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December
01-12-2009, 03:21 PM, (This post was last modified: 02-12-2009, 12:58 AM by Sweder.)
#1
December
This morning a laboured attempt to start the new month as I mean to continue.

Heeding Dan's recently offered words of wisdom I considered a truncated plod around the town ... for all of 30 seconds. Then, emerging from my warm abode into the clearest, crispest of winter mornings I sucked in a lungful of clear chilled air and turned towards the hills. Days like this are meant for running off-road; I simply couldn't resist.

Blue skies, high thin cloud, a beaming winter sun doing its very best to warm the land. Shadows bejeweled with sparkling frost, hiding from the sun's long, thin fingers, winked playfully as I shuffled by. The brackish troughs of yesterday were almost dry, thirsty chalk sucking the moisture through the mud to leave a deep layer of treacherous slime at the start of my run. I tiptoed through the swamp until free at last to scamper across the firm, white-capped turf of the sheep-field. Our woolly neighbours have recently returned to graze on the meager flora. They ignored our puffing, panting possy, steadfastly chomping the fragile grass to the quick, black noses pressed against the cold, hard ground.

My thoughts turned to the recently-reported* plight of one Ingemar Westlund, a Swedish gentleman recently bereaved in bizarre circumstances. Concerned that his wife had been walking the dogs for much longer than usual he set out to search the locale, only to find her badly mauled body in nearby woodland. Despite calling the police himself Mr Westlund was promptly arrested as the prime suspect in what appeared to be a rather nasty homicide. He was released 10 days later when forensic studies revealed the purpetrator to be an elk. It appears that this usually mild-mannered, people-fearing beast had become fatally aggressive after gorging itself on partly-fermented apples. Pity poor Mr Westlund; not only has he lost his wife, he must now and forever explain the bizarre nature of his wife's untimely demise at the hands - or hooves - of an intoxicated elk.

No such dangers on the Sussex downs this morning. The greatest risk to my health came from the slippery terrain. My radar stood on full alert, scanning the ground ahead for potential ankle-breaking flint, camouflaged rabbit holes, slippery tree-roots and clumps of sodden earth thick with malicious intent. Skating safely though the last hundred yards of clawing slurry I arrived home mud-speckled, breathless but happy. I plan to reduce the distance and increase the frequency of runs in the weeks ahead in an effort to reaffirm a solid return to training. For now it's the stinging embrace of an almost-too-hot shower and a day in the office.

[Image: elk-male.jpg]

*story courtesy of the Independent
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph
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02-12-2009, 08:53 AM,
#2
RE: December
Tally ho! A tremendous start to the month! Well done sir. There was certainly something poetic about greeting the first frost on the first of December (although I was merely concerned with scraping it off my car).

I wasn't suggesting that you take to the pavements - I understand your reluctance there - but merely to come up with anything that might make the choice to get out there a little more palatable. But on today's evidence you'll be raring to go again.
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02-12-2009, 04:18 PM, (This post was last modified: 02-12-2009, 04:19 PM by Sweder.)
#3
RE: December
Understood re: pavements v off-road Dan. However I do need some hard-top work, and with paved tracks it's easier to reduce the length of run. (Hmm: that's actually illogical, but it works in my head. Somehow.)
I'm planning a nasty A27 wobble tonight. Wet, cold, miserable ... lovely!
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph
Reply
03-12-2009, 02:03 AM, (This post was last modified: 03-12-2009, 09:57 AM by Sweder.)
#4
Time
Nature colluded with the best and worst of man to create an ethereal stage for my lonely late-night plod. Backdrop painted by a persistent moon against high cloud, a picture-perfect negative canopy; soundtrack by Mr. David Gilmour with occasional support from the grizzly tarmac-and-rubber A27 symphonic orchestra. Having watched swollen grey skies dump heavy rain onto an already sodden Sussex all afternoon I’d been dreading my decision to hit the streets tonight. Yet, noisy homeward-rushing traffic aside - I endured at least one cloud of CO2-laden back-splash - this was a lovely night to be out. Warm, blustery and, perhaps most importantly, just at this moment, dry.

Normally I'd have tuned in to tonight's Carling Cup quarter finals to while away an hour's run, but as is well documented elsewhere in this parrish register there's a dreadful DAB black spot along this particular carriageway. There's no reasonable explanation for this. I half expect to encounter a headless horseman or an army of disenfranchised smugglers' ghosts along this passage, such is its' preclusive effect on all manner of radio and cellular frequencies.

I turned to my iPhone/ iPod for aural distraction, selecting the wonderful Live In Gdansk as my companion. In matters Floyd if forced to choose after the great Gilmour/ Walters rift I'd have to go with the virtuoso guitarist every time. Not perhaps the obvious choice; Walters is anarchic, an alluring, rebellious character, politically driven and by far the more demonstrably emotional artist. These laudable credentials are trumped in my view by Gilmour’s sublime technical and creative genius; there’s simply no rock musician like him. Interviewed by Alan Yentob for his excellent BBC series The Story of the Guitar Gilmour confessed to finding verbal communication far more troublesome than conjuring heavenly riffs on his 1969 Sunburst Stratocaster. He demonstrated this by wringing note-perfect, heart-meltingly beautiful sounds from the inanimate wood-metal instrument as he spoke, without so much as a glance away from the interviewer.

Blending his (and, happily, some of my) favourites from Pink Floyds' early catalogue with his more recent, gentler solo work Gilmour, playing as the title suggests live and in Gdansk, holds an enraptured sea of Poles in his thrall. Song after song fills the air, teasing senses and seducing ears of all ages. One old Floyd number, Time, has particular resonance for the runner, more so for those of us who wonder if our best years just might be behind us. It’s not a happy song; the lyrics are maudlin, fatalistic. Yet woven as they are within a rich tapestry of fabulous, intricate music they never fail to touch my heart and lift my mood, as they did once more tonight, carrying me home along that dark, lonely, rain-spattered road.

And you run, and you run to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter
Never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to nought
Or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone
The song is over
Thought I'd something more to say


I ran, mindful once more of Glaconman’s recently-shared missive on style and posture, aiming to land on my mid-to-forward foot, or at least avoid my usual bone-jarring heel strikes, all the while holding a firm, upright stance. It was a struggle to keep this up for more than a few minutes, the conscious effort draining my limited, end-of-the-day resources. I followed a trail of recently-laid tarmac, the soft, yielding surface rather like a long, wide strip of liquorice, the closest thing available (in terms of texture underfoot) to my beloved downland turf. Reflected lights – white on the westward run, red on the eastward – exposed dark puddles of rainwater lurking silently in the shadows, waiting to drench the unwary, carelessly-placed foot.

Though mostly flat this eight kilometre out-and-back trail offers a tasty 1.5 kilometre finishing climb from the dual carriageway up to H.M. Prison Lewes. When I first took up running a few years ago I would train on this route, using the powerful strains of the Rocky theme to help haul me up this steadily increasing slope. Now, several years of hill-running behind me, I scampered easily to the summit, the memory of those early struggles bringing a rueful smile to my sweat-streaked face. The grin widened when I saw my finishing time – 47:57, virtually identical to my off-road, daytime plod yesterday.

So much for shortening my mid-week runs. I’ll rest tomorrow, hit the downs again on Friday - but not too hard – and maybe show my face at Saturday’s ParkRun. I won’t push things too much just yet.

There’s still plenty of time for that.


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The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph
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03-12-2009, 07:36 AM, (This post was last modified: 03-12-2009, 12:49 PM by El Gordo.)
#5
RE: December
Great song, Time. Since first hearing that album, 36 years ago ( Shocked ), the single thing that I most look forward to when it comes past me again, is the guitar solo on that song. Just sensational. It's in my all-time top three, along with Sultans of Swing and Hendrix's All Along the Watchtower.

I understand why the A27 is so disliked as a running route. My equivalent is the A4. But I only use this when I really have to, or when I want a long straight businesslike road run. All other times for sub 5 or 6 milers I concoct a route that takes me round the smaller roads and lanes. Can you not do that in Lewes in and around the town and round the roads near where you live? But good to see you doing a bit of road -- it will do you good to mix it up a bit.
El Gordo

Great things are done when men and mountains meet.
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03-12-2009, 10:24 AM, (This post was last modified: 03-12-2009, 11:08 AM by Sweder.)
#6
RE: December
I think you nailed it EG: 'businesslike' is exactly what I wanted, and for me this route is just that, a no-nonsense grind of a run where running's the thing and nought else. Yes, I can cover the same distance through the leafy lanes and cobbled avenues of Lewes, twisting & turning under historical eaves and up through the castle lanes, but there are many roads to cross and a lot of tired, careless drivers to watch out for; there's no chance of a heads down, no nonsense mindless boogie and that's what I needed last night.

Funny though; I was unsure of my route until I reached the prison; turn left into town or right to take my medicine. There was a hint of self-flagellation in my choice, just as there was last time I chose to turn right; a gentle rebuke for recent corporeal indiscretions perhaps.

If you've not got hold of Live in Gdansk yet I heartily recommend adding it to your seasonal wish-list. It's stuffed with haunting, lilting guitar, and somehow the live element adds to rather than detracts from the soothing effect. Maximum volume, a large glass of something special and low lighting are de rigeur.

Changing subject for a moment the gild seems to be finally off the Wenger lilly. Once again his young charges came up short, understandably so perhaps against a literal wealth of Abu Dhabi-bought talent. Yet the Arsenal manager appeared somehow terribly wronged. Was he upset that City had - shock-horror - taken the competition seriously by fielding first-team regulars? Surely it can't have been Sparky's light-footed skip through the visitors' technical area to show off his silky ball skills? Wenger refused to shake hands with Hughes, claiming in the post-match that he can shake hands or not with 'whom I choose'. Well, no, that's not so Arsene; you have a responsibility to show respect and at least the pretence of sporting behaviour even when the bitter pill of defeat is lodged in your craw. I've been a secret admirer of Wenger and his youthful experiements for some time but last night he descended into the self-deluded ranks of Lord Purple and Ranting Rafa with his grizzly display of public petulance.

Even those two old wasp-chewers manage a cursory glove-touch after their feisty, bile-fuelled encounters.
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph
Reply
03-12-2009, 01:54 PM,
#7
RE: December
Wenger was chewing sour grapes last night, very unsporting behaviour. I can't wait for the Devil Boys to beat the Middle Eastlands crew in the semis
Failed to start Wilmslow half March 2015, VLM April 2015 despite a following wind
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03-12-2009, 02:03 PM, (This post was last modified: 03-12-2009, 02:18 PM by Sweder.)
#8
RE: December
(03-12-2009, 01:54 PM)stillwaddler Wrote: Wenger was chewing sour grapes last night, very unsporting behaviour. I can't wait for the Devil Boys to beat the Middle Eastlands crew in the semis

I've seen plenty of that bitter vintage come out of OT over the years.
Whatever the outcome between the Rowdies & the Arabian Knights I suspect there'll be a very public, if perhaps not exactly sincere, observance of the post-match sporting ritual. Unless Lord Ferg's been banned again of course Big Grin
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph
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04-12-2009, 10:18 AM,
#9
TGIF
Popped out for a swift 5k on sun-drenched, wind-blasted Sussex downs. Icy chill on the harsh breeze offset by brave, bold sunshine. Dogs happy scampering after shadows, many walkers taking advantage of the beautiful morning. Sheep placid, blood-red bullocks in top field somewhat less so.

First of three potential back-to-back running days so pleased to have taken it relatively easy. 5.7 klicks in 25 mins.
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph
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04-12-2009, 11:43 AM,
#10
RE: December
Good man!

BTW, have you tried vaseline?

Oh, bullocks, sorry...
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04-12-2009, 11:51 AM,
#11
RE: December
An interesting feature of the new forum software is the "Possibly related threads" list at the bottom. Because Sweder uses sensible thread titles, we have several of his past Decembers easily to hand. So in December 2004 we get:

"Nice gentle 4-miler to kick off with, starting from Lewes Prison (somehow apt), a nice 3/4 mile downhill to the A27 and a flat(ish) lope out to the Texaco garage between Lewes and Falmer. Not the prettiest route, but one I had measured before."

Funny how these things go in cycles...
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04-12-2009, 12:01 PM,
#12
RE: December
You mean the bugger's bin posting here for 5 years?

Seems longer Rolleyes


Lol
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04-12-2009, 01:05 PM, (This post was last modified: 04-12-2009, 01:08 PM by Sweder.)
#13
A27
That roadside route is my running equivalent of the naughty step.
Whenever I feel particularly guilty about a recent lack of effort I force myself to endure the traffic. It's a useful tool and usually results in sock adjustment.
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph
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05-12-2009, 11:10 AM, (This post was last modified: 05-12-2009, 01:30 PM by Sweder.)
#14
ParkRun 5K
Time for my irregular check-up with the ParkRun doctor.
Happily fate delivered a dry, warm (if rather blustery) Saturday morning. Had it been lashing down I suspect I might have bailed, but with all geological excuses removed I trudged wearily to the car for the 15 minute drive to Hove park.

Another excellent turn-out, well over a hundred lycra-clad Brightonians chatting and shivering before the off. I took it easy at the start, working my way into the run to see how my limbs were bearing up after a week of running. Not too badly as it turned out. By the last lap I'd relaxed enough to run freely, catching up with a very young ParkRunner who seemed to be fleeing a terrible demon. The tousel-haired fellow spent half the time glancing worriedly behind him. Perhaps it was the dreadful rasping sound growing louder in his young ears, or maybe the violent vibrations from my heavy closing tread. But no; even as I pulled alongside he continued to twist his neck, eyes wide, searching for the un-named terror racing up behind him.

My guilt at passing him in the last furlong was somewhat assuaged when I saw him cross the line gleefully several yards in front of another youngster, this one eyes out on stalks, bright red face shining from under a sweaty blonde Boris Johnson mop.

24:20 for me, a good half-minute slower than my last pre-tour effort. Not bad all things considered. I now have a choice tomorrow; up early for the 9 am Marina run or a later start (11:00) for the 2009 Mince Pie 10. I'll let the fates, rather than the alarm, decide.


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The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph
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07-12-2009, 01:02 AM, (This post was last modified: 07-12-2009, 04:48 PM by Sweder.)
#15
Mince Pie 10, Peacehaven
The portents were anything but good. Wild winds raged across Sussex in the early Sunday hours, flinging rain with such ferocity as to rattle our new double-glazing. The trees beyond our garden jibbered and twitched, gangly dancers gyrating to a madman's beat. I grabbed the pillow and turned over. Decision one made; I’ll give the 9am Marina group a miss. That leaves the Mince Pie 10 – kick off 11:00 – along the coast at Peacehaven. I was pretty sure I could enter on the day, but if for some reason the race was full I could just as easily burrow back under my wonderfully warm duvet.

Having fully risen to bid the girls farewell (Portsmouth: Street Comp) I broke fast with a bowl of Dorset muesli loaded with blueberries and freshly-diced banana doused in maple syrup and drowned in milk. Delicious, and for me an appropriate precursor for a tough off-roader. The drive to the Meridian Leisure Centre at Peacehaven, temporary HQ for the Mince Pie 10 c/o Seaford Striders, suggested we might be in for a proper drubbing. Filthy black clouds raced in off the ocean, driven by violent winds to unleash their cruel, cold cargo on the saturated fields below. By the time I’d parked, found registration, coughed up my tenner, pinned on my number, said ‘hello’ to Jeannette and Cam in the changing/ bag-drop area, tagged and dropped my bag and exchanged pleasantries with marshal-for-the-day Tom Roper the stage crew had re-set the scenery. Gone were the dark clouds and with them any suggestion of rain. The sky shimmered, pure, brilliant blue, the lone exception a bold, proud sun blazing away to cast shadows willy-nilly as if it were the height of summer. The temperature had risen a notch – from bloody cold to damned chilly – and a stiff, viscious breeze still dashed amongst the gathered runners; yet clearly we were in for an altogether kinder morning than I'd feared.

Just before eleven the starter announced a few changes to the course (involving a detour around some new water treatment earthworks) and revealed – to the amusement of the Seaford Striders amongst us who obviously knew the locale – that there were ‘several sections that might appear, ah, under water.’ Care was to be taken as no-one could be sure how deep some of these temporary pools might be. Other sections ‘might be slippery’, and the built-up areas on the course are 'not closed to public traffic so watch out for cars, dogs and horses.’ I captured some of this, plus the count-down and race start, in an AudioBoo. I’ll try and insert a link to it here.

Listen!

My game-plan was simple. Treat the ‘race’ as a training run, take pictures and ‘tweet’ (post updates on Twitter) along the way. It occurred to me later that with my Running Commentary shirt on I was living up to the billing, literally offering a running commentary broadcast ‘live’ via Twitter. What fun. With this strategy of mass destraction in mind I set off at a leisurely pace through the drab backstreets of the town, a series of somewhat leaf-less avenues populated by weather-beaten bungalows and the occasional grubby local store. Despite the race distance being more than I’d managed in quite a while – since Bewl at least – I felt entirely comfortable about it all. The act of recording the race in some way relegated my standing (in my own mind) from ‘competitor’ to ‘observer’. This lifted any perceived weight of expectation, leaving me free to, well, run, observe and enjoy.

After a couple of miles and a few minor hills we joined the downs proper, trading the sure-footing of cracked pavements and old tarmac for uneven shingled tracks peppered with pot-holes which, as advertised, retained a generous amount of brackish water. The potholes joined forces to form miniature lakes here and there, stretching across the navigable width of the trail. Each runner must choose a course, either dancing dangerously around the precarious perimeter thus risking an ungainly slide into the filth or, as in the case of two of my immediate companions, plunge head-long into the pools like rustlers on the run, regardless of depth or temperature. I adopted the former strategy, mincing horribly around the mud-slicked edges, cursing the desertion of my usual gung-ho approach. Once I was past the man-traps I settled into an easy rhythm, meeting climbs with short, bouncing strides, opening my gait to take advantage of the occasional downhill stretch.

A most unfortunate development, thanks to a cold inherited from my son, was the constant need to evacuate my nostrils. I’m sorry if this upsets some people; I can assure you it’s no bed of roses when you’re slogging over miles of lung-strangling, strength-sapping hills. Every breath is sacred, every cubic centimetre of desperately drawn-in air vital to survival. Blocked passages are not required on voyage. Such was the volume of the viscous ejectum, and so efficient did I become in evicting it without breaking stride, that I came to resemble a maniacal bipedal crop sprayer. I can only apologise to any runners I may have offended/ inadvertently decorated, and to those hedgerow-dwellers consigned to an evening of frantic fur-cleaning.

Miles 4 and 5 took us over familiar terrain. Running east to west from Peacehaven we approached good old Telscombe Tye, albeit from an unfamiliar angle. It’s hard to convey how this – arriving at a well-trod, familiar path – helps; it just does. The ubiquitous rutted trails and anonymous mud-pools are suddenly old acquaintances, somehow less of a threat because they inhabit this section of our regular Sunday run. The hammered footprints I came to slip and slide into were probably laid by Stevio and Co not two hours before this very morning. We traversed the ridge atop the Tye, turning sharp left to drop down the long slope into Saltdean. This was another ‘path’ slathered in sloppy mud, slithering down the hillside like a part-set river of darkest chocolate. Grip was no longer a question of choice; one simply had to trust to luck, put your best foot forward and lean. Those of us of a larger disposition spent a good deal of time flapping our arms in an ugly attempt to retain a semblance of balance. The rest of us offered up a silent prayer, got our heads down and ran on.

At the foot of the slope a series of mud-splattered concrete switch-backs led through several iron farm gates and onto a deeply pitted concrete road. Here, just past the telegraph pole-mounted ‘5 Mile’ sign huddled our one and only water stop, sheltered from the strongest gusts by the srrounding hills and outbuildings. A collection of volunteers, children mostly, gleefully proffered plastic cups. I took one, gratefully gulping down the cool water in indecent haste. For one desperate moment I thought I’d directed the fluid down the wrong pipe; happily some horse-trading around the oesophagus got things back on track and I avoided an unsightly and potentially traumatising collapse in front of the children and an extremely bored-looking St Johns Ambulance crew.

Just past the tail-end of this cluster of excited youngsters stood a lad of around 8 years of age. His straw-blonde hair covered his eyes as he shyly thrust forward a plastic bucket.
‘Jelly babies?’ he asked. They were, the good ones too, dusted in a light coating of – what? Flour? No … icing sugar? Who knows? I slowed, juggling my iPhone whilst removing a glove, and reached out for them. Carefully.
‘Hmm, a red one ... and a black one I think; they’re the best.’
The boy made immediate, purposeful eye contact, his bottom lip betraying a hint of a quiver.
Oh tough luck, I thought. If you liked the red and/ or black ones that much you should have taken them out first. Get over it; a lot worse awaits you, unwary youth!
I held his gaze even as I crammed the delicious sweets into my mouth before plunging on, no doubt leaving him cursing his lack of foresight.

I detected an extra spring in my step as we reached the pavement proper. I may have shaved a layer of innocence of that boy’s childhood but I doubt it’ll come up on Judgement day. I’m fairly certain the prosecution has enough on me already to rock up to court in full golfing regalia confidently sporting a tee-time for the early afternoon. They won’t need to rely on evidence of this small, merciless act to seal the deal.

The rest of the race bobbled by. All the while I jogged along, relaxed, embracing the hills – there were a couple of corkers just after Jelly Baby Gulch, real calf-stingers climbing up through the Saltdean residences to leave a number of runners fighting for breath. Back onto the downs at mile 7, running back towards the farm at the top of the Tye. Fields of hard white stubble, shorn a few short weeks ago to leave row upon row of stark memorials, a natural miniature of the cemeteries at Omaha Beach, stretching off to our right. We rejoined the regular JSJ Sunday path, pounding our earlier footmarks into those of the early morning group, refining the sludge, before cresting the ridge to turn right on the long easy drop to the finish. I paused here to snap an all-too familiar scene, one I’ve posted here many times, usually featuring Moyleman or Stevio or Paul the Goat. The rolling waves of grassland leading off to Rodmell and Kingston Village; beyond them the unseen serpent of the river Ouse, and further still the chalk-white escarpment of the Lewes cliff. I’ll never tire of that sight. I can’t envisage a time when it comes into view and fails to take my breath away.

With a mile to go, now back on the tarmac’d road and running easily down a series of winding suburban descents, I could taste the finish. Despite the usual close-to-the-end feeling, when some perverted corner of my mind screams 'Give it up! You're knackered! Just take a wee walk-break ... I plodded on, hailing Marshal Tom once more as I passed his lonely road-side station.
‘I’ve posted a few things on Twitter’ I rasped.
‘Seen a few; catch up with the others later.’
A few hundred yards from the Leisure Centre, along the series of tall wire fences demarking the water treatment works, an official cameraman crouched to snap returning runners on their last-gasp dash for a line as yet cruelly hidden behind a number of last-minute twists and turns.
‘Hey Sweder, enjoying the AudioBoos’ he grinned. I do hope his lens captured my gormless look of slack-jawed incredulity. Apart from the iPhone, black against my black glove in the hand furthest from him, how the devil could he know I was Sweder? Nothing on my vest; I’d registered under Running Commentary; perhaps it’s someone I know … oh well. No matter. Time to get this thing done …

And so I finished, hunting down and passing a ‘lady of similar age’ around the last few turns, smiling apologetically at what seemed at the time like a pointlessly competitive act given my approach to the rest of the race. What can I say? It’s a hard habit to break, grabbing an extra place or two, no matter how far down the line you finish. A van crammed with speakers – the starter’s PA as it turned out – broadcast the strains of the ‘London Marathon music’. Ron Goodwin’s theme from The Trap. Originally scored for an Oliver Reed movie – the hard-drinking thespian played a rugged Canadian woodsman canoeing along a vast stretch of river – this stirring tune tugs at the heart-strings of anyone fortunate enough to have had a relationship with that great race.

Listen!

1:35:51, decent enough all things considered. This was my third run in as many days, a solid return to regular running. I just need to keep this up through Christmas and I might be ready for Almeria at the end of January. Might.

Later, dogs walked, garden swept and winter detritus secured, I hit the shower. I do love a seriously hot shower, especially after a long, cold, muddy run. My Mizunos were unrecognisable, sporting several layers of dry or drying filth. My socks were soaked – so much for tarting about to avoid a dunking in the early miles. As it turned out my shower timing left a lot to be desired. In our house everything kicks in around 4pm – central heating, hot water, all that stuff. Right in the middle of a most tawdry affair with a delicious cloud of steam my hot water ran out. I was to say the least most unhappy. Lacking a human ear in the house I proceeded to explain to a very worried-looking cocker spaniel how it was jolly unfair that I, the bread-winner, am the only sap in the house not to regularly enjoy the full benefits of our modern abode. Faced with a red-faced, naked-save-for-a-towel, steadily-dripping Sweder Willow turned tail and hid under a chair. A fair response I suppose.

Finally, scrubbed clean, powdered, dried and smelling like a gigolo’s fresh jockstrap, I wrapped myself in my dressing gown and headed for the sofa armed with a bottle of Old Speckled Hen, ready to enjoy the dubious delights of Everton v Spurs on the box.

Gallery L to R:
Cam & Jen; Swedercam - first few furlongs; Holy roads; Damp under foot; Muddy hell; onto the downs; Pot holes ahoy; Stubble; Medallion man; Pies!


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The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph
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07-12-2009, 07:58 AM,
#16
RE: December
Classic report Sweder, nice work. And it seems you're not in as bad shape as you fear: knocking out 10 treacherous miles at a comfortable 9:30 pace is good going. Anyway, I thought you were going to be the 2 hour pacer for everyone at Almeria? Should be straightforward (for you...) on this form.
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07-12-2009, 10:11 AM, (This post was last modified: 07-12-2009, 11:02 AM by Sweder.)
#17
Mice Pie postscript
I singularly failed to pay tribute to the good people of Seaford Striders for their selfless sacrifice in supporting and marshalling the event. It must have been tough on what turned out to be a peach of day for hillside running to have to stand and watch us literally fill our boots.

Amateur running would be nought without the trusty volunteers who step out in all weathers to ensure our safety and to guide us through some of the less obvious directional changes in the more remote areas. It falls upon each of us, in the spirit of reciprocity, to don the gaudy plastic bib at least once in our running life.

Thank you Tom, and all your fellow Striders, for there were many, and a welcome and cheery sight they were too.
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph
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07-12-2009, 10:31 AM,
#18
RE: Mice Pie postscript
You're very welcome, they also serve who only stand and wait.
Marshalling is not without its own pleasures, though I hope next time the chief marshal will heed my request for the most scenic spot, the one at more or less the highest point of the course, with views in every direction.
Instead I got to see a Land Rovers' graveyard and a bungalow's backside.
Is there a durable URL I can quote for your Tweetphotos and Audioboos, something that would bring together all of them taken or recorded on the race?
χαιρέτε νικὠμεν
Next race(s): 
Seaford Half Marathon, 14 May
The Adder 10 mile, Friston Forest, 29 May
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07-12-2009, 10:33 AM, (This post was last modified: 07-12-2009, 10:35 AM by tomroper.)
#19
RE: Mice Pie postscript
PS Mice Pie? I know they were only Mr Kipling's, but still...
χαιρέτε νικὠμεν
Next race(s): 
Seaford Half Marathon, 14 May
The Adder 10 mile, Friston Forest, 29 May
Reply
07-12-2009, 11:05 AM, (This post was last modified: 07-12-2009, 11:06 AM by Sweder.)
#20
RE: Mice Pie postscript
(07-12-2009, 10:33 AM)tomroper Wrote: PS Mice Pie? I know they were only Mr Kipling's, but still...

Apologies - must've been distracted by those Jungle drums.
Rat's the way it goes sometimes in this cyclone of foam-mouthed media.
The pies, for the record, were both delicious and devoid of rodent.
So far as I could tell ...

On the URLs I suspect quoting Twitter hashtag MincePie10 will reveal most; however I plan to update my report with audio and visual appendages in the next hour or so. I f I can overcome these monstrous technological hurdles this might be that place.
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph
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