After a few high(ish) mileage weeks, this week was a low mileage, recovery week. After the hard work the body is given an easier week to consolidate the gains made.
Most of the week’s miles were accomplished with just walking the dogs locally.
On Thursday, I took Misty for a four miler around Water Orton, passing the baby goat before crossing over the railway and making our way to the river where she had a quick dip.
On returning home, I discussed an idea with my other half which involved me walking Gabby for a couple of miles before getting picked up in the car and nipping to the boozer.
Gabby and I walked up to Woodlands cemetery were a few minutes after our arrival, Sue rocked up in the car.
I opened up the back and there was Misty waiting for us so in jumped Gabby.
A quarter of an hour later we rolled onto the pub’s car park and proceeded to take two very excited dogs to a bench where we could enjoy a drink.
The hounds took a while to settle down (they don’t get out much!) but I held them both whilst Sue went and fetched the drinks. The dogs sat quietly without whining until Sue’s return with drinks and bags of scratchings for them.
I fetched the second round and was pleased that the puppies didn’t whine.
Once they’d settled down they were fairly well behaved – more work needed so, I suppose, more trips to the pub !
With this week’s long walk only needing to be fourteen miles, I decided to visit my nearest parkrun at Babbs Mill (Link).
With the parkrun accounting for 3.1 miles, I only had to add an extra eleven. With two, two mile, dog walks the walk to and from parkrun, had to be only seven miles.
I decided on a walk via Water Orton, Gilson and Coleshill.
The first section down Attleboro Lane to Water Orton was very familiar until I came across a seemingly random slab of concrete. This lane is quiet at the best of times so why HS2 have decided on laying down this bit of pavement I just don’t know !
This new closure meant that I had to back-track a little before crossing under the M42 and turning right towards Gilson.
Another half a mile or so and I turned off to follow the public footpath to Coleshill.
This footpath used to cut though a small wooded area before crossing a field to a kissing gate.
HS2 strikes again – all the trees have been cut down and the footpath has been confined to a narrow strip of land between a couple of newly erected wire fences.
After the kissing gate looking around from a junction of paths, it is evident that more deforestation has taken place.
Just in the local area, loads of mature trees have been felled and I am yet to see a single tree planted to replace them.
More worrying is a newly laid blob of tarmac filling in what is usually a fairly clean puddle from which the dogs often drink – bloody HS2 !
The scourge of the HS2 continued about half a mile later when I came to sign saying that Gypsy lane was closed ahead. For about a year, this road was closed to traffic but still accessible to pedestrians. This time – no chance !
On reaching the River Cole, I turned right and followed the river to the narrow bridge at the bottom of Coleshill. From here, I climbed up to the town centre from where I made my way, past Morrisons to the B4114, Birmingham Road.
A mile from Coleshill, as I approached Bacon End, I was alarmed by the sound of a vehicle popping and banging behind me.
Turning around I saw a van drive past belching out vast clouds of smoke. The van stopped and the occupants leapt out.
There was an AA van parked opposite to which the driver called, “just the man!”.
“Looks like that’s on fire!” replied the AA man, “I’d get away from that!”
I didn’t really have time to stand around but passing the site later there were no signs of fire on the road surface so it was probably just the engine giving up the ghost.
I left the smoking van and dropped down to re-acquaint myself with the River Cole which I followed to Babbs Mill and the start of the parkrun.
I arrived around half eight with around thirty minutes to the off.
Whilst waiting, a woman came up to me, “You used to do the photos?” she half asked, half stated.
I owned up. After starting my parkrun journey back in 2010, I allowed the running to take a back seat but was still involved in the role of official photographer. Also being involved with Centurion running club, I would photograph runners at the Grand Prix and also some local races.
The lady who had accosted me, reminded me of the time, in 2012, when, for charity, people were invited to run around the local track carrying an olympic torch.
“I wish I’d had one of those photos”, she lamented.
“Sorry, but I think that I’ve deleted most of those – I had hundreds”, I apologised.
She had to go off as she was marshalling and had to get into position. I stood around the start getting slowly nibbled by the local wildlife. Hours later, my legs and arms were itching from the numerous bites and I had to try very hand to stop myself scratching !
Eventually, the event was under way and starting from the back, I quickly got into my stride and was soon passing the slower ‘runners’.
Babbs Mill is basically two laps of a lake with a short lead in and out – the typical lollypop course.
I settled into a pace of under 12:30 a mile and continued to pick off a few before completing the second lap and heading for the finish.
Crossing the line, I stopped my watch at 38:40 – an average pace of 12:23. The official email had my time as 38:41 – an extra second.
I had only attended Babbs Mill once before and that was for a trial run before the event went live.
The course is a bit different from the earlier version and works quite well with a little incline on the loop.
With a walk home, my total mileage for the day came to 16.64.
|TOTALS for 2021|
|TODAY’S MILEAGE||17 miles|
|ANNUAL MILEAGE||1185 miles|
|#WALK 1000 REMAINING||-185 miles|
|ROUTE 66 REMAINING||1093 miles|
That was parkrun number 49. Next week’s parkrun will be my fiftieth and I will then qualify for my FREE parkrun 50 T-shirt (£15 from September 1st). Next Saturday, I will return to Bruton park in Solihull which was the venue of my first even parkrun back on 6th November 2010.
Back home, later, I rummaged through my Lightroom catalog and came across a photo of my mystery lady.
I posted the photo on Facebook and someone came back to me with a name and an offer to pass any photographs on.
Someone else replied asking about the Olympic Torch photos and I was able to find three photos of her which I sent.
I also dug out this picture of yours truly with the torch.