So clock change offered an extra hour in bed but given the new obsession with distance I decided to get up at the usual time and head out at 06.03.
Niall and Paul had done a new route on Saturday which sounded very good and challenging, so Niall sent me the Garmin file and gave me the basic instructions on how to set it up and hopefully follow the route.
All worked well as I loaded the file onto my Garmin, I took a look at the route on his mapped run, read the blog for clues, noting a right turn of importance, popping out near Wheathamstead and a run through a ploughed field.
I set off in the dark and the first leg to Woolams Playing Fields was fine. The run parallel to the fields on the bridleway gave me my first "off route" ping by the Garmin. I got back on and was ok all the way to Sandridge.
After Sandridge I took every possible right turn, occasionally thinking that it had to be wrong, but no bleeps. Eventually it did start to go bleep as I lost faith and took a few straight routes but had to turn round and head right. I was certain I'd hit Jersey Farm. Eventually I popped out next to Wheathampstead.
From there the route took a few off road diversions, each one heralding the dreaded bleep meaning I had to retrace my steps and find the right path. After the jaunt up to the ploughed field I was on familiar ground. The Lea Valley walk is where I do my reps and a section well trodden over the years.
The route took me passed Niall and Paul's houses, both remarkably quiet, and home to Shakespeare Road. 13.26miles in 1.55 meant an 8.45 average and home just before 8am. Time to make breakfast and finalise my sunday school talk.
The route was superb, quiet, scenic, hilly in parts, paths, roads, fields. If I need to extend that run I'd add a Beeson End Lane loop, that'd get it up near 18 and up the effort required.
Must admit that the Garmin is fantastic too. That was new functionality for me and for it to get me round a course I'd never seen was brilliant.