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Everything you need is already inside you…

Sunday is my favourite run day, and yesterday morning was no exception. Running clothes laid out as always, the night before. Running shoes ready; off road shoes, as a field and lane and track ramble was planned. I don’t always plan. But this was to be longer run, with a little burst of something speedier in the centre 😊

I am being a tad careful still, as I am still taking things gently, after my time on the IC. I have a little regime of warming up, inside and then out for a brisk warm up walk, and I am walking for a bit longer currently…just to make sure everything feels okay!

Out into the morning, and into that Sunday silence that echoes. Closed curtains, sleeper seclusion, and daylight exclusion… a day of rest… and, still, that, almost eerie silence. The sky this morning…slightly sullen, the faint brightness of the earlier hour extinguished by a seamless grey cover. The faintest chill as I headed out up towards the big roundabout on the hill. No seagulls atop the tall lights this morning, and I turned to continue my warm up walk, and as I passed the Primary School I started to run.

As ever, I am taking it easy and making sure my legs are warmed and ready to go, round the Crescent and back out onto the hill to the village. The greyness of the morning served as a perfect backdrop to the end-of-summer gardens… the bedding plants, far from faded and bedraggled, despite lack of sunshine and a wealth of regular rainstorms… Begonias, Pelargoniums, Petunias, Cineraria and Hydrangeas, a profusion of small bedding plants. every colour under the sun, ordered and soldier straight-lined. No sound except my breathing and my feet on the pavement. Taking my own advice… slow and steady, landing lightly and rounding my heels…down the hill and through, behind the station, by the river and out onto the main road through the village, clumps of small purple elderberries hanging, from twiggy branches, heavy-laden over the water. Ducks nesting under the small bridge and the road to the village empty. It was taking a while to get going this morning…a busy week and a busy Saturday… so, maintaining the pace… into the village and up the hill…past the church; no bell as yet calling the faithful to prayer… and a little spurt as I headed up towards the other Primary school.

At the start of C25K, I often struggled up this hill… it makes me smile now, every time I run up it. Then at the top of the hill, turn through and along behind the school. The playground empty, apart from the wooden play Galleon…moored in the corner, anchored to an asphalt sea. I paused here, the chill of the early start, had given way to a brooding humidity… and I needed to wipe my forehead. A newcomer on the grass, outside one of the classrooms, atop a tree stump, a large carved wooden Owl. staring, glassy-eyed at me, across the yard.

As I ran on along by the Hawthorn hedge behind the school, I thought of days bringing my own children to this school… days long past now; happy thoughts, but as some of you who have known me for a while, know, mingled with the merest trace of sadness. A big breath and a quickening of pace now… the gentle start over, I felt I wanted to up my game and a speedy burst was the order of the day… Through the small estate and out onto Old Road… the sky now, unforgiving in its greyness and the first spots of rain beginning to fall, along past the hedges, black berry-brambled and thick tangled… the tree still full leafed, but with the tell-tale brown shadows, at the edge of the leaves…the large branched trees lean over the road here; the scene of a ghostly encounter in the winter if my Graduation and as I ran, faster now, that memory was with me… the oppressive atmosphere, under the trees, really humid now, as I tried to relax my hands, shoulders and face and focus on the hedgerows and the way ahead.

Hedgerows still green and full, but in not too long a time maybe, bedecked and bejewelled with those fat, red-glistening haws and hips and, goodness, maybe touched also, by the first early frosts. To the end of the road with a steady even step now… my happy pace... the legs strong, around the corner and into the more open space, easier to breathe here. It has been a while, but a quote from Wordsworth, the lines from a poem learned by heart for a level, many years ago, just popped into my head,

“…. Come forth into the light of things, Let Nature be your Teacher.”

Out, up past the Steam Railway, gates now open and the Dragons stirring, noisily, under the watchful eyes of their keepers. Round to the Bridle Path and back down the hill towards the field gate. Into the big field now, the crop has been, finally, harvested, and despite the rain, falling now in a gentle mizzle, the track through, is firm enough for me to keep up my pace. Pausing at the stile and the crossing over the Steam Railway line, I listen… just the muffled metal voiced engines, no bird song or dog bark, not traffic no voices. I have stopped many times on my running journey at this point, sometimes breathless, sometimes exhilarated, too hot, too cold, in darkness and in sunlight. It is one of the places where I feel part of something immense…a tiny, tiny part, but a part nonetheless. Over the track now… this is where I feel I can run for ever… my legs just take control... everything else just follows…running off road does require care, and even though I feel I could run this route blindfold, I am mindful of the hidden dips and curves and small ankle-turning holes.

The IC is not where I wish to be.

My calf muscle is fully healed now, of that I am certain, and I make the far lane in good time and as I run down back towards the station I am aware that I am very warm and quite damp. I have had a wonderful run. Pausing, once again, under the massive Horse Chestnut trees, I spot a green spiky globe shape… I pick it up and pop it into my belt… it is the answer to a problem, that has been troubling me for a while 😊

I have been struggling this last week or so, to try to find a way to try to help folk overcome some of the very real issues which are bothering them. I feel that there have been too many posts about, fear, apprehension, dread and worry…about runs! My own running rambles have taken a back seat, as I have attempted, as have a whole lot of others in the forum family, to reassure folk and encourage them. This journey is supposed to be an enjoyable one, not an endurance test. I have said many times, it is not about speed, or distance or comparison. It is about running. We all have our reasons for running, but I cannot help feeling, that running with apprehension or fear, should not be included in those reasons.

So please, try, those of you who are struggling, to replace the apprehension with excitement… lose the worry and find the wonder…dismiss the dread and discover the delight…and know that, like the secret hidden inside a conker shell… it is all there…the strength inside yourself.

You can do this…know it, believe it, enjoy it 😊

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Love it, glad you feel fully healed now and back running.

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Thanks you... yes... I am getting back to it slowly:)

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Lovely post as usual Floss, I'm glad you're getting stronger after your spell on the IC. I also totally agree with you about running, it should be for fun not a chore lets hope members take your words onboard! 😎

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Thank you Frank... I wondered where you had been hiding : Hope all good with you !

I hope so.... I am finding being a mentor quite a responsibility.. I think I worry too much sometimes... but as you say, this should be fun!

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I do Like to read with what's going on, and see how people are doing, I also belong to a group on Facebook with some of the old runners from HU where we compare our stats from Garmin. I know I'm a sad case but I'm harmless enough, 😊 Nice to hear you're still enjoying it all, have a lovely week Floss. 😎

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Gorgeous post Floss and I can see exactly where you run because you describe it so beautifully 🙂 and I was with you every step.

I just love what you say about the chestnut and you are so right. "Dismiss the dread and discover the delight" should be every runner's mantra. We are so much stronger than we think we are.

As usual, you are so wise. I would have loved you as a teacher xxx

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Thanks, Your Majesty... I just hope folk can relax a little bit...:)

I loved my teaching.. so much... and I would have loved to have taught you :) x

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I was always being told off/caned for talking ☹️

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I was never caned but I started every year at the chosen spot at the back of the class and within days I was under the nose of the teacher for talking too much. 😊

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Thanks oldfloss, needed that. Life is very very busy for me right now. Work hectic. Lots going on. C25K has helped me - I go with life and how busy it is and lean in. Running helps with leaning in. Accepting some days life takes over. But on run days - well your post prompted me to be mindful 😀

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Life happens, I know this only too well..but we are strong and we do have control...take care of you... you are your best friend :) x

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Lose the worry and find the wonder… How could you not be inspired by that? This wonderful post reminded me of a conversation I had with another runner at a fun run over the weekend. He was in a local running club and was astounded that I ran alone without anyone else. And I told him - "hey, I'm not alone I've got all these great people encouraging me and others and sharing their stories and tips it would take years to discover on my own". And it's true. The people that come to this forum from other places are in for something very special. Not just in terms of running advice, but in life as well. I feel honoured to be a part of this. Can I just say again how nice it is to read your posts? This really was a thing of beauty.

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Thank you so much... all about supporting folk and helping them realise how strong they really are...like you... doing amazingly!!!

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They are in good hands with you and IannodaTruffle!

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Beautiful post 👌🏻 Xx

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Thank you...if it helps a bit ... I am pleased:)

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Fabulous post Oldfloss :)

Running confidence is a strange thing it seems to me... so hard to find, so precious and yet so fragile. Yes, we need to have self belief to run and running builds self belief. Is it a reflection of the modern world that we constantly question and doubt ourselves? I think that this forum probably reflects this individual psychological flux; there are times when (individually) we need reassurance and times that we feel we can do anything! This journey is ongoing; exciting, scary, impossible, easy, lovely, horrible, sensible, crazy....

We are all fallible and I have a (possibly irrational) fear of injury. Keep safe and keep enjoying, and reporting on your runs.

Bring on the conkers :)

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We all need support... all of us, and reassurance... but the strongest allies we have are ourselves... positivity... always... you are doing wonderfully! x

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Great post, Floss! I sit here at my PC, ready to go run and yet not ready. It's hot where I live. I had wanted to run outside, but I got up and going too late so now I am resigned to loop around an indoor track. Even so, I will challenge myself.

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Well done... challenge and enjoy :) I wish it were hot here.....brrrr !

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76 F or 24 C.....

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I love the description of your run....

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I love my runs too.. and oh, I love to ramble... :)

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Such a lovely turn of phrase , I really look forward to your 'rambles' - so inspiring and brimming with wisdom. Thanks as always xxx

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You are kind.. I hope that it reassures folk that they can do this.. without the fear:)

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Oh my Floss, what a super post and a brilliant run. Thank you for taking us with you, and I'm just starting to understand how you can put in a spurt so far into your run when it feels like you should be tired.... Go you...😊

Your encouragement and advise is always thoughtful and helpful and you are an inspiration to us all.

I wondered about the horse chestnut piccy thinking it was showing Autumn is almost here, but how lovely to think of it as the runner hidden inside ouselves our inner strength building run by run.😊xx

Just lovely...

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Thank you my friend...we have come a fair way haven't we x

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How great to read your stories, they bring back so many memories. I have bought a pair of trail shoes with good intentions of cross country running training soon, 5k pb down to 32:20

Keep up the good work.

Patrick

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Yeay... Patrick! I think about you often... especially the Conwy Park run!!!

Get those shoes on, and get out there in the countryside:) x

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Your timing of this wonderful post personally for me is perfect. I have just completed W5 R3 but after 2 mins into the 20 mins run I wanted to stop. I had no energy. It's been a tough day and the weekend wasn't too relaxing either. If it wasn't for you and the many fabulous supportive people on here I don't think I would've believed I could do this. I struggled on. The heavens opened AGAIN 😩 and then in the sky appeared a rainbow 🌈 and before I knew it Mr Smooth said I was half way through. The second 10 seemed a lot easier although I think I was shuffling rather than jogging. Mind over matter is something I've always struggled with. The mind won again today.... just. Thank you

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Very, very well done you... it is not always easy and self belief is maybe one of the toughest things to grasp... but you are doing this... wonderfully!

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Lovely post, particularly the last couple of paragraphs, I hope everyone reads and takes note.

I for one am guilty of apprehension before runs even though I know I've run the distance before including several Parkruns. Your wise words will go with me from now on, thank you.

I have learnt a great deal from your posts and replies and no doubt will continue to do so, as I'm sure have many others.

Happy running on all your runs!

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Thank you.... take heart and trust in yourself... your best ally and your best asset :)

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What a great running post, and I really loved the simile of the conker shell. I'm sure that will give many the reassurance that you always exude.

Thanks.

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Hopefully it may take away some of the angst :) Thanks youx

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Beautiful post - wonderful descriptions bring your run to life, as always. Happy running 😀

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Hope it may reassure some folk Sue.... are you still on Hols? If so, enjoy!

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I am sure your words will reassure and encourage others. I have certainly relaxed and found joy and delight in my running this holiday 😊 yes, still in Exmoor (surprise arrival of hubby from his mountain adventure delighted my mum today. I collected him from the train station at 2.30am!!)

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Wonderful... home safe and sound x

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Yes indeed, the high mountains are beautiful but dangerous places, so grateful for his safe return

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You are a great mentor, Oldfloss. Thank you once again for an inspiring post. I am fortunately well past the apprehension phase, but I am sure it will come again. For now it is a delight to take part in these forums and enjoy the excitement of running.

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You are.. well past that... and your posts and replies are inspirational to all of us :)

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Wonderful.

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Thank you... I hope it reassures some folk on this amazing journey... :)

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Thank you for being a great inspiration and mentor. I haven't posted much on here but have read a lot of your posts/comments. I'm partway through week 8 of C25k and I am finally understanding what you and others mean by the love and enjoyment of running.

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Wonderful..it is great when you get that feeling..it does not have to be all consuming...just a quiet enjoyment of something you love doing:)

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Lovely post.

Like you, I am mystified by the fear that seems to grip so many. I smiled after my first C25K run and every run since. Has society created a generation that is afraid of failure?

I know you love a quote, Floss, so how about Becket's "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better."

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Thanks...me too..excitement and smiling.

Love the quotation..that is one I shall be using..!

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Thanks for that virtual run, I don't need to go out now :)

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Bonjour!!!

No you don't my friend... you can stay right there at home and feel very virtuous :)

How is it in France this morning... it is... what is that word.... oh yes, SUNNY here! Hope all is good with you and yours! xx

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Here in France it is sunny with lots of autumn colours creeping into the vineyards. My master plan for the day has already failed because the bloody French strike season started this morning (it generally starts a few weeks before the hunting season, and lasts until the summer holidays start, when for some strange reason nobody feels the need to wave signs full of spelling mistakes and block the roads).

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Brilliant...it does sound beautiful... ah.... the hunting season.... I remember it well from last year!!

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Ah, I miss so much with the occasional dip ins to this forum. Sorry to hear you've been on the IC but it sounds like you're fully healed now. Hurrah! I love runs like that too. They really embody the whole running experience don't they. I love the conker analogy too. Very well said! xxx

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Thanks you!

You do know, that it was your inspirational , and supportive posts that emboldened me to post my own rambles....I am still hoping we may do a meet up at Penrhyn Castle...... it is just that a small runner in training is ruling the roost currently!! xxx

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Wow! I feel truly humbled! Glad I was able to offer something so positive xx Penrhyn would be good. What sort of small runner in training do you have? I have a new four legged addition to my family too that is somewhat curtailing my running activity but will hopefully become my long time running buddy when he is old enough xxx

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Simply true Hil... :)

It would be super to meet up... ah... the small runner in training is a 10 month old granddaughter ... Willow...:) She is delight... I walk miles and miles with her :) five this morning and six this afternoon... I walk, she rides :)

I would love her to become my running buddy too.. and a new running buggy may be on the cards for Christmas :)

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Aw, grandchildren are just the best! How wonderful for you <3

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Lovely post. Looking at old posts of graduates, I see we all had doubts when we started this journey. Every run was another step into the unknown. However, my overriding feeling was excitement at doing a programme which was going to get me running. Rather than fear the upcoming runs I printed the whole thing off and pinned it to my wall. I used to look ahead with excitement at what I would be able to do in just a few weeks time.

It is great that all those who are feeling anxious can find this forum as a safe place to vent those fears, safe in the knowledge that they will not be chastised or ridicule; but instead, reassured and guided by the may graduates still in love with running, and what C25k has done for them.

It is easy to stand at the top of the hill looking down at others making their way up and realise that it was not that far after all. But it is posts like yours that help show the way.

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Yup! I for one have REALLY benefitted from the lovely folks here cheering me on - and hearing from those who are further along. So reassuring to hear that it does get less challenging, and just understanding how I feel. Every time I have doubted myself, heroes on here have reassured me it can be done, and that has meant so much. So, apologies all if at times I have been a little negative. But this is a safe space. 😀 Now I am feeling a little more confident that I can pay it forward!

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Please don't you dare apologise!! It us sometimes daunting......but believing in ourselves does work..you are doing brilliantly!! You will do this😃

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The support we get on here is amazing.. I value it so much, and I continue to learn and improve..hopefully because of it :) x

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Thank you for that ! So beautifully written I was with you every step and loved it 😁

X

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I take my chums with me..often a real crowd of us!🙂 x

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Beautiful stuff

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Thanks..I want everyone to enjoy their runs !🙂

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Where's the 'LOVE' button when you need it?! Fabulous post Floss😚

Loved your remembered Wordsworth and your conker. Brought to mind a daft couplet..

If at times you feel unsure, don't let it make you blue; Remember that the mighty oak was once a nut like you 😉

Hugs xxx

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I love it!!!! I need to remember that!

How are you doing??? Xxx

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Not too bad. Still plodding away! Mostly 3k or so with the odd 5k here and there. Just realised, I've been commenting on posts here and there but haven't posted myself for months. Off to IOW for holibobs in a few weeks so may well have a few nice beach runs with the doglets to recount😆

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That would be brilliant... so glad you are okay and will look forward to your posts..have a great holiday as and when !

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Oldfloss you write so beautifully. Thank you for the wonderful words and above all the kind sentiment behind them. Anxiety and excitement are such similar emotions and if we think it's excitement rather than anxiety the world is a totally different place.

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Excitement is the way to think.. a tad scary, maybe.. but in a butterfly-tummy good way :) I get excited every time I run :)

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What a lovely uplifting post. So glad you are fully recovered

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Me too.. thank you.. I hope folk take heart from the sentiment:)

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Lovely post as always Floss

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xx Got to take care of our forum family :)

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Lovely

Xx

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Thank you xx... intended to be helpful :)

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This is a lovely post OF - sorry can't think of you as "old" you obviously have such a passion for running and life in general - Maybe i'll just refer to you as "Floss". You write beautifully, and the other comments are right, it was very evocative. And made me quite jealous - my run whilst lovely is not quite so littered with beautiful images, as my running progresses I'm getting the opportunity to lift my eyes and look around as well.

I don't think you should worry about things too much either - you can't take responsibility on to your shoulders for everyone - you are a constant source of inspiration to us under-graduates and I'm sure many of the graduates. I'm always pleased to see your comments when you have the chance to read my post run rambles.

Thank you for this post, thank you for your support, and comments. See you on the road!

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That is very kind of you... I have to say... for me, age really is, just a number :)

I hope folk do find comments useful...that pleases me.

Yes, as the runs lengthen... you will find time to ease back, relax and take in the things around you :) Sometimes now, I am looking around too much!!

Happy running:)

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Thank you for taking the time to share your run & write such a beautiful, inspiring post. I will certainly look on conkers in a different light and am looking forward to that first autumnal moment when you open one up to feel that silky smooth interior.

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It is a pleasure... I love this time of the year.. and finding those conkers.. sheer magic:)

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Having joined this forum a tad late in my C25K journey, I am now reading the posts nightly as the encouragement here is priceless.

Thank you so much for allowing us to share this beautiful Autumn run.

I'm now going to look for the best conker I can find to keep with me as a reminder!

🌰🍂🍃🏃🏃🏃🏃🍂🍁🍃😊

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You are most welcome.. the forum is absolutely incredible.. I learn so much each week!

I hope you find a lovely shiny conker! :)

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Wouldn't it be wonderful to have furniture which looked liked a freshly shelled conker?

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Love this! Your posts are always both inspiring & just plain fun to read! I would have to say that 95%+ of the time I have loved my running experience w/C25K... just occasionally I have had a bad run or 'pre-run' but often the run itself has helped how I've felt... I am still a pretty new graduate so I hope to run further & longer in time... to be honest at 58, I'm not that fussed if I don't get (much) faster... Thanks for all your posting! :-)

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Fast... poops... who needs it...if we travel slowly... we see it all :) Thank you!

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Well done!

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Thanks you x

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Wow - what an inspirational boost! I wish I could ‘headline’, ‘pin’ or save this post to read every time I’m in need of encouragement. Awesome. Thank you so much for taking your time to put this into words. Perfect x

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You are welcome.. we all need support and positive encouragement... me more than most !

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Great post - I feel I am running with you . Pleased off IC - yehhhhhhh

As I said in a previous post reply , the last paragraph was brilliant and so inspiring - I have actually copied it to my notes on my phone to read if I become anxious pre new week runs - thanks again 👌

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Go you!!!

I still use positive reminder quotes etc.. to keep me going thro' tougher times too:)

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This is a wonderful post. I am only just beginning to discover running, and this community. But starting C25K six weeks ago, I'm glad my journey has begun in the "season of mists and mellow fruitfulness". I thought the running community was all about marathons, split times (whatever they are) and "Fitbits". Now I find maybe it's not ... and I might just fit in!

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Sorry for the late reply..my , still fairly new, mentor role has meant that my own rambles have almost disappeared!

Plus, small runner in training, granddaughter... is our responsibility for two wonderful days a week now!

I am really a runner and a rambler... so much to see, hear, and feel... I need to check where you are now..thank you!

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How poetic! It's enough to make you want to run even if you don't already

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Thank you! That is the idea... to run and simply enjoy :)

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