A journey of a lifetime! One coastline, three winters...
So this is day one. Only a few miles into the first leg of a 4500 mile running journey and my back aches. My soles hurt as if I’ve been punching them, which I suppose in a way I have, pounding them into the ground one after the other all morning. Now that I’ve sat down though – with a hand-warming mug of hot tea and the sun still shining on my face - I can’t help but feel I’m on the right track.
Most of my friends call me ‘Franny’ or ‘You’re Mad’ for short. Mad not because I love running (I do), nor because I run super fast (I don’t), but mad because I can run and run, then walk and run some more. Now before I get ahead of myself here I should mention that I run slowly, REALLY slowly! My mum often jokes that she’ll come for a ‘run’ with me one day and comfortably walk along beside me at the same speed! Though I’m sure I’m a tad faster than that, it’s true that speed is rarely my forte. The going is slow for me; slow enough that I can just keep going.
The plan, or so I keep telling my feet, is to run and camp along the British coastline over the next three Winters. I’ve begun close to home in Bristol and will head down through to the southern-most tip of Cornwall, winding my way clockwise round our Island and eventually meandering North around Scotland’s snowy peaks, jogging all the way (well maybe I’ll walk some of the hills…), and back to where I begun. This Winter I’m beginning with the south coast. Running for me is not a race, nor a question of speed and timing. It is a way to explore, to find those new trails, see different and varied landscapes and to experience winter running - something I have avoided for years and to my own detriment! No more excuses for me not to explore - I’m not yet fit but I’m not rushing to catch up with anyone. I’ll happily plod along this winter, distracted by every frog, jumping into every frozen puddle and smiling at every funny shaped tree!