Thursday, 16 September 2010

I love running, really I do!

Two years ago in May I started running. I wanted something I could do that didn't take ages, and involve huge logistical machinations. Going to the gym was fine, but I resented the time taken to travel there and back in addition to the time spent exercising, and it was always quite tempting to have a natter with friends before, after and often during a session. Thirty minutes of exercise could take well over an hour to accomplish!

A friend had just started Couch to 5k, and it seemed ideal. Thirty minutes, three times a week seemed achievable and easy enough to fit in around the 5 children and husband. It did involve getting up extra early some days, or having supper a bit later on other days, but during school time I could normally run while the children were out of the house. I can still remember how hard I found that first week, 60 seconds of running, alternating with 90 seconds of walking for 20 minutes had me arriving home exhausted and covered in sweat! I loved the time alone, doing something for me, and getting some fresh air into the bargain. I did cheat the programme though - running every other day rather than just three times a week, so I completed the programme in 7 rather than 9 weeks and was soon looking for my next challenge.

I can't imagine a life without running now. Yesterday evening Stephen and I went out for a longish run (7 miles) with Stephen setting the pace. It was faster than I would normally run, so despite a longish slow haul up the hill at the start (about 2 miles where I only managed 9.04 and 11.40 mins per mile respectively) we completed the 7 miles in 60 minutes (5 minutes faster than I'd run it two days earlier). It had felt so hard, at times, while I was actually running, but the moment I stopped I was so pleased that I'd pushed myself so hard.

That's the thing about running. However much I don't want to go running (because it is too cold, too hot, raining, I've got a hangover) when I make the effort to go out there I always feel better for it - even if I overdo it and something is achey! I run for mental as well as physical health.

It is easier now the children are a little older. I can leave the little ones in the tender care of their big brother and dash out for a quick run. I always have my 'phone with me, but wonder how much use that would be if I was 30 minutes away and the children 'phoned to say that there was an emergency! I have educated them not to call me to ask if they can have a drink or an apple as that was somewhat tedious.

The only downside is that I have revolting 'runner's feet!' Last time I had a pedicure the poor girl almost passed out at the sight of them. I wish I had runner's legs to go with the feet....

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