I can’t quite remember when I lost my running mojo but I think it was probably towards the end of the summer. I have hardly run since then and, until this Friday, hadn’t run at all, for more than six weeks.
Back in the grey dank days of November I decided that I had finished with running. I didn’t go so far as to throw my running kit away – after all it is rather comfortable for slumping around the house in (not the shoes but the leggings definitely are) – but I remember saying to myself that if I didn’t enjoy it as I did the cycling, then there was no reason to do it.
But somewhere at the back of my mind there was a dim memory of happier running times. Because I had previously enjoyed it. Or rather, I am not sure I ever enjoyed it much whilst I was doing it, but I always felt a sense of achievement and a massive lift in spirits, when I had completed it. And there is no doubt, that if you run, you can eat and drink what you want without putting on any weight at all. And I like to eat. And I love to drink beer and wine and whisky and ginger wine and . . . well, you get the picture.
So a decision began to form – initially it was just a vague maybe, but it evolved steadily to a probably, and by Christmas had become the kind of definitely from which there is no turning back – I would return to running. But I wouldn’t be so hard on myself. I think that is where I went wrong before – aiming to always run a PB if I did an event. I will run, like I cycle, to have fun. After all, no one other than me is at all interested what speed I run at.
Thus, on Friday morning, I put on my trusty running shoes and went out. I switched off all the pace and time settings from the display on my Garmin so I wouldn’t worry because I was so much slower than I used to be. I just displayed distance and set out to run 10km. It was hard but I did it. When I got back and synced my Garmin with the computer, I could see my pace and time. They weren’t great but then again they weren’t awful either. And 10k was an ambitious distance for a first run. So I was proud that I did it without stopping or walking and with no real moaning or swearing.
Now, however, two days later, I can barely walk. Who would have thought it? I thought I was fit with all the cycling and walking I do. But the tops of my legs are agony and going down the stairs is something I am avoiding at all costs. It just goes to show that running and cycling use completely different muscles and it will take a while before I can run, even slowly, without feeling wrecked afterwards.