19 February 2012

Reasons to be cheerful

Not the early morning run that I had intended, but shortly after noon Hugo and I got ourselves out of the door for a longer run than we'd done together before - and longer than I had managed in a long time. A well-worn route, but of course new to Hugo and I wasn't entirely sure how he'd get on - would he wander off? Somewhere in his history there might be a wandering episode,which is how he comes to be living with us, but there was no reason to worry: he followed closely in my footsteps almost every inch of the way.

The weather was pleasant, and could optimistically be described as early spring. It has become colder this week, but next weekend is predicted to be very warm, as a chap I spoke to up at Bury Down car park told me - he seemed to think he knew me, and I thought I recognised him too, as an habitué of the cycle path from Upton to Didcot, in a dog-walking and bird-watching capacity.

The wind, however, was another matter. Down on the level (the first 2.7 miles) it seemed to me that up on the Ridgeway it would be at my back. Once I climbed to the top, it was in my face. Had it veered (or backed) that quickly? Or was I mistaken? Whatever, it was hard work on that long slog before we turned down towards the village again. But the feeling of well-being I have after the run probably owes something to the adverse wind, plus an experiment taping my Achilles and a reversion to heel-striking. Compromises notwithstanding, it's a great feeling to have this one in the bag. Especially with a half Marathon only three weeks away.

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