Today I plotted a route for a group of us to run as part of our training for the VOGUM. I nabbed part of the route from Carys at This Girl Walks. Then I tagged on a start and end point so we could run to and from the route.
The aim was to run to Mynydd Rudry and then do a trail loop before heading into Caerphilly and then back down to Cardiff.
To be fair whenever I’ve plotted routes like this before it’s been hit and miss in terms of how manageable (or not) the route is but I was sure with Carys’ route we’d be fine. I perhaps should have been less confident about my navigation skills!
The first part of the run went smoothly (well route wise). My right calf was really tight and at points I ended up with pins and needles in my foot. Normally the tightness isn’t that bad and clears after about three miles but today I just couldn’t shift it. Eventually at the five mile mark it cleared. I’m not sure whether it was the too fast run yesterday or the fact I was in trail shoes on the road (they are multi terrain shoes but obviously work best on the trails). Either way it wasn’t a great start as the easy parts of the run (technically) were really slow.
After a slightly hilly start the biggest climb came up to the trig point of Mynydd Rudry. The view from the top was amazing!
Then came the trail section borrowed from the This Girl Walks blog. And this is where it all went a bit wrong. We started well, and confidently, but as we started hiking across the fields it was hard to see the path. Until it ran through a field of cows! You’ve never seen us so quiet as we crept passed them, and that says something!
At the end of the field there was a stream we needed to cross and it looked like it went into a wood. At this point we weren’t 100% sure that we were going in the right direction and we were started to get a bit pushed for time so we changed the plan and followed the tyre tracks out of the farm and back out onto the road. This meant climbing over a fence but what’s an adventure run without a little adventure!
Once we were back on the main road we re-routed and headed into Caerphilly and the castle. I think we cut about two miles from the route in the end so not too bad.
Then it was time to head up a really steep hill, almost to the top of Caerphilly mountain before starting the downward route to Cardiff.
By the time we were on the road to Cardiff any slight incline felt like a hill and the downhill sections were bliss, other than for my knees which were starting to feel a little stiff.
All in all it was a proper adventure run round south Wales and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I’ve definitely not quite got my food right yet. Today I had a couple of gels and couple of Naked bars and a bag of pompom bears (in no way were these raided from the kids crisp stash for their lunchboxes!). I had a really filling breakfast but I really think I should be eating more. I’m going to try bringing some cheese sandwiches next weekend. I also went through one litre of Tailwind across the run.
19 and a half miles in the bag and 4 hours and 50 minutes on my feet. I’m definitely in need of a bath tonight to ease the aches and pains…plus a rest day tomorrow!