16 miles & loosing yourself in your surroundings


Running is just like anything else in life, if you want to achieve something you need a plan. I didn’t run too much in December and it’s taken a while to get going again properly in January but a tv documentary and a random piece of graffiti (on Saturdays run) have now combined to focus my thoughts.

I have entered Race to The King in June and that means a double marathon with 5,400 feet elevation. This adventure won’t be achieved with reading maps, watching videos and pondering (although these will help) the only way this race will be overcome is with training.

What was the tv documentary I hear you say ? Netflix may not be the obvious source of running inspiration but I spotted Stuart from twitter talking about the Barkley marathons in America. I had an idea about the race, I knew it had been going for 20 odd years and only a handful of people had finished. I won’t spoil the entertainment anymore for those of you who want to watch it but when your entry confirmation is an apology i.e. we are sorry to say that you have been accepted, you just know it will be tuff !!

I set off on a chilly early morning start with the intention of adding to the 11.5 miles I’d done last week and try to follow the advice of one of the tv off road runners, “I loose myself in my surroundings” was his philosophy.


Challenge no. 1, staying on my feet !! After about 3 & 1/2 miles north of Fareham there’s a country lane heading for Wickham. The water had run off the fields and was still icy. The 3S scenario followed, I was slipping, sliding and swearing, luckily I stayed on my feet.

An additional part of my 2017 plan is to use fewer gels and more food so armed with soreen cake, grapes and mini pork pies I had quite a selection to test. Last weeks soft flasks test was carried onto this week too. Once onto the railway line I saw the “plan” graffiti not long after I’d passed the Forestry Commission signs. I thought, “yes” I do have a plan, I plan to try out what will work for me on longer runs.


If my ramblings can help others along with me then that’s great I thought I’d give an insight into what I’m trying. I passed 7 miles and decided to carry on to 8, I’ve always believed in “run how you feel”. With the forested countryside you really can loose yourself in both your running and your thoughts. I wasn’t thinking about work I was wondering if a robin that flew past me would stay still for a photo and whether I could video the sound of the wood pecker I could hear.

My return leg saw the sun starting to break through and more people on the track as well as Adrian a fellow runner I haven’t seen for quite a while. The grapes were a taste sensation and even though the malt loaf was a bit stodgy to chew I knew its rich sugars were helping.


As I reached Wickham on my return with 11 miles done, the wintery sunshine was out and the birds were chirping. The remaining 5 miles were steadier than the first 11 but it’s a great feeling knowing that you have endurance in your legs and a smile on your face. My egloves had kept me warm, my food options appeared to be working and the countryside was as enjoyable as ever.

If you don’t usually run in the country, try it, it’s a real treat.

Go ahead, loose yourself in your surroundings !!