The life of a runner, mother, radiopharmacist and vicar's wife – that's me!
I didn’t think it had been raining all that much – not compared to normal. Normal was raining every day, or at least at some point during the day, for three solid months. But recently it has been rather dry – well it hasn’t rained every day. So, I didn’t expect the path to be so muddy. I don’t actually own a pair a trail shoes, perhaps I should because I could have done with them today.
Walks/Runs on the Wirral
I recently bought a book of Circular Walks in Wirral by Carl Rogers. I thought perhaps we could do some of the walks as a family and then I could go back and run the route (having familiarised myself with where I was to go. So far, we’ve done about 1/4 of one of the walks. This was on Sunday when we ventured to Thurstaston Common.
I did consider trying to complete this 4.5 mile route but at the far corner (where we turned back on Sunday) it was extremely muddy and I didn’t know if it would be like that for the rest of the route. Plus, there was a crocodile on the footpath…..
I decided to try the Thurstaston Common 6.5 mile loop instead, starting at the Visitor Centre at Thurstaston. I knew that I had to go along the cliff top for a bit before going down some steps to the beach. However, the cliff top was so muddy, I was more like skating than running. I kept having to stop or I would have fallen over. Realising that this was crazy, I turned round and headed back to the visitor centre. I tried to get down a muddy path to the beach where I had seen a couple of lads go down but about half way down I realised that I stood more chance of running 3 hr marathon than getting down onto the beach without falling over. Pity, because the views were great.
Instead, I took the Wirral Way in the same general direction that I was meant to be going. However, I made the mistake of continuing on the muddier bridleway rather then the drier footpath. It was fine to begin with – it always is – but large muddy stretches appeared as I went round the corner and my feet skidded across the mud as I found myself manoeuvring round large muddy puddles and my feet inevitably slipped into the brown ooze on more than one occasion. Peppa Pig would have been in her element.
Because I was on the wrong path on the Wirral Way, I missed the sign to ‘The Dungeon’ to take me up through the woods and continued running (with the wind delightfully at my back) for another mile before I knew for sure that I’d missed the turning. The turning was pretty clear on the way back and, after inspecting the path for any large puddles, I decided to give it a try. But you can only see so far!
The path went up through the woods. It was a pretty good path for the most part and it was lovely to be in the woods.
But, before long, I found myself clinging to trees again as a toddler may cling to his mother’s legs to avoid falling into the mud. It wasn’t too bad but you can’t really run when your feet are slipping so much. At the top of the hill was a level path (without too many puddles) which headed back to Thurstaston.
Once back at the church, I could have gone right to the main road and Thursaston Common but decided that I couldn’t face any more mud (not in that particular pair or running shoes at least) so headed back along Station Road to the visitor centre to complete 5.4 miles.
I’m definitely going to try this route again because I really liked the bits that were off road but I might go down onto the beach at a different place where I know that it is quite easy to get down and see if I can find the other route from the beach for another time. I’d also like to do the full loop that goes to Thurstaston Common and Caldy.
I will also invest in a pair of trail shoes as my running shoes are more of a liability on this type of terrain.
Considering that ‘tree clinging’ mile up through the woods was run at 9.26 min/mile, the overall pace of 8.08 per mile wasn’t too bad but my legs felt a bit tired and I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s just that I’ve increased my weekly mileage over the last month or so and they are adjusting to that. Those 26 miles in four days over Easter are perhaps coming back to bite!