I usually do my long run on a Friday, but due to flooded roads then, I'd made that a short 5K run as 30 minutes or so was enough after running through ankle deep water. I'd been looking forward to trying this week's long run since the previous week.
In my excitement, I forgot to eat before leaving the house. I usually run on empty when doing 30-50 minute speed or tempo sessions, but had bought tiny bananas in the supermarket yesterday especially for this run. Och well, I'd had about 2 glasses of water.
Then I forgot my gloves, so my hands were cold the entire time, despite the rest of me being toasty in long sleeve top and capri pants (first time running in these),
My route followed the single track road out of the village for 3 km - often running up the centre of the road to avoid the huge puddles at either side - and I was only passed by about 5 cars. I noted the farmer had *finally* managed to harvest the last of the crops here and was now spreading dung in the fields - a fair bit of which was spread on the road near the gate! I noticed a lot of rosehips on the hedges today, but very few brambles.
The main part of my route is through a country estate and today the gate across the surfaced track was closed. As I approached it I *thought* I heard a clicking sound and thought there was be an electric fence at the side of the gate. But thankfully no! It must have just have been the background track on the song on my mp3 player! I was able to slip through the gap between the (non-electrified) fence and the gate.
The private road through the estate is mostly surfaced, but as the grass at either side is kept manicured like a lawn I usually run on the grass to save my knees. Not today as the grass was sodden and even flooded in places.
Leaving the lawn (and the castle that is visible through the trees) behind, the track crosses a wee burn across a wooden bridge. I slipped on this bridge the first time I came this way - and that was walking when I was recee-ing the route, so I'm always a wee bit wary of the slippery wooden boards. With the water and sodden leaves on the boards, I slowed down to a crawl and sort of trip-trotted across.
Once over the burn I was on an un-surfaced farm track and it was particularly muddy today. The track was really churned up as the barley in the adjacent field was only harvested earlier in the week and the farmer must have been moving the straw bales in the past two days as they had all gone. I tried skipping over the worst of the mud and puddles, but some were right across the track. and once I realised that I'd have to run through them, it became easier. Anyway, mud splattered up to your knees is a sign of a good run, isn't it?
Luckily I didn't bump into any neighbours when running back through the village and managed to pass the church before the congregation started arriving dressed in their Sunday best.
Distance = 11km in 1 hour 18 (which is really too fast for my long, slow run)
I used my new 'toy' - my Garmin Forerunner 10 - that I got yesterday and my route and stats are on Garmin connect:
(The dips on the trace for my pace for the last 5 mins are where I had to jump off the single track road and jog on the spot on the grass verge as cars passed.)