I had a brilliant run on Sunday. For the first time in at least two weeks the sun was shining, the world was back from underneath its snow blanket and there was a possibility of running on roads rather than cross country (I found I couldn't really run on roads in snow). So I joined Ruth, Kevin and Alisdair from the club on their usual sixteen-mile route in Stony. Sixteen miles is actually a bit far to be running at this point in in the year (I should be running closer to thirteen). But since they were doing it, I was swept along and risked it.
For the first time in ages I felt a huge surge of joy to be out running. The first 8 miles were hard, as there was quite a lot of ice and we had to hop about over ice patches to avoid skidding. But I didn't mind a bit of prancing, and it was good to have a slower start. But after that - we really got into our strides. I haven't been able to run fluidly like that for weeks, because I have had to train off-road for Calderdale and run in the snow. These types of training have their own pleasures, but I never get into a constant rhythm. So on Sunday, I felt so inspired. I also felt relief - that I could still run a 'properly long' distance. The route was lovely, along quiet roads in open countryside. Colour had returned to the world - green was everywhere. Twigs on the branches had changed from black against snow and white sky to bright green against blue (I guess it must be a lichen on the twigs). I felt alive. It felt good to be pushing myself. After the run my legs burned, but it felt great.
K drove us back to their house to pick up my bike and we all had a cup of tea. I was so grateful for their encouragement on the run and for letting me come along and I'd like to train with them as much as I can over the next few months. There are few people who can inspire me to run at just sub-8 min miles over that distance. They have such determination, gentle humour and a positive attitude. I look forward to the next one.
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