Explore your own backyard

This morning's run was slow, my legs were really heavy from last night's track session but in a strange way, it was sort of nice. A nice feeling of 'I worked last night'. It wasn't such a nice feeling when the alarm went off at 6:30am though, I lay there thinking I could just run tonight or have a rest day but in the end I got my bum out of bed and headed out.

My training plan had me down for 6 miles but I didn't fancy any of the 6 mile routes that I have in my head so I made it up as I went.

I started from the flat and headed to the local park and then for a split second considered doing laps of the park, then I realised that that was a lot of laps and I couldn't face it. The next 5.5 miles turned in to a run that went something like this :-

Head along this path, oh! I could go down this path and then I'll come out on that road. Get to that road and then I would think about the next wee section. If I reached a road that I couldn't cross straight away due to traffic I would just continue going straight until I could cross. It was a game I played for the rest of the run. Take this alleyway, where does it go, Oh! That's where it goes, OK now I'll head up here or down there or just where ever I fancied or where ever the paths took me.

I did end up climbing a couple of hills I should probably have tried to avoid due to my tired legs but I was having too much fun exploring to really care.

As you can see from the route, I'm not really sure if I could make my way around it again without a bit of thought but I think I'll try and get an exploration run in at least once every couple of weeks. It made a nice change not knowing where I was going and the views up Calton hill at that time in the morning were lovely.

I think 6 miles gives me enough range to explore quite a bit of the north side of Edinburgh on a morning and as long as I know roughly where I need to be at the 5 mile mark then all should be fine. Even if it comes in a bit short, I know enough streets near the flat to take the distance up to 6 miles, I just don't want to be 6 miles away when I realise I need to head home! I think my work would be a bit annoyed if I turned up at 10am rather than 9am due to me getting lost!

I highly recommend an exploration run to anyone who is getting a bit fed up with their usual routes. You never know, it might become one of your favourite regular runs!


Owain Williams

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