Sunday, 19 September 2010

Mud on the Tracks

It was muddy on the trails this morning. It has been raining all week and it was raining when I set out for another 21 miler. I have come off a high mileage week, trying to get into shape to run the Kielder Marathon in 4 weeks time, and the soft going meant that I didn't expect to cover the distance as fast as last week.

Autumn is in the air now and despite the rain it was cool, fresh and a great morning for running. I split this 21 miler into three sections of around 7 miles each and after the first section I was only slightly slower than last week. The second part didn't go too well as I was once again slowed by problems with pets and livestock. Twice I had to stop while some out of control dogs yapped around my ankles and their irresponsible owners flapped around trying to get them on a lead. Why not keep them on a lead in the first place if you know they are going to chase people!

It was quiet up on the Pipe Track - no dog walkers up here and in places the mist was so low you could only see 10metres in front. It was therefore a bit of a shock to come face to face with highland cattle on the path. No way around up here and although they didn't look too surprised to see me, they are big animals with scary looking horns so I wasn't too confident about just running past. I stopped to suss the situation and decided to walk slowly past them. Thankfully, despite their size, these animals seem more stable than the little mutts that attacked me earlier
and I was on my way again.

I picked up the pace on the last section and passed some orienteers in Mugdock Woods as I headed home. I pushed hard over the last few miles and ended up only a minute or so slower than last week in 2.48. Anything under 2.50 is solid running on this course and I will run it again once more next weekend before deciding whether to run Kielder.

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