You know it’s been a good run when you come back with your shoes looking like this!

I wasn’t sure how long the club run was going to be this morning so I got up a bit earlier than normal and got down to Swanage to do a bit before meeting everyone else. I had intended to do 2 miles but a small child requiring attention before I left meant that I only had time to do 1.5 miles.

I was nicely warmed up by the time I got back down onto the seafront but the big black clouds were gathering and I wasn’t sure whether to take a waterproof or not. I plumped for not in the end and kept everything crossed!

We headed out of Swanage on the Ulwell Road, then turned into the back lanes to get to Harman’s Cross. There’s a very long uphill bit of road on this lane so we plumped for the route that takes us around the edge of a field and through a farmyard. We were very annoyed to find that the farmer has tried to block the way by locking the gate and padlocking a ladder across the top of a fallen tree. It’s a signposted right of way so not as though we are trespassing!

It was seriously muddy along this bit and by the time we got back to the road we were all muddy all the way up to our ankles….makes for pretty cold feet until the water and mud warms up!

From there we crossed the main road in Harman’s Cross and headed up the long long slog that is Haycraft Lane. It’s about of mile of uphill that gets steeper and steeper as you climb. I must admit that I did do a bit of walking a couple of times but managed to run much more of it than I’ve managed in the past. One day I’ll get all the way to the top!

We headed back towards Langton Matravers and then turned right to pick up Priest’s Way to take us back to Swanage. The last couple of miles was all downhill which was very welcome by that point!

However, having said that I actually felt fantastic which is a bit of a first for me after a long run. A chap in our club had recommended the Torq Fitness gels to me as they are much more natural than normal gels and he finds them easier to get on with. I ordered a sample pack last week and today was the first time I tried one. I had a Banoffee flavoured gel with Guarana at around the 8 mile mark and it certainly felt like it worked as at around 10 miles I definitely felt like I was re-energised and had plenty of fuel left in me. Thanks for the recommendation Tim!

As we got back to Fortes (it is compulsory to drink coffee and eat teacake after a long run) my garmin was at 11.82 miles so I had to carry on and make the full 12… would’ve been rude not to!

My plan called for 11 miles at 11:09 pace and I managed 12 miles at an average moving pace of 10:54 so very happy with that!

Now I need to go and scrub my shoes and myself. The rain has started (we were soooo lucky not to get soaked), my house is a tip, my hubby has gone back to bed with a stonking headache and I have lots to do on the new Purbeck Runners website….I predict a busy afternoon!

Just before I go I’d love to know what other people do about muddy running shoes. I always just rinse mine under the outside tap but I do wonder about putting them in the machine. Mine does have a specific ‘sport’s shoes’ cycle…… Should I risk it or not?


  1. Maria @ runningcupcake
    Jan 16, 2011

    Great run 🙂 I am off to look up those gels now as I like the sound of “more natural” ones.
    My muddy shoes stay muddy! I leave the mud to dry, then bang them together to get the worst off, and then I leave them! I have seperate shoes for when I go to gym classes (which are still pretty much white) and so I dont mind having brown shoes- it shows I actually use them!
    I have never risked them in the washing machine.

  2. Jules
    Jan 16, 2011

    Sounds like a lovely run. I’m officially banned now, so will be living vicariously through others exploits… 🙂
    I don’t really do anything with my muddy shoes apart from let them dry, bang them together or against a wall and brush the worst of the mud off. I wouldn’t risk trying the washing machine – they’re generally not designed to be immersed in water for any length of time.

  3. Leeds Rob
    Jan 17, 2011

    Its rare that it happens but it is really annoying when farmers do that. When out walking with the family in upper Nidderdale we had a similar thing and had to detour along a twisting road (with quite a few speeding cars) for a mile or so with a 5 year old. Not good.

    I’m similar with muddy shoes. Yesterday’s are still in the porch muddy and damp. I’ll bang them today then stand them in the hall to dry.

    I have washed them in cold water in the bath before now when the mud has been really thick and they’ve been fine afterwards.

    Not sure I’d risk the washing machine though.

  4. rose
    Jan 17, 2011

    Jules – do you mean permanently banned???? 🙁

    You’ve all made me think that I was right to be cautious about my shoes. I’ll stick with the cold tap when really necessary and drying and banging the rest of the time! Just means that I can’t put them on indoors!