Dread and a small minor victory …

Wednesdays are always hard…

Tuesdays are the nights where I normally go out with friends and do photography, which almost always ends in a few cheeky beers at the pub. This tuesday was no different and I crawled through my front door at 12.45am, then felt compelled to read for a bit before bed.

So 5.45 arrives all too quickly and Sarah’s phone alarm wakes me up, its one of those really annoying ones but guarantees I always wake. Luckily its always over the other side of the bed so there’s little chance of me launching it across the room in disagreement. Snooze button pressed and I really wanted to just go back to sleep, I reasoned with myself for what seemed like ages trying to find excuses why I shouldn’t get up. Thankfully I saw sense, feeling like I’d have failed myself had I not been out. Naturally I was a little late getting out off the door but the main thing was I actually made it out.

I’ve had concerns recently that my trainers haven’t been giving me enough support for my feet. When I was younger I used to suffer with flat feet and they have been feeling a little tender from pounding against the pavement. When I started running I bought some rather cheap trainers and rather than invest in something a little more comfortable and a little more pricey, I remembered I had some trainers at my Mum and Dad’s house which haven’t seen the light of day in a long long time.

"Tiger Feet"

As you can see they’re a little bright and I think I should probably invest in some sunglasses for the mornings in future but they do have a lot more support in the arch of the foot and generally I found them to be a big improvement. They’re probably over ten years old, having bought them in my college days. They were a complete impulse buy having walked past the shop window and have them literally jump out at me. My friends all found it hysterical that I was going to buy them and egged me on. They found it even more amusing when we realised they were actually women’s trainers but it didn’t matter too much as they’d stand out and look cool. A few weeks later and the novelty of them had well and truly worn off, they were so bright that people would actually stare as you walked down the street.  As a result I started to wear them less and less until they got relegated to that special place in the wardrobe right at the back, until now that is. Luckily there’s not too many people about at 5.45 in the morning to stare as I run past them.

Routemap

I’d decided to revisit a route I hadn’t done in a while. This route was one I’d enjoyed several weeks ago but had managed to do myself some damage by not knowing my limits and by going too far. This time I’d cut the route down and hoped that this would be enough to get me through. I also had the issue that it would be the first time I’d be running for 8 minutes non-stop and wasn’t quite sure how I would cope.

Outside it was colder than it had been for a little while which probably would do me no favours. I’ve been getting stitch from time to time which I’ve been putting down to irregular breathing which puts stress on the diaphragm. As you can imagine its harder to keep your breathing steady in cooler temperatures and its something I’m going to need to work on over the coming weeks.

Luckily the sun was starting to peek it’s head out and there was a real crispness in the air. My five minute warmup was over quickly and I began my run from the Maltings. The Maltings has been in the news recently with plans to develop what has become quite an ugly sight. The 18th century grade I listed flax mill in Ditherington was the first iron framed building in the world and was a major stepping stone towards the sky scrapers we see around the world.

Ditherington Flax Mill

Ditherington Flax Mill

Before I knew it, I had cut through under the railway past the allotments and through into Herrongate. My pace was slower again as I tried to make sure I didn’t burn myself out too quickly. The main road through Herrongate goes on for what seems like an eternity as it’s just one long straight road. Rage Against The Machine blared out of my MP3 players headphones in encouragement and my first 8 minute stint passed quickly much to my surprise. Before I knew it I was on Ellesmere Road eager to start running again.

Herrongate

In the field, a foggy reminder of how cool it was.

Dirt Track

The road began to slope upwards and my route took me off the main road and onto a trail designated for walkers which cut through onto Heath Farm. A few more people were starting to surface now, mostly walking dogs, which is quite welcome up that section as it’s quite isolated up there, you certainly wouldn’t want to do this route at night (especially as there’s quite a drop to your right).

I’d began my second and last stint of 8 minutes and before I knew it, I was back in civilisation again. It was all downhill from here and I was really keen to cover ground now, my pace had quickened and I was back in Ditherington in no time. My route took me past the abandoned Six Bells pub which has been closed for years but in it’s prime was a packed little local seeing a roaring lunchtime trade from the nearby Rolls Royce Factory. Time moved on, the factory changed hands and grew smaller and smaller and all of a sudden what was once a very busy pub became a deserted pub.

The Six Bells Pub

My 8 minutes were up now and I’d survived another gruelling run, but I’d decided that I hadn’t quite gotten as far as I’d have liked. I decided that I’d run for an extra 2 minutes taking me up to 10 minutes non stop running. I decided to take a closer look at the houses being built in Ditherington by running down the back of them and onto Darville. It always feels odd running down there as I’d previously almost bought a house down there. I’m glad I didn’t, I really don’t think I was ready for that but running past the house does make you wonder what direction my life would have gone in had I have taken the plunge and gone through with buying the house.

I made it home proud. My next run will be on Saturday and will be a major one. I’ll be running for 20 minutes without stopping which I think for me will be quite an achievement. I’m planning on going around Ellesmere after popping out there to see a friend’s photography exhibition, really looking forward to it.

Night Folks, Col.

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