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?
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…..my friends is what running is all about 😊
Just because we can....