Well, a real bonus for me this morning. I could not run yesterday as all running surfaces closely resembled an ice rink. Need to be grown up and sensible sometimes. But, a beautiful morning, none of the forecast fog, temperature at 1.5, so a lovely opportunity for a repeat Speed podcast.
Having had a long conversation with my wonderful son in law about the conditions of the fields, and tracks, I decided to head down to the open countryside, it has been so long!
We have had three crisp. cold, frosty mornings, so he figured that I should be running on a dry-ish reasonable surface. I set off from home, the birds all a'twitter . the snowdrops white in the sunshine and the miniature daffodils just opening their yellow faces to the morning. Wonderful. A brisk walk, and it was brisk, this morning, to the decide point and... turn left! Yeay! I love the lanes, I love the tracks and I love the fields, I have missed them The last field run I did was last year! Not sure on the lane run, I'll have to check my posts!
Started the first interval, breathing a little hard, still not 100% recovered, but getting there. Down the hill and into the village. As I was a bit later setting out this morning, all school traffic, pedestrian and vehicle had gone. The main road was quiet and I crossed with a light step and a weird fluttering in my tummy at the thought of being in the freshness and greenness again. Past Rookery wood, nests completed now... I expect chicks will be on the way very soon, first hatchings March I think.. not sure. But, all is quiet at tree top level as I run up the hill. No problem really and managing to keep pace as the interval changes. A huge oak in one of the gardens at the bottom of the lane has variegated ivy wrapped right around its trunk and it has crept through and over the base of the thick canopy branches and looks for all the world like a thick green and yellow cape around a lady's shoulders. Beautiful.
Halfway up the hill I turn..along the track leading into the fields... the track is dry, someone, yet again, has filled in the potholes.. with yellow??? sand! The way up ahead was not too bad to start with... but within seconds, the firm ground has given way to soft, and it got worse, much worse. Committed now, and not wishing to stop and break my rhythm, I carried on. Mistake... mud, mud and even more mud.. the only words to describe it. Primeval gloop!
There was no way I was going to turn around, I craved fields, hedgerows, trees and openness...mad or what? I lost the rhythm, sinking into the mire, but what I lacked in speed, my goodness, I made up for in leg lifting! Was my son-in-law trying to kill me? Is he trying for an early inheritance; ulterior motive sprang to mind I pressed on, or rather glooped on...still managing a staggered, slithery, jolting sort of running pace, and reaching the end of the first field boundary thankfully. The fields open out here and I was able to get off the track slightly and onto the edge of the field, where it was fairly mud free. No crops planted here as yet, so no worries.. My trainers were soaked and filthy.. my socks squelched, and my leggings were caked.
Running uphill now, just in time for a faster interval..oh joy! But, I was determined. Relaxed my shoulders, straightened my back and did exactly what Laura said. breathing in through my nose, and out through my mouth, smoothly and not holding my breath! This is what I love about Laura, she's there, grounding you, reassuring you and keeping you going!
The hedgerows by the steam railway line, all look as if they are on hold... not a lot of greenery here, the trees still look very skeletal and bare; I have obviously got used to the domestic gardens. The ground underfoot is firmer here, the water runs off down to the river and it is easier going. The sun has gone behind some clouds and the sky is turning a colder slate-blue. Despite my bedraggled state.. I keep pace with the intervals, although my feet feel about a Kg heavier...coming to the last interval at the fast pace and Laura wants me to finish in style. I go for it. No use encouraging my friends on here, if I can't make the effort myself. I make the end of the hedge and reach my turn for the muddy way back, on a real burst of speed. The walk down, and Laura is telling me, if I have completed the podcast I should be proud. Not sure if that is quite the feeling I have got, as I thwoop, gloop, squilch, squelch and slither through the rich brown ooze! I rather think I am glad to be still standing!
On the track way here, there is a magnificent tree; I have so many photos of this tree in all seasons, and muddy and dirty and tired now, as I am, I have to stop to take yet another photo. Huge branch arms stretch towards the now grey and darker sky, twiggy fingers, cold and bare, seeking some warmth from the fast disappearing sun. Soon those twiggy fingers will be covered with a light, green, lacy-leafed covering, heralding the onset of Spring. I stand and marvel at the age, the power and the beauty of this majestic tree, rooted fast and firm in the ancient farmland.
Time to press on; because of the time taking getting through the mud, the walk back takes me longer. I don't pay a lot of heed to anything much as I head back down the hill to the station and I don't mind that passers by, heading for a late train are looking at me, oddly; I have really enjoyed my run, although it has not been the easiest. I feel different when I run on the tracks and in the lanes and fields, more alive. more vital, more me.
I walk back up the hill slowly. As I turn into my Close I can feel the first needle pricks of icy rain on my warm cheeks.
Too late, you are too late, I think. I'm home!