As I often do at this time of year, I've started running again. Not very far, not very fast.
My running is precarious at this time. I find it very easy to give up again, and so it's useful to make it enjoyable rather than 'just exercise'.
This morning I knew I'd be driving past Tittesworth Reservoir, so I went out in my running kit and planned an out and back route up one side.
The weather wasn't as bad as I'd expected, so I ended up going all the way round. Some running, some walking, and a lot of stopping to take photographs.
It was breezy and cold, and the sun flitted in and out of the clouds, but I quite like that kind of weather for a run, it makes me feel like I'm having an adventure (albeit a very mild one).
I'd done just over 4.5 miles by the time I got back to the car, and I was cold and windswept. The cafe was open, but I saved that for another day and came home for a cup of tea and a hot bath.
I could get used to this running lark (again).
If you followed me over from my previous blog, you'll know that I'm an enthusiastic but somewhat slow and very sporadic runner. I frequently start running, keep it up for a few weeks, enter a ridiculous race (triathlon, marathon, series of trail races etc), then stop training, come last, have a nice day out and then not run again for several months.
It's a pattern that's repeated itself many, many times over the last fifteen years or so.
So when I found myself thinking about running again lately, I knew I was in trouble. My most recent foray into organised running was a series of trail races my sister and I did at the start of this year, but the longest of those was only four miles, so they weren't really that outlandish.
Still, that's not how the pattern starts. The pattern starts with 'I'm feeling a bit podgy/unfit', then 'hmm, I'm sure I was thinner (and I was definitely fitter) when I was running a lot'. Then I go for an experimental run, and sometimes it sticks and sometimes it doesn't.
This time against all my instincts I turned to the couch to 5k. I've avoided this so far - I've done two marathons and several triathlons and countless other races, so it feels rather demoralising to admit you're starting from the couch again. But you have to start where you are, and where I am definitely classes as 'couch'.
So I've just started week four, and I'm already running faster than I did when I was marathon training. I'm actively looking forward to going out for a run (although with this scenery, that's not really surprising).
Four weeks in is about that time in the cycle where I start being open to suggestion about entering a stupid race.
So, it seems my sister and I have entered an ultra marathon. Don't worry, it's not a scary one, not really. It's an out and back route of just under ten miles, and you can do it as many times as you like until the time runs out.
My longest marathon time is just under seven hours, and for this race we have fifteen. Easy peasy, and time for a nap in the middle too.
Plus it's flat, whereas my runs round here most definitely are not.
According to the cycle, I've probably got about three weeks of enthusiasm left before the novelty wears off, and I'm left with an inexplicable (and expensive) race entry for an event that fills me with equal amounts of dread and hilarity.
Wish me luck...
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with running. I've been doing it for years on and off. I've done all manner of races, including two marathons, three triathlons, and goodness knows how many half marathons, and odd-distanced trail races. I've come last in most of them - because while I love a good race, I'm not very consistent in training...
I enjoy running while I'm doing it, and I love it when I've finished and am back at home in the shower, but I find it difficult to lace up my shoes and get out there sometimes.
I often enter races with my sister, and we try to use them to motivate ourselves. We're currently in the middle of a series of four trail races that aren't too far from my new house - we came dead last in the first two, and I don't have much higher hopes for the last two. Still, they've been quite scenic, and a good way of getting to know some different paths (if a little muddy at times).
This morning I finally got round to going for a little training run. Just under three miles, round the block as it were (although 'round the block' takes on a different meaning out here). I didn't venture off road today - everywhere is quite soggy after yesterday's snow. Mind you, the roads themselves weren't exactly dry.
I can't say it was a great run. It was drizzly and grey, the hills were shrouded in mist so there wasn't much of a view. I haven't been able to find my running watch since we moved house, and I hadn't had any breakfast so it was a bit hard going. But running (and walking) is a grand way to get a feel for a new place, and there's always a sense of achievement to being out and about that early in the morning.
Wandering about the lanes is also a great way to see what your neighbours are up to - one of our neighbours seems to have alpacas who were as curious about me as I was about them.
Our next trail run is this Sunday, and I fear that our goal to be 'a bit faster than last time' may be rather ambitious. Although this one is flat, so who knows.
It does feel good to be getting back out there though. Next job is to fix up my bike and get out to some of our off road old railway trails. I might try that in the morning if it's not raining too much...
Sit down and make yourself comfortable. I'm Jenni, and I write here about our new forray into country living, which includes growing food, knitting, baking, wandering around the fields, and seeing which local cafe serves the best cake.