I filled it two thirds full and dropped in a high 5 electrolyte tablet. As it turned out, this was twice as much fluid as I needed for a sub 10km run. It feels like galumphing along with a hot water bottle strapped to your back, and it sloshes around loudly in time to your footfalls, even if you do your best to get all the air our before sealing it. Also you end up looking like a Cyberman due to the drinking tube looping round your neck and across your chest. I don’t appreciate the extra weight either. My first drink from it went up my nose, like snorting some cool new designer drug. But, hydration with electrolytes if definitely the way to go. Despite relative heat and noticeable humidity, I feel fresh as a daisy now after running 8km. The other thing is that there was room in the pack to carry my hat (which I didn’t end up wearing) and also key and phone. Room for snacks or gels as well.
I was going to try out my On Cloudventure Peaks for a longer distance, but thought I was only going to be running on tarmac, so wore my Cloudflyers instead. In the end half the run was off road, so I could have worn the Peaks after all. Never mind. I’ll do a long cross country run with them soon.
I have to say it’s lovely at the moment. Lammas is almost upon us and the ripe corn is dusty gold, the cut fields the colour of lightly toasted bread. Ragged Robin is putting out its feathery seed pods among jazzy pink flowers; in the shaded verges it looks like fire and smoke – in fact they call it fire weed because it likes to grow where fire has destroyed other vegetation.
After chugging my way along the London Road and up along the main road, I saw a footpath cutting across a field of wheat and decided to explore. The way was extremely narrow, and quite frankly I don’t know how Theresa May managed it in her feckless youth; the stalks of corn tangled round my ankles and slowed me to almost walking pace. But it was a wonderful diversion. I didn’t realise how heady the harvest smells when it’s due to be gathered: a dry, musky sweetness that wraps itself around you and lifts your spirits. The view was blonde to the tree line on the horizon, with a dramatic sky sweeping above it to the edges of sight.
The footpath brought me back onto the London Road, which was a surprise. I was a bit disorientated and nearly went in the wrong direction. As it was found I was across the road from the Salt Way. I crossed during a gap in the busy traffic and took it to the Banbury Road, and so back into Chipping Norton, all the way down to the industrial estate at the bottom of the hill, (Mr I don’t Snore passed me on his way to work and waved at me). I had got into that lovely easy rhythm where you feel you could keep going for miles (despite an annoying small stone in my right shoe, that worked its way round my foot – and that, inevitably, cannot now be found, and will no doubt emerge on my next run in those shoes), but I called it a day – there was nowhere to run to without either doing the whole circuit again – with possible variations – or take a much longer route out of the town.
As I was walking home back up the hill, a lorry driver hooted at me and whistled at the same time as my Garmin burst into a firework display because I’d hit my stairs climbed goal! I wonder what he thought when he saw a red faced 71 year old in his rear view mirror. Still, I must look okay from behind still, LOL.
When I got back, I decided to pour the rest of the fluid from the pack into a mug and drink it, and managed to get it all over the worktop and the floor – hum … I think I need to practice filling and emptying it.
The final niggle of the day was finding my run wouldn’t transfer from my watch to my phone because Garmin was down for maintenance. That’s never happened before and is incredibly frustrating.
But, all in all, the hydration backpack is a success. My legs felt fresher at the end of the run than they did when I set out, and I could have gone further than 8km despite the fact that it was warming up.