Spring Flowers, Farm Life and Getting Back into Running.

Spring is finally here in the UK and for the past couple of days I’ve been making the most of the better weather and getting out and about in the sunshine with my camera and a backpack full of bananas for the donkeys. As soon as the sun comes out I want to be outdoors as much as I can and luckily this weeks good weather arrived just as my ankle finally started to feel good enough to run on again. I’ve had tendonitis in my Achilles tendon for just over a year now and I haven’t been able to run (not even for the bus) since May 2014 so this is a big deal for me. Nathan keeps reminding me of the importance of easing myself back into it, but I’ve fallen head over heels back in love with running and have been trying to get out most days, even if just for a walk. But 2.4 kilometre walks have been turning into accidental 5.7 kilometer runs and now that student loan is in I’m in the market for a pair of decent running shoes which will keep me out of injury (ssh don’t tell Nathan!). I’ve even started training for my first 5k on the Nike+ app (ssh don’t tell Nathan!) and can’t keep away.

I’d forgotten how running can take you to places you didn’t even know were on your own doorstep and stumbling across Meanwood Valley Urban Farm on a run earlier this week was such a great welcome back to running. I knew about this place long before this month, having seen signs for it along the main road through Meanwood but never thought to visit. I accidentally wound up there trying to get to a local park but it turns out my Google map reading is rubbish and I’m SO glad it is! 24 acres of farmland and gardens home to sheep, donkeys, goats, chickens, some very cute lambs and what Nathan and I think is a alpaca, but could just as easily be an oversized goat (we debate this often) is fast becoming my favourite place in Leeds. Adult entry is £1, though after closing time I’ve been running along the trail and up to the top field to take pictures and sit in the evening sun. If you get there at the right time, the sun reflecting off the Leeds skyline on the horizon makes for an incredible view. There’s something about this place which I find very peaceful and I’ve managed to make my way back every day since discovering it (yes everyday) so if you ever get Leeds on a good day please please go and say hello to the alpaca/goat and wander around their gardens. The Epicentre/ Visitor area is also a really cool sustainable, eco-friendly building which is well worth a look at – I’m told the roof slate is made from recycled tyres. I didn’t know you could make slate from tyres either, but it turns out you can!

Anyway, here is a selection of photographs from my time at the farm, and a few running related snaps for those of you who are interested. A few more can be found over on my flickr if you’d like to check those out too!

Meanwood Valley Urban Farm Epicenter
Meanwood Valley Urban Farm Epicenter
Ginger, one of my unimaginatively named trail donkeys.
Ginger, one of my unimaginatively named trail donkeys.

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Hannah x

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