Today I hit the reset button because it finally happened, I found the time for a run (but barely). Since I’m out of practise and it’s new year and all, I thought I’d start over.
So, it’s been a tiring, stressful few months and I’m even more out of shape than ever (actually, that’s not true, round is a shape and I’m pretty sure if I really tried I could get perfectly spherical but that would be counterproductive), so I decided I probably shouldn’t jump back into the deep end. I’m going for a paddle in the shallow end. Ok, fine, I’m standing in a puddle, but I’m at least facing the deep end.
Long story short, since our new baby came along life has been good but far from easy and life has also been kind enough to throw various curveballs our way, the most notable ones being my partner being unwell and me being signed off work with stress. The good news is we got to spend more time together with the baby, the bad news is she was in constant pain and we were both struggling overall with those lovely fun curveballs that, well, really just enhance our lives, don’t they?
I’m not looking for sympathy here, I’m sure many people are familiar with our problems, and much worse, and in the grand scheme of things were pretty lucky. But ultimately the opportunity to run did not pop up often.
Anyway, she’s doing better and I’m back at work, but on reduced hour so I can take care of the school run and help out at home while she recovers so she isn’t overwhelmed by a baby and a four year old at the height of their powers.
Of course, before the reduced hours started, Christmas happened and when it comes to sweets and chocolates and CHEESE I don’t have much self control at the best of times. Put me in Christmas during a stressful time when motivation is at an all time low and, well, to be fair I’m going to have a pretty good time. And I did! And it shows.
So after taking a few little steps forwards and then rolling all the way back, here I am on square one. New year, fresh start.
I almost didn’t make it out, due to various things taking way too long, as they tend to do these days. And I thought having just one child was hard work. But I got out! By that point I wasn’t in the best mood but I thought, I’ve made it this far, let’s do this.
So, nostalgic for my summer of running, I put my go-to running album on (Kaiser Chiefs - We Need Medicine, I don’t know why, it just works for me) and I introduced myself to Jo Whiley for the first time ever, once again.
It was dark of course, so I decided to stick to the usual route around the houses, avoiding the really dark areas just in case. I started off in a bad mood but fortunately this had faded by the time I reached the end of the warm up walk.
I was a little nervous to be honest. I knew it would be pretty manageable overall since not that long ago I was running week 6 without too much difficulty, but on the other hand, I don’t use my legs as much as I used to since I drive to work now, and they cramp up a lot more easily. I knew this wouldn’t be a walk in the park. Because the park wasn’t well lit and would be too dangerous. Also it wouldn’t be easy.
It turned out to be... ok. I was clearly out of practise so it did take some effort, but it all went pretty smoothly and it was nice to know my stamina wasn’t completely gone. At the very least I know I have 60 seconds of straight running in me so that’s a solid foundation to rebuild on.
The first 60 seconds was the hardest because I really wasn’t used to it anymore and I didn’t have the benefit of a walk home from work preceding it. Unfortunately there just aren’t enough hours in the day for that at the moment.
But I settled in, I walked, I ran, I enjoyed it, it felt good! I’ve really missed this.
The run was mostly uneventful but I still had the chance to indulge in some good old social anxiety. I was walking after the first run, nice and quickly, when I came across a man walking his two dogs. He was walking ever so slightly slower than I was, which would mean it would take a long time to overtake him and that was an awkward moment I could do without. Besides, his friendly dogs kept running up to me and I knew running near them would only encourage them. So I bravely went in a different direction and avoided the situation altogether.
The next encounter was a desperate race against time as I was jogging along when a group of YOUNG PEOPLE were crossing the road diagonally and their path was going to cross over with mine. The hell it was, I ran faster and successfully passed them before they got on the pavement. Unfortunately I wasn’t that far ahead when that particular running block ended and I had to walk. I didn’t want them to think I was tired out so I pretended to check my phone. Encounter averted!
Soon enough (too soon, really) the run ended and it was time to cool down.
So one of my more realistic (I hope) New Year’s resolutions is to run more regularly again and finally see this through to the end.
I’m on reduced hours at work until the end March so if I stick with it and get three runs in a week, I should make it to the end before I’m back on full time hours. That’s my plan at least, I’m sure Life will have a thing or two to say about that...