The Brighton Half is now three weeks away. This week’s excursions consisted of:
- A Seaford Striders run on Wednesday; I took my group for a five mile run round the second half of the winter route. Once again, they outpaced me.
- A Peacehaven parkrun on Saturday. It was a pacer day, and, since my PB at Peacehaven is 29:24, I latched on to the 28 minute pacer. My plan was, not to keep up with him, but to keep him in sight. This, I thought, would get me across the line in the desired time. It was not to be; my breathing has been a little troubled, and while I managed the first lap, the pace was too rich for the second and third of their winter course, and I crossed the line in 30:13. Nevertheless, this is my third fastest time here.
- Finally, today, I intended to do nine miles; I had no clear route in mind, but set off over Seaford Head in a fresh northerly wind hinting of snow, but bright sunshine between the clouds. When I reached the mouth of the Cuckmere, I wondered about following the river inland. The first few hundred yards of the river bank were encouragingly firm, so off I went, but this was deceptive. After that it was a mud bath all the way to the bridge at Litlington where I crossed to climb up to High and Over. I only fell once, and that forwards, so my hands and knees took the brunt. As I neared Exceat Bridge, I met walkers who’d parked by the bridge and, dressed in Sunday best, were heading for the mud. I didn’t warn them; they’d find out in due course.
Nothing saps the will or leg muscles like mud, but I kept going. Along the river there’s plenty of ornithological interest: swans, geese and an exceptionally dim little egret, which tried to escape me by flying 100 yards up the river every time I approached it - off it would go, stop, and then be astonished that I was still on its trail. The bird and I continued to play out this comedy until the bridge. After the climb, I ran back down through the fields to Seaford. I met a man with two incredibly athletic dogs, running pell-mell up and down the fields. I complimented him on their energy.
In the end, I only recorded a shade over eight miles, but I think that will do.
Meanwhile, some of my Moyleman/Lewes Twitten run comrades went to southern Spain, for the Almeria half marathon, where they acquitted themselves honourably, with at least one PB. Here we shiver and watch the Spanish weather forecasts with envy.
I have a week of next week. This means that, perhaps unwisely, I will go to track night with the Seaford Striders on Monday.