This week saw the last long run on my homemade training schedule. I ran 21 miles last week, so thought I’d better run at least this far this week. I also wanted to run a new route, just to give myself a change. After much plotting on an online route mapping website, I stitched together a route of 21 miles that included many bits I’ve run before and a few new streets. I even printed myself off a map and a basic list of directions in case I forgot where I was going.
It was a good route. I ran on little country lanes and along main roads, by the side of the canal and up a by-way, past a filming location for the next day* and one that was already set up** as I trotted through.
It was hard, it took me a long time, but it was surprisingly okay. The sun came out, so it was warmer than last week but I had plenty of water and fuel with me. Actually I did wonder if I should have had more fuel, as I only ate two gels and half a sandwich thin over these 22 miles. One to ponder. I was very pleased that I managed to create this amazing route which didn’t overlap itself at all, until I got home and realised I was just 0.4 miles off a massive 22 miles so (of course) I had to run up the lane and back down just to round it up. What do you think of that, Spice Girls – “When (twenty) one becomes twenty (two)” is much better than your version.
An upsetting recurring theme to this run was dead animals. I seemed to regularly pass corpses – squirrels, a rat, a pancake-flat hedgehog and worst and smelliest of all a deer. I was nearly at the bottom of the last hill back home, on a remote footpath, when I realised I could see something on the path ahead. As I got closer I realised it was a deer – and it was alive! I started walking and fumbling to get my phone out to try and take a picture, and as I tried to focus my bleary eyes I realised there were actually 3 deer. Of course as I got closer they ran off, but I managed to see them again in a neighbouring field.
I always say if you see a deer it makes it a special day – so to see three, on the day I ran 22 miles … wow!
* Hartham Park