First Trail Run 

 On Saturday, I had very little planned other than running somewhere new and somewhere that was kind of trail like. I hopped in the Z3 and drove myself up to Wentwood and parked up in one of the standard car parks. There was a small map on the information board and I had a quick look. I very quickly realised I’m not going to follow a path with my phone on my arm and no general direction.

I locked the motor and legged it. I ran straight across the car park down what looked like a track. Within about 30 seconds I realised this was no human track. This was an off road track for those Defender owners and motorbikes. That said I had two legs and a pair of Salomon Speedcross 3s on and I wasn’t going to turn around. I ran what felt like a really fast kilometer down the track, staring straight at the ground and avoiding risky dips and very often. I came close to rolling my ankle with each step but by this point I decided I had flexible ankles and I’d be fine. 

This run was already hard and I ran about 4.45 pace per kilometer around deep mud and scattered sticks. I was using mostly my mind as a compass I made it back to a road and headed down and down and down. The only problem with that was that in the back of my mind all I was thinking was going back up. I slipped off the road and onto a track marked for horses. There were so many fallen trees that I was dipping and ducking at every turn and I’m pretty sure that no horse would have made it up that track. 8km in I was running down a mud road through a supposedly privatelumber yard. At 9km I decided there is no way this is going to get me back to the car. A turn. A hill. And a bloke on a bike with a trusty pooch running alongside gave me confidence I was heading in the right  direction. 

At about 9.5km I saw the car. It seemed a bit of a miracle if I’m honesty. I had no idea where I was going from the start. If I broke my ankle there was no signal. I wasn’t getting back. It was also creepy at first. A murdering gimp could be in any bush but I didn’t care. I was not remotely bothered by being in deep woodland lost as hell and continued to run. I think I’d like to throw one trail run in a week to the schedule, weather permitting. It felt like good training and switching things up is also good.

Also as a lone runner wanting a photo I actually had to strap a gopro to a tree, run away from it and then run back. Not sure what that means but I got cool pictures and footage so who cares.

New Gear and Injuries

Ah so the festive break was great. I’m now fully settled into my On Running shoes (The Clouds) which are very light, very comfortable and most importantly, lace free. I literally love that. They were expensive though. £110 is not cheap for a pair of shoes.


Anyway so I think over December I ended up following loads of athletes on instagram and decided I want to run trails as well as just road just to keep things interesting. So for Christmas I was gifted a pair of Salomon Speedcross 3s. They are proper ugly shoes but they serve a purpose and that purpose is grip and trail.

Salomon SpeedCross 3

That was all going well up until about Christmas when I got my new shoes and thought right I’ll do a sneaky 4km around the town and see how I get on in these new shoes. It was raining it was awful but the most important thing was that I’d spent the previous day doing a 12km run and the day preceding that I spent 2 hours down the skate park. The combination of flying off ramps, running my longest distance and then running a short “recovery” run was that I wasn’t really recovering. My foot felt bruised in the arches and I’m certain it’s not the new Salomons.

I managed for the first time since Christmas day to go out to a fitness class yesterday and did some light jogging, some circuits and then played a bit of basketball. My only gauge is that I did about 5000 steps at relatively fast pace from a combination of fitbit and in my head data.

The Newport Half Marathon is about 2 months away now meaning I have 8 weeks to get super fit. I need to be really careful not to over do it before then and might get back to following the Bupa programme I have blue tacked to my wall which has gone almost completely ignored.

I’ve also fitted a set of SPDs to my road bike and been out and about on them only around the estate due to the most awful weather I’ve ever witnessed in December. It’s so not ideal. The Bupa program has a cross training day on a Friday for 40 minutes. That I’m gonna switch up and put my long run on a different day so I can do Sunday cycles. Also, Mrs was gifted a new road bike from a special someone this year so I can train up North with her now. Probably at a more chilled pace but any riding is better than none.