This last week I’ve had plenty of time. I should have been away on holiday, but no one is going away anywhere so I’m just not at work. At first I was a little worried about having 2 weeks to do nothing, but there hasn’t been a whole lot of nothing going on.
It’s April, so the weather has somewhat improved. There’s been some truly glorious days, and there hasn’t been a huge amount of rain even on the colder days. The trails are dry, they’re runnable, and I’ve been on them more often than not. I don’t dislike running on the road, but if I’ve got a niche in running it’s the trails. Around me the trails aren’t the sunny single tracks that you might see on YouTube channels like Run Steep Get High, or the challenging mountain climbs that someone like Seth James DeMoor is pulling off, no, my local trails are muddy wood trails and rutted farm tracks.
And I like them.
Take the extra time I’ve had without work looming over me, add the dry weather, and I’ve been able to expand, considerably, my repertoire of local trail routes. It’s been surprising just how easy it has been to tie together the woodland trails with the rolling, hilly footpaths over farmland, whilst barely taking a step on tarmac. Sure they aren’t exactly beauty spots, but because of that they are completely peaceful. Unlike some of the wonderful routes through the Peak District, or the Chiltern Hills, these anonymous trails aren’t tourist hotspots, so no matter what the weather is, it’s usually just me out there.
And, even better, it’s only April. The weather has the potential to get a little worse before it gets consistently better, but it shouldn’t get too cold too often, so the trails should remain runnable for a while now. That makes for an exciting few months ahead of me, continuously expanding that loop of trails, tying them together, increasing the potential for longer runs with barely a lick of concrete, and all only 5 minutes from my house.
Time. Time to train, time to explore, time for the days to get longer and warmer and drier. Time. Time might just be a runner’s best friend.