T-34 (Running the coast): Suffering on the South Downs

Planned to do a 40 miler yesterday on the South Downs. The first part of the run would be along the coast that we will be running in just over a month’s time when we run Hythe to Portsmouth.

I woke up with a sore throat, and decided to get on with it anyway. Drove off to Maidstone to pick up my mate Michael and headed down to Eastbourne where we would start with others. We got there early and searched out a Wetherspoons and grabbed some breakfast. That’s one of the great things about trail running – it seems compatible with eating proper food.

We met up with others on Eastbourne pier and set off with about 12 others from Eastbourne. Up over the Seven Sisters and then 6 miles in it all went wrong. Couldn’t breathe. Felt like I had barbed wire in my chest. Legs went heavy. Got headbutted by a horse and felt like the world was going to end.

Me and friend Michael and Alzbeta popped in to pub for a cup of tea. Instead of giving up, I thought I would suffer on until I couldn’t go further. I started to feel a little better and ploughed on. Feeling quite woozy at points and really suffering with breathing on the uphill stretches, downhill stretches, and on the flat, and when I was running and when I was walking.

In the end we made it to Newhaven and got the bus back to Eastbourne. Didn’t sleep last night through waking myself up coughing and now being well looked after my wife. Don’t try this at home kids! Running with flu like symptoms is not big or clever. Still managed a few smiles for photos except in the pub when I was feeling miserable.

The best thing about the day were meeting new people, being well looked after on the trail without any worry about how slow I was going, and chilling out with a cup of tea at half way. Loved seeing randomly some members of my running club up on the trail too.

Some photos below – I’m the one looking miserable in some of the photos, and wearing my Serpentine Running club buff.

On 1-4 April 2016 we will be running from Hythe to Portsmouth as part of our plan to run the UK coast. We did most of the Kent Coast last year. Please donate at http://www.justgiving.com/hythetoIOW to support Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

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