The Scribbler

18 July 2010

Just a lovely run in the woods

Filed under: run,training — The Scribbler @ 18:13
Tags: , ,

I often find it hard to live in the moment. I’m a little too apt to look forward or backwards. To anticipate some treat or to reflect with nostalgia on time that’s passed. Even in the moment, I have a tendency to analyse, to compare, to try and pigeonhole how I’m feeling, what I’m experiencing. Or even, dare I say it, imagine how I’ll write about it later.

And then sometimes none of that matters. I just throw it all away, relax and run.

Travelling down to Beamish with an invitation to go over to the dark side and try a trail run in the woods. This is different ground for me, literally. But I have no expectations beyond an enjoyable day. I know I’ll be in good hands with LisaT to guide me and there’s a promise of a sausage sandwich at the finish.

A quick hop, skip and a jump and we’re under the shade of the trees, running along the wide trail paths. The pace is steady, but I’m learning not to rush things. This is trail running. It’s different and there are hills ahead.

Lisa keeps me straight on the downhill stretch and warns me of muddy sections where I might lose my footing. The chat flows easily. We talk of nothing and everything. Of races and experiences. And the miles click by in the dappled sunlight.

I pay little attention to the route, relying on my guide to take us through the wooded pathways, sometimes wide, sometimes narrow, sometimes up, sometimes along. We run beside a steam railway, breathing in clouds of sooty smoke as the engine blows its whistle. We run over bridges, passing walkers and riders, through gates and styles, brushing aside long grasses and tree branches.

It’s deceptively warm beneath the shade of the trees and we stop before a couple of climbs to catch our breath and remind ourselves to keep it steady. This isn’t about haring away, but rarely have the miles passed so quickly.

Today, it seems the smaller strides and gentler steps suit my legs. Yes, there’s a pull or two on my calves and glutes as we pick our way up a couple of inclines, but nothing I can’t handle. I’m surprised at how strong my legs feel as we tackle the final incline and I give them a bit of a stretch.

Back to the warm welcome of a sunny back yard, a cool drink and that promised sausage sarnie is as delicious as anticipated. More easy chat in fine company and the bright prospect of future runs together.

The stats? 14.1k or 8.7 miles in a moving time of 1hr 36 mins and my longest run of the year to date. But with friends like this, it’s not about the miles, it’s about enjoying the moment.

Thank you Lisa and Jason, for a truly lovely run. Can I do it again soon?

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