Spring. If it hasn’t fully sprung yet, it’s most definitely springing.
The week has come to a close, and the weather has improved noticeably. Yesterday, the left knee was a bit sore, as were the hammies, and there’s nothing worse than someone pontificating about how important it is to rest up when you feel a twinge, and then not taking on board your own splendid advice.
So I laid up. Albeit for a day. And Saturday was a busy one anyway, not least with the small matter of some rugby to watch.
First there was breakfast, and sometimes you just have to eschew the goodness of porridge, fruit smoothies or yoghurt, and get some dead pig into you (with apologies to any veggies out there).
Not much beats a bacon buttie with fried egg and a squirt of smoky brown sauce. Perhaps a million quid win on the Lotto. But failing that, the buttie is damn fine replacement.
After a late start, I watched Ireland finally discover their running rugby legs as they hockeyed Italy (with apologies for the mixed sporting metaphor). I also like to twiddle on my guitar when watching telly; you can see the game in the reflection.
So after my self-imposed exile from all activity for about, em, a day, I struck out again on Sunday afternoon. I had hoped to take old Didi out for a spin but the crew roster was against me, so I was on a short leash. Never mind. The weather was fine, and I had some unfinished business in the park; that nice detour I found the other day demanded to be explored again, and I wanted to extend the run a little, and put the legs under a little bit of pressure, in terms of distance.
I headed out and up the Avenue into the woods and stayed on the trails as much as possible, before hitting out over the bridge and past the weir towards the graffiti wall where you must turn and retrace your steps.
The park was very busy – it always is on a Sunday, so even with decent paths, you have to make allowances for small and elusive nippers who weave around their parents like frenetic blobs of mercury unleashed from a bottle. And then there’s the obligatory Jack Russell who will insist on finding something stinky and interesting right at your feet. There were quite a few fellow joggers out as well, though when I say ‘fellow’, I mean that loosely.
I can never quite understand why joggers don’t acknowledge each other, even with just a quick nod, as they pass. Most do, but there’s always one or two who are clearly on some world-saving mission that demands their attention; they stare grimly ahead as they pass, hell-bent on ignoring you as you raise your hand in solidarity. Bah humbug!
I looped back on myself and did the trail runs in reverse. Here in the woods, the promise of Spring was all around your feet. The first of the Wood Anemones are out, along with patches of bright yellow Lesser Celandines.
Along here by the river, there is plenty of evidence of mill races that were part and parcel of the weir and sluice system that the paddlers enjoy so much. Even at the height of Summer, these never fully dry out, but at the moment, there is plenty of water, giving the area between the bottom path and the river a decidedly ancient jungle feel.
The run continued with one more detour up into the open park which is home to the pitches, BMX track and playground. And then home.
All told, a decent 15.3k in an hour and 33 minutes. Just what the doctor ordered. Well, probably not. You can never find one on a Sunday anyway 😉