I decided to just see how far I could go today. I started off with the usual 5 minute warm up walk, then ran along the Silkin Way. Beyond the Silkin Way, I didn't really have a definite plan of where to run so I just followed the path as far as it took me.
I ended up in Coalport, near a bridge over the River Severn and noticed there was another path on the other side of the river, so I crossed the bridge and went to see where the footpath took me. After quite a steep but short hill, I found myself running through woodland, with the river not far away. There was no-one else to be seen, there were a couple of unavoidable puddles and my MP3 player was providing a bizarre but uplifting mix of music - bliss!
I was keeping half an eye on the Garmin to make sure I ran for the full thirty minutes, then allowed myself to walk. I'd hoped to run for longer but I was still heading away from home so I had a long walk back ahead of me. I walked through the village of Jackfield, then impulsively ran for a while and over another bridge crossing back over the river, and followed the road back along the river. Then I spotted an appealing track through the woodland, so decided to follow that. It was really rather steep in places so I walked most of it, gradually climbing out of the valley.
In places the path undulated and made me want to run with my arms outstretched, swooping down hill then up again, down and up, feeling as if I were a child again. Wonderful ! I danced to Imelda May, then climbed steps to the sound of Plastic Bertram ! If I felt like running, then I ran, enjoying the fact that those short bursts of speed seemed effortless because they were pure moments of joy. There was no running up the succession of wooden steps though - far too steep and irregular, a good workout I should think.
I emerged on the road for a brief stretch, then had a short run along the Silkin Way again. Two proper runners came from the other direction - I was glad I was running - and smiled and nodded. I was allowed to look more dishevelled than them - I was running uphill.
I noticed another footpath through woodland. It seemed to be in the right sort of direction so I climbed more wooden steps and at the top of the hill I found more undulating footpaths and tracks meandering through the trees - more spontaneous running and swooping, until I realised I was starting to head in the wrong direction. I scrambled down a steep bank to a footpath headed the right way and soon found myself on the outskirts of the housing estate and on the uphill stretch to home for my cool down walk.
What a wonderful way to start the day. I am so grateful for the earlier blog about running freestyle - it was a truly glorious experience !