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!

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.