Spring in my step

That’s a bit of an ambitious title.

More like spring in my limp but I can walk three or four miles now so improving, though I need to roller and stretch when i get back in.

According to scientists, brisk walking is better for you than running. Hmm.. I’m sure some of us would disagree with them. But a brisk walk is what I can manage just now, so a brisk walk is what I shall be enjoying.


late spring daffodils

Spring is late here this year. MrM is the weather-watcher, something about a wind being stuck in the Mediterranean which means we get lumbered with freezing temperatures. but it has been bright and clear, so I feel like I’m emerging from semi-hibernation.

I walked down to Chorlton Water Park to see the river.

The Mersey, Chorlton Water Park bridge

View from a bridge

This looks fun, although as they passed me the woman at the back assured me she was having ‘a nightmare’!

Horse riding at Chorlton Water Park

Horse riding at Chorlton Water Park

If you look this way, into the distance, you can see the rise of the hill I used to use for hill-running practice (little sigh).

My running hill

My running hill

I then went for a sit in the orchard.

Plaque on the orchard bench

The plaque on the orchard bench

And you know, sometimes it is nice to just sit. And breathe. And really look at what’s around you.

Chorlton water park, orchard view

The Orchard view

Even if we could do with more of this…

first leaves

Look – leaves!

Come on Spring!


Weekend running chill out in pictures

This weekend was the grand national. Fifi joined in selecting horses for the race. She went for Black Apache and Deep Purple.

Fifi the cat

Fifi the tipster

Her horses didn’t win, they’re probably still running.

I went for a relaxing trot up river on Saturday, just a couple of miles.

Northenden Waterside Park

My river run

And then on Sunday I headed down stream to the water parks in Chorlton and Sale.

About a mile and half into the run I passed a tramp. A proper, wild grey-haired, big bearded, leather hatted tramp. He looked like he’s fallen out of a film, the most tramp-like tramp I’ve seen for years. And as I passed he held up his hands, as if to say ‘it’s ok, I’m harmless’. Isn’t that sad? That old men feel it necessary to signal their lack of threat? I waved; I have and say good morning to everyone, it’s my rule.

Cholton Water Park

Chorlton Water Park

First stop, Chorlton Water Park where I stopped to take this picture, forgot to turn off my garmin for a minute and had my senses assaulted by a fisherman cooking bacon. So unfair! I had three miles to go and all I could think was ‘full English’.

Inspiration runner

Inspiration runner

See that blue figure in the distance? That is a lady runner coming into Sale Water Park who must have been at least 70. She had neat, grey bobbed hair and was moving at quite a lick. Those are stones across a brook she’s just nipped across.

Sale Water Park

Sale Water Park

Sale Water Park was surprisingly quiet, possibly due to it being freezing, but I saw one brave soul water skiing as I ran round.

Ponds at Sale Water Park

Ponds at Sale Water Park

And then I was running home. Very glad to get home after what was more like nine miles once I’d got back to Northenden.

Last hills on the way home

Last hills on the way home

It takes me an age to bath, stretch and pull myself into any shape for Sunday socialising, but with the promise of a meal I trotted up to Didsburyto meet Mr M and had tea at cafe Rouge. French onion soup, boeuf bourguignon with dauphinoise potatoes followed by cheese, all washed down with two glasses of delicious house red. Perfect end to a relaxing weekend. Probably not on Paula Radcliffe’s nutrition plan, no.

Cafe Rouge

Cafe Rouge

Though Fifi picking a winner at Aintree would have been nice.

Butterflies on the long run

Long runs in sunshine are such a treat and so I bounded down river towards Chorlton Water Park all smiles – until the business of breathing and pouring with sweat kicked in.

Our side of the river is the road less travelled – due to the fact it doesn’t give easy access to Didsbury, no doubt – and so it is a bit overgrown by this time of year. Not that I’m complaining, there’s something rather exciting about being lost in head-high wild flowers at times.

Coming back I saw three butterflies dancing along the hedgerow. Seeing wildlife is always uplifting, but not making me run any faster.

I do suffer from Fotherington-Thomas tendencies. I’ve never actually said ‘hello birds, hello sky’ but I think it. And I want to enjoy the moment of watching these brown and yellow butterflies skimming the grasses, weaving through each other’s paths, expressing what seems to me to be a natural joy that I should get from running.

And so I covered just under five miles in an hour meaning I’m plodding on at  about 5mph. Not exactly gazelle stuff, though it’s worth considering I’m running off-road and those butterflies are distracting, honestly!