Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Fat Runner back from holidays

Fun, fun, fun in the sun, sun sun - as the theme from Red Dwarf states. Also a pretty good description of The Fat Runner's recent holiday!!

Unfortunately he has no photos of where he was running to post here, so he'll just describe it for us in his own words:

"I step outside of the house, set on an island in Scandinavia, and breath in the fresh air - warm from the many hours of sunshine which have been blazing already this morning, and heavily laden with the scents of the nearby fields and forests.

Strapping on my Garmin 305, two quick checks to make sure it has locked on to satellites and to my heart rate monitor, I walk down the gravel track by the side of the old barn and towards the deep blue sea. Once I'm at the boat house, a sharp turn right up to the fence which marks the end of our property, a flick of the 'start' button on my forerunner, and I'm off!

The trees close in a little over the gravel track, but it is still possible to peer through the trees to my left and see a small motor boat humming its way out to sea.

The gravel track merges with the road after about two minutes of running, the trees pull back slightly, and the air feels a little less close.

Now is the time to relax and not push the speed too much - make sure that I have enough in the tank to push harder towards the end.

To the left of me is a steep bank down from the road to the sea and I see some locals getting into their boat at their small pier, almost falling into the sea itself now.

Around a right hand corner, away from the sea and a short and deceptively steep hill. I make sure I slow down even further here, as running up hill stretches the plantar fascia and risks triggering my injury again. But soon I'm past the steep part, and around the next left hand corner is the old school for the island. It is only a few rooms - I think it never had more than about 30 students or so, and closed down over 50 years ago. It's now owned by the local landowners who collectively rent it out to a lady in her seventies. It's also where the traditional midsummer activities are held.

Past the school, and eventually the road plunges downwards and I let my speed pick up naturally with gravity. One of the things I do have is gravity!!

The hill again flattens out, probably about 15 metres or so above the sea. Again, to the left is a very steep bank, covered in pine, spruce and fir trees with the odd house. I'm sure the first one has its own smoker, because the smell of strongly smoked fish comes up towards me - I really need to get my own smoker, as I've been getting better at catching (and filleting) pike this holiday.

But before I know it, the smell has gone, and the only monotonous part of the run starts - I'm about 1.5k in now, and I'm only doing 5k runs.

The few things to look at are the yellows and purples of the roadside flowers which are left to grow virtually unmolested - there is very little traffic which comes down this road. And sometimes peeking out between the flowers you can see the bright red of a wild strawberry - which looks like a normal strawberry in miniature - about the size of a large pea, and as sweet as candy. No time to stop to pick one up though, and I press on.

Once again, the trees give way, this time to farmland which is used to raise cows - dairy cows I think. Only a minute or so and then I reach the fence which marks my turning point.

Back into the trees, past the wild strawberries and the fantastic smoking smell, check the forerunner - could be a good time!

Up past the school, and now downhill back towards the sea - let the speed build up but not too much, and carry it onto the straight. Past the public pier and back down onto the old track. Again check the forerunner - this will definitely be a personal best!

Push for about 90 seconds down the gravel track and get to the fence, stop the forerunner, and yes! A personal best by about 25 seconds!

Quick stretch before walking back up to the house past the barn, and time for a well-earned shower!"

Sounds rather idyllic!