Flying like a cannonball

Dawn has broken, the first rays of light streak through the upper atmosphere, legs are stinging, back aching, breathing is heavy, laboured and I’m grinning like a loon.

I’m ahead of myself again, lets start at the beginning.

early morning in the woods
early morning in the woods

After three days and four nights of stuffed up sinuses and a migraine from hell, I awoke reborn, once again able to breathe through each side of my nose, my head was clear and the aches that remained were permanent ones, reminders of a life lived.

Time for a run then.

The kids are off from school on half term so I don’t have to be running around getting them ready to go out the door, which means I can go for a run a little later than normal and that means I can run by sunlight instead of torchlight. I pull on full cover minus one layer and silently descend the stairs listening to the steady soft rhythmic breathing of the dreaming ones, I slip feet into Inov-8s, make a half arsed attempt at tying laces and stagger out into the dawns early light.

Onto the pavement and turn downhill to the woods, run through the systems check; legs – two of, arms – two of, feet – two of and so on focus on something other than running, let my body get warm and into a groove before my mind can flood with self doubt and shut down the run. Slip into the trees and follow the soft mud path uphill now, the cold water in the muddy puddles seeps through the sock like uppers of the shoes, cold shock registers for a brief moment before my feet warm the layer of water trapped next to my skin.

‘Flying like a canonball, falling to the earth, Heavy as a feather when, you hit the dirt’ on loop in my head.

Bird song is drawing to a close and two squirrels starbust into the trees as I pass by, I’m still stunned by how close they were when I almost run slap into a third, out of the woods and turn uphill, I remember this section as a long drawn out uphill so I’m suprised to see the main road sooner than expected. there are roadworks controlled by lights and a long waiting qeue of cars that I have to run by. I so timed that wrong.

Belstone Ridge in the early light
Belstone Ridge in the early light

The long stretch downhill to home, legs are stinging, back aching, breathing is heavy and laboured and I’m grinning like a loon. Burst into the house to be hit with the smell of fresh coffee, fried tomatoes, scrambled eggs and the hurley burley of three small boys, another day, one more arc of the sun through the sky.

Then I realise I’ve only 9 days until the ‘Slay the Dragon 10k’.


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