Sunday, 24 February 2013

No 13 The Fylde coast

At the start of the week I was determined I would run today too. By yesterday I had my doubts and decided not to. As I lay in bed drinking coffee and reading the sun shone brightly and taunted me.  I modified my plan to maybe... if I can get my work done and it is still sunny by late morning I will go.
I guess I was looking for a very local and flat / easy route. Nothing else explains why I thought today  would be a good idea.

By the time I had jogged the length of The Green at Lythan, with just a brief stop to catch my breath and admire the windmill, I was tired. Perhaps because it was flat and there were so many people around I was trying too hard? So I plodded on a little more slowly. It was at least still sunny and I was running on grass. I had to put up with a short stretch on tarmac at Fairhaven but not for long.
 The next bit went well and I sailed through St Annes and past the pier with a quick glance along the road to the first flat I ever rented when I started work. I couldn't face the up down total work out that the huge loose sand dunes would give me but did stick to the mostly grassy paths at their foot. I knew from past experience not to look up as Star Gate never seems to get any closer. I consoled myself that I was moving faster than the traffic which seemed to be stuck and despite suffering I looked in better shape than the derelict Pontins.
Still smiling- sort of at this stage
In Blackpool I ran some on the sand and then some on the prom. The sand never feels as soft as I expect and some bits were wet enough for me to give up. It seemed to take an age to get to the Tower. Time for some food and a cup of tea - once I had picked somewhere that looked reasonably hygienic.
The food didn't help and I found the whole of the next stretch a real toil. It was slightly into the wind and I was getting cold. The only good was finding some soft surfaces to run on as I left the town centre behind. By now I was counting the miles on my Garmin- first time I had been reduced to this. I wasn't really enjoying myself.  I tried more food but that just made running seem even harder. It was a relief to pass Norbreck Castle and eventually hit 13.5 miles. Yes- I could turn round. This time the Tower did not just seem to take for ever, it really did!
 Once past this landmark I cheered up a little and managed to get to Star Gate in better time. I decided I needed to be away from buildings, people and traffic so ran back along the beach just aiming relentlessly for St Annes Pier. It was more pleasant but hard work. The weather by now had changed. It wasn't just cold , there were spots of drizzle and the clouds looked ominous. Not what I needed at all. After St Annes I made for the tarmac hoping to pick up the pace a bit and get closer to home in case the weather really broke.
My feet protested and it was great to get to Granny's bay and grass. The end was now in sight, which was just as well because I was trashed.
 I shuffled my way along the Green past the windmill, behind the old Land Registry and then back to the car. 27.5 miles and I was not doing a step further.  So, I have learned.... stick to the plan and do not be greedy and squeeze an extra run in, work may not seem appealing but you should stay and do it, my body is not invincible and knows when it has had enough.  And don't be cocky when a friend asks 'how is the body is doing?' Rowena - you were right to be concerned.
My head though was good (? or stupid?) and refused to give in - pointing out that the first 13 miles would have been a waste if I did not keep going. Oh- and set off at 10 not 12 at this time of year.                                                                                                     As Bob has just pointed out, it was No 13, so perhaps it would have been bad whenever and where ever I had run.

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