Just moved to the "country" 6 weeks ago so still exploring the area. Thought I'd give the arboretum a try so went for a little jog on Monday.
I didn't plan a route but just "went for it" which was a tiny error on my part. It was beautiful but there were lots of winding paths, I didn't know where I was going, I kept doubling up and running around in circles and I couldn't really get into a stride. I passed the same people about 3 times and I'm sure they wondered why this nutty woman was running around this little bit of park when there were 600 ACRES for heaven's sake! Took a photo to show you fellow runners. Isn't it beautiful?
Anyway, I thought today I'm going to plan this better. Get a map, choose a route, etc etc.
So I drive 5 minutes to the arboretum, pick up a map and work out a route. This is great methinks. Much better to have a plan. I park the car and realise I've forgotten my phone! Now when I lived in the suburbs I didn't always take my phone with me. Ok so I should have but didn't. I reckoned if I fell some passing motorist would notice. But in the countryside I've got to remember to always take my phone with me. Where was it? Oh yes, in the kitchen charging!
Ok, I'm not going back home, I'll just go for it.
I check my Garmin, start my 5 minute warm up walk. There are lots of dog walkers and mums pushing prams. No other runners though. Beautiful weather. No twinges from my body (I've been out for a while with minor pains).
The warm up walk is over and off I go. Everyone says hello (so much friendlier than where I lived before). Am feeling good. After a few minutes I start to feel that this is hard work. Is it just me? I look ahead and realise that the path in front of me as far as I can see is a gently sloping incline. Oh bug*er that didn't show up on the map. I don't know about you but when I see a steep incline but you can also see the top, you know you have to make a big effort to get up, you somehow find the energy to do it but once at the top you can whizzy on down the other side. This forever gently sloping incline was hard work. When was it ever going to end? It wasn't even that steep but it felt so tough. Anyway, I kept thinking it was good for my bum and on I went. After a while the path seemed to settle and became flatter. Thank God.
The weather was gorgeous and the scenery stunning. Bluebells were still around, there were daisies galore and rainbow coloured rhododendrons showing off. This was heaven I thought.
So I tootled off, getting into a nice little rhythm when I hear the Garmin bleep. I haven't done 1k already I thought. I looked down and realise I hadn't set the Garmin to record so all my efforts up that (mountain) hadn't been recorded! I set it to record and away we go (again).
The 1k bleep goes, the 2k bleep goes, then I see this gate up ahead. When I reach it I realise it's a cattle grid gate. It slows me a little to open it as I daren't chance jumping across the grid. I run a little bit further and then I see another gate. This one is bigger that the last one so I tried to open it like the last one. It didn't open. I tried again. Nope. Wouldn't budge. I looked behind me. No one was watching. Tried again. Nope. I'm getting frustrated now. How hard can it be for gawd's sake? I try again. No, it's not moving. I consider climbing over it but dismiss this idea as it's going to take time. I feel an idiot (from the suburbs), turn around and find another path, running into a couple I had just passed a few minutes before. "Hello again!" I say. They look at me strangely. I must learn how to open all these cattle grid gates.
I find a much nicer path and make a mental note to take this route next time and avoid that horrid gatey path. Wish I'd brought my phone as there were lots of lovely photo opportunities here. Next time.
After a while I turn back and head towards the car park. I don't know exactly how far I ran due to the mix up at the beginning but think it was about 5k. But I loved it.
Got home, found note from hubby left on the hall floor:
" honey, your running shoes are filthy. You've just made a trail of mud across the floor".
Oh dear. The joys of living in the country.