31st January 2016
I sorted out my running kit on Friday evening ready for a quick early start on Saturday, a long run on the coast from Seaton a good 11 miles plus! The weather forecast said it was going to be heavy rain and high winds overnight but clearing by dawn, but! As always seems the case, someone forgot to tell the weather! So up early, out of the door by 7:00 am taking the van as a changing room when I got back. As I drove up the lane the windscreen showed signs of fine drizzle, and the van buffeted by high winds, it was not looking good. As I got nearer Axminster the rain got heavier, my enthusiasm started to wain and I did start to wonder if it was worth it, but hung in there, hoping it would be ok in Seaton, it wasn’t still pouring down. I decided to delay parking up on the front and put Diesel in at Tesco whilst it was still 97p a litre. As I filled the tank the blustery NW wind was bitterly cold, luckily by the time I had filled the tank the rain had almost stopped.
At this point I started to feel less than enthusiastic about starting from Seaton as it was very open and I would run straight into the wind [and rain] so went onto Seaton Hole which was much more sheltered. Gloves, hat, buff van locked, watch set, the rain had stopped and I was sheltered from the wind, I set off and walked up the steep hill to the cliffs that separate Seaton Hole from Beer, my enthusiasm was in question once again and I told myself I would run to Beer Head and back! At least!! Down into a deserted Beer, the Anchor inn in the centre was all lit up ready for their guests breakfast, I noted one couple in the window, having breakfast in the warm dry comfort of the Hotel, but I felt smug as they looked out and saw me running past, in just over a months time the village will be full of spectators for the Grizzly. Up the hill to Beer Head car park, and out onto the open tracks across the fields, still hard work and I told myself that I would go down to Branscombe then come back along the beach [Mind Games!!!] very muddy and slippery in places, the wind was increasing as I approached Beer head making it very cold and hard work as it was a head wind, across the top and down through Sea Side once again, taking care in the mud, my speedcross threes giving good grip. Across the car park at Branscombe, decision time, the rain had stopped and the wind dropped I was feeling a little more enthusiastic so made myself go on rather than shortcutting back along the beach, and yet another steep climb up from sea level, up the steps and along the ridge, again big muddy puddles to dodge, I was actually starting to enjoy it, [but felt tired and it was hard work today, mind games once again!! ] before descending down to the Fountain Inn, turn right or left? One route goes over a steep muddy track, the other a tarmac road down back to Branscombe, I took [made myself] the left one, having trouble with a very rickety gate to get on the bridleway, the path over the top was very muddy but finally I hit the road that leads down to the school in the village, the wind now had all but dropped, and the rain had now given way to broken skies and was very pleasant, particularly as I had now warmed up [ after 6 miles!] and feeling more optimistic, I noticed three more runners ahead as I ran down to the beach in Branscombe, their bright Hi vis tops standing out against the black and grey of the winter landscape.
I noted that they took the option to cross the river by wading across to get to the beach; I took the easy route and went up and over the field in the dry.
I soon caught them up, three young women, clearly all training for the Grizzly, and like me finding the beach hard work, I jogged past them as they, one by one resorted to walking, I carried on running after a cheery ‘morning’ and ‘this beach is hard work’ all I got in return was ‘morning’ I managed to run the whole length of the beach, I think it’s easier on the shingle as you don’t sink in quite as much. As I got to the beach exit they were strung out, two waking and one running several hundred yards behind me, fair play to them, at least they were out!
Up the stairway to heaven and back along the cliffs to drop down to Beer, a slight tailwind assisted, no sign of any dog walkers again this morning, up the last climb out of Beer, walking this time, I ran it last time, before the final descent to the van and coffee at Seaton Hole.
9.1 miles in 2 hrs 1 minute! Pace of 13.42 with 1550ft of climbing, up and down the cliffs from Sea level etc. which is slower than before, but given my lack of motivation and enthusiasm, combined with the very muddy and slippery conditions was ok, but! it was less than I had planned , I had hoped for 12 miles + today as only a month away and the furthest I have run is 11 miles, got to get up to at least 18 to make the Grizzly a ‘pleasant ‘ experience and make sure I get round!!!
Only cycling this week was the two days of Bikeability, where the weather gods shone on us and we didn’t get wet! We cycled probably around 12 miles over the two days, around Somerton the capital of Wessex, a lovely little town, the children were well behaved and all but a couple managed to get their level two, the ones that didn’t clearly needing more practice just riding a bike. My other cycling was the two Spinning classes, which were hard work and I seem to struggle to get my heart rate above 75 – 78% only reaching 80%+ occasionally. My kettlebells, I have upped my weight from 4 kg to 5 kg, I did notice a difference, I also think it’s helping with my hill climbing, as I seem to have a little more strength in my legs.
I was hoping to get out this morning but its very wet and windy out there so a quick text to Mike to say, abandoned again for this week, I have my timesheets to fill in for Bikeability!!!
I must try to get a good cycle ride in this week, I don’t want to lose cycling fitness as there are a couple of Audax events soon after the Grizzly run, I also think I have decided that the Grizzly will be my last running event until the late summer/Autumn, so forgetting the Ex to Ax this year. My aim will be to do a 200k event and ensure I also get a 100 mile event as well.
Finally, our daughter’s birthday today, a grand age of 31! Time flies, we are off out for a Carvery lunch [even though we don’t eat meat] so looking foraward to that.
96 miles run and 195 miles cycled this month with 32 miles run this week. A good start to 2016.