Phunning Light

It’s almost two weeks now since I embarked on my quest to get back to running. As you may recall, I’ve designated my approach as Phunning ~ a combination of gentle running and taking a few photographs along the way.

I’m delighted to report that I’ve now had six outings to The Anne Valley Trail in Dunhill and that it seems to be getting shorter by the day.

Yesterday was one of those stressful days with a few fork-in-the-road kind of appointments so I tore out of the house early this morning to find the calm that phunning is now bringing with each stride.

There was a lovely soft light and I found myself doing a lot more running than walking. Among the biggest changes since that first day is that I’ve now stopped counting paces and am letting my body dictate when it wants to stop for for a breather.

Reflections
Reflections

I’ve also reached a point where I’m less likely to stop running just because I see people coming towards me. It’s nice, though, to stop and have a little chat with fellow travellers, like this friendly man this morning:

Anne Valley Trail, Dunhill, Co. Waterford
Anne Valley Trail, Dunhill, Co. Waterford

Dunhill Castle overlooks the Anne Valley Trail and I can’t seem to resist going up there to soak in the history, scenery and tranquility:

Dunhill Castle, Co. Waterford.
Dunhill Castle, Co. Waterford.

It’s fascinating to think that the sea used to come in as far as the Castle and this morning there was a real sense of sea as the wind was coming from that direction and I could hear the waves back the mile and a half or so:

View towards Annestown Beach from Dunhill Castle
View towards Annestown Beach from Dunhill Castle

Within the ruins of the Castle itself, the light danced on the old, thick walls:

Dunhill Castle, Co. Waterford
Dunhill Castle, Co. Waterford

This new exercise regime requires plenty of healthy eating:

Refreshment
Refreshment

There’s no doubt that blogging about Phunning is adding greatly to the experience and I got a great giggle from Roy’s reference to ‘Phogging’ in his latest post and Robin’s comment about ‘Phalking’ in response to my first post on this new madness.

I hope, dear Readers, that you’ll come up with some more thought-provoking words to keep me motivated over the coming weeks!

Come Phunning!

Sign on the Anne Valley Trail, Dunhill, Co. Waterford
Sign on the Anne Valley Trail, Dunhill, Co. Waterford

You’ll have to understand that cinder paths put a spring in my step and you’ll also have to understand a few other things too.

I used to run a lot to build stamina for tennis and have a fiercely competitive streak within myself about times and distances. There’s the little issues, though, of having broken my ankle twice and banjaxed my back in the years since I was running pretty much daily.

My main running started on a wonderful cinder track at the Lourdes Stadium in Drogheda, Co. Louth, which had been built for either the European or World Student Games back in the 1960s. It was way ahead of its time and made one glide along like a true athlete.

I’ve reached a stage in my life when I feel that if I don’t get running NOW, I never will again and that thought is horrific.

Sooooooooooo, I’ve come up with the idea of ‘Phunning’ ~ that’s gentle running+walking with absolutely no emphasis on times/distances combined with taking a few photographs along the way.

The Anne Valley Trail in Dunhill here in Co. Waterford is the perfect place for this pursuit. It’s a 2.2km (each way) linear path that brings one from Dunhill Village to the magnificent elevated ruin of Dunhill Castle.

Dunhill Castle from the Anne Valley Trail
Dunhill Castle from the Anne Valley Trail

The path is the nearest thing to cinder that one could find and it twists and turns around the Anne River.

The Anne River
The Anne River

I’m setting myself the grand goal of trying to run at least one way by Christmas and have been out twice already this week, interspersing walking and running. So far, so good in terms of the creaking bones.

The Audience
The Audience

I hope that by writing about it here and declaring my intentions to the world, that I will manage to keep going.

I’d love to have some company on this little adventure so maybe some of you former runners would dust down your shoes and find a trail near you and share in my de-stressing!

De-Stressing on the Anne Valley Trail
De-Stressing on the Anne Valley Trail

and yes, my hand does fit!

Anne4
Worry Tree on The Anne Valley Trail

Alignment ~ Five Photos/Five Stories 2

Man and Nature
Dunmore East, Co. Waterford

the lone fisherman

aligns himself with nature

perfect solitude

Once again, I would like to thank Willow for nominating me for this Five Photos/Five Stories Challenge.

Here are the rules for the Challenge: “Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge.

My second nomination is Sandy at Hoarder Comes Clean

 

 

 

Wish You Were Here

G1
Garrarus Beach, Co. Waterford

Today was a smashing day here in Co. Waterford and I had the most delicious swim out at Garrarus Beach early this morning.

While I was soaking up the sea and sun, I was half thinking about son Harry who has hopped over to England for the weekend. Part of the hopping involved him driving me into Waterford in the wee hours so that he could catch a bus to Dublin Airport. Little did I ever think that he’d be doing the driving like that but it’s been our Summer of ‘mother/son’ driving with Bruce Springsteen keeping us company.

Back at home, the little fluffy dog (a cross between at least a sheepdog, terrier, King Charles, Alsatian….)  that Harry rescued a few years ago had clearly been doing a lot more than half thinking about his beloved owner. He had worked himself up into a complete tizzy and practically scratched his neck off.  I suppose I should have anticipated some drama like this as the last time Harry went away the dog almost bit his paw off.

Back to the same vet who mercifully assured me that the neck damage is curable but that the bond between the dog and Harry was quite another matter! Basically if H flees the nest, the dog will have to go with him.

Waiting for Godot
Waiting for Godot

As dusk turned to darkness, I was beginning to wonder about H’s promised phone call. I was here at the computer and called out to hubby if he’d heard from him. He replied as casually as anything:

Oh yeah, he rang a good while ago and said he’s grand. He got cut off so wasn’t on for long.’

The little dog has been bopping around since the phone call and I’m still wondering if fathers have anything like the same bonds with their boys as little dogs and mothers do?