Black socks! Brilliant! Why did I never think of it?
When it's tippling down with rain and you're ankle deep in mud, black is where it's at. And if you have matching black trail shoes all the better. I had neither (although if you'd seen me at the end of today's run you wouldn't have known).
But I'm getting ahead of myself. We need to go back to 8pm Saturday when it started to rain. And then it absolutely pelted it down all night. So although it was hardly raining when I met Simon outside The Amble Inn at 7:20 the ground was wet, sodden, drenched.
We headed north along Swan Walk to East Hyde and then took an Ultra John footpath up to Peters Green. I'm sure with fresh legs on a glorious sunny day the path is an absolute delight. However, with heavy legs from yesterday's 11-mile romp, traversing the wet slippery grass and rutted mud was a real slog. The views on the way up are probably magnificent too. All I saw was gazelle legs Speirsy effortlessly bounding ahead.
Today's route took in many fine (i.e. muddy) paths interspersed with short sections on-road. Advanced route planning was minimal with a good few "I wonder where this path goes? Let's find out" and a handful of "Hang on - I recognise this path, but last time I ran it in the opposite direction".
The day ended with 10 miles covered at an average pace of 7:48. Not a bad result given the conditions under foot. If it hadn't been for Simon I would have skipped the loop out from Marshall's Heath Lane to Gustard Wood golf course and back (mile eight). Windy, muddy, nasty and a footpath flooded into a fully-fledged ankle-deep stream. What was the boy thinking?
So this week has ended with 50 miles on the clock which equals my second ever highest weekly mileage (the highest was during my 2005 marathon training).
Now do remind me again - is it a 10K or a 100K I'm training for?