Saturday, 18 March 2017

A blog on the run! Housedean to Eastbourne

All my blogs are generally written retrospectively. Today I thought I would put my thoughts down as I go. Having flogged my legs at the gym on Thursday I was concerned today they would be dead; I would get 1/2mile into my run and drop to the floor crying like a child who has been told they can't have any sweets.

My plan was to head out of Housedean and run the SDW into Eastbourne. Once there I will run to the Marina where my wife's parents live. Setting out on the run things felt great. I am wearing a weighted pack. Probably 2kg heavier than it needs to be. I am trying to follow an even effort level and not concern myself with pace. This definitely keeps the ego in check, but I'm finding the run that much more enjoyable. So as I tackled the climbs from housedean and on to the yellow brick road, I found myself in an uplifted mood. For the first time in forever it isn't mattering what my watch is saying. 10mm/11mm/14mm I do not care one ounce.

My normal preoccupation when running is time. How quick can it be done, can i press the pace a but more. Today is simply not about that. So as I ambled into southease I am now sat typing from the cafe. I'm am going to sip my coffee and enjoy the moment. Then I shall March up the "dreaded" climb and enjoy a run through into Alfriston. I may even stop there for cake. What ever I decide it's going to be fun.

My recent post is my lesson point. If we rush through everything we see nothing and in that absence I find there is a void that takes the enjoyment with it. So I'm going to enjoy the moment and I will get to Eastbourne in a good mood and probably ready for dinner :)



So it's all a bit too comfortable sitting drinking this coffee. Coats in the bag so hopefully won't need it when I get to the top of Southease. Watch says 6.5 miles and the centurion aid station list says it's 7.4. I always did like centurion. Right time to put the pack back on.



So as I march up Southease I am reminding myself for future runs that the climb is not so bad. You can all mock me post SDW100 blog when I'm complaining. The wind is picking up and mist is setting In, but it remains a stunning reminder of why I love running. The cafe is a distant memory and I am hunting down the hikers. I fear this live blogging may be sending me a little crazy ;) see you all in Alfriston.



I have now arrived in alfriston. That last section went really well. The weather definitely turned as I hit the peak. The wind was swirling around my head and the noise engulfed all thoughts and any indication that anything else existed. In truth it was bliss. It's is only bettered by the the sounds as I am typing. The wind has died away and been replaced by the chirping of birds and the bleating of sheep. I have my first sign of the climb out of alfruston. With no pressure on time and pace I am looking forward to it. I think the South Downs may truly be my favourite location I have ever visited. The photos below show the mist that closed in and is a reminder to anyone running the downs, be it on their own or as part of a race, the weather changes from hill to hill. Go prepared. Oh and yes I did chase down more hikers. Next stop Jevington.



In the spirit of this blog being "live" it seems fitting to capture the fact I nearly photobombed a wedding party. Coming through the village I thought I'd check in on the aid station of the centurion races, for a moment of reminicising. Turns out there was a wedding going on. Needless to say I didn't enter and I think I avoided the photo. Now the climb begins. During races this segment to Jevington seems to whizz by. I wonder if it will be the same today.

So the climb out of Alfriston is done. It wasn't too bad. The below pictures will give an indication for those not familiar with Alfriston. If you are racing in a centurion event then the arc of the climb makes it feel like it goes on forever. One foot in front of the other and it's not so bad. Enjoy the photos. I need to turn off phone for a bit as battery dying.



Just like that I'm in Jevington. I'm sure there is a time warp between here and Alfriston. Still during a race you will be glad of it. I'm stood by centurion final aid station. It's in the picture below. Sorry but for food you will have to climb the steps. Otherwise press on to Eastbourne. It's only a few miles. That is indeed my next stop. With only 6% battery I will have to finish this blog at the end of the run. 


So Jevington flew by almost as swiftly as the climb out if Alfriston. At the top is where centurion races leave the downs. I decided to pursue the SDW and then run the promenade back to the harbour. This gave an unexpected opportunity to reminisce on moments from Beachy Head Marathon. The wind picked up as I ran through the golf course. I was holding hope the golfers teeing off were better than i am at swinging a bat. I'm relieved to say they were. 

Climbing towards the seafront is an interesting experience. Lots of social people saying hello and enjoying a shared experience of trying not to be blown to Oz. Then i descended off the downs, along the start finish straight.



Thanks South Downs it was a great day. I trundle along the promenade back to the harbour. I noticed how few people smiled or said hello compared to whilst out on the Downs. This had been an excellent run. A confidence boost towards the upcoming 100milers and a great way to clear my head after a manic few weeks. 

The finish was an opportunity to reflect and drink milkshake :) More importantly though the clarity gave me an appreciation of the life I have. I am super luck to have a beautiful a d healthy family and a fitness level that allows me to spend 6 hours out on the Downs. I needed an end of day reminder then checking in on my children after their bedtime story showed me that.

Happy running everyone!