Yesterday evening, at about 10pm, I asked my daughter to make me a cup of tea because, as I said to her 'I'm still working, I haven't had a rest all day, apart from when I went for a run.' It seemed a totally logical thing to say, but when did a 4.5mile run become a 'rest?' Even if it is only a recovery run, at an easy pace, it is surely not 'a rest!'
When I started running it was a real effort to go out there. I'd use just about any excuse I thought I could get away with: it was too wet, too hot, too early, too dark, I was too busy/too tired! Luckily the person I was trying to make these excuses to (me!) was a pretty hard task master and she thought the excuses were pretty pathetic, so I grumbled to myself, pulled on my baggy old t shirt and leggings and went out for a run.
Somewhere along the way, I'm not sure where or when, running became something I really wanted, and needed, to do. I'll stand in my classroom watching the weather, trying to work out how I can get home and get out for a run before it gets dark, or before those threatening clouds decide to dump their rain all over Hampshire! I get cranky at the mere thought of having to taper before a race, and would happily run every day if I thought I could do so without injuring myself!
Yes, there are still runs I don't enjoy while I am actually doing them, the run where I go off too fast and have to stagger home on tired legs are not great, but I only have myself to blame! I don't particularly relish getting soaked to the skin when it rains (the chaffing can be nasty), but I don't ever regret going out there and running! Okay, maybe the run where I tore the ligaments in my foot is one I regret, but apart from that every run has had its good points. Whether it is an improvement in pace or form, an opportunity for me time or time to chat with Husbando, peace and quiet to look at the beautiful countryside around my house, or a nosey window shopping run along the King's Road, every run improves my ability to run and, more than that, improves me as a person.
I don't do 'relaxing!' Time spent doing nothing, to me, feels like time wasted. Discovering running has given me the opportunity to be, if not relaxed, at ease with my body and surroundings. Not all the time, obviously - as anyone who has seen me red faced and pushing myself to the finish funnel will testify - but regularly and for a considerable length of time. It is just me, the road and the repetitive, metronomic rhythm of my feet.
I bloody love it!