Thursday, March 29, 2007

The South Downs and Brighton were the sort of places you'd like to visit... if it was just a little warmer. Under an ominous sky, we were turned back on a planned walk along the South Down Way near the Jack and Jill windmills by horizontal rain.
OK, we should have just turned around and put on rain gear, but we decided to go to the pub instead... as you do.

And a lovely pub it was - the Dog and Shepherd. Geoff, the publican said we could stay in the car park, next to the garden with a stream gurgling all night.

The 6 mi walk the next morning up onto the Downs was a bit of a trudge with limited visibility and a cold wind, so we headed into Brighton to explore. Out on Brighton pier, the Brits proved to be a sturdy lot. The cold wind did not deter families and packs of teenagers from having a fun day out. We arrived back in the Nat Park at the remote Devils Dyke car park at dusk.

The walkers cars left one by one, and we popped the top to settle in for the night. Then the strange visits began... cars would drive in, stay only for a minute and leave. We began to recognise some - a flash BMW and a big brown van. All men and they sat in their cars and did not greet each other. So we went to bed, and listened to the comings and goings until midnight when Billy climbed down to try to figure out what was going on. He was pretty spooked when he looked out the window and saw a huge man looking in.... and then another man at the other window! He described zombie like men all milling around the car... ARG! "Toni hand me my clothes!" So we got out of there in a hurry. Not sure what we were witness to, but it was not a cool place to camp wild. We were both pretty shaken and didn't get much sleep when we found a safe pub carpark. Sorry, no photos of the scene, but I'm not sure we would have gotten out alive had we taken their pictures!

I enjoyed telling Adam Tinkoff all about it as we ran together again (without Nigel, again!) around Hyde Park, where Adam seems quite at home.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

I'm finally back to running again after the chest cold that wiped me out when I visited Mom in Seattle. My sister came too. Linnie had a shoulder injury from karate, so the two of us lounged around and had Mom take care of us. We loved every minute of it! I forgot the camera at home, so sadly no photos. It was great to see both of them.

Met up with Adam Tinkoff and a fellow Burning Twenty listener, Duncan, for another run around Hyde Park. What a character Adam is! He truly wanted Duncan to follow his dream and write... breaking free of perceived barriers. And he gave us a summary of Chi running. I'm not sure I really get it, but it proved a great distraction to the running and we carried on until after dark.

The next day Billy and I headed off for a long weekend in Exmoor on the north Devon coast. Beautiful area, if a bit blustery. It was hard to sleep at night with gale force winds buffeting the campervan. Finally the second night we moved at dawn down into the public carpark in Lynmouth, popped the top and crawled back into bed to sleep...just in time for noisy cranes to arrive to move sailboats!

How to I equate hiking miles to running? We took a beautiful walk along the coastal path and into the National Trust Watersmeet river basin one day and the next we started near Cloud Farm, the site that inspired J.D. Blackmoor to write Lorna Doone, which led to at least ten movies and miniseries, and the biscuits (I didn't remember the book, but I did remember the cookie!). We got lost up on the moors... everything looks the same!

Anyway, I've translated my walking miles on as 50% running miles? Surely one can't be expected to run after a 10 mile hike up and down the moors! The last day we started at at a great pub, Hunter's Inn, and walked the coastal path down to Woody Bay. We're going to have to come back when its warmer!

After a night in a monstrosity of trailer park in Brean (but blissfully quiet!), we walked on the beach and out to the National Trust point. We took Ali out for lunch on the way home in Bristol. She's broke, smashed up the Polo, but is happy. So back to work again and a resolution to run further and faster!