It was the waist high sodden grass that first alerted me to the fact that my course and the official, well-walked, path had obviously drifted apart. That and the lack of any signage, however vague. So I just did one of those 'follow-your-nose' type runs where you run roughly in the direction you want to go, going around the edge of fields (so you don't flatten the crop. Well, any more than the day-long rain had done) until you find a gate or stile or way back to sanity.
It was actually pretty good fun, apart from the field of inquisitive steers that, in that slightly spooky way they have, ran along about a pace behind me. They were so little, I couldn't actually hear them. So you can imagine the shock when, on stopping to try and find a way out of the field, a dollop of cow dribble plopped onto my calf. JESUS! I'd no idea they were that close.
I tell you what, this running in the country lark is packed with incident. I feel sorry for those folk who, when they go out for a run, just go out for a run, run, and then stop. They don't know what they're missing!
I did the 6 miles, varying the pace by the cunning ruse of running hard up the hills on the way out and then running hard down the hills on the way back and running hard after every stile or gate. Overall, there were 2.76 miles of uphill, 2.41 of downhill and 0.96 on the flat and my heart spent most of its time in Zone 4 (80-90% of max). So the run became a weird hybrid of hills, intervals, tempo and fartlek. Hintertempfart I shall call it. Do try it.
Smiley rating 7.5/10