The Curly Wurly

Photo of Somerdale parkrun sign
Welcome to Somerdale parkrun!

Saturday 12th October 2019 was parkrun day, like any other Saturday, but more particularly it was parkrun away day. Well, for the Chippenham Harriers (my running club) it was, anyway. The coach was booked, seats purchased, plans made. The destination was to be Somerdale Pavilions parkrun, not too far away from Chippenham and home of the famous “Curly Wurly”.

The parkrun is in Keynsham, in the grounds of the now closed and redeveloped Cadbury factory. The trek over soggy fields to another soggy field was not inviting, but the veritable maze of tape marking the route was. I’ll post my Strava trace of the run which hopefully will illustrate what I mean:-

Somerdale Pavilion Strava trace

and the close up of the Curly Wurly:-

Curly Wurly Strava track

Nothing illustrates the Curly Wurly better than this video made by Mike, one of the Club stalwarts (and a former Chairman of our club). I finally appear at 4 minutes in (wearing a red t-shirt under my Harriers vest). Turn the sound on – the tune is called “The Curly Wurly!

And before anyone snitches to my physio, yes I ran but I also walked. I tried my best to “run clever”, but I also just enjoyed myself. Fabulous!

Happy Halloween!

Okay, so not *quite* Halloween but close enough. A short run showed me my allotment neighbour’s impressive pumpkin

Photo of pumpkin
Pumpkin. Sadly not mine

I then ran past the pile of wood waiting to become our village bonfire:-Looping back through the village I first passed a house that had peaked too early:-

Peaked too early. It was only 29th October

and then a house with a basket of windfall apples with a sign saying “Help yourself”. Would have been rude not to, so final few metres were run whilst clutching an armful of goodies.

Photo of scrumped apples
Scrumped apples

which were later turned into apple crumble and custard. Fabulous recovery food!

Running – remember that?

Oh yes, running. Not been much talk of that lately around here. It’s all been cycling, cycling, a bit of swimming, more cycling and a little bit of running. Not much good for a blog called “Black and Tabby Runs”!

Well, I have been running. Usually twice a week (if I can fit it in with all that cycling and swimming). With the start of the cross country season I’ve been loving getting out in the mud and puddles. The softer ground seems to be kinder to my foot, and to be honest I’ve always loved getting out in the middle of nowhere, splashing around and freezing my toes off. I have a race report to write up from the weekend (I’m waiting for the photographs) so in the meantime, here are some photos from today’s run:-

Frosty fields

Icy puddles

It’s icy down there!

Beautiful – and worth the cold to see it!

Juneathon Day 10. Run in the sun

Another busy day here. Exciting,  as the house has been full* of carpet fitters putting lovely carpet down. The carpet’s looking fab, they’re coming back tomorrow, and I managed to sneak out for a run whilst the sun was still shining.  3 easy miles: Done.
And today’s gratuitous kitten picture is brought to you by Lunar’s  ridiculously fluffy toes. Enjoy.


* There were 2 of them, but it felt like more.

One of those days

One of those days where your recovery run means you don’t feel at all stiff after yesterday’s unplanned half marathon, but you realise your favourite running pants must be losing their elasticity as they are no longer staying firmly in place.

One of those days when you go to the self scan till in the supermarket, and it bossily tells you to place your empty bags in the bagging area. When you do, it panics “UNEXPECTED ITEM IN THE BAGGING AREA!!!”

One of those days when the young man who comes to sort out your overly-sensitive till pityingly eyes your new pack of huge but incredibly comfy pants, and you want to shout “They’re for running! I’m a runner! I’VE RUN MARATHONS IN THESE PANTS!!!”

Huge and unattractive, but THE bast pants for running
Huge and unattractive, but THE bast pants for running

The one where I fell over

Of all the feeble excuses not to run, “I’ll have to wash my running kit in the shower” Is up there with “but the plasterer’s here and I’ll have to make lots of cups of tea”.

Yes it’s been that kind of week. Our dining room ceiling has been replastered, and the washing machine gave up the ghost and can’t be fixed until next week. This has meant lots of hand washing and visiting my parents with a big bag of dirty laundry. (Thanks Mum and Dad!)

On Saturday morning I suddenly remembered about Jantastic and realised I need to fit two runs into two days so as not to fail. So off I trotted around the village, determined to stay as clean as possible to make it easier to wash my kit in the shower afterwards.

All went well, until I took a short footpath that I haven’t been down for months. There was no frost today, so of course it was very soft and muddy, and despite being absolutely flat I managed to slip over. Just a few strides from the stile to take me back onto the road, my foot slid from under me and down on my knee I went. Fortunately the verge was so soft I didn’t hurt myself. Unfortunately I ended up with a very muddy pair of running tights to wash in the shower. But most importantly, no one saw me fall over (and that’s what matters!)

That'll be my muddy footprints then
That’ll be my muddy footprints then

Janathon Day 16. What’s the opposite of a recovery run?

I have a hilly, muddy, “through woods open to the public for the first time”(i.e. untamed) race on Sunday. Weather forecast is pants so it’s fair to say I’m feeling a little nervous. In the interests of preserving my legs I decided to just head out for a very gentle 3 mile plod today.

Whilst plodding (and shivering) I considered what this kind of run should be called. A gentle run after a race is a recovery run, but does a run beforehand have a special name? A preparation run? A prequel? An excuse for a very slow and short run? Hmm – I think we all know which of these is closest to the truth!

A Pint? That’s very nearly an armful!

From experience I know that I find running hard for about a week after giving blood. After donating a pint last night, I lowered my expectations and set off for just an easy 3 miles this morning. I was expecting my heart rate to be high, but to misquote Tony Hancock I think the lovely nurses at the blood doning session took a legful of blood from me last night. I felt so heavy-legged it was unbelievable. Luckily it was a beautiful sunny morning which took my mind off my legs. Warm sun on my arms and legs, and cold dew on my feet. Magical.

Do you give blood? Do you find it affects your running? Maybe I’m just a wimp!

Juneathon day 9. An Ode to my Legs

An Ode to My Legs the day after a 42 mile bike ride.

My legs were refusing to run
We did more than enough on the bike“.
I’ve told them it IS Juneathon
And we don’t have to go on a hike.

They said “Okay,
Have it your way,
We’ll just do a short plod today”.
So before they could bay
Or even say “nay!”
We snuck out for 3 muddy miles and I had a lovely time.