GunthorpeI must admit, I have been in a slump lately. First Christmas came with all the hustle and busyness that comes with it, and after that I came down with a really nasty cold and chest infection.

All of this affected my ability and motivation to train, and so there has been far less running, walking and thrashing it out at the gym, hence the lack of writing as there has been nothing to write about! I had entered the Millennium Ultra but have withdrawn as I am just not ready.

My training seems to have followed this pattern of peaks and troughs; I build up to quite a good level of fitness, and am pleased with my progress and then bam! Some excuse comes up, such as ‘I feel to busy to train this week‘, or ‘I don’t feel too well so better take it easy for a few days‘, or even ‘I did a long event at the weekend so can’t do too much for a bit‘, and before I know it, a couple of weeks have gone by with virtually no training and I am back to square one again…

It is so frustrating, particularly as I have entered another event in September and if I am not fit enough there’s no way I will be able to do it! I will reveal all soon, but in the meantime it is at least having the desired effect of forcing me to train consistently.

Yep, if you want motivation, just enter a stupidly tough event…

I went for a run/ walk yesterday along the banks of the River Trent from Gunthorpe to Hazelford Ferry, then back through fields and tracks back to Gunthorpe locks and the many narrow boats moored up. Although it was rather muddy and slippery underfoot, it was a lovely clear sunny day, the kind that makes you feel glad you got out there and made the most of it.

The River Trent near Hoveringham

The River Trent near Hoveringham

It was a delight jogging along the wide banks of the Trent. I passed twin stone memorials to the crew of two Lancaster Bombers which crashed on separate nights in January 1945, and it was rather sobering to read that most of the victims were only in their late teens or early twenties.

The Lancaster Bomber memorials

The Lancaster Bomber memorials

After leaving the river at Hazelford Ferry, (sadly the ferry no longer exists), I passed through the hamlet of Gibsmere before negotiating a particularly muddy farm track towards Hoveringham. I had a stroke of fortune here, as I was walking through a large field with nobody else in sight when I spotted a £20 note just lying on the grass!

Hoveringham Mill is a lovely spot- I certainly wouldn’t say no to living there. Pedestrians cross the river by the mill using a stone bridge but horse riders get to splash through the ford. I always feel a little smug when I use the footpath following the river away from the mill towards Caythorpe, as when I first tried it I had to give up as the crops were too high, so I reported it to the council who promised to get it cleared. Now it seems quite popular- I passed six people and there were another two behind me.

Hoveringham Mill

Hoveringham Mill

It’s only a short field hop from Caythorpe back to Gunthorpe but I made it a little longer by detouring along a permissive path. I had hoped to do around 15 miles but I think in reality it was around 9 or 10, but a lovely (and profitable!) outing. Now to keep it going!

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