Sunday, June 15, 2014

A New Part Of The Forest

A slight change of plan. I kept things to a forest run. I just changed the route and ran from home instead to reduce my carbon footprint. Okay, that's bollocks. I couldn't be arsed to drive. So, with a quick scan of the maps I decided to head through Flaxley woods - nothing new there - and into Haywood Plantation. I've not run there for ages and it's a nice area but a bit too 'tracky' for my liking.

After that I headed north into Harryhill Plantation - straight up, that's what it's called! Finally reaching the Mitcheldeanmeend Inclosure and then Lining Wood. Never run there before and it was proper woodland. After the initial wide forest tracks it went all single track on me. Slightly overgrown in places - hence why my legs are cut to ribbons on the brambles. The only downside was not being able to match the tracks on the maps to the actual tracks on the ground. Hence a slightly meandering route at the far north of the route.

The highlight was running along side a pretty sizeable water treatment plant. It looked to be more strategically important on the ground than the impression the map gives. It was only a shame there wasn't a Stobart lorry parked on the drive....

So having meandered my way out of Lining Wood the next section was entirely fail. It was so overgrown there was no way I could make my way through. Instead I had to run the road into Mitcheldean before heading up over Heartbreak Hill.

It's not the best sign to read when entering a field you have no choice but to cross to get home, 'beware of the bull'. That coupled with the fact that two fields previous the whole heard of cows spotted me quietly jogging down from Breakheart Hill, minding my own business and decided to charge..... I made it to the stile in the corner, barely touching the woodwork as I exited stage left, in quicker order than I thought possible at my current level of fitness!

After a few more miles I was home and quickly headed for an hour on the bike to finish me off. Been good training. Thirteen miles run (2,000ft ascent) and an hour on the bike. Job done. Feet up for the rest of the day before it's back to the grindstone Monday morning...

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