06 October 2013

Sunday morning

Time, I thought, for a long run - with the Abingdon Marathon coming up in about three weeks - oh, actually, exactly two weeks. The realisation came as a bit of a shock.

I ran to the field, where Hugo had gone on ahead to feed the horses (for which read, eat some carrots), and after a short pause to nail some rails to fenceposts we headed up to the Ridgeway.

I'd feared that it would be a mess, since it was only a week ago that the police were up there in force dispersing an illegal rave, but it was pretty litter-free and the only ruts were the ones that have been there for years - they took years to create, and I guess they will take even longer to fade away.

At the Bury Down car park we encountered a middle-aged couple (by which I mean they looked a little older than me) on what I can only describe as a recumbent tandem, a type of machine I have never seen before. I paused to admire it, and forgot to restart the Watch when we started again.

By the time we reached the turn-off back towards the village, where the plan was to go straight on to the Wantage Memorial, about three miles further along the Ridgeway, Hugo was lagging behind so much that I decided to head home. He needs a couch-to-seven miles training plan.

I had a recovery cappuccino and croissant and headed out again, unaccompanied. It was hard work to get started again, and a struggle after about three miles, but endurance is all about learning how to keep going when everything is screaming "stop", isn't  it? I'm afraid I did stop a few times, but even so my legs are strong (all that cycling to the station and home again, uphill, in the evening) and I'm not really tiring - helped, no doubt, by the chia iskiate I made up to keep me going on the planned long run. But my left foot is stiff and painful where I injured it in January: perhaps a spot of arthritis, which would not be surprising at my advanced age. It is certainly aggravated by barefoot shoes, so I'll be back in the marshmallow ones for a few days.


Anonymous said...

Hugo is so cute. It must be nice to run with him, even if he gets tired under 7 miles:)

Peter Groves said...

Thanks, Anna! I will tell him he has another admirer! I am going to work on his fitness - he needs to be up to Marathon distance soon.

Anonymous said...

Wow, a marathon! Can little dogs run that far? Maybe he needs a sitter while you're running! My boys would love to look after him!:)

Peter Groves said...

Our last dog (also a Springer) did the distance with me and a friend as we prepared for the Abingdon Marathon about ten years ago, so it should be possible. We did about 13 miles with the dog then stopped to eat a second breakfast, intending to do the second lap dog-less: but dogs' memories aren't great, and when we set off he was excited at the prospect of going for a run. So I am going to make a marathon dog out of Hugo, and sorry, your boys won't be needed.

Anonymous said...

What an awesome story! Hugo will be famous, please post on his progress:)

Peter Groves said...

With the benefit of hindsight (if benefit it be - it can be pretty awful) I wonder if this was one of the first signs of the illness that took Hugo just a couple of months later.