18 March 2012

Halfway to Paradise

Well, halfway to realising my ambition to run to the White Horse and back. And I do not mean a local public house of that name - or, for that matter, the one in New York that Mary Hopkin sang about. But Basher didn't record a song called Halfway to the White Horse, so I have a great excuse to listen to this great single for the first time in several decades.

So, what to report about it? Having missed my planned long Sunday morning run, then spent time opening the engine compartment on the MGF - so much easier on those boring front-engined cars with bonnets that you simply pop up - to give access to the fuel and fuel pump. This is all because it ran dry the other day: there's a moral to this story - don't carry on driving an MGF until the petrol warning light comes on, because IT DOESN'T HAVE ONE. And if you do run it dry, there's a strong chance it won't start again easily: either the filter will be blocked, or it will need about 4 gallons in the tank before it believes that you have refilled it, or the fuel pump will have burnt out from running with nothing to pump. Which is what I think has happened here, because when I changed the filter (£11.99 and a quick dash into town,  having ascertained that Interpart had it in stock - when I arrived it was on the counter waiting for me) we turned the ignition on with the pipes to the filter disconnected, to see if the pump would do its work, and nothing came out. New pumps seem to be around £250. I found one from a breaker at one-tenth that, a price commensurate with what the car cost us - £25 less than the price of a second-hand fuel pump.

Then, after lunch, I foolishly turned on the TV to watch the BBC's highlights of the Australian Grand Prix, and of course I fell asleep, so my long run didn't get underway until well after 4 o'clock. The evenings are at least light enough for that sort of thing now, and Hugo is building endurance so half-way to the White Horse was well within his capability. And within mine, too, though I stopped a few times, more to take in the spring countryside and a superb view of the power station in the light of the setting sun than for a break. I should have kept my pace even lower, I think, then I'd have had no trouble running all the way. The troublesome tendon stood up to a lot of midfoot striking very well, although the cushioned shoes must have helped: a couple of times I resorted to heel-striking for a short break, but only temporarily. My left knee is the weak point at the moment:Iran with a knee support on it, and it gave no trouble until I took that off again. Now it's stiff and uncomfortable.

An encouraging session, and a satisfactory mileage for the weekend.

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