|Daffodil haven near Appletreewick|
After each dreary winter, nothing is so heart-warming as sights and sounds and scents of the onrushing Spring. It's like a drug. I can't get enough of it, especially as I get older. I have to be out there running new paths and seeking out odd corners where I suspect something exciting might be happening. In dark days of winter it's very easy to procrastinate, staying within confines of my cosy cottage when weather is inclement. Invariably my weekly mileage falls below average but status quo is quickly restored as days lengthen, stimulating body and soul to join that colourful unfolding pageant.
During the past couple of weeks events have rapidly accelerated. Daffodils and primroses have burst into bloom, lapwings are whirling out their joy over the high pastures, goosanders are paired and seeking out nest sites by the riverbank, bumble bees are feeding happily on my flowering currant, a trio of gaudy bullfinches brightened up a woodland glade, new-born lambs sprawl in sunlit fields and frog spawn is floating in many a pond (not to mention in an old bath used to store water on a nearby allotment).
|Pair of goosander on the Wharfe|
In this vernal landscape running is pure joy, besides being a most natural and wonderful form of exercise. My philosophy dictates that I get out there and 'just do it'. Former Olympian, Catherina McKiernan said "Running is meant to be enjoyed, not endured" and I couldn't agree more. Run easily. Ignore the figures on the watch. To us ordinary runners it doesn't matter if we're a few seconds off the pace (what pace?), we don't have to run once more round the block to make up a pre-planned mileage. It's not against the rules to stop and admire the view from some vantage point or watch a peregrine falcon soaring against the boundless blue. For me, there are no hard and fast rules other than that most important one - enjoy it!