My Trail Running Education Continues

Well I do have a funny relationship with running at the moment. I ran on Monday and since then I haven’t quite managed to drag my butt out. I was quite looking forward to running on Wednesday and even left the office in the middle of my afternoon slump thinking that if I got home and then went for a little run, I’d actually get some stuff done later. But I never got my butt back out the door. Yesterday I was feeling crap about not having run on Wednesday so I thought I’d go to the gym at work  – even if it was just to run on the treadmill but then I got caught up with work stuff and that never happened either. Working at home today I wanted to run and didn’t want to run.

Everything about running was freaking me out a little bit. I wanted to run with Kath and didn’t. I wanted to try a bit more trail running and I didn’t. I wanted to just pack it all in and I wanted to sign up for my next half marathon – all at the same time. There were a few tears while poor Kath dusted off her crystal ball and untangled all this and then informed me that we were going to go and run the trail loop she has recently explored. It is just over 5 miles and mostly off road.

Well, what the hell I thought. So today I ran 5.5 miles and it was amazing. Amazingly hard, amazingly slow, amazingly uplifting, amazingly refreshing, amazingly mind clearing, amazingly fun and all with amazing views. It was pretty good running really. The first mile was familiar territory (and at just over 12 minutes a decent pace for me), then we turned off up into the wood and walked up the hill and made our way onto the top of the golf course. We ran along the golf course – my goodness, spongy underfoot, wet grass and uneven terrain. Apparently I looked a bit like a tentative dressage pony. Didn’t feel like one. Felt more like drunk Bambi. That was hard work followed by a bit more walking as I figured out my way through a little gate (arse didn’t really fit), across a field, and over a wall at its crossing point. Then we were in the wood I’ve often looked at from the other side of the canal and I slowly but surely plodded my way through the wood down the trail that eventually became far too steep for my liking but I kept tentatively bouncing down, well it felt like bouncing to me. It was ok. (No it wasn’t, I was terrified but I still somehow had fun).

The next section was through a series of fields. Kath opened and closed the gates and pointed me in the right direction. It was lovely to see the lambs bouncing or basking in the sun in the fields. From the fields we got onto a farm track which we walked as the farmer appeared to be moving a couple of ewes and their lambs and had blocked one section off and we didn’t want to scare them. Once through there we jogged the rest of the  track, turned left and made our way to the canal, crossed the canal and steadily plodded our way back towards home. We put in a couple of walk breaks along the canal – just to keep things nice and positive and finish strong. We walked up the hill and then had a little jog and made our way up Ilkley Road run/walking lamp post to lamp post.

5.5 miles – it took just over 1 hour 20minutes and there was a fair bit of walking as I figured out the trail but I enjoyed it so much that I can’t wait to do it again. It was also the run where Kath hit  200 miles for the year so far (I am slowly but surely closing in on 100 now that I’ve finally got going). I felt so much better after the run too so finally getting my butt out turned a rather ‘meh’ morning into a pretty productive and useful afternoon!

We’ve been plotting a running plan to cover from now until the Endure24 event. I shall share next time but tomorrow I am going for 10k at Bolton Abbey – as long as my legs are ok. Trail running uses different muscles and I can feel that my ankles and knees need strengthening to cope with it more effectively. I’ll work on that.

Happy Running

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