I have become the proud new owner of a pair of La Sportiva Crosslites, these are my first off road shoes. After a few years of running around on tarmac, I’ve taken the plunge so I can leg it around woods and up and down hills. Fell running shoes might not seem like an necessity if you live in Nottingham, but I did a good enough job of convincing myself that I needed a pair and life would be meaningless without them. Reading Born to Run by Christopher Macdonald and more recently Feet in the Clouds by Richard Askwith really whet my appetite for disappearing off the road and onto the trails. Furthermore, on a superficial level, trail running shoes do look a lot nicer than road running shoes.
With a few hours to spare on a Sunday morning I took my spangly new shoes for a 12 mile loop around Oxton, a pretty little village near Southwell 15 minutes drive from Nottingham. The area has a decent network of footpaths and bridleways amongst some old woodlands and open fields with a few climbs and descents to boot. There were many signs of Winter slinging its hook for another year, with snowdrops outweighing actual snow and a frost that had completely melted away by mid morning. I forgot my camera so here’s some duff shots I took on my phone.
When I read the book Born to Run by Chris Macdonald, it describes how endurance athletes will often experience visual hallucinations during ultra marathons, it turns out that this is a real Trig Point though, and I thought you only got them on the tops of big hills in national parks. The things you learn.
Okay so it wasn’t the Lakeland 100 but everyone’s got to start somewhere and whilst Nottingham might be a little way down the list when it comes to prospective National Parks, there’s an abundance of woodland and rural idyll to keep me busy whilst I train up for something a bit more ambitious.