Had decided to do a longer run tonight as it has been a while since I went more than 10/11k and I need to start building up for the HM i have in October, so had planned to go out and do 12 but really desired to do 15 which is the longest run I did back at the start of April. As per usual time started to evaporate and my will to go out started to dissipate with it, storm Hector had barely touched cambridge and the sun had returned in full force by 6pm.
I dallied and I dithered until gone 7 getting grumpier and getting snappy at my good lady pink. But on went the fujirados, and the squishy water bottle was filled and a sports gel was deposited in my runners fanny pack alongside phone and emergency tenner, ipod, hankies and racing safety pins :).
I had vowed to flick the other day to do some noodling around on my next run so had looked briefly online at byways and bridleways along the river ouse that I could follow.
The thing about byways, although you may have right of way there is no guarantee their is a path, no guarantee it is used by others and not overgrown, and no guarantee that it is even navigable, above the flood table or even just free of cattle blocking the way. So yes I experienced all of the afore mentioned, I followed a fen drove for 3k before I ran into a cow field which was a muddy morass, then once escaped I ran into the cows who were quite intimidating as they had young calves so were being quite protective. Ju-ju would not have been please I suspect.
But those obstacles passed I made my way to the next town and found a bridge over the Ouse and turned round heading for the first of two old ferry boat inn's (the chain ferry's both gone long ago). This is where I discovered that although I was running on a marked route (the ouse valley way) it seems I was the only one to occasion this way in some time, so the grass was knee high and the path was just a suggestion and worse it was also most full of nettles, so the next 6km involved running through nettles trying to find footing in deep grass. I took delight in the beauty of the less trodden path though, the fast flash of electric blue dragon flies disturbed in my wake, the startled green flash of two woodpeckers I disturbed and the country sounds of shotgun and lowing cattle. It almost made up for the legs now full of stings.
So through deep grass and weed, across water meadow and river bank, through clouds of midge and dappled sunlight I ran until I reached the edge of St Ives. Here I decided to run to the centre and cross the ouse once more at the old city bridge, rebuilt after Cromwells New Model Army smashed it so long ago. The chap went to school here and lived here and at Ely nearby so you would have thought he'd have had more respect. A proto tory I reckon.
It seemed strange running past bars full of din and people picnicking at the embankment but once over the bridge and along the ancient aquaduct I was making my way back out of town and towards the village of Fenstanton, famed as the manor once owned by Capability Brown but never landscaped by him due to him having his hand full of the gentries estates to tend his own, Still lovely mind but just a blur as I made my way back to lakelands of Fen Drayton and the paths through the meres to my home.
An unexpected and unplanned HM, not fast due to the terrain and lack of planning but so pleased to have conquered it and glad of the warm bath that awaited me. Not that I deserved it after the foul mood I left in.
So noodling I did go Flick, I think it may have even been a super noodle(groan).