Monday, August 13, 2012

Soggy Bottom

not to be confused with a saggy one - although unless I keep onwards and upwards with the training that's what I might be getting...

With another day off work I headed over to Cannop Pond in the south western section of the main forest. I've not run in the forest between Parkend and Coleford before so today I decided to change that. I set off along the flat of the cycle path - and got totally bloody carried away. The first couple of kilometres were way too quick. It was a good feeling to be striding out but I paid for it shortly there after.

Down to the edge of Parkend I turned west and climbed towards the RSPB nature reserve - didn't know that's what it was, mind. Not until I read this sign that said, "RSPB Nature Reserve" - ah, this would be an RSPB reserve then... or to give it its full title, The Nagshead Plantation Nature Reserve.

It was a picturesque area and I would have taken the time to look around had it not started to rain down stair rods - that and the fact that I was starting to pay for the quick start. Despite the watery stuff - which wasn't really that unpleasant - I continued to push on.

I took a bit of a wrong turn on the stretch up past Coalway, missed the right turn and popped out - ooh er, misses - onto the high street. Not one for turning back unless I absolutely have to, I piled it down the road before heading back into the undergrowth once more.

The final section, in the Perch Inclosure - nothing to do with fish, was great. Plenty of narrow, twisty tracks. Just how I like it. The slightly overgrown tracks gave way to mountain bike trails before dropping down steeply past the Hopewell Colliery and back onto more of the mainstream, wide forestry tracks, a bit of road and a final section along by the ponds back to the car.

Totally soaked by the end but pleased with another good run. Once back home I finished off with a solid hour on the bike. Now it's time to sit back and relax...

Today's 13km, 650ft ascent