Darkness Descends

I’ve had a very pleasant weekend catching up with lots of friends, helping to celebrate a 1st birthday party and a 2nd anniversary.  And as such, it has meant that I have gone a weekend without running.  This, coupled with travel for work, has meant I have just completed month 7 of my running challenge with only 77km covered.

Last week’s work trip to Westhill, Aberdeenshire, was a long but productive 4 days and I managed to squeeze in a 5km run.  Darkness had arrived and was flanked by his two heavies: Wind & Rain.  Not my choice of running companions but it did incentivise me to keep the pace up.  Considering the weather I was very pleased to cover another 5km just a handful of seconds outside my PB time!

My journey home from Aberdeen was a little more complicated and lengthy.  Firstly, FlyBe decided to take us the scenic route back to Birmingham.  Via Inverness.  And yes, I know that Inverness isn’t on the way.

I’m told that the countryside around Inverness is picturesque.  Unfortunately, I wouldn’t know as a) it was pitch black and b) the plane was on the ground for little more than 30 minutes – to pick up some fellow passengers who were supposed to be travelling to Manchester.  So while I had to endure twice as many takeoffs and landings than I should do, at least I was still heading to the destination of my choice.

The Manchester passengers had the treat of a bus ride back from Birmingham to Manchester to look forward to. I had the treat of having to travel 10 miles North on the M42 and then 10 miles back South on the M42 thanks to the sliproad just being closed for overnight roadworks.

I arrived back home at half past midnight, about an hour and a half later than I expected.  I also arrived home to find a package waiting for me;  My new winter gear from Up&Running!

A 20% discount offer last weekend for their online store was enough to get my arse in gear to get some winter gear.  After asking the Twittersphere for advice on essential winter running gear I ordered a hi-vis short-sleeved tee, a long-sleeved version of the same and some lightweight running bottoms, all of the Ronhill variety.

The short-sleeved tee got it’s debut tonight on a surprisingly warm but very dark, Halloween night.  I’ve note only had to change my clothing to fit with winter running but also my routes.  My usual 5 or 6 km loop takes in the local lake which is not only absent of lights but is also somewhat uneven underfoot so I need to find an alternative.  I set off tonight with a route in mind but being unsure of what distance it would be.  I also, unconventionally for me, consciously decided to tackle Tower Hill in Kilometre 1 and Thorney Leys, another small ascent, in Kilometre 4.  I managed to stretch the loop to 6km and covered it in just over 31 minutes so I’m happy with my performance, especially as the first km took me over 6 minutes.

And the Ronhill hi-vis short-sleeved tee did me proud – very comfortable and kept me safe too!

I’ve now covered 678km since the end of March towards my 800km journey to raise money for Maggies, with my fundraising total sitting at £725.

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