|Falling leaves unveil our Church again.........|
I'm not sure when winter officially begins but over the past week or so I reckon it whispered an audible 'Hello'. Umpteen mile an hour winds cleared most of the leaves from the trees. Bird feeders have re-emerged from the laburnum's thinning foliage, which means it's time to start filling them up again. The first Scandinavian thrushes arrived, chakking across the morning sky on their way to whitebeam berry breakfasts in the wood below. Pretty soon, they'll be attacking the holly bush where my winter robin shelters, waiting for the remains of my toast! Cars parked in the street a couple of mornings ago all shared the same colour, a frosty white, as temperatures sank below zero. A ragged skein of geese were heading south. Today, as clammy clouds brushed the roof-tops and a nasty north easterly blew icy horizontal rain across the waterlogged landscape, winter's whisper became more of a shout. Back home, I donned a thicker thermal, turned up the central heating and hunted in the cupboard for some Vitamin D3 capsules I suddenly remembered. Sad, I know!
After parting with nearly half an armful of blood for all sorts of tests prior to my annual MOT last Thursday, I was
|After the jab, a cold day on Castle Hill last Thusday....|
happy to learn I'd passed them all with flying colours. Even my rampant blood pressure was down to an acceptable 134 over 76, much to the amazement of cuddly Nurse Jenny who usually sends it sky high. Maybe I'm getting old! Prescribed statins appear to be doing their job too, winning the war over frequent fry-ups, nightly chocolate and lashings of full cream (much nicer than yogurt). Isn't science wonderful? The only mistake I made was in consenting to have a flu jab before leaving the surgery. I could almost hear the nurse thinking "This'll slow you down, you old b----r". Well, it sure did.
|Bare branches along a flooded River Wharfe....|
My last couple of runs felt as if I was running in treacle. Jeff Galloway and Joe Henderson, who've long been proponents of the run/walk system, would have regarded me as another convert. In truth, it was difficult to run even half a mile without slowing to a weary walk. I felt absolutely knackered! An awful lot of it was uphill - 755ft in the second 6 mile run - which obviously slowed me down a bit, but on the flatter parts I forced myself to keep running a little longer, on principal.. So imagine my amusement when, on stopping my recently acquired Garmin, the words 'New Record' appeared on its tiny face. Apparently I'd run one of the six miles in 7:44 - which might be a new record for my Garmin but pretty pathetic for me - and a far cry from that 6:36 pace throughout the London marathon. Without walking, I hasten to add.
As my previous blog headline intimated, the ancient marathoner is slowing down fast. Ripe autumn with all its dazzling colours and luscious fruits is slipping away as winter advances inexorably from misty horizons. I can bear its soft whisperings, I hate it when it shouts.......