The cup of tea in my right hand is offering the kind of comfort that could only be rivalled by receiving a hug off a koala bear, the newspaper weather report in my left hand suggests that the koala bear is about to ripped away in a nearby hurricane.
Sitting eating breakfast in the leafy outskirts of Winchester I’m struggling to come to terms with the fact it rains in the south, even in October. As a displaced southerner, my slightly rose tinted view of the south is sunshine, streets paved with gold and kindly gentlemen who tip their bowler hats as they pass. Thankfully I’m armed with my Highplains Parka (RMP105), w hich is to wind and rain what a nuclear bunker is to a pea shooter. The wife has already pre-tested her Lacey 3in1 (RWP109) at an Oxford Utd (1986 League Cup winners for those unaware of the teams greatness) football match that I dragged her to the previous Saturday, and she is confident it can withstand whatever nature throws at us through the week.
A little later we meet a couple of friends deep in a verdant Hampshire forest, at the log cabin where we’ll be setting up camp for the week. One of them is preparing for a charity run in a couple weeks and seems intent on making me join his fitness regime after spotting a 3km trail through the trees, I’m less than enthusiastic to take part as I’m pretty confident that over exerting my relatively young body could result in leprosy or at the very least a substantial rash. Having said that, after a couple of days I see the opportunity to test out my VO2 Max along with my Kinetik XLT shoes which have only ever experienced a pleasant strolling pace before. Making it back to the cabin after the run I can confidently report that the shoes are much better suited to that kind of activity than my still recovering legs.
Despite the relative success of surviving the previous days run, it’s clear that I’m best suited to the more relaxed walking pace. Plus let’s be honest you really can’t enjoy the natural beauty of a forest while you are gasping for air and wondering if the searing pain in your lungs is going to be fatal. The forestry commission must have come to the same conclusion as they provided plenty of well marked walks to keep me away from anaerobic exercise for the rest of the week. By the end of my stay amongst the pines the baltic winds had blown away the rain and I even got a glimpse of southern England subathing.