Sunday, 9 January 2011

Thoughts on a nine mile run

Mile one: Blimey it's icy. Perhaps I'll just do the 6.5 mile route today. Whoops! Didn't see that bit of ice. Maybe only four miles, possibly 2.5, just to be safe. Body check: I'm quite tired actually and my back hurts. Why does the first mile always feel like torture? Consider abandoning running and taking up tiddlywinks.

Mile two: Sun's out. What a lovely day. Cold but sunny. Road ahead sparkles with frost. Pretty but lethal. Body check: Core muscles? Feeling strong. Back pain? Insignificant. Feet? What feet? Fingers? Toasty warm in new Ronhill mittens.

Mile three: Not icy here. Too much sun. God I'm boiling. I need to unzip my top and roll up my sleeves. Body check: Some SPD pain. Hmmm. Core? Okay. Legs, feet, hands? Okay but a bit hot. Ears toasty warm in new ears warmer. Reckon steam is rising from the top of my head.

Mile four: What a lovely straight bit of road. Bit steep at the end by the T-junction but I'll let it off. Decision time. Turn left and do 6.5 miles and home for a coffee and a passion fruit curd marbled muffin or turn right for a nine mile run followed by coffee, muffin AND pudding? Yay! Pudding! Body check: Tummy is looking forward to muffin AND pudding.

Best bit of this run.
Mile five: Wheeeeeee! Endorphins. Going to sell the car and run EVERYWHERE. It's so easy. Hello grumpy woman and lovely Bernese Mountain dog. Hello cattle grid. Oops you look slippery today. I'll use the gate. Hello bearded man without dog. Body check: Choo choo choo, I'm a train.

Bedd Arthur
Mile six: The hills look lovely in the sun. Strangely deserted without the sheep. Too cold for them over the winter. Nice flat bit of road this. There's Mynachlogddu in the distance. Body check: SPD pain. Memo to self: Get Brian to stand on pelvis when I get home. Have a sweet? Don't mind if I do. Choo choo choo.

Mynachlogddu in the distance.
Mile seven: Hello Preseli bluestones. Hello Waldo memorial. Hello second slippery cattle grid. Hello smiling lady runner being pulled along by excitable collie. Memo to self: Get excitable collie to pull self along on run. Smile and wave. Long joyous downhill stretch. Goes on forever. Wheeee. Body check: Running out of the feel-good stuff. Legs starting to feel tired.

Pretty river at the bottom of the big hill.
Mile eight: What goes down must go back up again. Bugger this hill is steep. And relentless. And covered in black ice. Keep slipping. Must stop thinking how hard it is. Why are the ups always uppier and steeper and longer than the downs? Come up behind woman with bounding spaniel. Fortunately she turns round and sees me before I have the chance to scare her to death. Overtake them easily. Spaniel bounds along with me for a few strides. Body check: Legs aching. Glutes aching. Calves aching. SPD aching. Pain, pain, pain. Which bloody idiot thought a nine mile run was a good idea?

Steep hill getting steeper on and on...
Mile nine: Still going uphill. When I get back I'm going to fill the bath with coffee and eat ALL the muffins. Body check: Legs seem to be made of wood joined together with loose string. Core? Wibbly wobbly jelly. Find shoulders tensed up around ears. Lower shoulders, lift knees. Immediately make faster progress but conscious I'm running like Spotty Dog from The Woodentops. Conscious I'm old enough to remember The Woodentops. On the plus side I can see Home where the muffins are. Remember I must get back before husband and kids eat all the muffins and speed up a bit.

Spotty Dog
Home: Drink litres of water. Fall gratefully into bucket-sized mug of coffee. Eat two muffins (which are the most delicious things in the world). Legs feel like fizzy lemonade. Climb into lovely warm shower. Ahhhhhh. Feel smug for the rest of the day.


  1. I'm impressed. I've walked that far, but I run no where.

  2. Three cheers for you for persevering!
    And in the cold too. --hart

    (a frequent reader but infrequent commenter)

  3. Well done you! I've never ran anywhere, although I regularly drive 9 miles :-)

    Btw, I also remember spotty dog and the Woodentops if that helps.

  4. I'm enormously impressed, and not the slightest bit tempted...... well done you.

  5. Gosh - I do so wish I could do that. Unlike Rachel I am tempted. The sense of exhilaration and achievement must make it worthwhile.

  6. In the days that I used to run I adored 9 mile runs. Just the perfect distance and you have got the thought process spot on!

  7. I was RUBBISH today - ran 5 miles like an elderly hippo. Well done you - nice seeing bits of your run that I know and have run too.

  8. Oh well done.

    I did a 50k bike ride today (which sounds a fair bit but isn't really on a bike on the flat) and was totally knackered.

    Have you ever run the length of the main Preseli ridge? I did it years ago and it was very boggy but brilliant. Requires a pick up at the end though.

    Great photos.

  9. "In which Preseli Mags gives herself the run around, and survives to tell the tale — just barely survives (to be more precise)."

    Congratulations and condolences!

    Did you let Brian walk on you after your shower?

  10. Mags, this is such a marvelous chronicle.

    I would have had an entry at ... minus 1 mile, what was I thinking!

    Bravo to you for being able to find whatever it is that you wonderful runners do find, to keep it going.

    Wow! I really do not understand that It, but so admire those who do understand it.

    Bravo! xo

  11. Love it! Congrats on taking the longer run. How was pudding?

  12. Just feeling guilty now.... I really must get on and out (mind you not for 9 miles, 1/2 will do). You made it sound so tempting.

  13. Wow..well done! I think you could justify hanging on to that smug feeling for at least a week, though!

  14. I like this Mags; I feel all healthy and I haven't done a thing! More please x

  15. I remember the Woodentops too. you must be older than I thought!!!

    I'm very impressed by your stamina - I can walk, but not run . . . I'm not at that age when bits - if they don't actually drop OFF when I run - certainly flop about a bit too much for my liking.

  16. For a minute you almost had me inspired to take up running.
    Only for a minute though.

    Great piece of writing.
    I could taste those muffins by the end and feel the shower.

  17. In awe.... I will follow...

    I did cycle today, probably only 3 miles.... and I stopped twice for mini heart attacks... which is why I'm rather cross that the word verification below is FATER!!!...

    Big Brother is clearly alive and well.


I am sorry to have to add word verification thing again but I keep getting spammed.