Today I awoke to silence, a change from the recent howling wind and rain hammering on the window. Today was the day to get out for good long run. Recently runs have been about doing the miles or the time, it seems like ages since I just went somewhere for fun. So today I planned to go to Houghton Bottoms. I have been there cross country from home, so I planned to run there by road then home over the fields. I wasn’t sure how far it would be and I was a bit limited for time as we were going out for lunch, but I thought that I could set off, run for half an hour and if I hadn’t got far enough just turn around and come back.
Normally I run into Houghton village on the left side of the road as there is no path on the right, and turn left to go down to the canal, but today I crossed onto the right side when path became available. This enabled me to see a public footpath I had never seen before. As I was already 25 minutes in I thought that it would cut a corner so I gave it a try.
I followed the path uphill and it took me across the driveway of our local stately home, Houghton Tower.
It’s still occupied and generations of the same family have lived there since the 1400’s. It does look like a setting for a horror film (from the outside) so I was amused when my phone started to play ‘thriller’. Still had my sense of humour intact as I started to run around the boundary, ankle deep mud trying to suck my trainers off, when ‘chumba wumba’ started to sing ‘ I get knocked down, but I get up again’ in my ear! At that point it was so slippy I felt more like I was on a Nordic skier rather than running! The views to the north were good.
Eventually I did come down to the farm at Houghton bottoms. I was pleased to note that due to the inclement weather the cows were all inside. There’s a small bridge here over the river along a trail which the cows normally use so it’s normally pretty muddy and full of slurry. Today I just had to contend with calf deep puddles of muddy rain water. Normally I try to get round them but today as I was already muddy I just thought ‘oh whatever’ and ran through them. It was actually quite liberating! Simple bathing hasn’t removed all the grime from my feet though, this evening has required extra soaking and scrubbing to get my feet looking clean.
So all in all a good run. I covered 5 miles and have another route to add to my repertoire; it links some of my other favourites so there is the potential for some good long runs over the summer.
New year goals are going ok. Will update when I have a week to report!
Happy running! Julie