It’s been hard to maintain a running routine over recent months, never mind start training for a specific event, which is what I wanted and needed to do. There have been days when, yes, I wanted to run, but there have been many more when the prospect of getting myself out of bed, fed, dressed and out of the door has been a real struggle. When I’ve had the energy and concentration to think about it, I’ve realised that giving an aim to my run, no matter how large or small, is a massive help. By aim, I mean something more than what my training plan says I should be doing; running, say, for an easy 45 minutes with strides, has not always been enough in itself. Recce-ing a new footpath, enjoying the beautiful blue sky, seeing the view from a hill or testing out new socks – aims like this have given me that additional incentive to run.

My final run of the month had two aims, motivating me to put my trail shoes on and head off into the grey, mizzly January afternoon. Firstly, I wanted to try out a new route I had spotted on the map, a route which would hopefully add an additional section to my local network of trails. Secondly, I had a new toy to play with! Like many runners, I love new kit and was very keen to try out my new Ulimate Direction Wasp race vest for the first time. An early (very early!) birthday present, I’d acquired this from Outside in Hathersage earlier in the week, one of my favourite outdoor shops, on personal recommendation of the very knowledgeable assistant Paul.


Experimenting with the vest, its pockets, straps and general feel, kept my mind focused as I plodded uphill through fields of sticky mud until navigating the mist-covered fields at the top took over. Before I knew it I’d reached my turn around point, the mist had cleared and I was treated to a stunning view over Lincolnshire. It was almost dark by the time my two hours of running were up and my two aims achieved. The new route will become a favourite, I am sure, and as for the Wasp, it was just as I had hoped – comfortable and easy to use; highly recommended.

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