Ok this was good, this was encouraging.
As we know, I am capable of much more than this, or at least I was, but I need to work back up to it because I’m out of practise. Not just with running but also preparing for it.
Before, I’d figured out a good routine that worked for me. I knew what snacks gave me the energy I needed, I knew when to eat them and I knew how to pace myself while running. It doesn’t help that I don’t have the benefit of a long walk home beforehand anymore and there really is no way to fit one in at the moment.
Now I’ve lost my rhythm and I need to get back into it or this whole experience is going to be a lot harder than it needs to be. Problem is, with our own routine at home up in the air at the moment, it’s hard to know exactly when I’ll make it out. Yesterday I was delayed, today I got right on it.
This run did not go badly at all, but it took a lot more effort than it would have just a few months ago. Having said that, I had a much easier time than I did when I ran Week 1 originally. So, I haven’t quite lost all my progress from before.
Today I thought I’d change it up with a new soundtrack, partly because I’m getting a little bored of the same Fratellis album but mainly because I’ve been listening to Madness every day since watching them on New Year’s Eve (only on TV unfortunately).
So today’s album was One Step Beyond and it was the perfect choice. First of all it’s really fun and energetic so that’s a mood boost right there, but also, just as the warm-up walk ended, Night Boat to Cairo began and I can’t think of many songs better than that to kick off a run. I had to resist the urge to skank.
So it started well and it got better because made it out before it got dark, which meant I could follow my favourite route through the park with a slightly reduced risk of getting stabbed. That’s one good thing about the cold at least, no one wants to hang around on a park bench for no reason. It was pretty cold it I didn’t want to wear too much so I went with combats and a hoody, just enough heat to keep me warm but not enough to overheat when I’ve warmed myself up.
I didn’t start there, I did my usual route along the footpath around the houses and followed it round, passing my partner who was out with the baby and the boy. She decided to take him out on his bike while I was running and it was so perfectly timed, I got to witness him falling off. Fortunately he landed on the grass and got right back up so no need to stop!
So I carried on along the path behind the houses and headed down the steps towards the park. It was nice and quiet, apart from a few people walking dogs and, although one of them ran up to greet me, I was able to get on with it undisturbed.
I was about halfway through at this point and still going relatively strong but feeling it. My legs were still a little painful from Run 1 so I had some concerns at the start but it turned out to not really be a problem. I was feeling it most in my ankles, especially near the end, so I’ll be keeping an eye on that in case my shoes turn out to be the problem. Might be time to invest in a new pair...
Since this was a much shorter run I decided to just do one circuit of the park, there’ll be more time for that later, especially as it starts to get lighter. So I headed back onto the path for the last two runs and I was a lot more breathless at this point, although I doubt the cold was doing me any favours.
When the last run rolled around I was feeling good but ready to stop, only I didn’t, not straight away.
Something I always enjoyed doing before was pushing myself a little further, especially if it was the end of the week. If I had a little more left in the engine, I’d keep running after the last run finished, just to see if I could. It really made me feel optimistic about the longer runs around the corner.
I had no intention of doing that today and right up until the last second my opinion had not changed. But then Jo Whiley told me I could stop and I thought, she’s right, I *could* stop. Or...
So I kept jogging a little further. Not too far and not too fast, I just wanted to see if I still had that drive in me and I did! So I ended up adding just over a minute extra to my run. It’s not a lot but 9 is more than 8 and it’s nice to know I can comfortably run for two minutes at a time.
So for the first time in literally forever (I’m a very serious man, I don’t exaggerate), I’ve done two runs in the same week. Tomorrow I’ll try and squeeze a walk or two in and then we’ll see if I can make it a full week! There’s hope for me yet...