Good day sunshine

Beautiful day today, too beautiful to waste.

With Mr M over in Liverpool watching his beloved Everton (finger still crossed for the Toffees) I was left to my own devices. A run; too tempting when the sun is shining and I can wear my iShuffle for a canter around the trails for a bit.

I kind of got a bit carried away – four miles out across country park lanes, watching leaves fluttering to the ground, squirrels rush about and other people out enjoying the late autumn sunshine with tribes of kids and careering dogs.

View from a hill

View from a hill

I was having too much fun. I ran down the river and through Sale water park before thinking, ‘best head home’. And then three miles jog, walking back thinking mostly ‘blimey, hill training tomorrow, maybe I shouldn’t have come so far’.

I had a play on the hills I’ll be running intervals up tomorrow, leaning in, running on my toes and pumping my arms furiously – and then having to stop to recover my breath.

And then I jog-walked through the copses, out of the park and marched along the road home. Not exactly a training run but a lot of fun.

Irony on a beautiful day for running

Bloody gorgeous out there today, isn’t it?

Bridge in Didsbury

Bridge on run through Disbury water park

How Autumn should be. Bright blue sky, nippy air, mists rising off the river as it gushes along at a rate of knots. Just lovely.

And so there I am at 7.30am running along trying to digest some stunning news. Bad news.

I found out this morning, as I picked up my messages on getting up, that one of my best friends from college has had a tumour removed from her kidney and is deep into chemo.

Shocking news, and for all sorts of reasons. I should explain I live a few hundred miles from my home town so I see my college friends rarely and so of course I don’t always keep up with the home-town news, especially when it’s news no one wants to talk about.

This is not about me, this is about Theresa but, of course, I can’t help but contemplate my own mortality. It’s human nature. Having one of you contemporaries hit by a potentially fatal disease can only make you contemplate your own health. Which, of course, is great where it matters. I don’t even get colds.

My first thought was to get out and run. Somehow digesting bad news is easier when you’re running. Possibly because you have to think about where you’re going as much as what’s troubling you.

About a mile in I chewed over the unfairness of it, but life doesn’t do ‘fair’ does it. We just have to deal with the hands fate deals us as best we can. Theresa is a strong, robust woman with a big sense of humour, I can’t imagine her crumbling in the face of adversity. She’s got three teenage boys for a start, she’s well versed in handling testing times.

As I’m running into the third mile I help but admire the beauty of the day though. After a week of grey skies and mizzle it seems ironic that the sun should shine through the darkest news.

And my mile four, when I was nearly home I’d come to the conclusion that while fretting wouldn’t help Theresa, going to see her would only be a good thing and how easy it is to get caught up in the petty dramas of daily life and forget the big, important stuff.

Now is it, isn’t it? Be glad for all you have and enjoy life for what it is. Beautiful.

How beautiful is this?

Now my long runs take place during the week I don’t get to see much of the river.

Although I’m seeing Harry the personal trainer midweek this week as he’s got weekend conferences, I’m usually with him on Sundays and so long runs take place midweek when it’s too dark at 5.30am to run safely along unlit pathways.

So it was a delight to see the river this morning, a bit later at 7.30am and run through the park near Didsbury and breathe in the smell of roses in the early morning air. Hints of autumn in the woods, grasses turning red along the river bank. Lovely.

my river running route

My river running route

Roses on my run

roses on my run

Hints of autumn

Hints of autumn

I think this is my favourite run in Manchester. Bit flat, too many nettles at times but for an ‘urban’ run it’s as rural as you can get.