I was Lost in a Forest on my Own

I was once doing a race in a forest in 
Northumberland, a trail race which 
I’d never done before.

I’m always a little skeptical about doing
trail events. This is because if there’s a 
possibility of getting lost….

I’d entered this event on the day and looked 
at the route map.

(Whenever you look at a route map, do 
they just make no sense to you? You’ve 
studied the map as best you can, but 
when you run the event it just doesn’t 
seem to be the same thing?)

Anyway….. without knowing the route
I set off in this race. There was myself 
and 2-3 other runners who set off in 
front through the trails and into the forest.

It was an amazing day – nice and sunny, a 
slight breeze and fantastic scenery. I was loving it.

I felt pretty good after some weaving in and 
out of the woods and an uphill climb of around 
1 mile. I usually do most of my easy runs on hills 
so running uphill isn’t usually a problem for me. 
I took a lead of around 30 seconds quite quickly.

We were told at the start of the race to look out for
Red tape which would direct us in different directions.
There was no marshalls on the course so we had to follow
The markings.

I’d been running for approximately 3 miles and hadn’t 
seen any red tape for at least 1 mile. I had a big problem. 
I’d just ran down a hill for half a mile and I had 
a suspicion that I was lost. 

I’d been running without thinking about what I was doing.
I guess I was just running out of habit, but with no thought
going into it. 

I turned back to see if there were any runners in sight – there wasn’t.

I Stopped.

I was Lost. 

In a Forest.

On my own.

I started walking back up the hill I’d just ran down
to see if there were any other runners. There wasn’t.

It took me around 15-20 minutes to get back 
on the right track – by which time everyone 
else had finished.

I had to run through a river, which was knee deep.
I climbed a wall and ran through brambles, thorn 
bushes and nettles. I’d took the long route.

I felt so stupid when I got back to the finish and 
I wanted to blame others and make excuses as to 
why I didn’t do well.

On reflection, I realised that it was my fault.
I should have checked the route map. 
I should have 

I wanted to share this story and ask you the following questions….

Are you taking the long route to your success?
Are you running without any thought to what you are trying to achieve?
Are you wasting time, energy and still getting nowhere?
Are you out on your own? Lost? 
Are you making excuses for your own failure?

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