Firstly, heartfelt apologies for the lack of support, to all the runners I have neglected, shamefully, over the last few days. The only excuse I have to offer, is that of a technical maelstrom. The trees, fields and nothingness, were, simply, too much for my computer and my phone. Normal service is resumed...home again. Congratulations, all those who have Graduated, all those about to Graduate, and all those just setting out on the journey to Graduate!! I shall catch up over the weekend!
Tuesday was the day. I have been sensible, taken note of sound advice, rested. iced, elevated, and exercised... and I felt ready for a gentle run.
I woke fairly early and could see the sunshine trying to peep through the blinds on the tin-tent....
Firstly, Beloved and I put the world to rights over a morning cuppa... and a couple of biscuits. Then an extra cup for him, in bed, whilst I got ready to head out.
I was trying to be fairly quiet, well, it was before seven, as I let myself out of the van, and into the sunshine. The site was still, not too many happy campers; ( the roads to this site are farm roads, and farm traffic used.. which means they are very, very muddy)!!! It puts some folk off..not us though!
It was an absolutely glorious morning. Huge patches of blue sky hiding behind the biggest, fluffiest clouds... great, soft, woolly sheep floating high above; the sun already showing through and giving a welcome warmth to my shoulders.
Speed was the chosen companion...short and sweet. A five minute brisk warm up... treading lightly and softly when I passed inhabited rigs. I was a little worried how this would go. The crocked knee manifested itself, last week, only in a, going upstairs or a, getting up from sitting position, no problems walking... so.. a bit of a leap or a run of faith was on the cards. I cannot lie, I took Laura with me. I needed her reassurance and I am not ashamed!
So...halfway round the perimeter of the site, I started the runs.. five minutes, before the intervals. I think I may have held my breath when I started, but all seemed fine. It was so different; no-one around at all, a new route, new lanes, new field and tracks to explore. I know the area very well, but only from walking or cycling.
This was different. I was a runner, in a known place, but now, as a runner... and running to see if I still could
Two days sunshine had opened the leaves in the hedgerows, tiny, tiny, glowing green leaves, whispers of Spring, and fat shiny greeny red buds, opening, ever so slowly in the early sunshine. The fields, green and lush here, and full of sheep... Mothers and babies and so many sets of twin lambs.... The ewes, hardly raising their heads, the lambs staring and curious, as I ran past, quickly and lightly; I was amazed. My breathing was easy, my steps were light and quick, I was concentrating on landing gently. not pounding, and ran, in the first intervals, leaning ever so slightly forward. Unusual for me, but it felt very comfortable. There was a slight incline on the lane as I headed towards an open field. un-gated and with a track around the edge. I ran down one side and then back to the lane.
I love Speed..it is short and it suits me very well. I enjoy the slightly faster 60 seconds in the intervals and it seemed as if everything was going fine. Up to what we call the Triangle. An old farm dilapidated, yet inhabited, broken down sheds and outbuildings, overgrown and hidden under a thick covering of ancient ivy. It has a beauty, even in the decay of neglect and age; and in contrast, on the opposite side of the lane, new Barn conversions, warm stone, cosy, long and low, like Welsh long-houses, land sold off by the farmer...and developed by those with a taste for rural life...?
This was running at its best, at least, for me. I had, even in a short, seven days, missed it so much and this was simply perfect.
Everywhere was quiet, a Spring morning, holding its breath, just in case the chill remnants of Winter should find it. Phantom fingers, moving the smallest branches of the trees, the throaty call of a mother sheep to her lambs, the muffled sound of a dog barking, and the hum of farm machinery in the far distance.
Round the Triangle down towards Conker Row, (yes I have names for lots of the places I go to ); incidentally, I have five Horse Chestnut trees, ( about six feet tall), grown from conkers, picked up in this lane; they are growing on land which was ours, but now belongs to daughter and son in law, ( he who was running with me when I was abducted by aliens)...You need to have read my posts to understand that one!!!)
Sorry, really rambling there... back around the other side of the triangle, up the very short hill and back towards the lane. I had made the Triangle faster than I thought. Three more intervals to go, I had kept in time with the podcast and it felt good. I finished the intervals by doing a couple of repeats, back along the lane and then on. I decided not to push myself too hard, but instead of the five minute walk at the end, because I still had to run back to the site, I jogged very gently back, taking a quick detour to take a few photographs.
A lamb stared, wide eyed and unmoving, at me through the fence; I do not think it had seen anything as odd before.
I had a very short, one sided conversation with it, and surprisingly, two other lambs came alongside, they had not much to say either, but it was wonderful! Jogged back to the tin tent... folk stirring as I made my way back to breakfast.
Would the knee be okay?.The next day would tell, but gosh, it was so good to be out there again.