Were you out there Hidden ? I thought i saw those snazzy new shoes flash past me.
Right, well, that was a slow, painful run for various reasons, one of which I will explain later. Aside from that, I had a very disturbed night and really probably shouldn't have run this morning, but I promised Maggie, so out I went. In fact I was so tired that I kicked my inner left ankle with my right foot a couple of times, also tripped crossing a busy road. Another reason was that my muscles on my left leg are KILLING me where I've been doing the exercises my ex physio sister gave me to build up strength on that damaged limb. Plus Dennis is in full moult, so my breathing is abysmal.
As you can see from the collage, it was long leggings today (and long sleeved top) as it was only 10 degrees when I set out. I'm sorry, but I hate being cold. Bring back summer I say. And I wore my gorgeous orange On Cloudventure Peak shoes. I love them so much that i would like to wear them 24/7, when they would prove useful for kicking Mr I Don't Snore, in bed, when he starts not snoring.
The wheel of the year is turning, the seasons are changing and autumn is almost upon us. Fields where I ran through corn only last week are now cut. Lammas, the first harvest, is here and John Barleycorn must die! The sun is lower early in the morning, strobing into my eyes through the trees just as it did in spring. There is a scent of wet earth overlaid with the honeyed sweetness of buddleiah and the dustiness of vegetation dried out after many hot weeks.
So down the London Road, where I was passed by a very fast male runner who called a cheery good morning as he streaked by me and disappeared into the distance. I was still puffing my way towards the main road when he passed me again coming back the other way. Humph!
Then up along the Oxford/Stratford road, where I turned off and took a footpath over a harvested field. A rabbit scutted across my path, white tail bobbing, and shot into the hedge. Then I was crossing the field, towering skyscrapers of bales stacked along the horizon. And now we come to the other factor that slowed me considerably. As you can see from the photo on the right, there were swathes of straw laid across the footpath every ten yards or so, too deep to run through, so that i had to slow down and wade over each as I came to them - and they were right the way across a very large field. My inner thigh muscles were protesting by the time i got to the other side.
At last I was back on the London Road (I have no sense of direction so have no idea how that happened), just by the salt way, which I took back up to the main road again. That path has changed. In spring it was fresh, searing green, festooned with white cow parsley and hawthorn blossom like a virgin bride. Now the flowers have all gone, the leaves have faded down to a duller green, and the fields either side are brushed with muted gold where the corn is sundered.
I was going to make this a longer run, but honestly I was tired by that time, lack of sleep catching up with me, so I decided to take the Banbury Road back into Chipping Norton. A few nights ago I had a dream where I saw a fawn, very young, needing strength before it could run far and fast. I take a lot of notice of dreams, they often have messages for us. Deer are fleet animals, but this one was too young to run as strongly as it would as it grew. I'm still a baby runner, and I think my subconscious was telling me to nurture my running and not push when I should rest or run steadily. So I turned back into town, cut through the churchyard, then down the hill to the bottom, by the industrial estate, kicking fallen conkers in their spiked cases as I went. Ironically, I found my running legs and my second wind, but too late, I was nearly home; though right at the bottom of the hill, I doubled back on myself to make the run up to 8km. I'm doing the 50 mile virtual challenge this month, every km counts - and I want my bling!