Today was another ‘long run’ day. I needed to run 13 miles if I was going to follow my plan. Obviously I was going to extend by 0.2 and make it a half. I mean why wouldn’t you? Or is that just me?
I’d plotted my route out a week ago based on a route a friend had run recently (far more successfully than me it turns out!). I was really looking forward to it. The plan was to run a mix of trails and road with plenty of hills.
Then it rained yesterday, heavily.
I found myself umming and ahhing about whether I should change the route but in the end I decided I give it a go. I could always turn back if the trails were too muddy. I should probably point out at this point that because I was mixing road and trail running I ran in my road shoes rather than my trail shoes. Those that know a bit about trail running will already see where this is going…
The run started well. I was feeling smug about trying a new route and really putting some thought into my runs to make sure they would help me when I reached race day.
Then I got cocky and thought I knew where I was going, 20 metres up a very steep hill I realised in fact I had no idea where I was going and had in fact run unnecessarily up a hill on to then have to come back down. This should have been an indicator for the rest of the run but…
Very quickly I came to a stile and a very muddy field. At this point common sense should have kicked in and I should have changed my route but I didn’t.
Road shoes are not made for mud of this volume (or stickiness) so it was an ice skate across the fields until I found some grass which meant I had more grip.
Several pit stops later to work out where I was and where I needed to go I reached this view. This is where I was heading. I was back on track. Now I should say I thought I had a good sense of direction and could read an app to follow footpaths. Turns out this is not the case as today has demonstrated!
I made it up to Castell Coch with no issues. It’s actually closer than it looks in the other picture.
I made it event free through the next mile or so of my run then, just when I thought I knew what I was doing I ended up running down another steep hill when I shouldn’t have done. Whoops, evidently lesson not learned.
I ended up in another wood, then crossed a road. The other side though I got confused again. In trying to work out which footpath I was trying to I got totally confused. I thought I was going down the right path and it was so muddy I slipped and fell flat on my bum. Very quickly it turned out I was going in the wrong direction…again. I turned back up the hill and surprise surprise slipped again. Now I was covered in mud all over my hands, arm and bum. Such a great look!
It was at that point I decided that as I had no idea where I was going and I was tight on time I’d head back up to the road and just work out the quickest way home.
It turned out I was just over a mile from where I’d gone wrong at the start of the run.
I jeffed home as quickly as my little legs would carry me knowing I was about half an hour later than I said I would be but also knowing that I have 10k to do tomorrow. As today was so hilly I’m planning on a flat run and I’ll be having a runversation with a friend.