For those of you who aren't huge Lord of the Rings geeks like myself and are not familiar with the 'Stay off the road' reference, take a minute to have a look at this clip from The Fellowship of the Ring. Back in October, I posted a couple of photos from my early morning run on Instagram and the general consensus was that I should 'stay off the road' and find somewhere far less spooky to run instead. I'll admit, whenever I hear a rustling noise coming from one the hedges, my heart starts to beat a little faster and my feet carry me just that little bit speedier along the path, but generally, it's a cute, little squirrel preparing to jump out at me as opposed to the Ring Wraiths (I'm so, so sorry if Lord of the Rings is not your thing ... just look at the nice pictures instead).
However, with the change in seasons, my countryside running track has got a whole lot greener, a whole lot prettier, and a lot less scary. So wearing my new trainers, I've decided to take you on a little tour of where I run and reassure you that this is a road well worth staying on.
Not too far from my house, there are fields, more fields, and even more fields. All owned by different people. At first glance, those fields appear to sit side by side with not so much as an inch gap between them. However, edge a little closer and there's an intricate network of public footpaths weaving their way in and out, over streams and under bridges. I'm yet to find a map that tells of their existence; it seems to be one of those places of local lore. But it's just the best place for running, for exploring and, if you're two and four years old, for collecting an inconceivable amount of sticks.
So, trainers on.
What do you think? Should I really stay off this road?