The Trail… A Snail…. And a Perfect Pootle.

The Trail… A Snail…. And a Perfect Pootle.

Too many weeks on the injury couch, and too many days building slowly and steadily back up to par have been difficult. So… ready for a new adventure… I decided to take a chance!

The solo snail…she who runs alone… ran… with another…😊

A glorious morning, as I woke on Thursday... a cobalt sky, with wisps of cloud, drifting aimlessly in the early morning sun…running gear laid out already, bag packed, running belt, Garmin… butterflies…. Butterflies?

Yes… butterflies…😊

Yesterday morning I was meeting a friend from the forum… a faceless friend... one who has been an inspiration to me since I began this incredible running journey… meeting her… and err… running with her! Me… the Grey Snail…!

As I set off, the butterflies multiplied in my tummy; the sky darkening as I drove towards Derbyshire, the drifting clouds frowning gloomily… portents of a disastrous morning, maybe… the first fat raindrops hitting the windscreen with self-satisfied plops. Stuck behind a slow-moving lorry and a line of cars… this was beginning to seem like the worst idea ever!

However, as the traffic cleared, the lorry taking a left turn and the traffic a right, my way was clear into an ever-brightening morning as I headed towards my destination. Making the car park with a minute to a spare... I spotted my companion... resplendent in green t-shirt and Snow-White design capris! Out of the car…frantic waving, no standing on ceremony… girlish giggles and a hug … how exciting was this!!

The morning had brightened again and the sun was making its presence felt as we set off…It is strange running with another person… I am so used to running alone… no conversation, except with myself… and now another person. We set off with a brisk walk, I was grateful for this as the first bit of the Trail goes up a small hill! Talking ten to the dozen (me) and setting the scene, five minutes in, we were ready to run… We set off… a slow and steady pace… the trail was a delight… all new to me… but familiar territory to my friend… a shady avenue of tall trees, thick leafed and green…. Glimpses of fields stretching away on either side… framed by overhanging branches, each one picture perfect. The heavy scent of the summer still clinging to the hedgerows and undergrowth, dappled sunlight flickering through gaps in the canopy; fat indolent cattle, grazing in the fields, lying under small trees as they ponder life.

As we made our way onwards, my breathing was loud, even to me… (I know I do have loud breathing although it is steady). the thick air and hanging pollen, not helping; sheer serendipity meant that our paces matched … although I have a suspicion that my running friend was taking it slowly for my benefit. Snippets of conversation here and there, as we ran on, often in pleasant and companionable silence. I was really enjoying this. I was finding the first part of this run slightly harder than I had thought. My companion appearing to read my thoughts said… “Most folk think of the trail as flat, but this bit is going uphill.”

Thank goodness, I am not that unfit!

My companion had promised a short and gentle pootle… so we were aiming for her suggested turn around point, and “Just wait until we run back. it is all downhill” 😊 Yes!! The trail echoed to the sound of our feet… but we passed only a few walkers, despite the beauty of the day…lovely to have it so quiet after the hectic Bank Holiday walkers and cyclists… just about three and a bit K ; we reached a gate and the turn-around point. My mouth was dry, but I felt good… a drink of water and a catching of breath… I was finding it very strange. I am so used to running for me, with only me, and just the act of chatting, even in short bursts, initially felt quite alien to me. But it was fun.

We set off back towards the start of our run… and yes… true enough, it was all downhill… my legs now, (only now) were taking me on, with very little effort, and I felt that wonderful wave of comfort washing over me... rounding my steps and yes, kissing the ground lightly, or trying to, relaxing my shoulders... and aware of a person running, effortlessly beside me, shoulder to shoulder, at the same pace (less noise than me), both simply running because we are able, no time or distance in mind, no pressure, except now, to avoid the increasing numbers of cyclists who were heading towards us.!

Families, all out to grasp the last days of the Summer holiday, more expert cyclists, (some with no cycling manners) old, young … all enjoying the warmth of the last day of August. The views different now as we ran homeward… glimpses of different fields and distant views, idyllic country farms and meadowed lanes. I had been using this run, also, to test out my calf muscles again and could feel my comfy, happy pace kicking in… It felt wonderful and having someone next to me also enjoying this run was amazing. We had just about half a km to go, and I fancied just trying that leg out; my companion told me to go for it so, as Laura would say, “...finish in style”, just a very quick burst (for me anyway) to the finishing gate!

Back to the Snack Kiosk for a well-earned drink and time to chat, get to know each other a little more and mull over a new experience… It had been terrific fun… we ran, I think about 6 and a bit K… and, we are going to run together again!

I think that my friend held back a bit; she is one heck of a runner…!!! Check out some of her posts if you want to be inspired😊

Thank you so much Anniemurph … this old snail had a great time…

And that… friends is what running is all about 😊

Just because we can....:)

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123 Replies

  • Well done you, sounds lovely, glad you enjoyed it

  • I did... I don't have much time to post my own reports now....but this was special!

  • Sounds like you had a wonderful run. So pleased for you both.

  • Thank you... it was a really different thing for me to do and it turned out beautifully... Anniemurph was wonderful...I loved it!

  • Great photo ladies - and you are both inspirations! What a special run report Oldfloss 🙂 As you say, it is so different sharing a run with someone else. I do it only occasionally too but always enjoy it when I do . Great that you plan to do it again. Brilliant!!😀🏃🏽‍♀️🏃🏽‍♀️x

  • Thanks you.. it was a milestone for me... but we really had fun :)

  • Lovely post. Thank you.

  • Welcome...:) This journey goes on and is so full of twists and turns and wonderful surprises!

  • Sometimes meeting your heroine is a wonderful thing, and this reads just like the perfect run. Truly C25K brings folks together and it's fab to see the virtual actually be the reality. Lovely, lovely, lovely

  • Thank you... she is part of my journey, like so many,people who have shaped my running and taught me so was a very special run... and one to put into my store of happy moments for dark days :)

  • What a wonderful write up and your run sounds idyllic but then again you were in Derbyshire

  • Love it... just down the road a bit from me.... it was a very happy run :) Thanks youxx

  • and on my doorstep!

  • Is it.... ? So... maybe.... a run together could be in the offing? :)

  • by the dreaded jingo what an idea

  • Well... who knows....I may be an old snail... but.... :)

  • My response was in the positive

  • got my sponsored run next week then away for holiday, oh and as yet there's no conversation with me as breathing is important lol

  • Too right!!!!

  • and I can't do both whilst running!

  • Oh and I take it as a very great compliment

  • I think a fair few folk would love to get together for a run... after the replies I got last evening... you should check out getting together in your area, maybe, with some runners !

  • Fabulous stuff! Thanks for sharing.

  • Thanks you.... I do not ramble as much as I used to.. my mentoring role has taken up quite a bit of time :)

  • It's clear that you put so much time in to help us through, and we're all loving this journey hugely due to that reason...but glad you can still take time for you alongside inspiring the rest of us!

  • Thank you... that means a lot :)

  • Yes, Floss writes such lovely, descriptive run reports you actually feel like you are there too. Always an absolute pleasure to read.😊

  • It sounds a very special run! :)

  • It was indeed... :)

  • What a lovely photo - such cheery smiles 😀 sounds like it was a delightful run and sharing it with someone else made it special. How wonderful 😊

  • It was.... a sunny happy day.... it was very special running with another runner... just for pure pleasure...:) We laughed.. a lot!

  • Oh, Floss, it was such a fabulous day! You are one of my heroines on this forum, and to meet you was wonderful! I was nervous too - I always am when I meet someone I plan to run with. It's different when we meet up at an event and say 'See you at the finish!' and off they go :D But our paces matched nicely (although I suspect you were kind enough to match mine) and I liked that we could chat or run quietly as we pleased.

    I am so sorry that I jinxed us though! Folks, it was entirely my fault that we met hordes of cyclists. As we turned round and started our run back I glanced down the trail, turned to Floss and said, 'It's lovely and quiet, isn't it?' - then nearly fell over my own feet as I stopped in horror at what I'd just said :D Sure enough, within about a minute we saw the first cyclist, then another, then a pair, then a family... there must have been about 20 by the time we reached the end!

    I really hope that we can do this again! I am normally a solo runner, but there are a few kindred spirits with whom it is an absolute pleasure to run, and you are one of them :) Thank you for persevering through the traffic to meet someone from the dreaded internet (what do we all tell our children? *Never, ever* go to meet someone you've only met online!!!) and for making my week. I had a wonderful run! Happy running indeed :)

  • Lovely lady :)

    Nothing to say...except to quote Pa Larkin.... Perfick!!!

    We are so lucky x

  • I have Floss to thank for picking me up a few weeks ago. I was floundering a bit and feeling down, but she picked me up, hugged me and set me straight.

    Since then I have run better than ever and have regained my self esteem.😊

    Such a lovely Mentor and friend.xx

  • Oldfloss is wonderful - a very worthy Mentor for this forum. I'm not at all surprised she picked you up and sorted you out. I'm glad your running is going well again :) xx

  • That's a wonderful post and beautifully written as always. Great to see you having fun with someone who inspires you. It should give you an insight into how so many of us feel about you ☺

  • ... and you, my friend are too kind :) Thank you!

  • Aah Floss you are just as i imagined! Lovely to see you two smiling and happy together!! 😊what a great post and I see that it has given you a taste of how rewarding company can be on a run! really pleased you two met up!😆🏃🏃🏃✔👍

  • Funny face... that is me! We had such fun Ali! . It would be great to think we could all have a chance to meet up with chums, who have inspired us... I did enjoy it... so very much... she is a great runner!!!

  • It'd be excellent to get to meet you all , all the forum friends I've met for real have been lovely!😆

  • I have mentioned to a few folk in replies, how great it would be if folk in one area could get together, just C25K runners.. I know they there are running groups, but all C25K runners might be fun... Probably a bit tricky to make it work though :)

  • It was such fun, Ali! I had an amazing day :)

  • That is really lovely for you both meeting up for a run. Perhaps this is the start of a regular run, tea, cake and matter?

  • It feel it might be.. we had a really great time and it worked beautifully... we have another run planned... watch this space :)

  • That sounds lovely Floss - and Anniemurph too - a new experience and a great one 😀

  • It was... I have learned so much from her, over my time on the forum... and to get to run together was a real treat!

  • It was marvellous, Joy, such a treat to meet Floss in person. She is such a sweetie!

  • That's lovely, it's really nice you got to meet up.

    Glad to hear you are back out there.

  • Me too, thank you..not quite back up to standard yet.. but working on it..( using Realfoodieclub 's core exercises programme to help!!!

    It was fun... I know lots of folk have manged to meet forum friends... and I know now why!! :)

  • There you are Floss looking fab (you don't look your age!) and happy. What a lovely, lovely day for you and Anniemurph. It must be so great to meet up with forum friends and to run together. It sounds very special. A running memory 🤗

    I hope you had tea and cake afterwards but I recall that you don't eat cake so maybe just tea 😏

    And you are so right. This is what running is all about 🏃🏃🏃


  • Thanks you...:) You are really kind!

    I think fab is a bit exaggerated... I am a funny old thing!!! I had a great time IP...You are right... we did have coffee, but no cake.. although the choice was wonderful, maybe next time a tea cake ?

    Running, as Irish-John says so often now, just for the pleasure and sheer joy of it...aren't we so, so lucky!

  • It was just wonderful, IP - although don't believe this woman when she says she is slow! Oldfloss is not an aged grey snail at all! I was huffing and puffing to keep up, and very thankful for my coffee afterwards :D

    Seriously, though, it was one of those days you bank to pull out and look at later :)

  • Sounds gorgeous Annie. I'm jealous. I know Oldfloss is not slow. She's just the fastest snail around 🙂

  • Love love LOVE this well done 😀xx

  • Thank you.. it was a special running moment for me :)

  • Cant-tell-you-how-smiley-this-post-made-my-insides-feel😊😆☺

    Two lovely ladies doing something they love and passing the enjoyment on... Thanks Floss & Annie - made my day xxx

  • Mine too Mcfitty 😊😊😊

  • Thank youx

  • It was fun... ! Hey are things!!!

  • It made my week! xx

  • Wonderful. Thank you for sharing this.

  • It was too good to keep to myself... running with our heroes and heroines :) Thank you !

  • What a great post, lovely picture of you both. I've been lucky enough to meet Anniemurph in person too, glad you both had such a lovely run together.

  • It was great..she is super.... we had fun.... harder than I thought... it was nice to meet someone from the would be as I said to Jan-now-runs and have mentioned to rolysmate how great it would be to have small C25K groups in local areas..where folk could meet and run together if they wished to..? Probably logistically tricky though?

  • Hi, Floss and Annie,

    Ha, what a fabulous running rendezvous you two arranged 😁... two of our most favourite running folk out on a jaunt...and thank you for letting us all in on your secret adventure.

    Hello to you both, what a lovely photo, was it was taken afterwards as you hardly look flushed attall. But then 6k is a short little pootle for you😊xx

    Do write up a report when you do this again its so nice to share your fun...xx

  • We did have fun thank you, my friend :) Photo was taken right after... I was very pink!!

    It was not as easy as I felt it might be.. people had said that bit of the Tissington trail was flat!

    It would be great, as I have said in replies to other folk, to have small C25K groups, so folk had the chance to meet and run together if they fancies it!

  • Oh, I wondered if it was Carsington water where you ran as I remember it being a favourite of Anniemurph I think?, but I feel I know the Tissington trail from holidays in Derbyshire and my daughters wedding last year was not far from Bakewell.

    Ha, yes Floss, I think you would be very much in demand if you could travel round the country and run with us all individually 😎..I would love to share a run with you... (expenses paid in your capacity as Mentor of course...😄)

  • Just looked at the map and we stayed in Youlgrave a few years ago.

    Love the peak distict.😊

  • It would be amazing to meet up!!! Folk could run with much more awesome folk than me... I do poddle along.. and I probably talk too much too!!! :)

    Anniemurph is the star of Carsington... she quelled and destroyed the Beast of a hill there!!! :)

  • It was lovely, Jan, and so fab to meet Floss in person :) We were very lucky to have such a nice day for our jaunt too!

  • What a wonderful post to read about, and Annie's follow-up reply as well. You are both truly inspirations on this forum--so thanks!

  • Thanks.. just a runner running really..and having fun:) I don't have as much time now to write now, but am so interested in everyone's journey and where they move onto! Anniemurph is inspirational!

  • Please keep finding time to write your lovely descriptive running reports Floss. Its one of the reasons this forum feels so special. 😊x

  • Thank you! xx

  • Fabulous report & sounds like a great run. I am still grounded so no running just yet but reading your report makes me feel I was out there with you xx

  • Thanks you... I had lots of messages and replies.. I think a fair few folk fancy runs together maybe other than Park runs! You came with me, as do many of the forum friends.. hope you are feeling more like it now! x

  • Getting there - I was hoping to try a slow 1 mile today but it is bucketing down so I will wait for a dry day. First born getting married in 2 weeks so I will be working on those plans today instead xx

  • I remember it well... daughter married in 2013... phew!!! Metres and metres of hand made bunting!!!

    Bucketing down here at the Coast too.. too hard for this snail ! Hope you get out for that run tomorrow maybe :) x

  • Hopefully I will :) x

  • *my daughter married in 2016 and I made metres and metres of lovely handmade bunting too*....

  • I was making it in my sleep... along with an appliqued banner that said..Here comes Your Bride !!! :)

  • What a lovely story and great to see you both having fun🏃

  • That is what it is all about!!! Thank you :)

  • Lovely running post, thank you so much for sharing. Glad you enjoyed running with Anniemurph too. She may have been an inspiration/ support to you but you have also been the inspiration and support of so many of us. 🙂

  • I try to be, although I feel the same about many folk.. you for example:)

    A true inspiration, to so many of us and me especially..( had a bad last two weeks and you and past posts of yours helped enormously) !

    Thing is, I love running and people... and being privileged to be part of their journey through running is wonderful!

    Thanks you :)

  • Oooh you two lovelies! Looking great there!

    Floss if you recall I did my first 10k on the trail..... definitely uphill going out...... but a lovely run!

    Annie and I have signed up for a 10m in march there too! Annie will be home having tea snd cake by the time I finish mind you!

    Great that you ran together! Talk to Annie about her parkrun...... its the one I go to also. Maybe ........??????????????

  • I knew it, I knew it !!!

    Just whilst I ran I thought of you!!! I thought of that chap at your dinner party too!!!

    It was uphill! It didn't look it though!

    A 10K... gosh, although I could do the distance, I am not sure of all the ups and downs! You are going to have a great time!!!

    Annie did mention the Park Run....but I am still very uncertain.. I like the idea of a few running together but not loads of folk..but, never say never... and I did have a really great time !!! :)


    Thank you.. we did look pretty sassy.. tee hee :)

  • You both look great! I run the parkrun route outside of parkrun times sometimes..... lovely route xx

    Ps when i run parkrun i am so far behind everyone else its just like running alone 😀😎

  • Now, that does sound like a plan.. so...maybeeeee :)

  • Go on Floss! I did my 100th parkrun yesterday!

    We have a lady,Doris who is in the 75/79 category(yes i know you are much younger!) who did her last one with us as moving away, she had done 140!!! 😊it really is a great atmosphere and very positive experience! Boz got a new PB of 19.51!!!! 😆🏃🏃🏃🏃✔

  • That is mega fast!!!! Blimey!

  • 100th run... wow.. !!!!! Blimey Ali!

  • I started in Feb 2014, a week before graduation!😆🏃🏃🏃🏃

  • You are totally awesome Ali!!! :) x

  • Errrrr, no. I ran uphill from the Leisure Centre the other day, up the tunnel and then the down-up. I reckon that will be the end of me, never mind the other 9 and a half miles!!!

    Jacs, you have no idea how great it was to meet Floss! The Trail behaved itself as well, although it rained a little before we met, but it was beautifully sunny while we were running, and warm and sunny when we were sitting having our coffee afterwards. We can but hope :O

  • Yes the tunnel, then the big up and down......all part of the route. ...... both directions....... i need to get into serious training now summer is closing.Of course there was rain..... ... just hope in March it is not as bad as last time🙄

  • BrillIant post Oldfloss 😁

  • Thank you:)

  • Ooooh - the social runner in me rejoices! I'm so glad you had a good time the two of you. Lovely photo too.

  • Thanks Pippi! I expect you are doing amazingly too ! I had a great time... it was fun!

  • Ha ha! 'Social runner' - love it. Once upon a time people described themselves as social drinkers (could mean almost anything). Now we can say 'oh I'm just a social runner - I can give it up any time' . But can we? Can we? Mwah-ha-ha - resistance is futile now it's gone social! Good OldFloss and AnnieMurph!!!

  • Oooh, I couldn't give up running, I would go mad!

  • I love my running so much.. I really do think that is a case of.. "My name is Oldfloss and I 'm a runner"...this is a wonderful addiction :)

  • Great photo,two very happy ladies !

    Thanks for that truly uplifting run report . You are such a gifted storyteller it makes me feel like I was there too 😁

    Thank you 😊

  • I love to take my friends with me.. thank you.. there is often a whole crowd of us! :)

  • Haha....I know that feeling!


  • From another lone snail!!!--Well done you!!!

  • Snails rock! Go you!

  • What a fab write up! I was really wondering who it was going to be - AnnieMurph! What a surprise, don't know why...

    I have run with TWO people from here, the lovely Madge who looked persuaded me to give our local parkrun another go after I had a horrible experience the first one I did, who stayed with me all the way round and looked after me so well! We've done several parkruns and a 10K race, although I was slowing Madge down on that one and she ran ahead after a while.

    And - AncientMum, we did another 10 KM race is Cambridge earlier this year. Madge was there too, but left us for dust....

    Isn't this forum just the best place?

  • It is... and I only just discovered that running with a real person could be fun too!

    I remember your run with Madge and Ancient Runner too.. fabulous... and it does not matter if folk are slow or speedy... because we are all runners... It was so fortuitous that we matched each other :)

    it would be great to run with chums in our areas and when we do holidays etc!

    Thanks you!

  • A couple of inspirational ladies.

    Annie must be the longest standing regular contributor to this forum, I think.

    Oldies but goodies............if you will forgive me!

  • Indeed 😊👍😊

  • Thank had been a tough couple of weeks for me, and the run, besides being great fun, really emphasised your point about positivity and smiling :)

  • Fabulous post, just fabulous!!! 💙

  • It was a milestone for me in so many ways.. thank you.

  • What a fabulous post, and sums up some of the best reasons possible for running - fun, friendship and feeling good in the great outdoors. I am glad you had a great time (and that you have made a successful move away from the injury couch without problems).

  • was a great day.. and for me as a lone runner quite a step!!!

    The route back from the IC and my torn calf muscle has been slow..not back up to my 10Ks just yet... but I took it, as ever..slow and steady :)

  • Ouch, that sounds very painful! And I imagine must also have taken a while to heal.

  • It was.. but getting back on form now:)x

  • Awww...I love this post lovely to meet your faceless friend??!!! And that you match too???? I can tell the sense of satisfaction has done the world of've warmed my spirit usual xx

  • Missed this... but thank you xxx

  • What a wonderful post Floss! Your writing is brilliant as always and thank you for allowing us to share in this great experience with you and Anniemurph! Maybe this will become a regular thing!

  • Thanks you! I am hoping so :)x

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