Three crosses and wet feet

6 12 2008

The weather today was absolutely glorious. Crisp blue skies and still. No fog. I could actually see things.

Unfortunately, it was a fairly late start of 9:30 or so due to two small visitors in the night meaning we slept in a bit.

As a father I have become slightly more familiar with nursery rhymes in the last couple of years. One stuck in my mind today as I was passing Banbury on my virtual run.

Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross
To see a fine lady upon a white horse
With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes
She shall have music wherever she goes

I could have done with a “cock horse” today as I am carrying a slight hamstring niggle from yesterday ! It felt much better this morning but I decided to run cautiously and cut the distance to 9 miles or so.

My real run took me along the Wirral Way and then down to the River Dee near Burton and along the coast to Parkgate.

Thankfully it was quiet on the Wirral Way today but it was extremely wet from the previous week and the fields surrounding the path were quite saturated and flooded in some cases. I was able to avoid the wet patches for the most part and arrived at the deserted Hadlow Road Station in one piece.

The next part of the run was rather strange – a bit like those warnings that “the next programme may contain flash photography”. As I ran the sun flickered rapidly as it was hidden behind individual trees and branches. It was very very irritating and I was desperate to get to true shadow or sun again.

I was now to tackle the toughest part of the run – a climb up to Burton. By now I was in a nice steady rhythm and running on a wide quiet country road. It’s funny how some cars give you such an incredible wide berth when passing you would literally have to throw yourself at them in order for them to hit you.

When I reached the top of the hill it was certainly worth it. A lovely vista opened out with woods to my right and the Dee Estuary ahead and to the left. Once again there were great views of the Welsh hills. Another “Wow” moment for sure.

I was very conscious of my shadow as I ran. The favourite bedtime story at the moment for the boys is a book called Stick Man and the resemblance is getting worrying. My shadow confirmed this to me.


Into Burton and another cross tucked away that I hadn’t seen before. It is always worth doing a run in reverse it is quite amazing what you miss running one way. So my legs had got me up to Burton cross at the top of a hill – just like Banbury !

It was now pretty much downhill all the way. Past some ramblers and onto the coast. Whether it was running downhill or the views or both but I felt totally uplifted. This is what running is about. The third cross is the one I feel I am sometimes carrying. It has felt that way for the last couple of weeks particularly the cold mid-week morning runs. I don’t like describing it this way but I suppose it only natural to feel like that from time to time and I want to keep this blog as honest as possible – otherwise what is the point ?

I ran on with the Estuary to my left, past the Harp pub and then was faced with a choice. Hill or wet marshland? I took the latter and could no longer pick around the puddles. Cold wet muddy feet and then to boot a horse blew in my face (probably a cock horse). I was so close to home it didn’t really matter.

Home in sub 10 minute pace but faster than I ran this week on much shorter injury free runs. Strange. I think I am obviously more geared up for the longer run just like Stick Man.

One day he wakes early and goes for a jog.
Stick Man, oh Stick Man, beware of the bog !




2 responses

6 12 2008
Louis Tobat

Robert, As a foreigner to your country it is very difficult to picture where you are running. What would be helpful to me would be a map of your jogging trails. Is it possible to get mapquest to show a diagram each time. I have not tried to pull one up for England/Scotland. No problem if you cannot show one. Enjoy your comments very much. Keep tracking. Good luck through the winter. Tu amigo. Luis

7 12 2008

Hi Luis,

I do have online maps for all my runs. I will explain all in my next entry (probably Tues or Wed).


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