I think I'm coming out of my slump. And I've a golden retriever to thank for it. It was an ordinary dog, doing ordinary doggy, snuffly, running around things, with a stick in its mouth and shaking its head. It was in a park in Wilmslow where I went for some nice smooth grass running to see if I could settle my aching back. On my second of three brisker intervals I saw the aforementioned dog and, all of a sudden, the world was a nicer place. It was sunny, breezy, not particularly warm, but there were families out enjoying the open space - playing football and throwing a stick for the dog. I guess I just relaxed and in so doing just began to enjoy my running; it began to flow. Sometimes, it's the little things that give the sense of perspective. Roll on Hawkeshead on Saturday. The forecast looks OK - sunny but with a cool wind. New shoes. New enthusiasm. What could possibly go wrong...!