Yesterday, I completed my third "Miles For Mind" challenge. My first, in 2019, was the month that I completed Couch to 5K and my total of 66.75 km/41.5 miles, while modest by the distances I cover today was, not surprisingly, the most I had ever run cumulatively in a single month at that point. It was a month that, not only did I graduate the C25K programme, I also ran my first 5k and my first Parkrun. Skip forward to 2020. Lockdown was upon us and the distances I was covering during my 3/4 weekly runs was increasing. My target was an achievable 50 miles for the month. I started strongly, bringing my half-marathon time under 2 hours 15 and, over the course of the month, I totaled 122.75 km/76.25 miles. In October, runr also set the "Leave Nothing But Footprints" challenge. That month was also the month that I turned 50, so I had a fairly obvious target to aim at. Another half-marathon brought my time below 2 hours 10. A 10 mile run later in the month took my time
Or, possibly more accurately, nature getting too close to me... As runners, we're used to picking up minor injuries: strains, pulls, twists, scratches and stings; they are pretty much an occupational hazard. Getting strafed by an pissed off buzzard, and being left with a light talon scratch on your scalp is, however, possibly one of the more exotic and "you really had to be there" injuries that can befall us. The buzzard in question is rather specacular and has a reputation for providing close encounters with unwary ramblers and runners in the vicinity. There are quite a few buzzards around where I live and I often encounter them flying quite low through the woods when I'm out on the paths around Pencaitland and the surrounding area. I can't deny, having one fly at eye-level just a few feet in front of you is an amazing experience. I could, however, have done without the insight into how its prey must feel when it's hunting.