I love running when I visit family in Exmoor - I am relaxed, not tired, no time constraints and wonderful trails. This visit I had already run a 10k and 9k, although with a week's recuperation in between (fall from a horse - that's another story!), but I wanted to do a longer run, just a bit more than 10k would do, just to prove to myself that I could do it. So the map was studied and route planned. A challenging route (for me) with varied terrain, undulating tracks and one very steep hill up a lane! The first trail followed a river through some beautiful woodland. The track was rough and covered with wet leaves, slippery tree roots and loose stones so focus and a steady pace was required! The track ended at an ancient pack horse bridge and as I turned onto the lane I was confronted by a very steep hill......deep breath and go for it. It was hard - I sounded like a steam train and felt like I was running on the spot but I was determined to run the whole route. At last I reached the top and turned off the lane onto the open moorland. The wide grassy track was a relief after the stony tracks and steep hill and I was enjoying myself. Eventually a steep, rough footpath led down into another wood and back towards the village. But only 10k.....so I took a detour around the edge of the village up a lane (phew not more uphill!) and finally turned to run the last part downhill into the village and across the recreation ground. I checked runkeeper - 13.04k!!! I feel amazed and so pleased with myself.
Thank you Couch to 5k and all the supportive and inspiring folk on this forum. Happy running everyone
(ps sorry about sideways photo - can someone explain why I cannot seem to get any photos the right way up, I have tried lots of different things!!)