Is there anything better as a runner than to be out on a sunny summer’s evening with club buddies running through fields and trails and finishing with a pint in a village pub?
Slightly rhetorical question as I’d get lots of responses to that one! Of course I would put the birth of my children and my wedding day up there, but they are special, one(ish)-off events. For sheer everyday pleasure, and for me as a runner, I’d take evenings like last night any day of the week over a speed session in December round the urban streets.
It was my first run out for 8 days after my Stour Valley Marathon and glad I was to be able to blast round the fields of south Bedford. After the pain in my knee in the race and some sports chiropractic, this was my chance to see how the treatment was doing. I’m pleased to say that apart from a slight twinge at about 5 miles in when running on uneven ground all was well with the fibula.
I’d actually cycled to the run, as my group often meets somewhere rural outside town on a summer’s evening and I like to try and get a bit of extra fitness in on the bike rather than drive (plus usually the car is usually commandeered by the masses at home anyway). This was one of the closer start points at only a couple of miles south of Bedford (Cardington), usually its around 6-8 miles each way, which is a nice distance. But I was desperate to get out on my new pedals and shoes. I’ve just upgraded to cleats and wanted to break them in / see if I could do it without falling off!
Anyway, once there it was great to catch up with friends (taking the usual jibes of “who are you” – damn job). It was muggy and the first 2-3 miles were hard, but as usual I started to settle in. In fact it was a hard one mile slow slog uphill that seemed to fire my legs (I am strange). After that I was off up front, enjoying the views and the summer evening breeze that had thankfully kicked in. I did have a funny moment when one of the group said to me that I had a lovely running motion from behind! Hypnotic he said…must have been my lovely tri-shorts…
The end of the run came after an hour and just under seven miles of trail / country running. Bliss. Of course the cloud burst at the end put a slight (and actual) dampener on things but I guess we were all sweaty anyway!
Next up was a lovely pint and a chat in the pub garden. We couldn’t decide on which ale to have so the nice guy behind the bar gave us a taster of each – Doom bar won hands down! And then it was home to food and the family.
A couple of lovely hours out in the summer evening sun, blasting through lovely countryside and a pint afterwards. As I said at the beginning – anything better?