Thursday, 7 August 2008

Trams, Drains and the Dark

Last night I thought I'd be clever and get the tram out to Tervuren, which is on the eastern edge of the Foret de Soigne, then run back through the forest to my flat. This would let me get into parts of the forest that would normally be out of my reach. So off I went only to get to my start point at a belated 8:20. This gave me about an hour or so of daylight for a 12 mile run through unfamiliar forest. Ooops methinks.

So off I set. By the way this was the back end of a 30 degree day so it was a trifle warm and sticky. Everything's going fairly smoothly with me having to check the map at just about every junction (couldn't afford a wrong turn). A couple of miles in I hit Runner Central. Near a suburb called Auderghem (or Oudergem for my Flemish friends (hope I got that the right way round)) there were runners everywhere. In the space of twenty minutes I must have seen twenty individuals and three clubs out running. Must be something in the water there.

A couple of miles later and I'm following this track which on the map appears to cross the main railway line only to find my way barred by a ten foot high fence with no other likely crossing point for miles. Fortunately I'd previously been on the other side of this line and knew that there was a storm drain that went underneath the railway embankment. I just had to find it in the woods. I thankfully chose the right direction to look and found it about 200 yards away. This drain allowed a stream to cross under the line. It was about four foot high, a couple of feet wide, a hundred foot long and full of cobwebs. A small price to pay for saving a three mile diversion.

By the time I'd navigated this it was starting to get dark. Under the trees it was doubly dark so It wasn't long before I couldn't see the ground I was running on. Fortunately I was back in familiar territory so I didn't have to read the map any longer.

As if this wasn't enough ny right calf was tightening up in that worrying 'just aout to tear' way. So decision time, do I walk and get back at midnight or keep on running. I decided on the latter keeping a very close watch on the calf. It started to cramp at one point which scared me but I eventually managed to get back to my flat in one piece at 10 o'clock.

Didn't see many joggers in the park funnily enough.

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