After my great delight in achieving my goal of running Ealing Half I have started to come down to earth and wonder ‘what now?’
My first moment of wondering was after a lovely afternoon spent having tea and cake with the injured Aussie Annie. I was made very aware of how quickly things can go pear shaped – and how long a lady of my vintage would take to repair. Club training that night would be the first of the year in the dark. I did a few runs in the dark last year and I didn’t like it (my head torch is a bit of a candle). At all. So I cried off from the training session. Yes, I know it was feeble but I really wasn’t happy.
This made me think – we are all doing this largely for pleasure (no sniggering in the back!) so why do we do things we dislike? Why are we running?
I know that I run to remain at 5’4″ – my mother has osteoporosis and it would seem I am likely to inherit that characteristic and running as a percussive exercise is rumoured to help. I also want to be able to sit down without going ‘oof!’, and it helps that running uses up the calories I so happily ingest by way of cake, red wine, bread, and pretty much anything else that appeals at the time. Middle age spread is not inevitable despite what everyone thinks – if we all moved as much as we did as younger people we would not ‘spread’. I have not changed any of my eating habits this year, in fact I probably eat more, and have lost almost a stone in weight without that being the intention.
On top of all this running makes me feel good. I sleep better (most of the time), I am more relaxed, and I am less likely to fly into a temper (who me?). Yes, life is better for those around me too.
So running in the dark – what do I do? I’m in a fortunate position in that I can largely determine my own timetable so I can run when I want. But if I stick to daylight I miss club sessions and the interaction I so enjoy with club members so I really need to get used to night running.
Thankfully the club was starting another Couch to 5K group last night and I thought just how perfect that would be to get used to running in the dark by degrees. Quite apart from anything else I can’t have a complete melt down in front of all those new people can I? So I went along and was tail runner – and it really wasn’t as bad as I remembered. I still prefer to be able to see where I am going (yes, I almost upended myself on a speed bump I missed) but whilst we are still around the street lit areas I am OK. I’m still not sure how I would feel about running the lanes around Cleobury without lights, and with pot holes. Time will tell, but I have some weeks to go before I need worry about that.
Running in the dark. Do you like it? Hate it? Or can you help me by giving me your tips on coping with it? All suggestions gladly received.
And getting in a spin? Oh yes, I went along to a ‘Group Cycle’ class (which used to be called ‘spin’) for the first time last week. 45 minutes of absolute torture – and that isn’t saying anything about those cycle saddles! The leader was tolerant of my slacking at one point, she was probably concerned that I might actually die in situ. Despite feeling as if I wasn’t doing as much work as everyone else I seemed to cover about the average distance (10.5 miles in the 45 minutes since you ask). I have felt a little as though someone has unscrewed my left leg since the class which I’m not certain is a good thing. Have I loosened off some tightness or has doing something different shocked the system? I have no idea but I’m taking things a bit easy until it settles.
Will I go back? Maybe. When my bum recovers and I buy a good pair of cycle shorts.