Long Slow Run vs Total Wipeout

After a good week’s running, managing all of my runs with no mix-ups of weeks or distances or pace, I set off for the last run of the week -mmy LSR. I’d planned 8 miles to the canal, along the towpath to a beautiful little town, and back again. Sorted!Weather was cool, which was a good start. Parked up no problem, and set off.

You know its going to be a good run when you pass a bench with this inscription

The disused canal is lovely, as I’ve run along it over the last few years I can see the work they’ve done to renovate it, and I see a change each time I go. No cars, just runners, dog walkers and a few cyclists. Lots of wildlife, especially squirrels (they even have their own bench). Lovely!

They’re still working on this bit of the canal lock system

Two miles into my run, and I spot this ahead of me.

Hmmm – not what you want to see

Towpath closed. I ran up and down a couple of times, then decided to run back up into the big town instead. This route is alongside the river, and is a 2 mile ‘extra’ I tack onto my canal run when I need to make the miles up.

Unfortunately I’d forgotten about the torrential rain, and flooding we had the previous weekend. Parts of the path along the river bank were incredibly muddy, but I met my nemesis on the concrete slope that takes the path down under the road bridge.If you’ve ever seen ‘Total Wipeout’ (essential Saturday night viewing in our house – we have very sophisticated television taste) you’ll know that at the start of the qualifier the contestants have to run down a steep slippery slope with water running down it. They often simply slip and go straight down onto their backsides, legs still spinning (cartoon style-e). The trick seems to be to run as fast as you can whilst keeping your balance. Well, this is exactly what running down this slope was like. Desperate not to fall over I sprinted wildly down, with windmilling arms whilst inadvertently shouting “WWWAAAGGGHHHH!!!!!”  It was only as I reached the bottom (still on two feet) I noticed a poor dog walker waiting to climb up the slope, looking absolutely terrified at this wailing writhing banshee descending at speed towards her.

One day I will learn to trip, fall and slip silently. One day.

On the plus side, I did manage to complete my 8 miles, and it was most definitely slow, so mission accomplished!

P.S. Just realised, the canal is part of the Wilts and Berks Canal, which is peculiarly apt as I often ‘Wilt’ on long runs round here, and I did feel like a total ‘Berk’ on this run!


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