Another tourist run today, but I discovered that Gremlins can either swim, or had stowed-away on the Isle of Wight ferry. It wasn't long before they had tracked me down. Initially they kept their presence hidden as I walked from my Dad's front door. I had decided to do a different route today and set off looking forward to running along the disused railway line that we had often gone for bike rides along as children; looking forward to negotiating puddles, I thought it would make a nice contrast to my coastal run the other day.
The road took me down past my old high school, and it wasn't long before the Gremlins made their first appearance in the guise of a gaggle of teenage girls who saw me approach and immediately seemed to fill the pavement, "You don't want to run this way," said my Gremlin. "You've timed it wrong. Go home, have some breakfast, and run later." And I realised all the way along The Fairway (the road) there were similar groups of students filling the pavement at varying intervals. The road was busy too, making getting round them hazardous.
Undeterred I waited for a gap in the school run traffic and ran round them. As I got nearer to the school the opposite pavement became less populated, so I crossed over, told the Gremlin where he could go, and smugly broke into a run. However I hadn't escaped the Gremlins that easily, and after a few minutes another appeared, gnawing at my Achilles' tendon. A voice in my head said, " Maybe you strained it, you shouldn't have run so far last time. Better to go home and take an extra rest day." It was very persuasive and I hesitated before realising this could just be another Gremlin. I would complete the first 10 minutes as this is often the hardest - if the niggle persisted home I'd go, if not it would mean I'd outrun the little devil.
Well he couldn't keep up and I got to the waymarker for the Red Squirrel Route which is the name now given to the old railway line. It must be 40 years since I last came this way, and as well as a name change, some bright spark in the council had also decided to change it from a muddy puddly lane into a smoothly tarmacked cycle track. My disappointment was soon accompanied by another voice, "How boring... it's too straight... it's not the same as you remember. Why didn't we run by the sea again? Let's make this a short run. " My pace slowed down, but as I spotted the tree I'd scaled aged 7 being frightened by a herd of marauding cows, I realised it was not so different from how I'd remembered it and was determined to run on.
So the Gremlins tried a different tack. If distracting me wouldn't work, perhaps poking me in the buttock with a broom handle would. NO! Perhaps squeezing either side of my kneecap with mole grips would. NO! And at 7.5 km perhaps turning my legs to lead would stop me. My Gremlins were assisted by the shuffle function on my playlist which decided to play One Way or Another by Blondie. It seemed to be saying
"🎶 One way or another, I'm gonna find you, I'm gonna get ya, get ya, get ya, get ya,
One way or another, I'm gonna stop you, I'm gonna stop ya, stop ya, stop ya, stop ya .🎶"
And my pace slowed down even further. I was almost dragging my legs behind me. Should I walk?
But the next track up had me was a godsend, Bohemian Like You, by the Dandy Warhols had me running alongside GingerBohemian with a renewed spring in my step. Next up was The Spencer Davies Group with Keep on Running, and I was on my way. The Gremlins were left far behind and I started to enjoy the beautiful countryside, even stopping to take a photo of the cows who had come to the fence to cheer me on (no marauding this time). I was also rewarded by a red squirrel crossing the path in front of me (so much lovelier than the big grey squirrels in my local park) and even managed to find a parallel footpath with some mud and puddles before I headed back towards the school (lots of strange memories evoked) and my way home. Mapmyrun told me I'd run 14.5km and I was pleased with this - the furthest I've ever run. I can't believe that this time last year I was just about to restart C25K and found running for just a minute tough.
Gremlins 0, Razouski 1 🤓