I decided to have a little trot around the Peak District on Saturday (4th Aug). As many of you know I'm navigationally challenged, and whilst there was still some tiredness in the pins from the Lakeland race I thought it a great idea to go and sharpen my skills with a map and compass. I say skills, I have one skill in this area, I can open the map!.
I'd entered the Long Tour of Bradwell just in case I'd needed to console myself with another race pronto, however It's suffice to say that I think I'll be on a high for some time yet and the ol legs could do with resting.
Once in Buxton, map and compass proudly in hand. I intended to run some of the High Peak 40 route. I'd planned approximately 14-15 miles and then intended to leg it back from the Pennie Bridleway on the road. I know, I know, yet I'd convinced myself it would be a long day mooching and felt the road would be a quick route back to the car and a good opportunity to put a little speed session in at the end.
I was soon heading down to Errwood Reservior.
Nailed the nav... well, lets face it it's all there on the map right? Yes right, but I still managed to get it wrong when I approached the Dam, bear with me, navigationally challenged remember. I faffed about finding the path that takes you down to the waters edge however after 10 mins of watching walkers ramble down a lil lane, I concluded they may be on to something there.
I plodded along the river Goyt in Goyt Valley to Shallcross wood. Where navigational cock up number two occurred. I should have turned right before coming out of the wood on a very obvious footpath, only I'd carried on and ended up on the main road. I don't like finding myself on main roads with houses when I'm trail running, it drags me back to reality and halts my adventure for a moment whilst I re adjust. I had to ask directions, because my compass wouldn't point me the right way!!! Off I trotted on the main road to find the car park around the corner. I'd looped back around and found the footpath that I should have taken out of the wood and went to investigate. It was very simple really, straight on or right turn.
The right way.
Footpaths across fields with dungeons and caves, well ok then just a lil tunnel under the railway track.
And fighting my way through the depths of the jungle... well ok then, just an overgrown footpath and bridge onto Milton lane before making my way up to Eccles Pike.
I was feeling pretty proud that I'd managed to get myself to this point, Eccles Pike and I was smug and just that little bit over confident. Inevitably it all started to go just a lil bit Pete Tong.
I jogged up Charley Lane, under the A6 and remained vigilantly scanning for a road that would take me to Beet Farm. How difficult can it be to find a 'road'. It wasn't, I was on it.. ha, or so I thought. Actually, no I wasn't, I was on the A624 and It was only when my expert navigational intuition told me that I should be seeing footpaths on my right and they just weren't appearing where they should have been that I realised.
So the next hour was spent running around Bradshaw fields, Bullhill, and disused quarries, doing that headless chicken thing and getting all in a tiz. I crossed a field with 'killer cows'. I've named 'bullocks' killer cows because I've been surrounded by them on a few occasions whilst legging it through fields on my jolllies and I'm convinced they want to kill me. I gave them a very wide berth.
The nearest road was only 10 mins down the hill side however in Fairy world that was a million miles away whilst I kept trying to make the footpaths and fence lines fit my map.
Eventually I found the Pennine Bridleway, clever clever girl. What a beautiful run on that trail it is. This is the view over the High Peaks. I think if you look close enough you'll find Kinder Scout in there somewhere.
The road run back to Buxton was pretty unremarkable. An awesome day's adventure, the weather was amazing, my T-shirt tan is coming on a treat. I spent about 7 hours out trotting and pondering and naving, (badly) and running on this playground.. awesome.