My Friday evening was shattered with a text from Niall: "Saturday is the new Sunday. See you outside yours at 7:03". And them something about Heartwood and Brocket Hall! Didn't he know I'd run a hard tempo that day? Didn't he know the clocks were going back an hour on Sunday night? Hadn't he seen the weather forecast was for rain? No way Jose I thought to myself as I hit the delete button and headed into the kitchen for another beer.
By 7:25 with three miles in the bag it was time to turn off the main road and head cross-country to Sandridge. It had still been dark when we cut across Harpenden Common, however, in the last ten minutes dawn had broken and with our eyes now accustomed to the half-light we were confident of safe passage. Once in Sandridge I surrendered full navigational responsibility to Niall as we set forth in unfamiliar territory. Thanks to advanced preparation and a small printed map he did a fine job as we complete an anti-clockwise loop that conveniently brought us into Wheathampstead close to Sheepcote Lane (infamous start of the afore mentioned village's 10K).
Up to the Ayot Greenway and left but now we were in danger of short changing ourselves on the mileage front. No problem. Take the first right once on the Lower Luton Road and we have a handy little uphill off-road loop which brings us back via Marshalls Heath to the junction of the main road with Cherry Tree Lane. An easy mile and a half along the Lea Valley Walk and we're home.
Mileage for the week is 33 miles. However, cumulative seven day running total (including last Sunday's mega run) is 48 miles - no wonder my legs feel tired!