Kingfisher miles

The Dopey training miles are ramping up and with that my anxiety levels about whether this might just have been a really stupid idea. But today was one of those outings that reminded me that it actually doesn’t matter. If I don’t finish Dopey, I don’t finish Dopey. None of this is really what it’s about. It’s about the time out there, enjoying the autumn colours, the air and the things that I would otherwise just not get the chance to see. If I don’t finish Dopey I will, of course, be gutted but I will nonetheless have runs like today. Runs that I probably would not have done had it not been for Dopey training.

I didn’t want to go out this morning. I was sleepy, still tired from a silly week, sleep deprived and a little anxious generally. 8.5 miles also seemed like quite a long way. But then we got sorted and set off. I couldn’t back out or postpone because we’d agreed to meet Kath’s mum for breakfast at Salts Mill. I didn’t really like the idea of having to get there roughly by an agreed time but there we were. We set off on the start of our sheep loop at 2 minute runs and 30 seconds walk. I felt sluggish but to be fair I was still waking up really.

The first mile came and it was all fine. A little through the second we saw 3 deer skip off into the distance on the former golf course. They are so graceful and gorgeous. Then we dropped onto the canal towpath – home for the next 6 ish miles. The autumn leaves had come off the trees in last night’s winds and the November morning sun was shining onto the water creating a playful mystery of light, colours and silver nothingness. And there it was: movement, a flash of orange and a streak of metallic blue. The kingfisher (well a kingfisher) was with us. We played tag with it for over a mile and on one stretch stopped to walk. I was probably close enough to take a picture but it just never occurred to me. I just watched it as it once again took off and flew straight down the middle of the canal until it disappeared into the sunlight. I realised I was smiling.

My achilles felt tight. It was making my feet feel odd. So we had an extra walk through the next running interval and then it all felt better so we continued the normal intervals. I had a little mental wobble shortly after we left the kingfisher behind (or it left us, who knows) but then we were through half way. Kath saw movement to our left. Another three deer (definitely different ones) hopped over the wall into a field of startled sheep. we stopped briefly to watch them. I was smiling again.

When we were nearly at 5 miles I realised that there was no mental battle. I was just doing it. Slowly and happily doing it. A little further along – probably somewhere in mile 7 – I had another longer walk to try and relax my feet and then we ran/walked the rest to Salts Mill. I asked Kath for help because I was suddenly concerned I wouldn’t make it. Silly of course, I had less than a mile to go and I did of course make it, comfortably. It was a good run! Breakfast was good too as was the leisurely wander round the bookshop.

In fact it has been a good day, afternoon nap and all!

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