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Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Happy Mondays - Pills 'n' Thrills and For Goodness Shakes

Not every run is some epic Greensand Way trail. Behind the scenes our group put away some serious weekday miles to build up our stamina and strength for the long runs to come. I know a lot of paths through the Busbridge woods and beyond, but any chance to mix up my weekly morning training routes is always a bonus.

It was on the Happy Monday this week that Claire suggested I run home back to Godalming with her from her workplace in Guildford so I said yes and looked forward to it all day.

To get into the mood for the day this Happy Mondays Song sprung to mind From a classic album called Thrills n Pills and Bellyaches

 I set off at around 4.15pm from where I live near Winkworth Arboretum and ran the 2 miles down Brighton Rd past the Godalming Sign

running into Godalming from the Hascombe side of town

I had added my very powerful umbilical dive torch to my running kit so that the dark portion of our run was well lit off road. As I ran into Godalming I couldnt understand what kept swinging round to bash me until I realised my dive compass was inadvertantly attached to it as well. I put this on my wrist for safe keeping, looking like a runner with serious kit overkill.

My Dive compass always points towards Ras Mohammed in the Red Sea in Egypt

I settled into the run and crossed the canal at Farncombe Boat House intending to run to Guildford by road.

The Weyside Canal by Farncombe Boat House
It was then just a case of cruising up the A3100 on the pavement until I got to Guildford. At a pace of about 10 mins 30 seconds per mile the run quickly took me to the outskirts of Guildford.

The Outskirts of Guildford
Its funny what you notice when you are running that you dont see when you are driving at 30 mph. As I ran past the ruins of the Abbey I noticed part of the hill leading down to the road had some great tree and cave formations in it.

The Hill under the Abbey Ruins in Guildford
I arrived at Claires Office after 1 hour and 15 minutes of running about 7 miles and waited while she got changed. We set off again as the sun started to set at around 5.45pm and picked up the Weyside Canal by the ODEON Cinema.

Claire running along the Weyside Canal near the ODEON Cinema Guildford

As we got out of the city the light dropped away and I got a last chance to take an ambient light photo of the Canal at a point on the path that Claire thinks is one of the prettiest ( I agree) .

Weyside Canal Sunset near Guildford

Having run this path a few times during the day its always a surprise at how unfamiliar everything can be in dark. On the last post when we were running the Greensand Way between Dorking and Reigate we came across some WWII GHQ Pill Boxes and we knew there were also 2 examples on this run so we stopped to have a look at one of them about halfway between Guildford and Godalming.

WWII Type 22 GHQ Pill Box Sign

Claire with a Type 22 Pill Box that made up part of the GHQ Defence line

Around this part of the run I had a major 'Shaun Ryder' moment in true Happy Mondays style. I started feeling very sweaty and wobbly and a little unwell. I put it down to low blood sugar but later that evening I got a rather brutal cold (about halfway through a Ukejam night when I was going to stand up and sing one of the songs).

The rest of the run was a bit of a slog for me as I didnt feel at my best .This is when running with someone else really helps and Claire gave me lots of verbal and physical abuse to keep me running.

When we finally burst out into the bright lights of Godalming by the Bell and Dragon I was quite relieved the run was nearing its end. A final burst of energy was needed to get up all the steps leading back into Busbridge and I was back at Claires house with a Chocolate For Goodness Shakes bottle in my hand and a posh continental biscuit . The total run for me was 13.4 miles (just over a half marathon) and about 6 miles for Claire. I then wobbled off home like Bez.

The Bell and Dragon in Godalming at night.

I enjoyed the run for lots of reasons, I usually run in the morning and on my own during the week and usually off road in the woods so everything about this run was a nice change. I dont normally run this far during the week either so I was pleased with the mileage. Hopefully there will be other chances to run home from work with Claire and I may take some time to find some other off road paths we can run instead in the future.

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