Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Grand Designs

I did an over night in Birmingham yesterday – and I managed a run along the Fazely Canal that snakes past the Holiday Inn. I will Gmap the route later –but I am guessing I ran three and half miles.

Ergo this weeks efforts are:

Saturday – Nothing
Sunday – 35 Miles
Monday – 15 Miles
Tuesday- 22 Miles
Wednesday – Nothing
Thursday – 3.5 Miles (run) and 2 miles walk.

The run was nice. The scenery was a mixture of run down industrial, scrubbed up industrial and the spanking new. The sun was out (after a heavy rain) and it felt quite good to be running through the city in relative peace and quite. There were a few other runners about - but it was not at all busy.

The mistake I did make is that obviously a canal is going somewhere (i.e. not in a loop) -and it took me a bit of time to think that through - i.e. I am running towards Wolverhampton and I need to turn around at some stage. Idiot.

After I had showered, I went out for a walk in Birmingham City centre. I love the architecture – not the rubbish concrete bits – but the bits that hint to the power Birmingham once had in the global economy, through the industrial revolution and beyond. Like my extended time in Liverpool last year there is a lot to look at if you look upwards and beyond new shop and office fronts. I find city centres fascinating. When the people go home after work you have them to yourself and can walk about and nose at things that take your interest. In Birmingham’s case the past worth and value is showcased in the grandeur and opulence of the period architecture. The foyer of the Provincial Bank building is like the high and ornate ceiling of a mosque or Byzantine church. Stunning.

The new Birmingham (that is replacing the concrete hell of the sixties and seventies) is quite spectacular – and all in all I think I walked a couple of miles before weakness took hold of me and I went for a curry.

Off to Devon this weekend – and if the weather is good, I can see a trip up to Dunkery Beacon from Exford on Exmoor, and then another ride from Clapper Bridge up and around a chunk of Dartmoor. Nice.

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