Well 5 actually and I am not talking breakfast cereal.
Let me talk you through my home 5k run.
I live half way up a hill and my five minute warm up takes me to the top of the hill where I have started the majority of my runs since Week 1 of C25k. On the footpath alongside the school I stop to get a fix for GPS tracking, but this morning Annabel Runkeeper-Smythe was unwilling to play ball. I waited with the sun starbursting through the mist and trees while the town, down in the valley below was totally enveloped in a silent white blanket. I never got the fix and headed off just using the timing. I know this route pretty well by now.
Along a tree formed tunnel called Tinpot, down a short steep slope and through the first ****ing gate into an open field, to be confronted with a stunning view. As the sun glanced over the hedge to my left I ran down the ridge with Dartmoor glowering in the distance, beyond the valley to my right which was a lake of cloud, with the summit of Posbury Hill ( my 10k hill route) rising majestically into the sunlight. I almost stopped to take a photo, but remembered that if I do this Runkeeper stops playing music and frankly I was already well into my choons. I have seen this view so many times and it varies each time, but I have never seen it look quite so spectacular.
On to halfway down the ridge and then cut back to run into the bright sun, back to the top of the hill and loop round the school back to my starting point. About 1.6k or a mile in old money. To one side the sky was deep blue and the other was white with the low cloud and mist. As I came back out to the Dartmoor views, the mist had started to rise from the valley bottom and the light was weakening. This ridge is my favourite part of these runs and always makes me smile.......twice every run. Through the head high maize and the steep descent of Breakheart Hill, the bottom of which was lost in the swirling white mist which slowly wrapped itself around me. Onto the lane for a hundred metres, over the railway crossing and back into the damp fields beside the river Yeo, where dark grey trees were silhouetted against pale grey trees silhouetted against the even paler grey of the sky and the weakest of suns. I met two two young runners, lads of about twelve, who returned my cheery “Hello” with smiles and greetings. I passed a familiar old dog walker and a short while later discovered his familiar old dog in the mist, wrestling with half a tree that he had just pulled out of the river.
Through a couple of fields then onto the track past the pig farm. Annabel had roused herself by now and was giving me timings, but having missed my start nothing made much sense. Back onto the road, over the other level crossing and up the road, cutting back for the final climb up the fields of Long Slog Hill. There was no return to sunlight as I climbed but “Smells like teen spirit” from Nirvana boosted me for these efforts and my heart was light as I headed back into the streets of the estate and my last few metres of running. I always stop at the same point. 5.25k and a five minute walk to home.
“Okay,” I hear you asking, “What's so special about that then?”
Today was my first 5k run since I tweaked my left achilles on a 10k run on September 6th. I was aware of it throughout the run, but it was not painful and has been fine since I finished. It will be a while before I am back up to 10k, but I am happier today than I have been for over a month. I have missed running and today's run was really special for me.
Keep running keep smiling.