Today was planned for a long run...18 kilometres of foot following foot. Due to illness and timing, I was on my own for this one. Just me, the path and the 2 degree temperature outside.
I rugged up in layers....singlet, longsleeved top and hoodie and popped on my gloves. As soon as it was light I was off.
It was frosty but clear....I could hear the grass crunching under my feet and everything sparkled. The sun was just rising and turning the sky orange and pink when I hit the river, 2 kilometres into the run.
It was a wee bit cold for birdlife, I've never heard the river so silent. As I ran I could see the mist starting to curl up from the water's surface, felt like I was in an Arthurian tale and could imagine a knight standing silently on the island in the middle of the river, guarding unicorns and maidens.
I continued on at a fairly good pace, I was starting to warm up a bit now. I followed the river for a while then crossed a bridge at the highway, turning to run under it and then joining the path again behind the Werribee Zoo. The sky was a bit more alive here, the eagles were out, a few fat bunnies ran away when they heard me coming and one little fat bunny further up the path a fair way was not as quick as the others...certainly not as quick as the drop dead gorgeous bird that swooped it up. It was amazing, way beyond words and so quick.
Anyway...ground...still frosty. Felt like I was running through Christmasland, which freaked me out a bit after reading Joe Hill's book NOS4R2. Pace quickened a bit after that. Far too much imagination to be running alone...
I also discovered two things I did not realise before while running behind the Zoo and the Mansion.
1. Wooden bridges, when icy, look spectacular but are also slippery.
2. I can nearly do the splits.
After making these discoveries, I ran on, a little more carefully. More birds were appearing, my favourites, the fairy wrens were bobbing about along the path and (not my favourites) the magpies were singing their hearts out. The sun was shining a little better now, and the run along the paths through the Mansion were beautiful. The lions roared for their breakfast in the background. Long swathes of green and frosty grass edged the path as I ran around the lake and to the grotto.
Every house should have a grotto......
Leaving the Mansion I ran the paths that led to the Victorian State Rose Garden next door. The roses are not at their best being Winter but I cannot WAIT to run this during September and October when they will be in full bloom! It was peaceful here, and every now and then you'd get a whiff of rose scented air. The sun was warming up a bit and it felt good.
Running out the main gates and along the farmlands now I was lost in my own little world. The sky was clear. My legs felt good, I was over halfway through the run. It felt good to be alive. And joining onto the main road I was amazed to see what I was running into....
I even ran into the 3 Amigos, friends who are cyclists. Nothing like running into mates to keep you going!
Finally, 1 hour and 56 minutes later and feeling good I hit home. 18.23 kilometres later and a brilliant way to start the day.
But the best bit about running in Winter?......coffee after.