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Thursday 6 March 2014

DON’T FOLLOW ME! New Running Routes & Knee Deep Cow Pats

I’d had enough moping around. Flu? Pah! I spit (and snot and cough) on your Max Strength tablets and tissues. Today is the day I get out of bed, put on my shoes and run.

Well. Crawl out of bed, drag self around house in attempt to locate running shoes and crawl wearily out of the door. I was as strong as a week old kitten and had the smooth running gait of a Day of the Dead zombie.

I’d missed 2 races, a week of marathon training and a rock concert. Stupid flu.

Enough was enough. So I decided to try a gentle trot, just to see whether I was up to running again.

A few years ago I’d bought a flimsy paperback book from the library entitled ‘Walks Around Rugby’. I’d always meant to try these walks – but run them of course! - but had never quite got round to it. So today was the day the book was going to earn its 35p outlay.

There was a route in the book that ran within a mile of my house. I knew the first part of the path and it would be good to discover some new footpaths and trails. It would be a nice 5 mile run and I could take it gently as I’d be navigating as I went so there’d be no time pressures or strict paces to maintain.


It's a bit muddier than I'd expected ...

Learning Points
  • Just because someone has written a book about a walk does not mean they have in fact done the walk. Or seen the walk. They may have in fact only been half-listening while someone else told them about *their* walk.
  • The countryside is MUDDY. Ridiculously muddy. I didn’t need trail shoes, I needed wellies. And waders.
  • Sheep chase you.
  • Cowpats are EVERYWHERE.
  • Mud is always deeper than it looks.
  • When an instruction talks a concrete pipe, it does in fact mean you will have to go down a concrete pipe. And this is an ACTUAL footpath.
  • It is possible to cover 3 counties while out for a 9 mile run.
  • My Garmin said 9 miles due to me forgetting to un-pause it after stopping to decipher undeciperable route instructions. It *may* have been 10 miles. It *felt* like 15.
  • After 3 showers and 2 baths I may still smell faintly of cow pats.

Where are my running wellies?

Good points
  • All the mud seems to have scared the remnants of the flu away.
  • Have discovered lots of new footpaths.
  • Have found a route NOT to take my 4 year old daughter.
  • Had quite a lot of fun splashing around in the mud.
  • Sheep don’t know what to do with you when they’ve caught you.

That little circular pipe high on the hill CAN'T be the footpath ...

Oh … it IS the footpath (Note the yellow footpath sign on the right)

Oh GOOD. More mud. 

I'm lost. There is mud surrounding me in EVERY direction. Meh. May as well take a photo.



  1. Haha awesome! Can you run upright with proper posture in that pipe?!

    1. I probably wouldn't recommend the 'Hunchback of Notre Dame' as the correct running posture, no :) And there were DIGGERS the other side of the pipe! It came out into a working yard!!

  2. Love this post and great to see you back our there muddy Sarah ;)

    1. Thanks Paul! Relieved to be back … even if I *am* covered in mud!! :)

  3. I'd planned such a nice gentle recovery run too!

  4. Haha! >> Point #3: Have found a route NOT to take the four year old daughter!
    I live within running distance of Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire and most of my runs end up going through both of these as well as starting off in Northamptonshire. Things were easy when I lived in North Norfolk...whoever runs in North Norfolk stays in North Norfolk!