Though today we may be back to our usual March weather of being chilly, dull and wettish, a few weekends ago we had the most spectacular Sunday. I jumped out of bed and couldn’t wait to lace up my trainers to get out on the trails, and I ended up doing around 7K in the sunshine. It was a few days after the UK-wide storms hit so it was a little more of an obstacle course than usual, mainly involving climbing over fallen trees and fences, but that’s what I love about cross country, though – the unexpected element. When you’re running along roads you only have your own mind to keep you occupied, whereas on trails you’re seeing all sorts of new sights, and have to use a bit of the old grey matter to negotiate your way around and over hurdles and obstructions.
One of my favourite things about working out is that bad-ass feeling you get when you smash a PR, lift heavy, or just do something you never thought your body could do.
This past Saturday’s trail run definitely achieved that feeling: I managed to run up Delamere Forest’s Eddisbury Hill with just three short stops. I like to call this place the top of Cheshire – whilst it’s not quite the highest point in the county, you feel very very high at 158m above sea level. And boy, is it ever hard work to get to the top! Combined with a winding route around the rest of the forest (ahem.. getting rather lost) this trail run was hard work, but felt amazing. I even had some left in the tank to run the last kilometre hard.
Way less muddy than the last trail run in Alderley, but definitely just as fun!
Near my boyfriend’s hometown is a Natural Trust forest, Alderley Edge – rather ominously nicknamed The Edge (no, not the guy from U2). It’s a maze of pathways through trees, up hills and down gorges, all ending up at a sharply jutting rock formation which really does seem like the edge of forever. It’s supposedly the home of witches, where Merlin the wizard is buried, and also has an abandoned copper mine – you can see the evidence in the mint green coating on the ground and cliff faces – which all make for quite the epic running environment.
Since we were visiting my other half’s grandad this past weekend we decided to get some real fresh air in our lungs and go for a run around The Edge, not with any particular route in mind, though for this run it really felt best to go randomly: with hills and obstacles, not to mention the boggy pathways which in my opinion only added to the fun.
This run was approximately 6.5mph for 30 minutes, with a quick stopoff for photos on The Edge.. But who’s counting when it’s this fun and you get this caked in mud?!