Juneathon day 5 – An easy run plus Geocaching. What could possibly go wrong ….

I felt really tired this morning, a combination of 4 consecutive days at the allotment, hard intervals yesterday plus a bad nights sleep last night. I didn’t feel like running, but I thought of Juneathon, sighed, and planned an easy run. I guess that’s the trouble with beauty of a challenge like Juneathon – it gets you off your backside when you’d otherwise slack off for the day.

To make my run more interesting I decided to head out and do a new ring of Geocaches that recently appeared close to home. Just an overgrown bridleway to struggle down and then a lovely 2 mile ring of treasure seeking. What could possibly go wrong?

As a precaution against nettles I wore my running capris rather than my shorts*, strapped on my water bottle, applied sun cream, made sure I had old socks on in case it was muddy, printed off a little map to help with navigation, and off I set. I felt like I was orienteering!

Thick, oozy mud
Thick, oozy mud

The overgrown bridleway was okay, a few scratches and stings but not too bad. I found the lovely footpath leading to the first geocache, and quickly found the cache. I signed the log, re-hid the box, and retraced my steps. I checked the directions on my phone, checked my little map, looked around me, but couldn’t see a footpath sign anywhere. I set off along the track which looked most likely, but soon came across one of those huge muddy puddles which completely fill the track with no chance of easing my way around the edge. “Well, it did say it was a bit muddy!” I brightly told myself, and started tip toeing into the mud. Over the (new) shoes, ah well, bit of mud never hurt anyone. Up to the ankles – ewwwww – its very green mud and there are lots of cows round here. Mid shin – there’s lots of flies here as well – best keep my mouth shut. Slip – upto knees – I think I’m about to lose a trainer!!! I made it to the other side, but realised that nothing here looked like it should on the map, or the directions, and no one else had mentioned knee high mud. So I did what any right minded wuss would do, and turned around and waded my way back through.

I hear its very good for the skin
I hear its very good for the skin

Having come so far and got so muddy it was a shame to head back home already, so I decided to try and complete the ring in reverse order. I headed past the cache I’d just done and carried on along this promising track. Then the nettles started. Knee high, thigh high, waist high, by the time they reached chest high I’d had enough. I turned round and  headed out of there.

I made it home by a circular route so I could still get a few miles in (I did), and so hopefully the mud would have dried a little by the time I got home (it did). Looking at my Garmin route and the Geocaching website I can now see which path I should have taken (it wasn’t the muddy one so good job I turned around).

So 3.65 miles, in 58:35 minutes (mile 2 took over 27 minutes – that’s mud wading for you!) Still have to tackle the trainers, and if anyone knows anything to stop the awful itch of nettle sting which is currently crawling up both legs and arms I’d be eternally grateful.

* Running capris offer zero protection against nettle stings – just ask my knees and thighs 

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