Friday night I was in Cambridge , having driven down that day. Not the easiest of journeys as torrential rain and high winds made for tricky driving conditions. But as is often the way by the time I arrived in the evening the air was fresh and with the wind died down it was lovely running weather .
I have been visiting Cambridge a few times over the past couple of years and have fitted in a few runs when time allows. The beauty of running there is just how flat it is everywhere, makes me realise how many hills I encounter on my regular routes at home.
When I visit I usually stay at a friend’s house which is very central and so my routes take me past lovely buildings and the green open parks or ‘pieces’ as they are called here. This evening as it was late I did not venture too far and took myself through the streets across Parker’s Piece to the centre of town. The streets were filling up with Friday night party people, it was end of term and you could almost feel the collective sigh of relief and delight of the associated blow out that goes with end of exams. As I was not planning on joining the party I looped back via a late night grocer to collect some bread and milk before heading back for a beer.
Day 22 3.61 miles Total mileage 72.71
After lie in till 8.30 and lazy cup of tea I decided to head out for my run at around 10. It was a lovely sunny morning if a bit windy, and because I was under no time pressure I wanted to extend my run and explore, its nice to get a chance to run somewhere different and do a spot of speedy sightseeing. Cambridge city centre is quite compact, and there is a good network of paths along the river and on the ‘backs’ – the green field area where many of the university colleges back onto the river.
I don’t know if it was because of the flat terrain or the sunshine, but my legs did not feel too stiff even after my long drive and late evening run. I started my route running from my friends house across Parkers Piece into town, passing Emmanuel College and the Sedgwick museum and down to Pembroke St to the river. Even at this early hour there were lots of tourists, bikes and locals out and about. I stopped to take a few pictures and headed towards Sheep Fen, this is an area of meadow pretty much in the centre of the city, and where animals graze. This morning I saw not sheep but cows resting beneath a large tree – maybe an indicator of rain to come – all in all a very pastoral scene.
4.04 miles Total mileage 76.75
I had spent an enjoyable Saturday evening watching the Euros -Spain v France and reminiscing with my old school friend, conversation washed down with wine of course, so had got to bed later than I had planned. Overnight I was woken by heavy rain – this does seem to be a recurring June theme. I would be driving back to Edinburgh later that day, so had planned to run before meeting up with my student daughter and the fun job of packing up one year’s worth of possessions into our car.
The rainy night had meant a fitfull sleep, so at 7 am with an apparent break in the weather I thought I should just head out.
What a contrast to the previous day – it was not cold, but was pretty miserable running in blustery showers, quite the home from home. Sunday morning in any city can look a bit forlorn and Cambridge was no exception. As the showers were so heavy I did not want to risk taking my iPod or even using headphones with my iPhone. Running in all weathers I have given a lot of thought to how you can keep gadgets and music safe from rain during runs, and more particularly in one of the wettest June’s I can remember. In truth the only fail safe I have found is to abandon the headphones and wrap the iPhone in a plastic bag, safely in a jacket pocket.
With the windy wet weather, I was less motivated to explore, so kept my run local, doing a few laps of Parkers Piece before heading back home to a welcoming warm bath and cup of tea.
I picked my daughter up, and the car packing went remarkably well, so we headed to Bill’s restaurant for a brunch before the long journey. the food at Bill’s is very good – great breakfast choices and puddings. Of course everything tasted twice as good knowing I had burned up some calories earlier running.
Day 24 3.76 miles Total mileage 80.51