Cross Country

I was supposed to have met up with some old friends for an 8 mile run, but sadly we couldn’t find the meeting point. Instead, we decided to go for a run around Bradgate Park. It’s been a while since I’ve been to “Braggeh”, and so I’d forgotten that not all of the paths were tarmacked, so for the first time in far too many years, I had to run “cross country”.

It wasn’t an easy run today; the British Isles have been battered by some pretty harsh winds today, and it was also raining when we started. I was almost blown off of the path at one stage. We started our run by going into the wind, and having felt at times like I was running on the spot, we then had a steady, gradual, and somewhat lengthy incline to one of the highest points in Leicestershire. My phone GPS indicated that we climbed over 100m, which is not as easy as it sounds when you’ve been neglecting your hill training. I did think to myself at one point that I might just as well give up the pretence of running, and walk, however I was not prepared to give into nature. Not today, and not after suffering the rain and the winds.

But there’s nothing like reaching the top, and having the sun emerge. Even the watching deer seemed quite impressed. Well, that’s what I told myself. Even though I had to keep a careful eye on the path in front of me (my hypermobility means that I am more susceptible than most at turning my ankle on uneven ground), I couldn’t help but marvel at the scenery on the doorstep of one of England’s bigger cities, and the different types of terrain and rocks that make up the park.

I also wanted to avoid as much deer and rabbit poo as possible. Once a townie….

My training partner, and OH, wasn’t impressed with the terrain or the conditions, and sensibly, we ran round just the once. This was over 4.5 miles. Once we’re used to the great outdoors again, and when we’re ready for the hills, this area will be perfect. London is relatively flat, however as I plan to use the Ashby 20 as a training run, I will need to work on hills. We regularly use the Great Central Way as a running route, but this is quite flat, being an old railway line.

I’m feeling good, and I’m raring to go. The end of the week will involve no running; it’s the OH’s Christmas party on Friday, in Germany, and I will be travelling light. Too light for running gear. The real hard work starts in January, but I am pleased with the base that I am building.

* * * * *

I’m saddened and extremely shocked by the news of Gary Speed’s passing. Reports suggest he took his own life. He was on the TV yesterday, appearing at one with the world, from what I’ve been told, but it’s hard for those who have never suffered with depression to fully understand how it can be easy to hide this from those closest to them, let alone the general public.

I hope that those crass enough to joke about it never have to experience those dark thoughts that take over, and make ending it all the only option. To say that it’s selfish is so far off the mark, and it highlights the ignorance that people have with regards to mental illness. Yes, that’s right, it’s an illness. Not a choice.

My thoughts are with the friends and the family that he has left behind. Rest in peace now, Gary.

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