One of the nice things about a personalised training plan is that it encourages me to climb out of my rut from time to time. For example, last Sunday’s hilly trail run came with the phrase “somewhere new and exciting perhaps?” at the end of it.
As it happens, I’m in the middle of a cluster of deadlines at the moment, both work related and personal, and the level of effort involved in trying to find somewhere new and exciting that was hilly, would work for the suggested session and which wouldn’t end up with me being hopelessly lost was beyond me. The best I could muster was newish and not wholly dull, so I loaded the route for the Box Hill Fell Race onto my watch and set off for a recce.
It turned out to be a nice enough run. Bits of the route were familiar from Midsummer Munro, XNRG’s Pilgrim Challenge, Centurion’s NDW100 and various training runs in that neck of the woods. The other bits (mainly the steep ups and even steeper downs) were less familiar but much the same, and I came away thinking “that was fun, but I could probably live without running the race itself, I’ll see if I can find anyone who’d like my (perfectly legally transferable) place”.
I couldn’t. The gods of running are obviously more powerful than the gods of productivity.
Not wanting to anger them, I set my alarm and headed off to Box Hill.
Best. Decision. Ever.*
It turns out that a nice enough solo recce run on a very wet day translates into a hugely enjoyable race on a crisp and clear day of gorgeousness**. Especially when the race is a small, low key, local race organised by runners and comes complete with a fair turn out of Windmilers and a handful of familiar faces from elsewhere in my running world.
Flat road races have their place, but it’s the hilly trail ones that remind me just how much fun running can be.
* Okay. Probably not really, but definitely one of my better ones.
** The views were stunning. So I’m told.