Janathon Day 26 Bleakness and gales

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I decided yet again not to run with the club tonight but go for a solitary long run during daylight. The sky was overcast and it was very windy. I usually love running by the river but the light was poor and there was a very strong, sustained  headwind. At times it felt like I was making little forward progress and the wind chill made me cold. As a matter of habit I run towards Cambridge (and, of course, the river Cam goes through Cambridge) but I decided to turn around and not complete the intended distance.

With the wind behind me I made better progress and decided on a footpath, which I rarely take, towards Ely, still along side the river but with open views across the fens and cultivated fields. Despite the openness, it was less windy but the dismal, grim light remained. There was nobody about and it was , bleak, bleak, bleak.

I ran up to Bottisham Lock and felt so lonely I was compelled to talk to this motorised sluice gate winding gear as I stood staring at the unyielding landscape. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t respond. I regurgitated the one joke I know. Still no response. I gave up and moved on.

Total distance : 5.76 miles

The Guardian, today, gives headline prominence to statistics obtained by the Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb which reveal that deaths among mental health patients has risen by 21% over the last three years, from 1,412 to 1,713. There has also been a large increase in “serious incidents” – involving unexpected or avoidable deaths, serious harm, injury and abuse. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jan/26/rise-mental-health-patient-deaths-nhs-struggling-to-cope

These outcomes are linked with cuts to mental health service funding and the consequent degradation of services in the community and  hospitals and the substantial reduction in hospital beds. You’ve got to be a Tory not to care!

 

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Janathon Day 21 It’s all about the image, man

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In the spring or summer I hope to do a bit of trail or fell running somewhere in the UK. Never done it before. I’ve only taken in occasional steep hills or undulating countryside. We’ll probably try to identify a race that’s manageable for an inexperienced fell runner rather than opting to run up and down something that should be tackled with ropes, crampons and ice axes. Nor do I want to be in a race with ultra tough looking fell men that eat ice when they need a drink and run up as fast as they run down. There must be something suitable for a soft Southerner (living in the East).

I’m currently doing a screen printing course for complete beginners, during the daytime, in a local college. It’s in a large art room/studio full of much used art equipment, paint stained sinks, racks, screen print benches of varying sizes and everything to support multi media. Second session tomorrow. It’s a bit like being back at school but more relaxed and with a benign teacher.

Another night time run. Didn’t really feel like it initially. After 5 minutes I came alive and felt much more alert and energetic. That’s the thing with running – it wakes you up!

Parkrun on the weekend. We’ll do Wimpole Hall Estate. It’ll be muddy and slow but we’ll be with friends, have a nice mug of coffee post run and the bookshop will beckon. Heaven.

 

Janathon Day 19 Something like winter

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Hard frost this morning, around -5C or -6C. Brrrrrrrrrr!

 

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No, this isn’t Siberia or the frozen Alaskan wastes, it’s Worts Meadow in rural Cambridgeshire but there are undeniable similarities. All three locations are pretty chilly and require the correct standard of clothing and protection to survive the hazardous environment. Luckily I made it home unscathed, accompanied by Rupert the dalmatian (he didn’t fare so well. The intense cold caused a couple of his spots to fall off).

I had previously decided not to run with the club tonight (a planned fartlek around Cambridge) and instead do a long run by the river. The temperature was one or two degrees above zero and I wore my heaviest cycling jacket to keep the cold at bay. In the end I ran a bit further than I anticipated and did just over 10 miles. I came across surprising number of runners of all ages( and the obligatory walkers cluttering up the tow path).

Janathon total so far around 69 miles (running).

Janathon Day 18 Everyone’s gawping at everyone else

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I took this picture of Trinity College’s Jerwood Library, on the bank of the Cam, yesterday. The light was poor, I was cold and it was taken with the wrong lens. To make matters worse, I was just able to lip read one of the gilded youths inside the warm library. He turned towards another chap, who was probably clutching a teddy bear, and said “Look at that twit, standing in the cold, trying to take photo of us with his silly telephoto lens.”

Another cold day, today. The temperature didn’t go much above zero centigrade and tomorrow morning it will be more like -3 or -4c. I went for an afternoon run, starting in an adjacent village and running along the Cam in the opposite direction to usual, that is towards Ely rather than Cambridge, There’s no clay cycle path going this way and it proved to be very muddy. I did around 3 miles which felt enough.

Aliveandrunning June 27 2014 Juneathon Day 27

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The madness of the off road runner. I was drawn to the on coming tornado like an iron filing to a magnet. I ran across uncharted fields, untrodden since medieval times. I felt an urge to embrace the tornado like some people hug trees and then to enter the centre of the funnel where Iwould experience a transcendent peace. As I raced ever nearer, I spied cows and pigs swirling around the vortex 50 metres off the ground. I sang Follow the Yellow Brick Road in my head. I was a few seconds away from being sucked in but at the last moment, it abruptly changed direction and at such a speed I was unable to follow. The heavens opened up and I got thoroughly soaked. I took it easy on the homeward journey but still got jogger’s nipple. It could have been a lot worse!

About 5.5k in all. The paths were very overgrown in parts. There was no-one around. The loneliness of the short distance runner.

Tomorrow we’ll go to Wimpole Estate parkrun as Cambridge parkrun is not happening.

Very interesting and thought provoking headlines in the Daily Star about a prediction by scientists that a new generation of rats will be the size of cows. The same paper tempted you with the front page description of another story inside : “Evil Savile Sicko Sex.” This is the level of a lot of discussion about Jimmy Savile’s decades long sexual abuse of men and women, adolescents and young children. It leaves you with absolutely no appreciation or understanding of how or why this behaviour might have come about, how a person might develop such proclivities. http://bit.ly/1mEcx8E This link to The Guardian’s Oliver James assists a more grown up view of what may be going on in this man’s head. Such a pity there is very little discussion at this level.