Yesterday I was meant to run and didn’t. My excuse: my periods came back after four months absence. I assumed I was hurtling into my second menopause (for details on the other one, read my other blog) but apparently they had just been terrified into disappearing by my marathon training. So they came back, and they came back hard, to chain-ingesting co-codamol levels. And I didn’t run.

Today then I was supposed to do intervals but still hadn’t done my tempo run from yesterday and decided to do that. I decided to do it in the morning, then didn’t. Then I decided to do it after lunch, but didn’t. At 5pm, I got up from my desk, put my shorts on, and suddenly felt uncomfortable. I was wearing short shorts and a vest, and I was planning on heading down the canal. But I thought, these shorts are too short. And I am suspicious of canals anyway. If I want to run somewhere, then I want it to be somewhere I can run away from. I could swim away from an attacker on the canal, but maybe he would swim too. When I realised I’d also left my Garmin at home, and didn’t have an iPhone holder, that decided me: I cycled home, put on some running tights, and set off. It had rained hard all day, but the rain had had enough, and the sun was out. It was such a beautiful evening. I ran towards Gledhow Valley woods, for my usual route to Roundhay Park, but I took a different road to make it seem slightly more interesting. How stupid: Gledhow Valley woods are lush and green and always interesting. There were evening runners all about. I was supposed to run at 8 minute mile pace, and I did, but with more walking breaks than usual, because it was HOT.

At Roundhay, there were several groups of people doing military fitness, i.e. being shouted at by men in camouflage trousers. I didn’t even run to the lake, but circled back up to the house, then home. It was a mundane run, I suppose, except it wasn’t. I genuinely don’t understand why people run with music. Even on this short, apparently mundane run, there were things to listen to, like the shouts of the military fitness instructors, and a man singing and yelling loudly over the hill out of sight at the little lake. And there are always things to see. Tonight these are some things I saw:

A couple sitting in the middle of a huge green field, as if it was theirs
A group of military fitness people in blue bibs, coming down a steep hill, like an invading alien force
A girl sitting on a bench who was there when I went one way and there when I went the other, still swinging her brown Ugg boots
Sunlight shafts coming through the trees in the woods: God rays
Three children running through the stream in the woods, as if they were in the middle of the country, not inner-city Leeds. And no adult in sight. Free fun.
Four pictures in their frames, floating in the stream, looking far more poetic and alluring than fly-tipping should

I didn’t take my phone, so I didn’t take pictures. But I can see those things in my head.

4 mile tempo run, 8 minute mile pace
TIME: 32:46

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