Lovely start to the day.. A smushy card and a bottle of my favourite champagne ( me and Churchill) !
Romance lives on even after 44 years! Yeay
So it was with light heart and a spring in my step that I set out for this morning's run.
It was crisp , clear, frosty and quiet this morning. I managed to be out before 8 o'clock, I love the lighter mornings... Bundled up, as I always am at the start and intending to take a familiar run up past the school and along the lanes. Not repeating the field run for a while... too much mud can be a bad thing, and after Friday's run...well!
No. one about as I set out on my warm up walk, and listening very carefully to Laura as she explained what the Stamina run is about. I completed the Couch to 5K podcasts Stepping Stone and Speed.. after Graduation, as some of you know and repeated Speed again, twice??? not sure) since recovering from the dreaded Bronchialurgy!
So, despite wallowing in mud on Friday, I was determined to see what Stamina involved. Sounded okay...maybe.. and after a brisk five minutes, I started the first part of the run. (I have to admit, that all the way through the podcast I was listening very hard and really concentrating, and everything just seemed to just follow on...)
Down to the village and a nice easy pace, it always is at the start..exchanged a quick good morning as I passed the lady who owns the newsagents, taking her dog for a walk.. She has been abroad, and has a lovely sun-kissed glow to her face which lets you know immediately she has been to warmer, DRIER, climes! This morning, she is well wrapped up too!
I headed along to the village, and on a whim, decided to find a pathway that runs behind the church.
although I've lived in this area for thirty years , I've never been on this path, so time for pastures new!
I headed along the flattish main road as the pace changed. I was just determined to stick with it and do exactly what Laura said. Legs a little heavy this morning, but still trying to lift my heels and breathe steadily. I am still finding that a bit iffy at the start of runs, but it settles down usually. The cold does not help, but my buff keeps most of it out, until I get too warm! I enjoyed the pace, although found it a bit tricky sort of getting in step. I do, as I said in another post, a sort of weird dance step.. most odd, when changing pace! The Stamina podcast is different, but I was finding it okay.
Crossing over behind the small Co-op in the village, I notice that a new teashop has its sign up now, and I know it is due to open on Monday! What a lovely surprise for a cold morning, I am thinking...Maybe I can link this in with a run... a treat after a long walk down maybe? Hmm?
So, a quickened pace and along by the terraced houses, and through a narrow gap between. Although it is unmarked and unsigned, I head up the pathway I have never been on; it takes me between large unkempt gardens, overgrown and uncared for at this time of the year. Then along by some railings and in through the small, back gate of the church grounds. It is so quiet, and so beautiful, as the sun catches the tops of two massive yews as I run through the graveyard. Is it wrong to run in a graveyard? I feel a bit guilty and run very quietly and almost on tiptoe... I catch sight of some of the names on the weather beaten headstones, including one, Ebenezer Hayward. Wonderful name!
Still running quietly, although no service here until 11 a.m. I run past the church, pink-red sandstone blocks glowing in the early sunshine and the tall windows glinting slightly through the protective screens. Out into the church lane and towards the main road and another surprise. I am halfway up the hill that runs by the high school! The steepest sloggiest part of that pesky hill, is below me. I am so pleased I speed up, then remember to listen to Laura and the beat!
Still a way to go. It is probably my own fault, ( too pleased),that I am now running the last bit of the hill on a faster beat, but, I managed it, although I am aware I am getting warmer now and my cheeks are burning. I head along by the Primary school and towards Old Road. The school yard quiet and peaceful; since I last ran this way, there have been changes, I notice that the children now have a new sitting area, under a small tree, close to the pathway hedge; slate chippings under the furniture, bench seats , a picnic table, and crocus budding all around the base of the tree. Things have moved on since my primary school days and its tiny, tiny hard brick Girls' Yard; yes it was a yard just for the girls... boys were considered too rough to play with..Go figure! I do four repeats along the pathway by the school to make sure I do the running time and try to increase the distance covered, it was relatively easy, because it is fairly flat. The whole podcast is fairly steady and the changes in pace are easy to follow when you get used to them, quite different than the Speed podcast.
I have to admit though, I was getting a bit tired at this point. maybe just the change of route, and the new podcast, but still, up to the Old Road. The hedgerow, latterly laced with hips, haws and holly berries before Christmas has been completely lowered and has now been laid in the traditional style. It looks amazing, and already, new bright green shoots are coming through the bottom of the beautifully intricate twining, of what will be a new, thick and verdant hedge by the end of the year. Plus, I can see right over the top now, all the way along. The road is quiet, the winter has created some potholes and as I turn to the Bridle Path it is quite tricky. Laura is counting me down towards the end of the run and I think I remember her saying I finish with a burst. I turn at the Bridle path and head back down the lane; someone has not fastened a field gate, and I decide to nip in and have a quick run along the top of the field. Here it is frozen, the grass is white frost tipped and the ground is firm, a new copse of trees with a few determined leaves clinging to the low branches, I had a quick glance around across to the distant fields, took two huge breaths of icy air and turned back to the gate. I had got two minutes left to run, so headed back to the lane. Down the hill I went, I did feel quite elated because this is the longest continuous run I have done since being ill, silly me, why did I think that!!!
You know the saying, Pride come before a fall? Well, it so nearly did.
I knew it was frosty, but I had not experienced any icy surfaces en route, so, as I ran down by the side of the hedge the patch of black ice was a real shock! It took me completely by surprise and not in a good way; because I was running, I could not stop. In a split second, brain whizzing, I thought if I try and stop I will definitely fall...so, I slid!
Yep, 65 year old grey snail sliding along the lane... Only a short distance and then I managed to slow somehow and step into the middle of the lane. It can't have been a huge distance and happened so quickly, but it was enough to make my heart beat really, really fast!
So...my fast burst wasn't, really, unless you count the slide! I slowed down and when Laura said to walk, I did keep running, to make up for the missed bit! Down the lane to the bottom; the lady at the end cottage still has her old bicycle outside the door, the basket filled with trailing ivy, down past the hens, noisy cockerel, and Rookery Wood. I stopped running here. Forty minutes continuous running plus ice skating. I enjoyed the podcast enormously, but need to repeat it on Tuesday as it all went in a bit of a blur.
The walk back was slow and pleasant. I feel as if I have achieved something today. I have run for forty minutes, in beautiful dry weather, I kept with the pace and I completed 3.47 miles! I am pleased. Pleased that I feel better, and extremely pleased that I have not broken anything!
Okay, so on my last runs, I have had rain, mud and ice... and as I write this the first gentle flakes of snow are falling...Whatever next
Sorry it's a long one...as you know...I get carried away