Hello running friends...
NOW! I should warn you, before you read on that this really, really, is an Oldfloss Ramble!!
Well, I am hardly able to believe it, but it is the last week of November's Catch-up Corner. Yes, it really is.
This month has absolutely flown and I am absolutely delighted at the incredibly, super response we have had. So, so many people dropping in, now and then for a quick chat. Folk sharing their runs, their successes, the odd setback and the tips and ideas have flowed!
I am, as ever in complete awe of your achievements. Nothing stops you. Nothing. How you manage it I simply do not know. I struggle... ! I do; with extra care days, appointments here and there and life generally, and I am retired!
But, the most pleasing thing for me, that has shone through in all our chats, is the way you are all just running, enjoying and doing what you are able to do.
You are being kind to yourselves, accepting, that there are times when runs are impossible, or dates have to be changed, and know that those runs will wait.
The support that you are showing for each other too is amazing, no comparison, only positive helpful; support and encouragement.
I was, six years ago, very near completion of C25K and I have said many times how much the support of folk on the forums got me through and to where I am now
So.... for this last week, (besides letting us know how everything is going... what runs you have done, and how you are feeling generally), I wondered if we might cosy up on the couch here in the corner and share WHERE we run . Not actual named locations, but WHERE we run, mostly! Cities, towns, villages, here in the UK or further afield
My friends on here, know that I am so lucky because I have my beloved fields... they don't belong to me of course...but I run the tracks and trails over them. I love them... in all the seasons in all weather. I have run in more built up areas, of course, but my fields are my place
I have more photographs of my field runs than any other place...! Mostly of the BIG tree!
So... at the risk of boring you, I am going to share a post I wrote, during the year following those weeks of my Graduation in 2015; I have written so many, and I read them, usually in the dark winter days, when body and soul seek solace, by the fireside. I
" I took many friends with me this morning. You may not have realised this, but you were all there. My oldest friends, the stalwarts, who have supported me through this, my first year of running, those at home, and those special folk across the seas; (You all know who you are x); newer friends who I have watched start, continue, and then, wonderfully, overtake me on their running paths and the very newest of friends, one of whom, (a certain Irish charmer), very recently, and possibly unwittingly, gave me a gentle push, on my running journey.
A beautiful sunny morning… I was setting out a tad later…but just early enough to see the sun showing through wispy clouds.
A blue sky…and the merest hint of chill in the air; Autumn, like a ghost in the cooler shadows of the gardens, and the warm up walk, that eases the muscles and loosens the joints, a result of a ‘rest’ day of gardening, shrub moving, hedge trimming and replanting!
The gardens, as I pass, still decked with summer trappings; shades of red, yellow and pink begonia, heavy-belled fuchsia, the late-blooming, blousy floribunda roses and everywhere the myriad shades of green.... too many for any water-colour palette. Still the chill, as I walked, making it easy to quicken the pace as turning, I began a gentle run down the hill towards the station. Over and up, past Rookery wood, and the long-missed, disgruntled bickering of the rooks back in their nests. The trees, still thick but turning now, from green to yellowy gold, I could not see the birds, but I could hear them. Up and along the shingle track leading to the field... brambles, straggling through the cobweb covered hedges, hidden blossoms too, faded now as they come to the end of their season. A gossamer mist hanging over the distant fields and the blue/purple haze of the far,far distance...The grass is wet, and glistens away from me, shimmering in the early sunshine, like the first silvery frosts of winter....
Gentle running, easy breathing, slow and steady, and the thoughts running through my head almost keeping time with my feet. So much to think about, relaxing the shoulders, running tall, breathing evenly and all the time enjoying the process. Laura’s voice echoes in my head, taking me back to the start of it all.
A journey of a year… to the day; I started this adventure after a French holiday of drowsy days, culinary delights and long evenings scented with wild garlic and the sound of the cicadas in my ears. So much has happened over the year, and I have learned so much…about other places, other people, other lives, but mostly about me.
The field is firm beneath my feet, the first shoots of winter wheat in the big field, brave and green against the dark loamy earth. Some of you know these ways, as well as I; birdsong above me, a skein of geese, heading over towards the hidden pond, and a lone dog-walker across beyond the steam railway line. This morning I had set out, simply to run, gently, without pressure or intent, until I wanted to stop.
The time moved on, no music no Garmin, just my watch. Running without distraction, except for the distraction of the world all around, is incredibly satisfying. The sound of your feet, your breathing, your heart and the distant rattle of a small green train as it slows, with a gentle squeal on the brakes, for the station. Passengers on journeys of their own, through blurred landscapes, past hidden places and hidden lives , enclosed in a capsule of isolation, with ear-phones and i-pod, as they travel to work or to play. I was glad I was where I was.
The shades of autumn are showing now, the gentle slide from the green to the gold, a reverse of my post, on returning from France, this year, when gold gave way to green. Some of the hedgerows are already trimmed and thinned, the first fat hips and haws, gleaming in the warming air, as I run past the trees, and into the next village. Quiet still, the morning school run, not yet started, the stocks, ancient, gaunt and weathered under the huge tree, which, is still in leaf despite the season. Round and through, up the Haunted Hollow and along past the Sheep-wash until I turn for home.
The run is everything this morning, simply running. The time has gone so quickly, and I am on the homeward stretch too soon, squeezing through the big gate, that is too heavy for me to lift, and across and down past the copse of trees, to my field path.
Round the field edges and along that familiar path and back down the lane.
My head is full of so many things, not least, the new adventure which is about to begin as we, in a very short time, welcome a new addition to the family. With that thought comes, the inevitable passage of time and how precious that time is. Another thought of my forum friends as I head past the station and the first eager, and early, High school students, chattering and laughing as they make their boisterous way to education.
I said, earlier, I started this running adventure last year...a year to the day. C25K. It seemed like an impossible dream. I had no idea where the adventure would take me. And yet, here I am….counting my blessings, every single day; I can see, I can hear, I can feel, I can think, I can write, I can love and am loved; I have friends, even ones whose faces I do not see, and I can run, I am, a runner. My first Runniversary.
Thank you, each and every one of you, my friends for coming with me on my journey and especially my run today. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did…after all, it was my first 10K."
So, for this last week before the December Catch-Up Corner begins, ( and sorry... it is me and my Corner again ), we would love to know where you run, give us a quick or not so quick, idea of your running routes. It will be great to visualise each other running in all manner of different locations, and at what times too.
Well done each and every one of you and I, and all of us are really looking forward to your replies
Slow and steady got me to that first 10K... it takes you to the most amazing places!