Go Wild in the Country

Where snakes in the grass, roam absolutely free. Well I’m not sure there are any snakes in the Peak District, but I did roam free and *sort of* go wild.

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This weekend I went to Derbyshire, to visit David’s Dad (John) and to attend a Burn’s Night dinner and Ceilidh with some friends. Now, I wasn’t going to let a little thing like being in the country for the weekend wasn’t get in the way of my marathon training! So I decided to go running in the countryside.

John has just moved, meaning my old running route is now 3km away and I have to navigate there myself. Luckily the ‘Get Me Home’ feature on my Garmin sports watch (that David very kindly got me for Christmas) means I can go out and not worry about getting lost.  Well, not have to phone with vague explanations of how I got to ‘this place that I am in’ and ask ‘how on earth do I get home?’

Running in the dark

But I do have to worry about the dark. I headed out at 3pm after some serious traffic delayed our arrival and forgot that there are no street lamps in the country. On the way back from Chatsworth estate navigating my way on unknown roads, I found myself travelling between two villages on a main road. In between my eyes adjusting to the dark and being blinded by full beams there are a few seconds where you can’t see a goddam thing. One of these times, I slowed down and dodged some deep mud only to catch my trainer on a manhole cover, completely stack it and fall face first on to the floor! I did put my arms out, but I fell with such force I managed to get my chin, cheek and shoulder on the left side as well. I don’t do things by half measures!

Luckily I knew where I was (thanks Garmin) and navigated myself to the next place my boyfriend could pick me up. I stayed quite calm until I got there and stood under the first street lamp I’d seen for 3 miles. I looked down and saw my ripped leggings, the shock set in and just at that moment my Boyfriend arrived to a soggy, muddy runner sobbing! Luckily he had the foresight to bring tissues.

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Twitter and I decided that ripped leggings meant I deserved two new pairs. One replacement and one for the emotional damage! Before I could indulge in retail therapy I did some more Sheffield exploring with a 7km run in Endcliffe park with John followed by Sheffield Hallam parkrun. Wearing ripped leggings, bruised face and a smile hopefully made me look like a proper hard core runner and not like I’d been in a fight!

Due to my blue knees and bandages I chilled out at parkrun, chatting my way round but enjoying the down hills with some speed. Turns out the ladies I chatted to must have been speedy as despite my best slow efforts I got a course PB!

It seems that the change of course, low expectations and recent training runs have really set my legs on ‘speed’ setting and I’m happy to say that the change of scenery and terrain really was as good as a rest.

I’m hoping to squeeze in a bit of parkrun tourism before the marathon to keep this feeling going! Before you say anything, I have fished out (stolen) my (David’s) head torch and will be taking it to any future country adventures.

Where’s your favourite place to run (parkrun or otherwise)?

Where shall I go wild next?!

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