Its half term here in the UK and I’ve also taken the week off to be with the family. My wife was kind enough to give me a day pass to do my own thing and with the the weather bright and clear it seemed like the perfect opportunity to lace up the shoes and head off across the Fens on a long cross country (XC) run.
I do a lot of my trail running to the north and west of Ely on footpaths, bridleways and by-roads. While initially people think there is not a lot out there, a quick check of an ordnance survey map (OS) reveals a wide ranging network which can easily be stitched together to make some interesting long runs, the majority of it off road.
I’ve been slowly building my mileage since my return from injury. Reaching a weekly total of 30 miles last week, with a long road run of ten miles. Still short of my weekly run volume back in the summer but its building nicely. My aim this week was to push my long run on again to the 20-25km mark.
With the weather having been dry for the last few days heading off-road seemed like the best option, to both protect the legs and also build strength ahead of The Peddars Way Ultra in January 2015. This was also an opportunity to get back into my larger race vest and test out fit ahead of winter running sessions and longer ultras next year.
Suffice to say the run was a total joy, great to be back out enjoying some good weather. It was actually considerably hotter than expected when I first went out the door but despite the recent dry spell was still extremely muddy in places. All this, combined with the lack of recent run volume, meant that by 25km my legs were pretty tired. Rather than push them too far, over stretch or even worse aggregate my injury, I decided to stop running and route match the final 2km back home – good ultra training!
So a great off road run, enjoying the freedom to explore and run the stresses and strains of work out of my body and mind. A huge thanks to my wife and family for giving me the time to do this, hopefully it makes me a better husband and Dad having done so?
One of the things I also love to do on runs such as these is to take loads of photos and below are some of the stunning views I encountered during the run.
If you haven’t tried trail or off road running before then I’d encourage you to break out your an OS map of you local area, take a look at what’s on your doorstep and get out and explore. You won’t regret it!