Couch to 5K
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Dr Livingstone, I presume?..... not really!

Dr Livingstone, I presume?..... not really!

Sunday run day.. the lovely long runs and perfect for a post-run ramble. My old friends know this and will head for the hills:) Be warned, this is a long one.

I have been adventuring. After climbing off the IC, I have, as many of you know been building back up slowly to running strength and stamina. Five weeks repeating C25K and then moving on in a structured way.

Because of the weather, and really grotty conditions,I have done more road and lane running than usual, and I decided to explore the local areas I have not explored before with my running:) So, last week and yesterday morning.. I headed out to the aerodrome estate a little way away from me. I ventured there last week and got very, very muddy and wet... but found some grassy spaces which will be great for short... errr... speedy-ish.... runs in Summer :)

Out, later for me this morning, into a glorious day,chilly but bright,the sky, huge and clear and not a cloud to mar that empty blue vault of air. No one around as I headed, as on so many mornings, out of the Close, and onto the hill. The gardens are beginning to show the shyest signs of Spring; daffodils, cheap and cheerful, green leaf baby- buds on the shrubs and those gardens whose owners have thrown caution to the wind, and put out bedding plants...a step too far for some, and I fear for those bright regimented rows.

I had chosen the first part of the route deliberately... a long slow incline, to keep my pace down. I had a distance in mind, and starting too quickly would be disastrous for me. Up to Seagull roundabout;the huge lamp-lights unadorned this morning by the white Seagull sentinels of other mornings, over and down the short ramp and up into my run. It is not a steep hill, but it is a long one, thankfully I was turning off before the half-way point.. and heading into a grassy area I found on Friday. Uphill running is so odd... sometimes, it takes real effort and sometimes, as this morning, my feet just moved as if they had minds of their own. I had Laura with me, also, this morning and the Stamina podcast... so her reassuring tones, her reminders of style, all helped my progress. Reaching the turn, I struck off-road and onto the grassy area that ran behind the houses, along into the heart of the estate.

This estate was built on an aerodrome. opened in 1935. and saw extensive development during the Second World War, then used privately until it closed in 1970. Nothing remains of it now.

Running along the edge of the ground, I was aware that the ground was very wet, and getting wetter...I tried to keep off what was the main walk through for local dog walkers, running through the edges and hedged areas, but to no avail and within minutes, any running style I may have had, was replaced by a disjointed stagger from one sodden bog to the next. I persevered, and eventually found a found a dry stretch, legs working well, easy breathing and a flattish space to run... along and along and the added bonus of a whole span of scarlet stemmed Dogwood.... a delight to see... picking up a slightly faster pace I headed to the road that splits the estate and turned along though the DIY stores and superstore littered road.

It was eerie.. the stores closed and shuttered, and not a soul in site. I did not, at this point know where I was going, but I bravely carried on! Footsteps echoing as I passes the padlocked gates , the delivery vans parked in patient perfection...tomorrow's delivery deadline would soon be here. A chap walking a dog startled me as he appeared round the far corner, but responded wonderfully as I asked him for directions... he did warn me, that it was very soggy and sludgy and muddy, but glancing at my feet and leggings remarked that I had obviously already found that out somewhere:) He was not wrong...!

On and around and realising I was further out than I thought, although not sure where, it was time to head back. There is something slightly surreal about running somewhere like this... open expanses of green, edged by huge trees and thickets, dark and tangled hiding goodness knows what, and yet in such close proximity to the houses and gardens, fenced and walled and Sunday sleeping as I run, a strange grey figure in the morning sun. So close to humanity and yet...

Back across the muddiest expanse of ground I think I have ever found... my feet sinking with every step... I kept running, or rather, I kept moving... despite all, enjoying this and as ever, knowing why I love running so much... back across the central road and retracing my steps... I ran a slightly different route and breathing steadily, moving lightly along a drier area, I was aware of a deep silence... ahead I spotted a lump of brickwork and concrete.. a post still tilted in it... a remnant of the past airfield.

I paused slightly, running slower... and imagined I could hear something.... the disgruntled murmuring of idling aircraft engines...low-throated, straining and eager to escape the confines of the ground....and for a split second saw those young blue uniformed boys....those few, who in the words of John Magee,

“...waved good-bye and slipped the surly bonds of Earth, to touch the face of God.”

The shadows faded and all was as it had been.

Back across the grass, towards familiar territory and 2 more kilometres to run; but :) the joy of starting a route with an incline is the return trip, even with sodden feet! So, back down and into the village... round by the station, a quick detour up past Rookery Wood and then turning back again and a final burst towards the finishing point. The sun warm on my back now...the prospect of a hot shower and a late breakfast...8K covered.. slow and steady as ever.... running for over an hour. I was unsure of some of the places I was running in even though they were so close to home... but what a happy run.

“ Sometimes it feels good to be lost, in the right direction.”

32 Replies
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I so enjoyed that run Floss, a lovely 8k.....you are definitely off the IC xxxx

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It was so, so different.... thank you!

I feel as if I am finally off the IC... it is slow, but then I was travelling through darkest Staffordshire:) xxxx

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Just gorgeous Floss. Exploring new run routes is one of the joys methinks and I love your imagination enroute 🙂

But bedding plants out already!!!! Yikes! Hope over experience perhaps?

It's great that you've clearly left the IC behind and you're back xxx

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Yep the bedding plants are all covered over with snow this morning! Unbelievable....

I think I could be on the way IP..thanks... trouble is... the IC spells are making me a tad overcautious...! xxx

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That's understandable Floss but it sounds as if you're taking it gently and we all know that's the key when returning from the IC...... to begin with 😏 xxx

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You were an intrepid explorer Floss, bravely seeking out new ground ( muddy, boggy ground😉)

A brilliant 8k run, shows you have plenty of Stamina and you have taken us all there with you too! A great read.😊xxx

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It was very, very wet... and somehow different than my muddy field runs??? How weird is that! Yes I was please with the time I was running... I did not feel exhausted... a bit tired after the 6th K but.. it was downhill running after that...:) Thank you my friend x

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I love the opening picture and "By jove..."!

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Yes.. it seemed apt.... I love the expression... :) I would not have been surprised to find Dr L in the bushes... :)

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Wonderful thank you- I really enjoyed running with you! Super quote too thanks. 😄

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Thanks you... I found that quote and I think it suits me.. I often feel lost but it is great fun :)

Hope all is going well with you :)

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I’m just having to wait. I had 2 nasty viral infections one straight after another which eventually developed into pneumonia. I am mending slowly, but SO tired. I would struggle to walk for 30 mins never mind run...but when I am better, I will be back with enthusiasm! Meanwhile I am able to cheer for other people. X

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That is horrible...Poor you! My husband had double pneumonia and I know how slow the recovery time is...oh dear.... Huge hug... but gentle x

The tiredness for me was why I repeated 5 weeks of C25K after being on the IC for five weeks with the trapped Sciatic nerve.., I thought I would never run again.. and when I did begin again..pheww..!

But... steady and slow gets us there... take it gently and you will be back.. and we will be right here too:)

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Thank you, hug & good advice both much appreciated. Xx

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xx

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In a similar situation - did you repeat the first five weeks of Couch5k or the last five weeks?

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First five..steady and slow until the legs remembered the form 😊

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Hey Oldfloss! I’m so proud of you! Well done xx

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Thanks you.. and how are you :) Great to hear from you... are you back on track now?

I am getting there, but it has been a low journey so far... which suits me in many ways :) xx

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Glad you are feeling positive and that the comeback is going so well.

I have been walking 3 times a week and wanted to get back to running today but it’s has been raining all day! I am resolved to go back to the beginning and start again, which is a little disheartening but I know it’ll be worth it in the end. I am glad that the nights are lighter and that soon I’ll be able to run in the mornings x

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That sounds like a great plan... I went up to a repeat of five weeks and it was good..because you know what is coming and what you are doing... and that you can do it:) You will be fine:)

This weather is dire... the snow has melted here now, but we have icy rain :) It is heading towards warmer weather though and it will be great for you to get out earlier :) Keep me posted please xx

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I love your runs Oldfloss and can visualise running them as you talk us through your route 😊🏃🏼‍♀️

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Thanks you...:) I take my friends with me.. so we all got wet feet xxx

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Lovely - I do adore your runs and how you bring them to life to the extent I feel like I'm running with you! I must admit that I can't run if I don't know where I'm going. Running club is great - I don't know where I'm going but I know the coach does and so I can deal with it. I also enjoy those runs the most - the ones where someone else is in charge!

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Tee hee... Rebecca.. I thought I knew vaguely where I was going...turns out I wasn't sure... This happened to me once before in the village... I could not believe I got lost... somewhere we had lived for years!

I know you are loving your running club too, and that is all that matters..hang in there Sweetie xx

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I used to hate running with others. Now, however, I find it easier - it's such a great club and nobody gets left behind - the pace is dictated by the slowest runners and not the fastest. Somehow, when I'm with others, I find the motivation to carry on.

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That was lovely 😊 you are an amazing writer with such a brilliant descriptive voice! I am still seeing the fields and trees. And well done 8k!

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... and you are very kind... I am glad you enjoyed the run... and yes.. so glad to be getting back on track :)

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Great picture. Well, that was an adventure. Those old airfields are strange places. I'm not so far from Kenley or the remnants of Croydon airport. Hard to imagine how they were.

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It is... I could not resist :) Yes.. they are so evocative... we used to stay near one in the tin tent.. so strange and especially so after dark too... quite exciting though :) x

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Loved joining you on this run, tho I'm not sure I would have actually liked running in all that mud... ;-)

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You had fun... and the mud soon washes off... xx Thank you for joining me :)

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