I'd forgotten how much I like running. Took off to Hayfield tonight towing a sinking sun behind me. Kit - headtorch, Walshes, gloves and a burnt orange soft shell. Eased gently up 20 Trees, familiar bike trails feeling strangely different without the roundy roundy stuff, awkward lines easy on foot, engine just turning over. Struggling to remember to use stiles rather than gates.
Then onto the top and things suddenly click. Legs start to feel like running legs and lose their awkward heaviness. Stunning views across to Kinder in the setting sun, deep tranches of old snow clinging to its flanks still, but the ground's firm and refridgerated, the slow thaw seems to have been kind to the trails, no sudden melt, just a gradual release of moisture that's dried gently by the wind.
Anyway... round the corner and the best view on earth. Along the secret singletrack towards Kinder Res', complete with reflex guilt twinges that don't need to be there, then round, down, and back up the other side towards Jacobs as the sun sets and a gentle, rolling plunge back into Hayfield with Manchester's lights glowing warmly in the distance.
A final detour up and over the camp site descent in a pool of Petzl's finest light and a warm, happy, tired-legged return to the car. Nice for a change.