Today I decided I needed to do two things on this run – 1) stop at some point to buy my rail card and 2) put in some practice in the near by wood.
I ran in my New Balance trainers as they are more padded than my Nikes and have massive grips on the bottom so felt they were ideal for trail running. I wanted to run in these and test them because if I am correct I will run in them during the Hatfield Forest 10K in a couple of weeks.
I set off in the direction of the station and stopped just after 1K to compose myself, cool off a bit and buy my ticket. Annoyingly the station was about 20 degrees hotter than outside (and it’s a warm 24 degrees here today) and it was packed with people off to the coast and countryside for the day buying tickets.
I eventually got my ticket and was sweating cobs and my heart rate had pretty much normalize. I decided to run out onto Avenue of Remembrance and come back through the Cymbeline Meadow Farm trail and Meadow.
I hadn’t realized I had drunk so much in the station so was running with half my normal water and given the weather today I finished it all before I got home.
The road run was fun, open and a bit breezy and I watched the American Circus (apparently the best circus on planet earth!) set up before heading into the meadow.
I passed one hot and sweaty runner and things were going OK – I noticed that everything was in full bloom but as I turned a corner was surprised when this big white face leered out through the undergrowth. A cow was cooling off in the weir and I startled it – and it startled me. Usually they either stay put or run away but not today. Confused and agitated the cow decided to give chase!
I didn’t really have enough energy to put on a massive sprint but I had no choice with this massive animal baring along behind me. Thankfully the cow tired before I did and it gave up and headed into the undergrowth!
I composed myself, got my breath back, checked for more cattle then headed towards the trees.
We had a massive downpour yesterday and the sheltered spots of the wood were very slippery and quite muddy in places. My trainers did a good job at keeping me upright but I had to do a lot of ducking and dodging to stay dry and keep my trainers on.
Rounding the straight at the top I saw a sign about some tree felling but didn’t consider it would be happening today. Wrong! A whole bunch of people were up ahead cutting back the undergrowth and tidying the trees which meant I had a lot of bodies, equipment and branches to dodge – I got past them unscathed but didn’t duck enough on the downhill and found as I past under the edge of the wood I lost my hat! A stray bramble snagged my hat and took it right off the top of my head. I had to stop and lean up into the tree to get my hat back!
When I came into the center of the wood it was much wetter and slippery than the rest (boggy in places) and I really had to keep my wits about me to stay upright. I have not completed this route last year and forgot how challenging this ever-changing terrain can be. At least I decided to do it now and remind myself of the extra work involved when running such routes. I shall now shift all of my remaining training to include extra sessions in the woods. – Enda take note!
I also remember how much extra work it is running over such terrain. With this, the cow and the heat I had simply had enough at 5K and called it quits.
I am glad I did today and won’t forget this run in a while!
It’s a gorgeous day as I said so we are heading off to the local golf club in a bit where I am going to accompany Richard as Caddy – I will certainly have clocked up some miles by the end of today!