So, this weekend we were going to France to help friends who moved there a while ago to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. We travelled down to Folkestone on Thursday, staying overnight at the Burlington Hotel almost on the esplanade, so we could take the train first thing in the morning and spend Friday driving down to near La Rochelles. This meant that I had to do my Friday morning run in Folkestone. I set my alarm for 5:30, crawled out of bed and flopped around the room in the semi-darkness whilst my legs refused to slide gracefully into my leggings and my bra pinged across the room, and my husband snored blissfully through the whole event.
I scrambled out of the hotel into the pre-dawn chill and began my warm-up walk on the esplanade slightly uphill to the right. I passed the very occasional and deeply startled looking dog walker, when I gave my habitual grin and cheery good morning that I do to the many dogwalkers and runners and cyclists on my usual later-in-the-day route. Guess that doesn't happen so often here at this time of day. When the esplanade ran out and became housing I turned round and ran back, past the hotel, and the lookout with the 10 hour clock, and the bandstand. Somewhere around here I ran towards and then past a fellow runner, travelling in the other direction; also female, also well-built and wearing a flowing, knee-length sleeveless jacket with open seams below the waist which was flapping in the breeze of her running like storm-tossed clouds against the pale pink of the rising sun. We exchanged smiles and greetings and continued on our separate ways. I passed the cafe and the theatre, and the benches that have motion activated readings of WW1 letters home to family and loved ones, and finally reached the war memorial with knitted and crocheted poppies all around it and the relatively new arch (looking similar to the one in St Louis, USA) , gleaming in the light of the newly risen sun. I reached the roundabout and looked down the steep hill the other side and decided to just turn around and head back.
I was almost back to the hotel when Laura said my 30 minutes were up - but pounding towards me was my fellow runner...I couldn't just stop in front of her - it would make it look like I had given up! So I ran for another 2 minutes. We beamed at each other and shouted congratulations, and once she was safely past I dropped down to a walk for my 5 minutes warm down.
Bursting with energy I crept back into the hotel room with the ninja silence of Tiggr on his best behaviour, to find Snoring Beauty sitting blearily on the edge of the bed. I made us both a peanut butter sandwich and a cup of coffee. What a great place to run, and what an excellent start to the day.