Tag Archives: routes.

100 Mile Marathon

In my last post I talked about how I am trying to keep my long runs interesting. Luckily, for the majority of my long runs coming up I will not have to worry about boredom as I am running around the diocese, visiting as many branches of the Mothers’ Union as I can. (I am running the marathon for the Mothers’ Union – this is of the posts that is coming up – explaining just who they are and why I am doing it for them.).

mara1

 

In the meantime, if you live near Yaxley in Cambridgeshire this coming Saturday morning, keep a look out for me – I will be running between Yaxley and Woodstone, then Woodstone to Farcet. If you do live in these areas (or know someone that does) and would like more details then please e-mail me on running4familiesworldwide@gmail.com. I will be glad of any company.

 

A whole new world on my doorstep

It is no secret that I do a LOT of running. Most of this is done outside in the countryside around where I live ( I hate treadmills with a vengeance) . Mostly I run along a mixture of tarmacked pavements / cycle paths and single track roads.

https://i0.wp.com/lh5.ggpht.com/-XjyDoo8mDy4/T7ikt2lJSBI/AAAAAAAAjJk/xyBHb9mEBKQ/s600/P1390089_90_91_92_93_94_95_tonemapped.jpg

(A single track road is a road that is wide enough for one car to pass at a time and has passing places along where cars can pass.) Being in the fen we have a lot of these around and I love getting out into the countryside, away from the busy roads. The terrain is also pretty flat for runners (not cars I might add who bump along merrily!)

The last couple of weeks I have been exploring and I have found all these footpaths that I had not even considered before. They have literally opened up a whole new world of new and exciting routes just on my doorstep. I have literally found forests and places that I had no idea existed up until now.

Of course the terrain is sometimes a little harder going and a bit bumpy but that seems such a small price to pay:

A track that actually links up two roads that now makes a lovely little circuit for me.

A track that actually links up two roads that now makes a lovely little circuit for me.

This is a mound that runs for miles but not somewhere that I have run along before.

This is a mound that runs for miles but not somewhere that I have run along before. You can see for miles along here as the surrounding land is so flat.

As you can see – I could be miles from anywhere but am in fact within about 3 miles from my house. I have seen a lot of lovely wildlife including an owl and many beautiful flowers.

The wild roses are just perfect at the moment.

The wild roses are just perfect at the moment.

According to the Natural England website  there are about 118,000 miles of public rights of way in England. Of these 91,000 miles are footpaths, 20, 000 miles are bridleways and 6,000 miles byways.

Those are amazing figures. I wonder how many of us are like myself and have never really explored even the ones that are on our doorsteps? I really urge you to go out and explore. I have been so surprised by the things that I have found and you may well be too.

Are you like me or do you make good use of your local footpaths?

Do you always run / walk along the same routes without giving the little arrows any thought at all?

Running: near or far?

This week I had a lovely comment(she always leaves me lovely comments)  from  redhenrun (do pop over and have a look) which reminded me that I had been very lax about keeping my running totals up to date. I have now brought them up to date and am pleasantly surprised: I have run 196.92 miles this year already.

I guess that I should not be surprised as I have been training for a half marathon and now full!  I suppose that it feels like fitting training in has been a bit of an uphill battle.

1. We have had quite a bad winter (for us) with a fair bit of snow (not that it stopped us hardcore runners!!) extreme cold for longer than normal and wind.

2. Children have had illnesses or appointments that needed attending.

3. School holidays!

These last two weeks have been Easter holidays and, whilst I love spending time with my mini-mes it does get in the way of training for the longest run of my life!

I have actually been quite lucky and although I have not been running quite the 30 miles or so that I should be I have been building endurance through running a few longer races. Last week we ran 18 miles. Yep you read that correctly 18. It will probably go down as the most memorable run of my life. My running friend had to take her children to her sisters beforehand so we thought that we may as well run from there. Unfortunately it was an area that we didn’t know very well. This is both a good thing and also a bad thing.

The Good Points

When running long distances we find that we end up running the same routes over and over so a change of scenery is good. I also find that I get some  mental hang ups about it too. Running in a new area means that your brain is occupied with the new scenery and the route itself rather than being free to stress about how far we are going – how much further we have to go etc.

The Bad Points

Not knowing exactly where you are going. Yes, we got lost 😦 We had a plan and a vague idea of the route but umm we didn’t exactly stick to it (wonder who’s idea that was?) and when we rejoined  a road from the bridle path we were on we guessed wrongly. It only meant that we ran an extra 3 miles or so but those 3 miles ended up being hilly. Which brings me to another problem: We were not that far from home but… my friend’s sister appeared to live on the moon. Yes you did read that correctly. We spent the second half of the run running up hills. Most of you will know that we live in the flattest place ever (think Holland) and so don’t do hills. We spent the majority of the run going up mountains!!

It became a bit of a running joke (excuse the pun)  – every corner that we turned we expected there to be a nice downhill section to enjoy but…no 😦 There was one downhill section although this again ended up with us in stitches because our legs were so sore by then that with every jarring down hill step sent a spike of pain up our legs.

WE COULD NOT EVEN ENJOY THE ONE DOWNHILL BIT WE DID HAVE!!! 😉

You will be glad to know that despite all this we did end up getting back to the start (despite, as I pointed out, we went past a point where it would have been closer to run home  – and it would not have been all uphill – more downhill!) In addition we weren’t stiff the next day either. We are fitter than we think 🙂

On Sunday we have to run 20 miles. I shall let you know how it goes!

Do you deliberately run in places that are unfamiliar or do you stick to the familiar? What are your reasons for this?