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Sunday, 15 November 2009

Wet 'n' Wild.

As any of you who know me from other Internet sites may know, i like to do a bit of running.
Of late though, that has been a rather hit & miss affair. But, i'm once again trying to get back into it & i may even try & run a couple of races in the new year. No promises though. I'll have to wait & see how my body holds up! I'm not getting any younger after all.

I have been thinking of using this blog to write about my running progress & maybe even to relay some of my thoughts about running & what it has meant to me. We'll see.

But, in the meantime, i just wanted to mention my run this morning.

As is often the case, when i woke up there was the usual debate raging in my head as to whether i could actually be bothered to go for a run. Believe me, the hardest step is the one out of the front door.

Over the past couple of days we have been having some rather wild weather. Very strong winds & heavy rain. Not the most ideal conditions to run in, as you can probably imagine. Having said that, those conditions can be quite exhilarating to run in. but, more of that later.

As the weather seemed to have, at last, calmed down overnight. I decided to take the plunge. A very prophetic word as it happens.
Getting out the front door was no obstacle & off i went.

Now i'm pretty lucky in that i live very close to the seafront, which is the perfect place to run. No cars, plenty of room & good views etc. Today was no exception.
I'd already decided which way i was going to run. Maybe rather foolishly, this was with the wind behind me on the way out. meaning i'd be running into it on the way back. Although not gale force any more, the wind was still pretty blowy (is that a word?)

As i said before, we've had some recent stormy weather. So, it was great to run along the seafront, watching the waves crash onto the beach (the tide was pretty high at the time), checking to see what damage the storms had done & seeing what interesting items might have been washed up onto the beach.

One of the great attractions of living in a seaside town in the Winter, are the storms & the sea. There is nothing quite like watching the huge grey waves rolling in from the sea & crashing onto the beach. I could & do watch this for hours, as do many others.
This may seem a little strange. But, i know of many locals who actually prefer the Winter to the Summer for exactly this reason.

As i was running along, i happened to look behind me. I often do this, as there is a great view across the bay towards Eastbourne. Another reason is because this is the usual direction that the weather comes from, the south-west. Well, i couldn't see Eastbourne! It was completely obscured by a huge grey/black cloud & it was heading straight for Hastings.

There was no way that i was going to turn back. Not after making all that effort to get out of the door in the first place. I was also rather intrigued as to what that huge cloud might bring.
I kept on running & the wind started to strengthen, as the clouds got closer & closer.
Well, soon enough the sky grew very dark & the rain started to fall. Not too hard at first. But, within a minute, or so, the rain, mixed with hail, was pouring down & i was already getting soaked.

I carried on manfully & reached my turning point, which is basically where Hastings ends & the cliffs start. The rain was lashing down & sea there was crashing into the base of the cliffs. It was such a spectacular sight that i stopped, tried to shelter behind part of the rock face & stood watching the sea bashing the rocks in front of me. It was at this point that i wished i'd had a camera with me.

By this time, i was so wet that i didn't care any more. So, i turned around & headed for home, approx 2 miles away. Straight away the wind & the rain hit me right in the face. The rain was stinging my face so badly that i was having to lower my head to try & stop the worst of it.
I was soaked to the skin & my running shoes were full of water.

But, i was having great fun!

As i mentioned earlier, there is something strangely exhilarating about being out in that kind of weather & of battling against the elements. Which is exactly what i was doing.
I'm sure that all the people safely huddled in the relative calm of their cars thought that i & the other runners & dog walkers who were still battling on, were absloutely mad.
But, little do they know that, probably without exception, we were all getting a kind of perverse enjoyment out of the situation. The runners etc, who i did pass, all had a smile on their face. Maybe it was a knowing smile? A smile saying "we're all in this together & they just don't know what they are missing"

I eventually got home, still in the pouring rain & dripped my way into the house.
I don't think i've ever been that wet before. Certainly not when running.

But, you know what? I wouldn't have missed that run for the world.


  1. What a fantastic experience, Andy! I swear I hadn't read this before I used the word "exhilarating" over on Dailybooth. I love the way you described things - I could really picture it all in my head. I know exactly what you're saying about the majesty of storm and sea. Nature is often most beautiful when she's most inhospitable.

  2. Thanks Mike. I'm pleased that i managed to convey at least a little of my wet & wild experience. Nature is indeed at her most beautiful when imhospitable.

  3. You need a headcam or something, like they have on the Grand National, those things must have great antishock! I can see a new, spin-off YouTube Channel "MoosemansMiles!" Seek sponsorship, run the London Marathon (although I think it is too late for next year to enter, my friend does it) I am full of ideas, so long as it is not me doing the running!

  4. Anthony: Yeah, a headcam would be great for that wouldn't it & for other video opportintiies too. I have run the London Marathon 4 times in the past. But not for 10 years now though.
    As much as i'd like to run one again, it involves a hell of a lot of training & i'm not sure i'm up for that these days.
    I like the "MoosemansMiles" channel name though. Nice idea. Keep 'em coming.