regardless of the weather. A guy used to ring me every day to go running and I cursed him at times. Then he emigrated - to South Africa, would you believe - and I became a bit lackadaisical after that. Cheers!

  4. A brilliantly written post supplemented with great photos - I particularly like the first one.
    I love the comment: 'My mind is fine, it's my body that says "Sod off"..' - pricelss!
    I'm currently doing alternate days, today is one of the days I should be 'doing' but I'm not 'doing' very well so far!

    1. Thanks JJ. With constant rain today the old body said 'Sod off' once again, and I was soft enough to listen to it. I'll catch up in the Spring.... You still doing the Challenge?