"The goal is to become the unique, awesome, never to be repeated human being that we were called to be." -Patricia Deegan

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Running Like a Drunk Cockroach

A good trail for x-talons
Day 4 in Kent, England and 67km logged. We landed in England after 30 hours of travel and did what any normal person would do...we went for a 21k shake out run :)

Tallying the three runs' elevation, we'd be lucky if there was 800 metres in it, though! Southern England is a flaaaaat place. Much flatter than Perth. But to make up for the flatness of it, we are high jumping brambles and nettles to keep the quads and glutes active. My legs are on fire and full of welts and slashes! I wear my Compressport as much as I can, as it also helps reduce the severity of the plant attacks. WA might have deadly heat and deadly snakes and deadly spiders and deadly sharks, but England gets the nod for attacking plants.

The zigzag nature of an explore-run

For those who haven't been to England, it's a unique place to run. There are a plethora of public right-of-ways for walking/running and as a result - considering the density of the population - many go right through the middle of farmers' fields and people's yards. Two days ago we literally ran into a farmyard where two teens were practicing their golf swings. The footpath is obviously rarely used, as one of the boys helped beat back the stinging nettles with his golf club and then had to point out the exit path on the other side of the house...behind the car, to the left of the chicken coop.

An old wagon with a Bernadette trap
We got home and looked at our track log in Garmin Connect and Rolf said, "We look like a couple of drunk cockroaches!" That's what happens when you zig zag around, looking for trails, running into dead ends or bitumen or private property. It's great adventuring for me, not really knowing where I'm going or how long I'll be. Not something most people like, though. Today we feasted on wild raspberries. A fair reward for going through more razor sharp stinging nettles.

Good stile technique
Getting in and out of private lands, there are stiles. When wet, the paper thin layer of mossy mildew atop the wood plank becomes a skating rink and makes for very focused crossings.

It's pretty hard to get a solid pace going on a trail run here. There's a lot of climbing over stiles, running through sometimes overgrown fields of beans in fields, then popping out onto a road and trying to guess where the next footpath will be. But for me, it's perfect right now. I'm focusing on getting my strength back in my core and upper body and letting my left foot (the Bibbulmun foot) and my right hammy (the post TNF100/Kep 100 hammy) heal. So slow speed is wise speed. I did pushups for the first time in months yesterday (no pushups after my dislocated shoulder). I managed 20 in a row before needing a rest (aka falling to my face). Now to get back to 28 (my all-time PR) and aim for 40!

One more week and I'm off to Canada to get in all the elevation I can before Transalps!

In news of AUS citizenship, I was offered a test on 24 July. In Perth. (Insert Aussie 'baw baw' noise here). I was just gutted that I was going to be abroad and miss it. I've put in a request to see if it's possible to do it at an overseas consulate so that I don't have to wait until October.

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