Yesterday the training plan said, “60 mins run no pace targets, just get out and enjoy.” An hour of running where I like how I like, here was a chance to go and have some fun.
I had pre-planned my route and knew exactly where I was going to go, it was a trail run which consisted of a downhill followed by a long uphill another downhill and a final steep climb before a flat run home. This is one of my favourite routes, the views are great and it has both wooded sections and fields.
On waking up on Saturday morning I discovered it had snowed a decent amount, and this meant that the planned route was now not only going to be muddy but snow covered as well. Didn’t matter, I wasn’t going to change the route.
On with a few layers and off we went, well it was certainly much more muddy than I thought and the snow wasn’t really much more than decoration.
The first downhill through a wooded section was great, released running through some deep mud, but generally on a reasonable path, my in need of replacing Saloman XA’s were doing a decent job of providing traction despite their condition. Quick skip across the road and the long uphill start, the field was covered in a thin layer of snow over mud. This section is always tough, but if you keep going you eventually reach the top when it all seems worth it. Through another wood before the downhill across a field where you have views right over the valley, looks great what ever the weather.
They had been doing some logging through the next section and this meant it was really muddy, but I just kept on ploughing through the mud, it felt good to be splashing along, an almost childlike experience.
Cross another road and then we are into the next field and the uphill starts again, at first it is so gentle that you wonder if it is actually going up at all, but as you look ahead you can see where the path goes up into the wood. On entering the wood you look up and see that it is now steep, the temptation is to walk, but if you keep on running, however slowly, you can see the gradient start to ease up, and then suddenly it is over it flattens out. Your heart rate starts to fall and your breathing returns to something like normal.
Out into another field and there in front of you is Hamden House, once used as the Hammer House of Horror, and as you cross the field and look towards the gate, and once through that you come up on the church, with its very picturesque grounds. Down the driveway and cross another road, and then into the final field. This field is one that you know is flat, a bit bumpy but near home and so the pace is always lifted a little bit here. After the field it is nothing more than a km or so on the road back home.
I returned, muddy, hot sweaty but with a big smile on my face, I haven’t enjoyed a run so much in ages if ever there was a run to remind me why I did this, then that was it.
I run for enjoyment and this was so enjoyable, pace didn’t matter, no running to heart rate limits, just pure running, running with a smile on my face.