Running the Trails of Calke Abbey

Trail running - Calke Abbey
Yes running!! I haven’t written about running for a long, long time!! In fact it was April when I did my first Parkrun.  I’m still running about 3-4 times a week, so it’s quite a big part of my life.  I’ve taken part in quite a few 10k races including the Burton Midsummer 10k where I got my PB of 52:02. Still looking to get that sub 50 though!! The most interesting running moment for me was doing laps around Donington Park racetrack. I didn’t think it would appeal to me, doing laps, but it was great, I managed 10 miles – 4 laps, with friends to help drag me along.  It made me realise that I could run a half marathon and possibly even enjoy it.  So recently I been trying to increase my miles, it’s been tough! I can’t help but try and run at an almost 10k race speed, even on a longer distance training run.  So I end up knackered at about 6km and my hamstrings so tight I can hardly move my legs.  Last week I took the decision to go along to a local running club, It was really good, about 50 people there all running in different groups at different paces.  I think I’ve tried on my own for long enough, so I’ll be going back to the club again this week and hopefully sign up.

Today I went out and did a really steady run on some trails.  It was great to put the Walsh’s back on again. It brought it back to me why I’m running.  For months I’ve been plodding around the same old roads, not really enjoying it.  The freedom of trails today was brilliant.  No cars to worry about, only the occasional longhorned cow. I ran for 10km around Calke Abbey, a distance I wouldn’t do that often.  They are trails I’ve been meaning to explore for a while, I’m just limited on distance when walking with the boys.
Calke Abbey - Veteran oaks (and runner)
The woodlands of Calke Abbey are absolutely stunning.  I’m quite a tree fan, in fact I love trees! So Calke was a real treat.  There are some amazing veteran trees around the estate. What I really like is the variety of woodlands.  I started by running through huge oaks, then sweet chestnuts.  Around a corner and the canopy suddenly changed to high branches and straight trunks of ash trees.
Calke Abbey - Willow Walk
Down along the side of the reservoir the waters edge was dominated by willows. It was a real pleasure to run for an hour.
Calke Abbey - Ticknall Limeyards
I ran through the old limeyards, a place I have visited before, but it’s just beautiful, I love to see places of old industry or old residences that have crumbled and been reclaimed by nature.
Wildlife around Calke Abbey
You can probably tell, I’m feeling very refreshed from my outing today and will make an effort to do this more often.  As for races, well there’s the Heanor 10k Pudding run coming up, how could I resist a Christmas pudding prize?

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