The Lancashire coastline is punctuated by piers; Southport, Lytham St Annes, three at Blackpool… I’ve run past two of them (maybe I need to venture to St Annes for a race one day) and any one of them would have made for a jolly Juneathon day out. That’s not my style though.
I ran after work today. Literally. Changed in the ladies and then a sprint downstairs before any of my colleagues spotted me in Lycra and wicking fabric. It’s not that I’m bothered by what I look like (heck, the other shoppers at my local Tesco will testify to that), more that I can’t always be doing with the bewilderment and questions. Maybe it’s a female thing, but any mention of exercise is often met with huffing and puffing, talk of grudging trips to the gym or a complete lack of exercise being worn almost as a badge of honour. I know I sometimes moan a bit about going for a run and I do love the sofa and the knitting and all the lovely indoors things, but I also bloody love my running. You are all welcome to remind of this point in the future when I’m whinging about going out.
So I don’t really admit to running at work. Especially if I’m in a spell where I’m doing longer distances – I can imagine the conversations; “So what did you do this weekend?” “Um, well I ran 10 miles in the pissing rain” “Oh”. If you met me at work you wouldn’t guess that I run (sod it, if you met me at a race you might not guess that I run) so I keep schtum.
Anyway, I got out of the building only to be spotted by one of our managers who cycles. He looked somewhat perplexed that I was standing at the side of the road swearing at Miles (“It’s a bit of cloud cover, not a steel vault you git, get a bloody signal and don’t you dare ask if I’m indoors”). He wanders around the office in cycling shorts though, so I’m not too bothered about that.
When Miles decided to play ball, I sped off down the road, down onto the canal and down to Wigan Pier. It’s not a pier where you’ll get an ice cream or try to win a mildly deformed teddy bear with a crane, in fact it’s not much of a pier at all* (and probably isn’t what Morning of Magicians had in mind when he added it to the list). But it did make a nice three mile loop and if it’s good enough for George Orwell, it’s good enough for me.
We actually ran to Wigan Pier as part of last year’s canal running/Juneathon crossover – it was mostly raining and drowned my camera.
*the pier was actually a coal tippler where coal was transferred from tram to barge. I think that’s the kind of joke we had to make do with up north while the Industrial Revolution was on.