Storms, sunshine….and a satisfied Snail

Storms, sunshine….and a satisfied Snail

Warning, as ever… for those that know me, it has been a while… for those that don’t know me… read if you wish, and be warned for the future😊

It really has been a while…a slow building back up after a long spell on the IC, mentoring duties, small runner in training demanding full time attention, and my Black Dog lurking around for a while, have all meant I have neglected my running rambles. Well… time to get that sorted.

Sunday…my very favourite run day… and despite the best intentions of Storm Brian, I did get out this morning and I did run. Oh, yes, I ran 😊

I was, for me, late heading out, as the last, half-hearted, but peevish gusts echoed around, and a heavy downpour threatened to stop play. So, leaving at 8.30, after a solid warm up and some exercises for my calf, I headed out and towards the village. Travelling in the opposite direction from the town I walked, briskly; I was bundled up this morning... warm hat, not cap, and a lightweight jacket. The wind was chill as I cleared the hedges and began my run. This morning, knowing this was to be a longer run, a 7K, (part of a programme I am on); I had a plan… run down the hill towards the village and then turn and run back up the hill…hopefully this would slow me down a tad, as I do have a slight tendency to start quickly when I have a longer run! I feel it may be excitement!

Leaves crunching underfoot...hips and haws, rosy and full-bellied in the hedgerow, the distant mountains hidden by the morning mists and the sheep already breakfasted, and wandering to pastures new. The wind was behind me as I headed towards the turning point, but, running back uphill was slow. The wind, now in my face as, making the brow of the hill… the delight of running along and down the other side of the hill into the town was before me. However, the wind at the top of the hill was very, very strong... my plan to slow-start was working... without me even trying… and battling against the elements was hard. I ran down, slowly towards the town… the bay, below me, calm as a mill pond, compared with the huge, heaving and rolling seas of yesterday. No, Lowry figures on the shore, no cars on the road…no hustle or bustle and an echoing, strange silence after the unrelenting barrage of sounds of yesterday.

I am still building up towards the point where I was, before I, and the injury Couch became close friends… and I am, as you would expect, taking it slowly and steadily. I do take my own advice, and, listening to my body, a slight twinge in my calf caused me to slow down even more and just pull back gently. The B and Bs and the small hotels on the way into town are still open, half-term has begun…and those tantalising smells… warm toast, fresh coffee and grilled bacon drifted towards me as I ran. Below and to the left, the Castle standing proud on its mound... two flags flying bravely in the wind… and the craggy rocks, below stark and sharp, and bereft of the white-foamed, battering of the high tides.

The grey hotel, renovation nearly complete, is still not open for business, but will, I expect be fully booked next season. Onward, very slowly and a very quick glance at my Garmin shows that the first Kilometre was as slow as I intended. I found also, that any kind of toxic ten, was not in evidence. Breathing steadily, and evenly, as I turned up another slight incline that detours from the main road. Round along, past the bungalows and houses here, commanding a wonderful view over lower roof tops, and the most glorious of skies, a backdrop for the bay. Down past the Memorial Hall, a quick glance at the notice board and on and up the next small hill to the next turn.

The big white hotel here, has many cars parked outside, and a peek into the large windows shows the breakfast room with full tables, hedonistic holidaymakers and again those smells of Sunday satisfaction. Down on to the main street, shops closed, a man with a van, and a coach, waiting for loading, outside the old hotel. I was aware of my running now, relaxing my shoulders, shaking out my hands a little, and feeling the beginning of that most comfortable of paces.

As I have moved along this running journey, the feeling may come sooner or later, this morning it was sooner… along by the bungalows which always appear to be inhabited, solely by the over eighties; late sleepers this morning, maybe the broken night of the storm has taken its toll. I run by and along the road, towards the turn for the sea. Down past the tennis courts and, still, the only person I have seen is the man in the van; landing lightly, and yes, trying to kiss the ground with my feet, because it really does work; no effort running now as, on a whim, I take a new route, off to the left towards the mound that lies east of the castle. Through an apparently deserted estate, of bungalows and houses, with their silent occupants, and back through a small pathway, which leads me around the back of them and around again. No worries…I need to make up my distance 😊

Down to Marine Terrace and back out towards the coastal path, the holiday apartments in the three storey houses, the B and Bs the small hotels, all clearly doing well as I move along, faster now (yes, I did say faster), and out onto the coastal path before turning and heading homeward. I was in a wonderful rhythm now, the legs carrying me and not having really to think about it...just being careful, as I run down the steps to the lower promenade, passing a man walking a Pug dog… I would have liked to have stopped and taken a photo, (one for you, poppypug ), but I needed to carry on and back up the other steps, along and then, up another hill towards Castle Square. The little mid-terrace house is still for sale here, through the square and down Castle Street, past the Castle Bakery, holiday lets now… past the best Chip shop in Criccieth and along Tanygrisiau Terrace.

The lady from one of the terraced houses, is coming out of her gate, she often shouts a cheery greeting to me, she smiles and waits for me to pass; smart as a new pin this morning, Sunday best and chapel pressed… heading for the Sunday service I thought. I carry on running and for the first time in an age, it is as if I am floating along. I decide to retrace my steps and head back along that road and down Beach bank…past the Lifeboat station, past the Green and along the Esplanade.

Looking across the Bay, the sun is making its presence felt, crepuscular rays hitting the sea with a silvery shimmer, the far hills of the Harlech Dome, sullen and brooding, under a lifting mist; their secrets exposed to a brightening world. A group of folks on the shore, buckets, big buckets and spades, and large plastic bags, a clean-up party, heading out, hale and hearty, calling and laughing, to remove the flotsam and jetsam brought in, on those angry waves. A quick look tells me I have not far to go, so a very quick photo stop seems reasonable. Taking the opportunity also, to take off my jacket; hat had been removed en-route. Just by sheer chance the clouds part and I take the picture… moving on, now, body and feet light, despite the thought of the hill that takes me home, and that last kilometre. Up past the smart restaurant, over the level crossing and up the hill.

Slow and steady now, my legs still going strong, but I am still wary of putting too much strain on the calf… one or two cars now, another runner coming down the hill, calls, “Good Morning”, as I head up, and up, back to where I started from. I complete my cool down walk, slowly and with real pleasure… this was, one of, ‘those’ runs… where I found my happy pace… my mind is cleared, my body tingling, and my heart is light.

7K done… satisfied😊

Some folk are struggling a bit now, worrying about runs, speed and distance; please, try not to.

Just enjoy this great running journey, take it gently, look around, learn about running, and yourself, embrace every single moment.

It comes... whatever you want… if you go, at your own pace, in your own time…it comes.

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121 Replies

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  • Ahhhhhhhh! Lovely.

  • It was.. and thank you :)

  • Aaahhh, what a gorgeous post and very inspiring for all runners whether they’re starting out, half way through, at the end or graduates xx

  • Thanks you... just like your posts are so inspirational too :)

  • Love your posts...need to get out there as not run for over a week. Thanks for the inspiration. Need the running buzz again. X

  • Get out there asap..it will be so good when you do :)

  • Great read xx

  • Thanks you..hope all good :)

  • I'm so pleased you had such a lovely 'one of those' runs Floss.😊

    Reading your report is such a pleasure, it really captures what running is all about for me...the freedom and joy but also the discipline... and all written up so beautifully in the way that you do.

    A great 7k run SEVEN, and confirmation that you are over your injury.😊xxx

  • Hey you!

    Thank you... so good to feel, normal, (well normal for me again ). It was a good run and interesting too, I shall post the times up on Bridge to10K.. i found it really interesting!

    Yes.. I can hardly believe it...we are getting there aren't we ? :)

  • Wow, sounds like a perfect run. Glad to hear your run went well. Great pic too xx

  • Thanks..it was pretty close to perfect.. if there had been no hills, it might have been !!

  • Yes, I’m still choosing routes with the least amount of gradient as possible. Hills can come later 😀

  • Stunning photo & as always an inspiring motivational post! 👍😊

  • Ha ha.. just a lucky shot I feel :) Thank you x

  • A most satisfying run, Floss, and I'm so pleased to read it. I'm sorry to hear that you have a Black Dog. I hope it's well under control at the moment. Message me anytime if you want a chat 😃

  • It was.. that is the word! Very satisfying..no ground breaking times, just a lovely run.. Thank you..the Black Dog has not been around for a long time, but was lurking on the shadows for the last few weeks..pesky thing. I outran him yesterday though :)

  • Absolutely love reading your posts

  • Welcome.. they are indeed part of my running.. I had just lost my path for a while:)

  • I’m really pleased you have found the path back

  • Very inspiring, thank you. I'm hoping to restart my running tomorrow after nearly falling over a dog ten days ago.

  • Blimey.. take care..it is one of my fears, falling over :) I hope you get out there and enjoy too :)

  • I did it, my w8r1. And it wasn't too bad. Awful weather but I changed my route, skilfully avoiding the dogs, and ran straight from home. Once I settled into my pace, which is considerably slower than an arthritic snail, Mr Smooth pulled me through.

  • Great photo! Great post, you have such a lovely writing style, a pleasure to read. Makes us all want to be there with you! :)

  • But you are... :) You would be amazed how many folk run with me:) Thank you!

  • Absolutely beautiful Floss , you have just captured everything so wonderfully !

    I am so sorry to hear you've been on the IC , I really hope you continue to mend . xxx

    Oh and the " Black Dog " , I know that all too well . Hope the Pug you met managed to chase that away a little bit :-)

    You are a very special lady and I love you lots xxx

  • I know Pops x Thank you.. when I saw the little dog, I did have a little, teary moment as I miss you and your posts so much. But.. you are with me on most of my runs.. My stalwart!

    Take care of you ..I am back on track xx

  • Lovely to hear about such a wonderful run, and a really beautiful view! Thank you xx

  • Thank you, you are welcome.. I have to say, that was a lucky shot.. very Blake!! :)

  • It REALLY is about just running isn't it :)

  • Yes John... and really, that is all it is about.. the running and you :) x

  • Ah Floss, the picture sums it up perfectly - the sun breaking through! That's what your whole post felt like☺ So glad you found your happy pace again 😘

  • Me too, lovely lady... wouldn't it be fun to run together along the Esplanade? xx

  • If I could just persuade hubster to take a look at that little house in Castle Square! 😆☺😆

  • Oh my, Oldfloss. We haven't half missed your exquisite rambles. More please!

  • You are very kind... I know many of my friends tolerate my endless rambles.. but, as you know, that is my way:)

    Thank youx

  • Your rambles are gorgeous and this was a classic. I have just dipped in to see what fun everyone is having as I’m still on the IC with plantar fasciitis. I’m cycling but no running. It’s taking ages! V boring.

    I love the idea of the pug chasing the Black Dog away and that the Black Dog didn’t get too close. He can be bothersome sometimes.

    Thank you for your wonderful input. X

  • Beautiful post Floss. Thank you for making your happy place, ours too...

  • You are welcome... so many of us go on these runs together..it is magical :)

  • Not only a beautiful post, but also a beautiful place to run. Thanks!

  • Thank you.. It is truly special and has not changed since I was a child... :)

    Somehow that is a reassuring feeling and does add to the delight :)

  • How fortunate for you! I grew up in a city that makes/made cars and it is full of crime, drugs, and wasteland now. I live in the States. Luckily, our work took us more than a hundred miles away from that situation thirty years ago. I went into culture shock with the lack of crime when we moved. It took me awhile--more than a year--to get over the difference in locations, (not looking over my shoulder as much,) but it doesn't look as picturesque as where you live.

  • Oooh -- crepuscular! A lovely report and a lovely picture! I am enjoying my regular run among the deer here now, embracing it!

  • I do k ow some big words :)

    It was a lovely run....glad you are enjoying your runs too.. I am thinking about you.. keep on running, and keep smiling.. :)

    I would love to see deer on my run... there was one friend on here, who ran through parkland where there were loads.. Lucky man!

  • ‘Clear mind, light heart’. Love it. Thanks, as always x

  • You are welcome.. . a great start to a day and my week... and I get to have another run on Tuesday in my beloved fields at home..small runner in training is not coming until later :)

  • Now this was a pleasure to read with my morning coffee, thank you Floss. I really felt like I was on this run with you, and it was blissful. I have the Black Dog nipping at my heels now and again, but running certainly does help to bring it to heel somewhat. I hope that getting out and running helps you too. Much love to you. xx

  • Thank you, lovely person!

    Yes... the Black Dog does try sometimes to catch me.. but I have outrun him before! The running really does have hidden benefits doesn't it :)

    I have missed my rambles, they help too.. and where I am on the coast just lends itself to them. Thank you x

  • Thanks floss...start my back to work day (boo) nicely.

  • Sorry you have to work,,glad it helped:) Have a good day :)

  • You got me pining for coastal runs :) Lovely post, Floss, glad to know you got out.

  • I would love to do a coastal run with you mfamilias except we would probably laugh too much to run :)

    It was so, so good, to feel more like me again. Thank you x

  • Ha ha, definitely, we'd do 500 m then stop at the nearest tea shop :)

  • What an inspirational post. This is where I want to be at some time, running for the shear love of it and relaxed enough to write the run in my mind. Thank you and for all the support you give us newbies 👏🏃‍♀️

  • You are welcome, thank you. I must admit I had lost sight of my happy place for a while..but it is back now, and I shall for a while just be enjoying that and posting too :)

  • One of your lovely descriptive posts floss to start my day right! Sounds lovely, you took us all with you. Great running that lady, keep you chin up , we must have that catch up xxx

  • Thanks you x It was a good feeling to get back on track comfortably. I just need to sort Strava out!!!

  • Great read thank you for the always present support and encouragement 😀

  • You are most welcome... Thank you

  • A great post OF and yes, you are so right, it's easy to get caught up in all the stats; to let performance anxiety overwhelm. But actually we run to feel the joy of it. Well done!

  • Pure joy Helen, pure joy :)

  • Lovely post! Well done for your 7k, especially coming back from the IC. Also struggles with the Black Dog? I know that all too well.

    Thank you for the inspiration you bring. Take care!

  • Thank you.. the first time I did 7K took a while.. so I was prepared to take this very slowly :)

    So many of us have experience of that pesky Black Dog.. he gets around..but..this running and the forum family really scare him:)

    Thank you :)

  • Lovely lovely post. I have just graduated and your words have resonated throughout my runs and I now can't wait to carry on running for the love of it. You are so lucky to run in such a beautiful place xx

  • I am so, so lucky indeed... the great news is, your runs are going to take you to amazing places...!

  • I am glad you took the black dog for a run and I hope you didn't bring it home again.

    Great run, great post.

  • I didn't..I outran him.. :) Thanks you x

  • Great post and picture both photographically and painted by your words. Lovely to see you weaving your advice through the post :). At the moment I spend most of my time on the runs thinking about the run itself occasionally looking up properly to enjoy the surroundings but it looks like you are really taking it all in. Looking forward to that freedom. Welcome back after the IC (been wondering what it stood for for weeks!!)

  • Thank you.. the photo was sheer luck... the old story of having the camera at the right time.

    Looking round is a great distraction, especially on the long runs.. sometimes though, I look around too much! You will enjoy it... there is so much out there:)

  • Inspiring as ever Floss!

  • Thanks you :)

  • Dear Oldfloss - beautiful post, beautiful person. Glad you are back and feeling stronger.🙂x

  • You are so kind.. it was really, really good to be up and running and felt wonderful.

  • Beautiful photo and lovely running story. I can picture it all in my mind. There's nothing like a run outside (especially near the beach) to chase away sad feelings and lift up the heart. So glad to hear you are feeling better in all ways.

  • Thanks you!!! It was a lucky photograph and is a very special place for me :)

  • What a lovely..peaceful post....as always Oldfloss ...inspirational...I’m sure it will come for me, eventually, when I read this post I know this...thankyou for sharing another lovely run

    So glad the IC is looking like a dim & distant memory, at last 😊

    I had to stop my eyes rolling & getting heavy, it’s like a runners bedtime story!! 😴😴

  • Thank you..I know that you, will find your joy in running, for sure :)

    Yes.. the IC is not a great place to be.. but, it happens.. I just pick myself up and plod on again :)

    Sleep well.. the runs are waiting :)x

  • I’m going to read your post again before I go to sleep....my dream will have a lovely running theme 😊....thanks @oldfloss, looking forward to my next outing x

  • Simply delightful! Beautiful photo and superb descriptions - thank you for sharing your wonderful 7k with us 😀 Happy to know that you are on the mend, I was missing your posts.

  • Thanks you x

    I have missed writing them. I am pleased that my legs still work properly. I am taking two rest days though, to do a bit of extra exercise and give the calf some massage !

    Criccieth is so special... and there is so much to see there, and now I am getting to know the area better it is even more fun!

  • What a fab piece of writing thank you x

  • I run and ramble.... that is part of the huge pleasure I get from this great programme; I would like everyone to get the joy from their running that I get:) Thank you :)

  • I missed this Floss ☹️ We have the little ones and it's chaotic 🤗

    Gorgeous words as usual. I've missed your wonderful ramblings, but it's so magical to have them back again xxx

  • Eeeekkk..Hope you are surviving!!

    I am off down to see small one in a moment.. she has had the Measles..! Little Mum has a cold too.. so I go, bearing veggie soup!

    Her injection against measles was due..next week!! That's our girl!!

    I have missed my rambling but getting better organised now. I think the spell on the IC and coming back form that really throws us.. I even got a bit afraid that my legs would not work properly... but Sunday reassured me.. I am taking two days rest though and will be out tomorrow :) Thank you x

    Enjoy your day :) x

  • I hope you don't catch a cold from Little Mum 😯 Not good for runnng ☹️

    xxx

  • Love this, Oldfloss. X

  • Thank you..kind girl x

  • Magical post (and amazing photo) that really transported me out there. Glad you had one of those wonderfully rewarding runs and thank you for sharing it with us so beautifully. xx

  • Thank you... a very lucky Blake type photograph.. I have some super ones of the sea shore too from an earlier visit :)

  • Are you on Strava oldfloss , would have loved to have tracked that run on there , you make it sound so idilic . I just run/ walk round the streets of houses and shops. Now I will look around with new eyes , will take my mind of my plodding feet.

    Having taken a break from running for a month apart from tailwalking at the parkrun on a Saturday I am taking it slowly back into it , and I mean slowly , 30 min run walking twice a week plus 5k parkrun .

  • Just this week. registered on Strava... back at the coast next week.. so you will be able to track me..hopefully :)

    Keep on, slow and steady, it gets you there.. and, there is so much to see even in the towns.. I did a 3.5, this morning, and because I was short on time...deliberately kept to the pavements... ( unusual for me.).... you will be amazed what I saw :)

  • Wow- where do you live? It sounds absolutely stunning! X

  • Holiday home overlooking the bay at Criccieth North Wales.. and it is :)

  • I love Wales but do wish they'd bought a few more vowels and consonants....how in heck do you pronounce 'Criccieth' :)

  • Crick- ee- eth :)

  • Dang! Would I ever have been lost! I was thinking 'Sris-wee-eayth' :)

  • tee hee... how are you feeling John? Hip etc, settling down ?

  • A few minor spasms but TG nothing like it has been :) And knowing what it is makes it even more minor :)

  • I am glad x

  • 😘

  • That was a great read, I felt like I ran with you!

    I really want to go out for a run now....but today is a rest day for me....and I'm not going to be silly and invite injury!

  • Sensible..the runs are there.. always :) Thank you.

  • Lovely post. Inspiration for me today as I get back on the running wagon after a few weeks of erratic irregular runs.

  • I am glad that you are getting out there again... thank you :)

  • What a lovely running report and so good that you are back. :-)

  • Thanks..back at the coast Thursday and so glad to be getting back on track at last.. today.. managed a slow and steady 8K... the farthest run yet since the IC :)

  • Brilliant- what a fabulous read!

  • Thank you.. I am very, very lucky!

  • Oh I loved reading this, you write so well but also our family loves Criccieth and know it well so I could picture your run as described.

  • It is wonderful and just as it has been for oh, so many years!

  • Brilliant! 👏👏😀😀

  • Thank you.

  • Wow! You make running sound like ...therapy, poetry, meditation,...love.

  • Its just one of the reasons why we treasure Floss so much😊xxx

  • Thanks you xx

  • It is... all those things:)

  • Lovely post, as ever Oldfloss 😉

  • You responded to this before...? Are you okay.... ? Been thinking about you x

  • A bit up & down to be honest, still in disbelief at the thought I won’t see my friend again & feeling so sad for her two little boys...yes, I remembered I’d responded when I looked at the photo but I thought well, it’s such a lovely post it deserves another reply!.I’m hoping to go for a run in the morning so hopefully will feel a bit clearer.....thank you for thinking of me 😘

  • It is so hard.

    I lost my best friend, Shirley, also; she had cancer.... she was 40 and left three children. I miss her every day...She is often there on my runs... :) Usually laughing at me :)

    Stay strong, sleep well and use your run to help clear your mind. If you ever need to offload you can always PM me...x

  • So sorry to hear about Shirley...wow 40? That is no age is it? I hope her children are ok....how can children be ok though without their Mum? I’m sure she’d be laughing at the thoughts you’re having when you’re running....& proud of you & all you achieve...thanks Oldfloss...I’m sure there’ll be PM’s coming your way xx

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