Running is the one sport that I really, really like. Not that I like it as a “sport” as such… It’s simply a no-fuss, relaxing way to get my daily, or thereabouts, dose of exercise. It’s the first form of exercise I ever got into, at the age of fourteen, thanks to a very sporty friend. I remember a summer in my teens when all through June I woke up at seven every morning and went running. Consequence? Knee trouble and no running at all in July.
Since then my running has been on and off. Most summers I’ve done some, but whatwith bad knees and a worse back (and the occasional sore ankle, etc. etc.), pounding the track hasn’t always been an option. And when there’s been a long break, getting started again can be awfully hard. But start again I do, always, it seems.
My current running mood has lasted since the beginning of August and it must be my best training period ever. I decided to follow the Guardian six-week plan to run 10km, and so I did, fastidiously ticking of each day and writing down any modifications I had to make. And lo, I got better. Faster, stronger. At the end, for my final run I just ran a longish route of 10-12 km (a map estimate) and felt so good about it that I promised myself I wouldn’t stop there.
While I haven’t had time or even the inclination to train for a longer run, I’ve kept running twice, mostly three, sometimes four times a week. Morning runs suit me the best, and long ones at weekends, and we’ve had a lovely, warm, surprisingly dry autumn, meaning I’ve been able to run to my heart’s content. Until today, that is.
Icy roads. Dark. Cold and/or wet. November. I knew it had to end, but I didn’t want to believe it. Many, many months until spring and light and warmth… Today at the gym I actually considered getting on the treadmill – something I’ve always thought I’d never do because there’s boring and then there’s idiotic and treadmill represents the latter (for some reason I’m fine on the cross-trainer – only for 20 minutes at a time, though). I didn’t do it – but perhaps I’ll have to. Can’t stop now. Gotta run. (That makes me sing Gotta Dance and I wanted you to hear it too, but I’ll be damned, I couldn’t find a video clip. Sing it yourselves. All together now: “gooo-tta dance!”)
Better suggestions? To save me from running with the treadmill crowd?