Motivation · running · Training

Feels Like Heaven

I’ve stolen the name of a great song from the 80’s by Fiction Factory, a band with great guys local to me, for the title of my post today but the essence of it perfectly describes the trail run Allison and I did this morning. We loosely had a plan to go out with others but that fell through, largely because of the wintry conditions so we headed out on a completely different route than planned.

It was one of those days where our route was planned last-minute and I must admit, it was an effort to summon up the enthusiasm to go out rather than opt for a rest day and catch up with other things. In the end, I was so glad we went out.

We drove to the Jubilee Car Park by Deuchney Woods. I’ve not been running up that way in a long time and when the roads are icy then take great to be off-road. Wrapped up for the cold conditions, we set off and followed a path I remembered from the last time. It involved going through the trees a bit before joining the main path. Main paths are great but sometimes it’s nice to venture onto new paths. We took a long-ish loop before joining the main path. There was a freezing fog but as we climbed higher, we were greeted to beautiful clear blue skies above the fog below, which engulfed the normal views we would have along the River Tay. We carried on following paths from memory of runs through this way before.

The sun coming through the frosty trees

Slowly but surely I started to remember paths and with it came some great memories of running around this area in the past. It’s probably about a year since last running this route but I’ve been running around this area for years having grown up nearby. One of the best bits when we came downhill was running down a traditional mountain bike route. This was a great adrenaline rush a do by the time we finished the circuit, I felt such a buzz. We carried on over to Kinnoull Hill and a different kind of loop. Again, this brought back lots of happy memories of runs gone by, one of them being able to run quicker along a particular stretch than I was doing today! Today wasn’t about speed though, it was about introducing Allison to these kind of trails and generally having an easy run.

Kinnoull Hill cliffs with freezing fog below
Kinnoull Hill cliffs with freezing fog below


The more we got into it, the more it took me back and so it’s likely I’ll be revisiting these trails for my Sunday runs for the rest of the year. If you’ve been doing mostly road running all year, I would highly recommend running off-road for a few weeks. The benefits are obviously challenging yourself over different terrain but it will strengthen the areas most runners are weak in – hip/ankle stability from the ever-changing terrain, the core as well as muscles like the calves, hip flexors and glutes.

Allison and I at the Inn Tower on Kinnoull Hill
Allison and I at the Inn Tower on Kinnoull Hill

This was also a good day to be out if you’ve got an underlying cold. The conditions were perfect for clearing the lungs and the nose out!

Do you run off-road much? Have you got a route that, brings back memories and makes you feel great again?

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