This morning, to make a bit of variety, I thought I would try a slightly different route, though who thought including a hill would be a good idea I do not know...
I set off out of the house, telling myself that including a more challenging hill would be good, and knowing that Laura (I'm still using Week 9 as a sort of comfort blanket) would keep with me through it all.
After the warm up walk I was pretty much laughing, as I hadn't realised that I would have a nice downwards incline to start my run with, and few startled crows fluttered out of my way as I approached. But of course, in running terms, what goes down must come up, and after a rather hairy sprint across a busy road, I was faced with a steep incline up a muddy path between two hedgerows. The gremlins were telling me to turn back and stick to one of my usual running routes. It was very tempting, but I was determined to conquer the hill and kept on. My legs moving in ever decreasing lengths until I must have been taking little tiny pigeon steps, but was at least able to keep going.
By the time I got to the top I was puffing and panting and foaming at the mouth. Somehow I don't seem to be able to swallow and breath at the same time, and as the breathing is pretty essential, I realised I'd ended up looking like some kind of rabid animal. This combined with the desperate look in my eyes, and sweat running down my face, must have been a terrible sight, but fortunately my new route was taking me through two fields, totally deserted apart from a few sparrows and a magpie or two.
Further along I turned onto a country road, and was enjoying my own company (and Laura's of course) when I spied a bus shelter ahead, with a group of people waiting patiently for their bus. As I staggered passed they eyed me with suspicion. Further still and I spotted a man walking three large dogs, all off their leads. I was dreading what might happen, but as I approached the dogs seemed to shy away from me and cowered around their owner's legs. I am sure they thought I was a threat, all that foam and all. So it was relief that I continued on my way.
Running through the village was pretty quiet, and then it was down a gentle hill, back to the edge of my park. I was really enjoying my new route, and it was only when I got into the park, that I realised I still had to contend with one more up hill climb before I would be on the homeward straight. My legs were complaining, this wasn't what they'd signed up for this morning at all. What had they done to deserve this torture? Why couldn't I stick to my tried and tested route? Hang on, only a fool would listen to talking legs, I told myself, and kept on going, again with tiny steps until I reached a level pathway.
Laura reassured me that I only had 5 more minutes to run, and enjoyed the last jog through the park, passing the Staffordshire Terrier who had been rather aggressive to me the previous week, who (even though I had now dealt with the foaming issue) now seemed in awe of me.