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Thursday 30 August 2012

Lost in Dorset

Popped down to the parent’s house in Dorset for a relaxing weekend and decided to take advantage of the lovely hills and lanes to get a run in. It was only supposed to be 6 or 7 miles, but my Dad got a bit enthusiastic about driving me to a good destination (he obviously wanted an hour or so of peace) and dropped me off about 13 miles from home.

It was a really nice idea, but as he knows the lanes and the area so well he drove with a commentary, saying things like “Of course you could always add in 2 miles by going left back there and running around there ...” and “You don’t have to go this way at all, you could cut off this bit by running up that lane, left at the end, past the tree shaped like a chimney...” and such helpful and highly confusing comments. As a result, I got dropped somewhere in a maze of lanes with a vague idea that my first couple of markers were a right into a lane, a left then immediate left into an almost identical lane and then I would pass a post box at some point. Hmmm ... a good start to ‘Operation Get-Completely-Lost’.

To my credit, I managed to follow the route back fairly well. Not a mean task considering my route took place on lanes with almost uniformly green and 12 foot high hedges. Forget all this quaint hawthorne hedge and patchwork fields stuff, these were the summer hedges hiding mad pigeons and roaring tractors and with nettles growing out of them which I had to press myself into every time a car driver came roaring around the bend. It was a nice run nevertheless, although very warm and that coupled with the hills meant I wished I’d brought a bottle of water.

I stopped briefly while passing the pub in Stourton Caundle to let an elderly Nissan driver attempt a parallel park outside the pub. He didn’t seem to realise he would be blocking the pub entrance or notice that he was attempting to mow down a runner so I thought I’d stop and do my part for Help the Aged by allowing him to go first.

Over the next couple of miles I regretted my decision not to stop for a drink as it got hotter and hotter and the next 2 villages didn’t have a local pub. Focusing all my attention on the Gainsborough Public House in the next village and dreaming of my nice icy cold coke, I missed a turning which meant a 2 mile detour and U-turn ... and the cold drink being put back by another 18 minutes or so. Sod.

Got a *too late* call from my Dad telling me I’d missed my turn. Worryingly all of my family seem to have developed stalker tendencies since the advent of ‘Find My friends’ app on the iPhone. I told him I had worked it out and was on my way to the pub. Dad perked up considerably and told me he could leave the BBQ in the capable hands of my Mum and he would join me for a half a cider at the pub.

Needless to say, I got to the pub, cold drinks were enjoyed and the last 2 miles of the run were abandoned for a lift home. One day I may develop will power and lose the need to stop at pubs during long runs for a nice cold coke ... well. Stranger things have happened.

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