Was down for eight miles tonight, but the rubbishness of path clearing and the fast-falling temperature meant I only made about six and a half.
Now, I knew it wasn't going to be a walk in the park, and I'd carefully surveyed much of the route on the way home. Strangely, there was a lot of places where one path had been cleared, but the other hadn't – I guess old women with bags of shopping were expected to zig-zag across the road on their way home.
Down by the river, the “path” isn't the best example of modern engineering. No perfectly laid paving, with a gradual camber to allow water to run off. Instead, there's grass, which when wet, is mud, when it snows, it's slush, and when it's cold, it's ice.
There are a few wider parts where the snow had settled nicely, and you could run through it, though when you're wearing a pair of ordinary road trainers, it's pretty heavy work – as my weary legs will testify.
At one point I thought I was going to be attacked by a flock of killer geese – they had menace in their eyes, and I'm sure blood on their beaks. I managed to swiftly evade them, and I think a few got scared by my hi-viz and manly demeanour.
I was going to try to get onto the road for “dead swan bend” (it's still there, though seems to have moved – very macabre), but there was too much traffic, and the edges were too icy.
This left me facing running along the icy path of death that is where the path narrows, with the road raised slightly on one side, and the very cold looking river on the other.
Thanks to years of Arctic combat training* I was able to successfully emerge from the other end, unscathed. Had their been a crowd, it was at this point they would have burst into rapturous applause.
But there wasn't, so their praise, like so many things, was purely in my head.
This route seems me rejoin the main road and pass through a nice little village, where thankfully most of the paths had been cleared.
After I was through it it was a lot patchier, and the slush had started to turn to ice. Eventually I was just stumbling across sheets of refrozen slush, and looking down the straight stretch of road, there was no sign of any respite so I had to make the choice whether to go on or not.
I took the cowards route, as I'm still uber-paranoid about injuring myself, and lets be honest, I did an inadvertent few miles yesterday.
Saying that though, my time was well down, but my legs feel like they've really been through the wringer. I could really feel my calves working through the snow, so perhaps I've had a better workout than I thought.
I reckon I'm still ahead after losing a mile and a bit today, but that's not really the point as I'm still building up the miles at the mo.
Hopefully current weather reports for Thursday are as wrong as they were about more heavy snow last night, as that's a nine miler I need to nail.
*Snowball fights in Yorkshire as a child 2cm
1 year ago