Running. Love / Hate.

In May in ran the BUPA London 10,000. It was a magnificent, emotional day and I got a medal at the end of it which I treasure dearly.

My shiny. I earned that. Well done me.

Running that event, and moreso the training for it, was hard. SO HARD. I swore after that event that I wouldn't run again. Like, ever. Unless there's an epic medal on offer. I like medals a lot. I'd break the promise for a really good medal. 

But I've been running for many years now, and therefore the dialogue that bounced around my head over the last couple of months about starting running again has been on par with a Taylor Swift song (I hate you! We break up. You call me. I love you!). It was the enforced training I hate the most in the lead up to the 10km; throwing myself outside to run in the atrocious late winter/ early spring weather of 2013 twice a week. I even gave up my strength training in the last month as I was just too tired to consider it. Overall that type of routine really was not my cup of tea.

However, at the start of October I started to crave running (yes, I know, I'm the weirdo who says things like that, just deal with it) so I thought I'd do it on my terms. No set distance, indoors, on a treadmill, aim for 30 minutes, steady as she goes. I prefer running indoors to outdoors as I can switch off all other functions and just run (not have to be aware of traffic,other people, jumpy dogs etc), as I run after work it's also pitch black before 5pm every evening now, so outside is no longer a realistic option. 

Kit on, geek, there's miles to be done.

5 months off was a bit of a shock to my system on that first run. I'd forgotten what running feels like; how hot you get, how you need to breathe, focus on pace and try to enjoy it (when all is said and done, I really love running, so the enjoyment factor is very important to me). I had to go slow - really slow for me - it took me 32.30 minutes to complete 4km.

Average pace: 8.02 per km. SLOTH. 

I was wiped out for the rest of the evening and my quads gently ached for the following two days but otherwise there was no major dramas. It felt nice to run. I was tired but I felt elated afterwards (as I always do after every workout) and I've made a promise to myself that I will do that once a week for the rest of autumn and winter. 

My next run I set myself a goal to beat my 32.30(ish) 4km time. I was psyched up before my run, I couldn't wait to get into the gym that night and armed with a new Britney song on my playlist I knew it was going to be a good run. 4.5 km completed 34:54!

Average pace 7.39 per km. Better!

As you can see that was a really good run. I kept my pace steady, I remember smiling so much during that run too, I loved it. Runs like that made me fall in love with running in the first place. I feel like I've got my stride back. Some of which I have to attribute to Ms. Spears' fabulous song, perfect for a running playlist!

Another good run followed that one:

Average pace 7.40 per km. Consistent!

As you can see from the dates, there was a fair gap between those two runs - I went to Florence to see ALL THE ART and eat ALL THE BREAD - both of which I accomplished. But this run made me think about muscle memory and how fitness just seems to bounce back once you ask the body to try to remember what the hell it is supposed to be doing. This last run I felt like I was in the zone; that weird hypnotic state kept creeping up and I could feel myself smiling, then banging into the bar on the front of the treadmill as I needed to increase the speed. That run made me feel like a runner again, and it's been a while since I felt that way.

So running and I are having another go together. Let's hope he doesn't piss me off too hard this time.

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  1. I can't tell you how jealous I am...... I had a hip replacement in August which has (realistically) put paid to my running. Yes, I could try it again but I'd be crazy to do so as it would reduce the life of my new hip.

    Just as well you live a way away from me and run indoors on the treadmill.... if I saw you out running I just might feel the urge to mount the pavement and mow you down :p

    Seriously - I can't tell you how much I miss it. And to read your description of the joy you felt..... Carry on enjoying it for as long as you possibly can! :)

    1. Gosh Tracey, that's some serious surgery! I hope your recovery has been going well.

      I often think when I'm doing any exercise how thankful I am for my body and how strong it is, like you say, it's something I should enjoy for as long as I possibly can (and knee-replacements due to arthritis are rife in my family - so I am aware I might be on a bit of a time-limit here). My good health is something I never take for granted.

      I hope you've found something to replace running, and that something else can bring you just as much reward and enjoyment. :)

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