13th February 2017
Sunday [5th February] dawned frosty and after the overnight rain left the roads in an icy state, so a text from Mike put off our cycle ride till after lunch.
The lanes over the levels hatch Beauchamp direction gave us a 32 mile ride, roads were again wet and dirty after the ice had melted, this along with hedge cutting once again left us open to the ‘puncture fairy’, but we were lucky this time with no visits from her!!! We stopped at Westport to look at the remains of the old Langport to Westport canal, the bridges still constructed out of dressed stone etc, the canal although overgrown, still carrying water. The wharf warehouse buildings converted to holiday homes. The canal was built in 1840 and served the area bringing coal in and taking vegetables/produce out until 1874 when the railways started to eat into the trade. Ironically, the old canal uses the River Parratt for some navigation, which a couple of years ago caused much of the big flooding across the levels and all the pictures on the TV, I think perhaps the people who built the canal, had a better idea how to control water flow etc. and use it to an advantage.
Overnight again the temperatures plummeted to give a very heavy frost. I had planned to do my 12 mile run down at Seaton, I jumped in the campervan, to find the battery flat!!!! So reverted to the car. Roads from Axminster usually running with water were a skid pan, I negotiated carefully, there was a lovely temperature inversion in the Axe valley with a beautifully blue sky sunny day above it. Parking on the front at Seaton was difficult as the debri was still there from the storms. I kitted up and was away running by 7:45, dog walkers for company on the front.
As I climbed over Beer Head, the frost had melted making It quite slippery in places as was the Great Seaside descent to Branscombe. Branscombe was still in the icy grip with an icy path, very cold down here!!! Up past the school, the temperature rose again, I was enjoying the run, with only my heavy breathing for company.
I was soon running the ridge above Branscombe and dropping down to the shingle beach once again, as hard as ever, managing to run most of it, using the walk to have a snack.
Up the STH and back over Beer, the clouds had now started to build up, rain was forecast, would I get back before the first drops.
As I climbed out of Seaton Hole the legs etc were now feeling it, and by the time I ran along the road back into Seaton, I was very tired!!! Will it ever get any easier!!! The good news I don’t seem to be suffering any injuries this year, so fingers crossed, maybe I overdid it last year??
Another 12 miles in the bag and I was pleased to get a text from my partner for Grizzly saying she had run 11miles on her way home from school!!!!! In the pouring rain! And wind ! And it started raining just as I got home.
Wednesday Wobble was eight of us over the levels to Langport, via Long Sutton, a beautifully sunny but cold morning, but no ice, a ‘Langport bun’ and pot of tea in the ‘Bows Wharf’ café put the energy back for the twenty mile home ride. A lovely morning out in good company 38 miles covered, no punctures once again.
Thursday 9th February – the weather was dull, cold and dreary! But not doing my school volunteer bit today gave me an opportunity to get some more running miles in, having not been running since Monday. A 12 mile road run taking the lanes over Crock Street, and returning along the cycle track, round the local reservoir and back up through town. A reasonable pace [for me] taking a few jelly babies and Dextrasol tablets along with an ISO star drink.
Friday, trying to build up miles I had read somewhere the benefits of doing back to back runs, the theory that you are running on tired legs the next day, I am not sure it works for me feeling quite tired from the previous run. So another 8.27 miles round the lanes, starting with the steep off road bridleway, another very cold, dull day, just above freezing.
Saturday was a rest day, Mrs B was feeling under the weather, it was snowing, only very light, but a light covering none the less, and bitterly cold again. So a rest day!
Sunday was another very cold day, not my sort of day for cycling so I cancelled the usual Sunday morning ride, there were also signs of frost around, again not the best cycling weather. But as an alternative I drove up to Neroche and did my 6.5 miles off road run, I started well wrapped up and never really warmed up and got hot! Even though it was early Sunday morning there were a few dog walkers about, it was relatively dry under foot. I was quite slow! My time being greater than my last few runs up there. There was even a sprinkling of snow left in the woods.
Monday [13th February] is long run day, it was really good as the weather had changed to be a sunny warmer day, even though there was a chilly East wind.
Seaton again this week, I had thought about the Quantocks but decided that exposed ridge would be too cold. The usual route, saw a few other runners out, possibly Grizzly training! As I descended above Branscombe into the cold East wind I made the decision to run back along the undercliff, rather than the beach as it would be more sheltered. I found it hard today, and didn’t feel great, and although I seemed to walk a lot my time for the twelve miles my time was better than before. 12.25 miles covered as I parked at the far end of the Esplanade to give a few more metres in each direction. As I got back to the van and had my coffee and flapjack, I was surprised to see how busy the town was, a few years ago the place would have been deserted.