A ten mile trail tale

A ten mile trail tale

Mile 1: Lots of uphill, just getting into the run. Fend off barky jumpy dog, owner says, ‘ not again Lucy’- I met ‘lucy’ the day before and she was just the same then… I manage a grimace to Mr doggy owner.

Mile 2: More uphill and my first ‘break’ so I have some water, a candy kitten and take some pics. I move on to a fairly flat very very muddy path. It feels really remote (it is!!) and I am suddenly aware of my vulnerability but I plod on and try not to imagine all the scary people in the bushes.

Mile 3: I leave some flour right at the point I change paths so I don’t get lost again on the way back and then more uphill. I get to the plateau and watch the planes ( I am at the end of a runway!). So starts my descent… my ears pop!!! I look at Gary to work out the downhill so I know exactly how much it will be on my return. I pass a disused paintballing place…feels a bit eerie and the trees are really tall. I get to 4 miles as I join the road.

Mile 4: My second ‘break’ as I pass the road. I shout ‘hello’ to two walkers who jump out of their skin. I don’t think they heard me coming up behind them … panthers move quickly and quietly… ;) I eventually I join another road and I have to run on the path for a bit. Ouch I don’t like the feel of the tarmac on my trail shoes- its so hard! Lots of downhill.

Mile 5: I just have to get to 5 then I can turn round…I’m feeling tired, my hair is soaked and thick with salt. I brush the salt crystals off my face as they have dried and it’s a bit stingy.. Eventually I turn and start my return journey. I wriggle my hips around, change my music and take more breaths than I need. That helps and I refocus and find my zone. I look up and see the trees way above and consider that I’m going to have get up there and it makes me worried so I get up the next hill by counting to 50 running and 20 walking and alternate. That gets me to my pile of flour so I know I can turn off.

Mile 6: So much uphill, I can really feel it in the backs of my legs. I have my third break, lots of water, 2 candy kittens and take some more pictures… I enjoy the bit of flat and allow my breathing to normalise again as I mentally prepare myself for the big hill.

Mile 7: Big hill, I knew it would be 0.7 of a mile so I check Gary and work out when it should end. I do a combo of running and walking as I am really tired now. I try and remember where the really steep bits are but its all a blur now. I have to make a point of lifting my feet up as I can feel them getting lazy not wanting to, and on a trail that’s when ankle twists etc happen and I really don’t want that.

Mile 8: ‘Come on panther, you can do it, not long now’ I shout out,’ I am strong, I am powerful, I can do this,’ I did a quick check to make sure there was no one about but at that point I really didn’t care!! I found the flour- hooray onto the last muddy bit then all downhill. This is soooo muddy. I take a pic standing in it ( see pic) and stopping gives me a chance to take a breath etc and that feels nice. Starting again just feels so hard.

Mile 9: all downhill but this feels hard. I start counting to 100 over and over again. Eventually the last corner… 20 left, 10 left, I countdown from 10 to 1 every step hurts and eventually I am there… 10 miles and I am completely spent.

So there we go…my ten mile trail tale

Happy panthering



25 Replies

  • Well done. Certainly sounds exhausting but also exciting! Where did you keep the flour by the way?

  • v Good question. I put it in a food bag and stuffed it into a front pocket on my Camelbak. After the first sprinkle i got covered but after that i just sprinkled it from the bag rather than put my hand in! I got a bit doughy too!!!

  • That's a lot of mud JJ! Proper Panther Paths! Fab tale and so well done on the 10 miles!

  • Thankyou!

  • That's really muddy ! But sound like good fun too, you seem to be really getting back into your stride. Well done !

  • You know- i really feel i am, and it feels so good too, thankyou.

  • That looks ridiculously muddy and sounds like an epic run!

    Glad the flour worked, and that you spotted it OK on your way back.

    Well done for getting to the end and I hope you've managed to get at least some of the mud off by now ;)

  • Thankyou...and the shoes are still v muddy but a bit of banging will do the trick!

  • Wow, muddy or what. Sounds like a great run well done you. Has freddo the frog got the sack? I suppose kittens are more in Keeping with a panther. happy panthering.

  • Freddo the frog still a favourite but the little baby kittens are a very good panther snack and go down nicely !

  • Wow juicy well done!! I am in awe ☺

  • aww thankyou!!

  • Corr - I don't know whether to be jealous or pleased it wasn't me. Really well done :)

  • ha ha thankyou, it was fun

  • Blimey Mrs, that was some run!! Congratulations on general all round awesomeness and bravery - it takes some guts to do a run like that. Hope you're not too creamcrackered today xx

  • Thankyou...I was Ok actually and did my 5k this morning ( on the road and NOT muddy!!)

  • Wow. That sounds like a wonderfully epic, tough & hugely rewarding type of run. I think I may be a teeny bit jealous of your ability JJ!

    Interesting point re the salt crystals. I noticed yesterday after my 10k I had white crusty bits on my eye brows & at the edge of my mouth I'm guessing this is what it was (I thought I must have been slavering tbh) as I am a really sweaty runner!.

    Really well done on the run. I bow down to your panthering skills! ☺

  • I think its easy not to appreciate how much of our electrolytes we lose. I am always shocked at how much salt comes off me ( yuck!!) so I dont worry too much about my salt intake on run days...

  • wow that sounds HARD juicyju! but as long as you're enjoying yourself!! :)

  • It was really good fun and so so beautiful too. I am just a bit hooked now!!

  • Well done, Panther Lady. So after all that advice on run tracking technology, you resort to......... a bag of flour............at least the batteries don't run out on that.

  • I am a simple girl at heart...the flour worked!! I did do a reccy the day before with my husband and daughter. He managed to pick up a giant tick.... not nice

  • Sounds epic! Hills, mud, jumpy dog and more hills. That is truly amazing, well done and thank goodness you took that flour to find your way home 😀

  • thankyou...gotta love a bit of flour for navigation eh!!

  • Well done Ju! Girl guide trick? LOL Whatever works is brill! That looks helluva muddy there!

    Ten miles on boggy trails must seem so much further as it's hard work on the lower legs isn't it.

    Well done missus. You're the business!

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