10 Mile Long Run – Adventure, Mishap and Disaster!

Posted on Oct 05, 2008 under 10 Miles, above 15k, Injuries, Long Runs, Misc, Trail Running | No Comment

My enthusiasm got the better of me today, as I wasn’t feeling in the mood for a 10 miler but watched the Great North Run on tv and was suddenly raring to go! I got my trail shoes on after banging the mud off them from my last canal side run, and set off walking to warm up. It was cold, but the sun was out, so I had shades on! I set off at a nice slow pace and by the time I had got to the hill down into Haughton Dale I was feeling quite comfortable and good. The hill up to the canal was a bit slippery and tough, but settled back to a sedate rhythm, planning to get past the long tunnel at Woodley, and turn back at 9 or 10 k so the ten miles would tick over near home. The real fun began on the canal path, which was deep puddles every few footfalls after the heavy rain yesterday. Some of them were pretty deep, and where I could I ran to the side of them, which sometimes involved running at an angle or runnning through slushy mud and trying to keep my balance near the edge of the canal.

After the long tunnel, my feet and legs were soaked and numb with the freezing water! I was still feeling good though, and turned back as planned. On the way back I started to feel quite heavy legged and felt I was tiring – but with only 4k to go to reach the 10 mile mark, I knew I could do it. Shortly after that my right hip started to twinge a bit, so I slowed, and just decided to make it back to Hulme’s Wood so I could then walk home. I passed what I thought was the right marker before my entry back into Haughton Dale via the waterfall, but soon I was approaching the cobbled footbridge on the way to Hyde, so had to turn back. This was when the real problems began – I headed into what I thought was the right path, and this ended up being a dead end into bushes. Out again, and I tried the next one – this looked more promising, but was very unfamiliar, I thought if I followed the path it must lead back through to Haughton Dale – I had no idea where the correct path had gone! There was a treacherous path, wet and unstable, over a deep drop, and then the path went down a very steep hill covered with tree roots, and I ended up at the side of some kind of river or stream, with no further way forward – now I was at the bottom of a huge hill, and looking up it I couldn’t make out where the “path” was I had just come down, so I had to make my way up and it was almost vertical; I had to grab tree roots with my hands to drag myself up at some points! Finally I got back to the canal and the next path I tried, although unfamiliar, did lead through to the waterfall. I had expended a lot of energy for a 10 minute kilometer and was feeling really dead now, but managed to tick over the last k and by 16.1 at the foot of the hill back up into Haughton Green I could hardly pick one leg up after another.

It was a struggle to walk home, and the hip started flaring up more and more. After sitting down to check a few emails, etc, I stood up and almost fell over, wincing with the pain of putting the slightest weight on my right hip. I had to take mega painkillers to be able to do a couple of things I needed to do. In all, I think the atrocious underfoot conditions are what caused both my hip problem and unusual tiredness – there was a lot of slipping and sliding, running at odd angles with weird impacts and over such a long distance/time this took its toll. The Indiana Jones excursion into the wilderness didn’t help either, as I was already struggling by then!

Ah well, it is a lesson learned, that 10 milers over rough underfoot conditions are probably not a good idea, at least for me. Maybe 5 miles next time, and when the hip is better I will try a long run on the road. 😎

Leave a Reply