Back to the fields (stuck between a cow and a wet place)!

I love running through the fields. I discovered the route with Sweatshop last summer, and revisit the route frequently when it is light.

In the summer some of the route looks like this:

Some of the route has no path- we follow tracks or just run around the edge of fields. But what’s not to like? In the autumn I picked blackberries from huge brambles as a little breather during runs.

I love seeing the flowers in the summer, I love being away from the traffic, being in some green space, seeing birds and rabbits. <3 it.

On Tuesday morning I was off out on a run and wanted to do 5 miles- this was perfect because I can loop around the fields and make it exactly that distance. (The weather was not quite the beautiful blue skies of summer)

Well, I got up there and there is a part where you go through some gates and through a cow field. Normally you can’t even see the cows. Today they were very close to the path. And their horns looked even bigger.

I actually stood there for a few minutes looking at them and deciding whether to carry on or whether to retrace my footsteps. I mean, I have heard that people get killed by cows stampeding, and I think if they see someone running they are likely to join in? Or have I made that up? Anyway, I proceeded cautiously through- you can just about see on the left of the path was a smaller cow and I was worried that if the parent cow was about she might not like me running between her and the calf. Anyway, as soon as I got to the calf I sprinted like crazy- seriously I don’t think I have ever run that fast!

Of course the cows just stood about staring, but they do make me very nervous so I was very glad to get to the other gate in one piece!

Then this greeted me. I had my trail shoes on, so puddles and mud was fine, but this was ankle deep. The path was meant to go from top left to the bottom right corner of the photo, but in places it looked like pond weed was floating about. There were logs at one point that I think someone had moved, but they didn’t seem in a great place so I just got wet. Of course I could have turned back but that would have meant the cows…

Later on I had to climb on a gate- at the end of the tarmac path the entire path was deeper than ankle deep in water right up to the edge. There are huge metal gates that are opened, and the one on my side had a big metal lop at the bottom so I ended up clambering along that and hoping that the gate would not start to close with me on it!

Then I got within half a mile of home and misjudged yet more water logged ground- I ended up in freezing cold water up to my ankles so the water filled my shoes and I squelched the last half a mile back home.

I had mud all up my running tights, my socks were very brown too.

But it was fun. I was slow (partly because I kept stopping to look at the cows/ take photos/ decide which path across the puddles I should take) but I loved it. Andy thinks I am mad but the mud is quite fun really. I am also glad on another point that my hip is behaving itself- I was worried that the movement would aggravate it but so far it has been fine (and yes I did stretch when I got home).

Are you a fan of road running or cross country? I feel safer running by roads at night- I would not be going out alone on the fields (there have been some attacks on the old railway line near me for example) and of course for races road running is faster. But nature is so much prettier, and it is more exhilarating to be fighting through mud too. I have done two cross country races (here and here – the second one also included a cow!) and I did love them both- I think I would love them more now I have trail shoes.

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18 thoughts on “Back to the fields (stuck between a cow and a wet place)!”

  1. I really wouldn’t mess with a field full of cows! I’d be too scared to go through one alone with the cows so near to me – there are a few fields inhabited by cows on some of my running routes, but they never come close to the gates or my path through them thank God, and there’s so much space that I don’t fell threatened.

    I like road races the most overall – I’m still very much obsessed with trying to PR, so obviously on a trail there’s pretty much no chance of that. I do try to have some kind of balance though, because I get so stressed, anxious and upset at road races (well, recently) when I don’t do well or even come close to my goals. Trail races do have a nice ‘no pressure’ element to them, for sure.

    Great to hear that your hip is still behaving itself 🙂


    1. I was very scared and was imagining getting trampled by them! I know what you mean about races the road ones seem more competative whereas off road ones seem more relaxed and fun.

  2. Bloody love cross country/trail running, I rarely do anything else. It comes with the country bumpkin territory! I had to deal with similar floods, had squelchy shoes for about 5 miles after! It kind of went warm, like a wetsuit, haha. I think it makes it more fun to have funny terrain to deal with! Those summer pics have made me sun wistful 🙂

  3. I think that run looks beautiful any time of the year … who needs sunshine anyways 😉 (uuummmmm me!)
    I think you only really need to be concerned in a field of cows when you have a dog with you, I’m not sure & I’ve never tried it …. don’t wear red either, just a thought???!!!

  4. Not too much a fan of cross country running, I hate having wet squelchy shoes, but I do love trying to JUMP over the muddy puddles and have quite a laugh if I don’t quite get over.

    I’ve also been in a situation where I was running home from work and saw a notice saying ‘Bulls in the Field’, they were really close on both sides of the path and I was SO scared to run past them.. they didn’t bother whatsoever.. but you never know!

    Sounds like you have fun though! 🙂

    Laura | Health and Fitness Blogger

  5. I love off road runs. Sadly I can’t do many unless I go with the club as its so dark on the country park routes and I’d have to wear a head torch and be on my own, which sounds too scary! So it’s just roads for me at the moment. I never even knew people could get chaed by cows! That’s definitely good for me to know for the future!!

    1. Yes I would have to run on my own with a head torch if I ran on these fields at night which I think is not very safe.

  6. This sounds like so much fun. I have to say I love running in mud and splashing in puddles, I’ve totally discovered a love for running off road this year, there is something just so much more freeing about it.

  7. I’ve haven’t run cross country since I was at school but I really should look out for some routes – unfortunately living in the city they would all be a bit of a drive away. I do like the routes I have been running so far, although I am new to this city so I am discovering new places which keeps the runs interesting.

    1. New routes are always good- I have discovered new routes by running with a group, even though I have lived here for years now!

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