Rivers and woods

Rivers and woods

Sunset near Hastoe
Sunset near Hastoe

Weekly round up

This week my Wednesday club run had a very autumnal feel, the evening got darker earlier and by the end of the run my arms and hands felt very cold. I’ll have to remember to take my gloves next week.

The run went through Tring Park to Hastoe and then through several woods before heading back to Tring. The group leader had planned the route so we were on fields by the time it got dark, even so parts of the woods were very dark and I was thankful for the other runners who had their head torches. Mine was still in the post!

As we ran through the woods I half expected to see a badger but the only wildlife apparent was from the sound of the owls hooting. I have a feeling that once we get to the darker autumn runs I might have more chance of seeing various woodland creatures.

We ran a total of 6.78 miles in 1h 11m 26s.

Saturday saw me at Parkrun again. I’d recommended my local Parkrun it to someone on The Running Bug and it was nice to meet a virtual runner in real life. This was her first 5k and she brought her very cute dog to run with her.

There was a volunteer at this run who was pacing at 28 minutes so I decided to run with him. We got round the course fairly quickly and with his encouragement to go faster towards the end I got a new PB of 27:23! He thought I wasn’t pushing myself as much as I could and has threatened to pace me for 26 minutes next week. We shall see!

a view of the river Thame
The river Thame near Eythrope

On Sunday it was time for my long run. As part of my training for the Great Birmingham run I’m trying to increase the length of my long runs by a mile a week and this week I was due to run 8 miles. This is the furthest I have run so far and I was unsure of the route to take. In the end I decided to do an out and back run to Eythrope, a hamlet in Aylesbury Vale, which takes you through parts of the ancient Bernwood Forest and is mainly on a tarmac bridleway. I want to do most of my longer runs on tarmac as this is what I’ll be running on in Birmingham.

It was a gorgeous sunny morning and although there were a number of dog walkers, cyclists and a few other runners for most of the route it was just me. As the bridleway is on a private estate the only vehicles I had to watch out for were the combine harvesters.

It was a really peaceful run and I stopped halfway to admire the river Thame and chatted to a cyclist who was doing the same.

I think this will become part of my regular training routes. There were a few hills which helps with leg strength and being able to run on a tarmac path without worrying about traffic is a huge bonus.

I ran a total of 8.02 miles in 1h 24m 26s.

This week I also went to my Pilates class. I find Pilates good cross training as it strengthens my core muscles, activates my glutes and generally gets me more flexible. Or at least that is the aim! I still have difficulty straightening out my legs in some of the exercises but I am getting there.

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