This morning’s run was a darn sight more lovely than yesterday’s, partly due to the bright, crisp weather and partly due to waiting until I had eaten my mountain of porridge before setting off. I decided I wanted to run seven miles this morning, so headed down the Waterlink Way again (or ‘up’ as Edward pointed out, heading south, but upstream, hmmm). The massive puddles have trickled away slightly, so my nice white shoes didn’t get too muddy, and I picked up the pace as I crossed Wickes car park and back onto the route. There has been lots of talk about when it is safer to run, how we feel more vulnerable in the dark and so on, and I found myself fixating on a man who I passed at this point. He was walking on his own and was bundled up against the weather, wearing shiny black leather gloves. It was these gloves that I became obsessed with, imagining them to be ‘strangler gloves’. Anyway, I soon put him to the back of my mind when I encountered a few more people, walking dogs, riding bikes and generally enjoying the path and the glorious sunshine.
I used to run around the Tottenham and Walthamstow Marshes, and always felt pretty safe here, having crossed the expanse of overgrown grasses many times over the course of a few years and I think that, as you get to know a route, you begin to sort of ‘trust’ it to take care of you. You get to know the sort of person you may encounter, the terrain, the nooks and crannies and the alternative exit points if you do feel at all vulnerable. This is what is missing on the new routes I am exploring, I don’t really know where I am going, how long it will take me to reach such a point, and I don’t know how well used the paths are. This will change over time. I know see why Jogblog misses the marshes so much and finds country running such a challenge.
I ran past the gigantic Sainsburys that Hector and I spotted earlier in the week, and followed the signs for Beckenham Palace Park, which took me through an estate and up towards a busy road, where I crossed and followed the sign into another estate, not really what I had in mind! I continued around and past a huge new school (Sedgehill) which looked rather like an out-of-town business park, slap bang in the middle of an estate, then found myself at the train station. Here, I didn’t know which way to go, so turned and ran back towards home. I think I need to look at the map again and work out the correct route because I think the park will be worth it. On my return leg, I was happily saying cheery ‘hello’s to fellow walkers/runners/cyclists etc and enjoying the scenery when I saw a flash of blue out of the corner of my eye, the kingfisher! I say ‘the kingfisher’ because Edward and I have seen a kingfisher a couple of times now, along the stretch of river near our house, and I imagine there is just one pair in the area. So far I have only ever witnessed a blur of turquoise, but today I was treated to a full view of him perching on a branch, not once, not twice, but three times! What an incredible sight!
And this is what the ‘tyaps’, as Hector says it, got up to while I ran:
As you can see, there’s quite a lot of decorating to be done, but with a helper like this, with his own ‘work clothes’, it will be all the more fun.
Janathon day 9:
Time: 1 hour 12 minutes 5 seconds
Distance: 7.03 miles
Average Pace: 10.15
Best Pace: 7.51