Janathon day 2: beautiful weather!

It is hard to imagine how different today’s run turned out! First to fill in the back story now that the technology is playing ball…

Mrs H and I have just returned from a yoga retreat run by “Yoga with Emma” at Godshill Park Farm, a lovely bed and breakfast on the Isle of Wight. I wasn’t actually doing the yoga (that’s her thing, but I hope perhaps I’ll join her another year), but from what I heard and saw, that side of things was very successful. There was a lovely group of people there too, which always helps, and overall we had an extremely successful few days away from the kids!

The bed and breakfast is set in lovely grounds; the owners keep rare breeds among other things, and there is a network of very scenic footpaths, tracks and bridleways heading in all directions. Today, being the last day of the retreat and with the weather rather better, Emma organised a walk round the hills. My plan was to start off walking with everyone, and then to start running when I knew where to go. So, clad in fluorescent jacket and Vibrams, I joined the group and started walking.

We headed through the farm and up some extremely muddy paths to an obelisk with commanding views in all directions – you could see the sea on all sides, and Southampton in the distance. Beautiful!

Emma’s walk then took us across a ridge then down a steep hill to a farm and facade of an old house. It was around this point that I decided to turn round and run the path we’d taken in reverse, with a short detour. For those that are interested, here’s a link to the track of the whole walk/run.

It was fantastically hilly, and wildly muddy! At one point, after taking the wrong way down from the obelisk, I found myself being funnelled into a narrow track which was clearly the main route for sheep; the mud was a good foot thick, and couldn’t be avoided. The Vibrams were brilliant in that, once you’ve been covered in mud once, you stop worrying about it! I might invest in ones with tread at some point though…

Running back past the Obelisk

The whole route was about 6.4 miles, of which about 4 were run and the rest walked. I can’t really put into words the wonderful feeling of running today: a complete “runner’s high”. Wonderful countryside, spectacular weather, steep hills and a tremendous sense of well-being. Thanks for that, Emma!

I had my “Apollo” barefoot running coaching recording going on this run, and I have to say that Kirsty Hawkshaw‘s wonderful music also really added to the experience! I can thoroughly recommend Helen‘s guidance on this recording as a tool for practising barefoot-type running.

So – a very successful 2-hour-ish outing, followed by some serious hosepipe action…

Mud … lots of mud

6 comments

  1. So marvellous to get out, up high and down and dirty on our stunning Isle. Hope to get out for a run with you next time and perhaps get you onto the mat at some stage. Em x

    1. Both of those will be lovely! I’m really looking forward to being Ellie’s “crash test dummy” as she works out her course programme, and that will prepare me for ramping things up in the coming months… And hopefully see you in Turkey!

  2. Glad you had a good break on IOW. Wow! You grabbed a fantastic window of good weather to get up there and have a good muddy run. It’s only a few miles north if where we are, reminds me to get out of my foggy wet valley and get out of my rut and up in the downs.

    1. Honestly, it was so beautiful! We were so lucky to get that chance, given the weather before and after… It really fired me up to getting much muddier, as well – so much more scenic slightly off the beaten track!

  3. […] but they’re not blessed with any kind of decent tread to speak about. I used mine on the Isle of Wight over the New Year and really loved running in the mud, but something with a bit more traction is very appealing. In […]

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