So, I'm home on hols for the week and I thought I'd try something a little different. Pretty much all my running has been on roads to date, with the odd flirtation with a gravel-laid bridal trail through a local country park. I've been concentrating on longer runs of late, so I thought I'd get back to basics, head off to a different country park and run what I thought was going to be a straightforward 5k. I'd plotted a course that would take me mainly around a very large grassed area. There were a couple of hills involved, but nothing I'd didn't think I could handle.
I donned my somewhat underused trail shoes and started off at my usual pace. Not too bad to start with, but I quickly discovered a big difference. The certainty of placing your foot down on flat Tarmac had disappeared. All too often there was rut in the ground that had to be avoided or a tuft of grass sticking up unexpectedly. Small sticks and foliage laying on the ground suddenly became land mines to be dodged at any cost. And long grass! Have you ever tried running through grass that hasn't been recently mown? It's like running through treacle! To add insult to injury, the final 750m was all up hill. My recent run of sub 29 minute 5ks was brought to an end. 32.30! Horrible!!
I have learned two things today. Firstly, I'd rather run on my local country roads that have no pavements and run headlong at oncoming traffic than run through grass and secondly, I have a huge amount of respect for those of you who run over this kind terrain regularly.
Now, where are my road running shoes?