Well, last time we went away, at the end of June, I was a very bad runner, and a very dedicated holidayer. This time I return fitter and more smug. I have been good!
On Monday we drove South for about 6 hours until we arrived in the beautiful town of Church Stretton in the Shropshire hills. This was our third year staying here, renting a big house with Pete's parents, siblings, and various partners and children. The area is a bit of a mecca for walkers, and there are paths and trails all over the hills surrounding the town. In the last two years though, I've always regretted not doing much exploring, as the children have been small, and our time has mostly been spent on doing things all together, such as playing board games and chatting over big meals around a huge dining table. All very enjoyable, but this year I managed to fit in a bit more me-time to do what I really wanted to do.
I ran 4 times during the week, and fitted in 2 short runs of about 3 miles each; a hill session which was one of the steepest I've ever attempted; and a really good long run of 10 miles. That last run also involved a lot of hills at the start, and I didn't feel particularly good until about 5 miles. Then suddenly I just started feeling stronger and stronger, and powered home, with the last mile being the fastest of the run! Overall I ran about 21 miles in the week, which was what I would have aimed for if we'd been at home.
Apart from the running, I also got in a bit of hill-walking. On Tuesday, while Pete and the kids were swimming at the local pool, I wandered up a hill behind our house, and found my way to the top of a hill with a tv mast, looking over the town.
On the way up
The empty path up
At the top - lovely skies as usual...
It was completely deserted - just me, my ipod, and the self-timer on the camera!
Friday was a rest day from running, and after taking the kids to the cafe for lunch while Pete had a break, I headed to the hills again in the afternoon. I had a vague idea where I was going, but I missed a cut-off and went a bit further than I meant to. Eventually I met another walker who had a map, and he put me on the right track to get back. It was really beautiful and peaceful. I was only out for about 1hour 20 mins, but it must have been over 5 miles, and I really enjoyed it.
Following the path
On the way down
So it was a bit more of an active holiday this time, and I think the hill-walking probably did me some good as well as the running. Now I need to keep increasing the long runs, building mileage, and aim for a 2-hour half marathon in September!