As previously mentioned, I've got a 10k coming up. The majority of my "training" runs have been on flat pavement, so last weekend I decided I should probably at least pretend to acclimatise a bit.
I decided to pop over to the Forest of Deand and run the Sculpture Trail. I could have made a route out of any amount of fire roads, but chose this route because it's signposted, I know it well, and it has two newish artworks I hadn't seen yet (which I could use as a convenient excuse to stop and get my breath back!)
One thing I had forgotten is that it starts with a steep slope up to where Place used to be. Not the nicest, especially given that the first km or two of any of my runs is very much "urgh I hate running why I am doing this I might just stop and give up". So that went well - but I plodded on and eventually things improved.
The first of the new-ish sculptures you reach is "Yasasin". I'm not really sure how to describe it. An abstract arrangement of white wood? A weird climbing frame?
The other new installation made a lot more sense to me. Called "Coal Measure Giants", it's inspired by the mining history of the area.
If I'd had more energy I might have thought about sprinting the 300m between the two parts of it, but nope. Did I mention how I'd forgotten what hills are like to run up?
The sculpture trail itself comes in at about 8.5km. I then did a couple of laps of Beechenhurst car park to bring the distance up to 10km, and also to try and improve my average pace. Moving time: 1:05. Total time: 1:10. Feeling fairly confident about my race now. Maybe it won't be sub-1hr, but it should be somewhere close. Fingers crossed.