Normally I run on roads and well-worn paths near the house, but now I’m getting a bit fitter, it felt like a good time to try a slightly wilder run.
I wasn’t anticipating it being quite this wild.
I turned the engine off and sat in the car until all residual heat drained out of it. I’d left my gloves at home, and seriously contemplated curling under the car duvet for a nap instead. After all, nobody would ever know…
… but really, what kind of attitude is that? And just look what I would have missed.
It was around this point that I went the wrong way, although I didn’t realise it at the time. I was too busy trying to get to lower ground where I had some hope of regaining the feeling in my hands and ears.
By the time the sun came out I’d realised my mistake, but couldn’t quite figure out what to do about it. This is access land, so while there are discernible paths, in reality you can go whichever way you like. I was high up, and could see roads, but couldn’t work out which roads they were…
After 50 minutes, when I should have been back at the car, and when I still couldn’t even see the car, I admitted defeat. I was cold and stiff, and had no way of knowing which was the right path. I didn’t have a map (after all, it was such a straightforward route I didn’t need one).
I had no choice but to turn round and go back the way I came.
Flying on the last downhill stretch back to the car, I was cold, wet, hungry and worn out, but as I met an elderly man clad in head-to-toe waterproofs, I beamed. The car park was full of children on a school trip – clearly my expedition to the ‘wilds’ wasn’t quite as adventurous as I’d led myself to believe.
It took me an hour and a half to run less than four miles. I stopped to take lots of photos, and to gaze in puzzlement at the bleak landscape, wondering which direction the car was in. I swore quite a lot, and I sang to myself quite a lot too.
This is why I run. I like running around my local streets, and I love racing, but really I run so I’m fit enough to head out to the hills and get lost for a while.