I use the running app Strava to record all my runs and rides throughout the year. For those that don’t know you can add friends and see what they have been up to. This is my favourite part of the app. However there is a dark side to all this. A couple of my friends started to get competitive in terms of how many miles run this year. I stopped comparing awhile ago and just carried on because it was to much. My legs were killing me and it was becoming toxic. I was no longer enjoying it. I found myself focused on the miles.
Anyway I’m still a few miles ahead of the group so weeeeeeeee!!
This race took place in Delamere Forest where someone has hidden a load of hills I didn’t know about. The hills are not massive but they are there, in the way and never ending. It was a stunning morning in the Cheshire countryside and it felt perfect for running. There was a great atmosphere and everyone seemed to be in good spirits.
I have run in another event organised by the same company in the Lake District. This was at Grizdale. I was really impressed after running in that race. After mile 7 I felt pain and thought to myself not now not so early in the race. I found myself cursing when I was climbing the Cheshire Monument at the top of Old Pale at mile 12. This hill was brutal but you were rewarded with a nice downhill last mile.
Really well organised event. I’m going to try to get the full range of these events under my belt. For now I am hobbling about holding onto anything to keep me upright.
In order to take the constant pounding away from old knees I get on my bike and hit the hills. If I don’t do it for awhile the shock when you start the first hill never gets boring. This was one of those early mornings where I was out of the house and riding well before the last dreary feelings of a long sleep had left me. The hill woke me up.
90% of my running I will do after I finish work. The half an hour build up to that point consists of me having an internal battle weather I should go or not. The myriad of excuses, some borderline mental, are endless. Is the weather bad, have I got all my kit?, did I pack my GPS? (I can always use my phone), am I over doing it? (never), have I got the time? (Always) and the list goes on. I then start to give myself some good reasons to go and all are just positive and obvious.
Now as I type this in my note app on my phone looking out the front of my van window at all the drama out there. I’m asking myself “will it rain?”
I went for the run. It rained.
I’m going wild camping here next Saturday. So I combined a run while searching for a place to sling our hammocks. In the end I was spoiled for choice. I found a lovely spot near a babbling stream. I love running here. My favourite 7 miles.
I had the pleasure of spending 7 days in Kefalonia last week. This place is the largest of the Greek Islands in the Ionian Sea. It’s also hot in July.
I packed my running kit with the intention of running every morning. I drank to many cocktails. So I woke up when it was to hot and no wind. I took the easy option of jumping into the clear, cool, blue waters of the sea and swam. But I did manage 2 runs. Both of these were brutal.
I felt OK for about a mile and then the heat would just drain my energy.
The scenery cushioned much of the pain and I was in heaven running along the coast of this beautiful island.
I used to plan my running months in advance and try my best to stick with it. Life got in the way and I couldn’t do it as planned. I would source these schedules from respected running websites and magazines. Because of that I thought they were set in stone and this is what you had to do.
So as the years rolled by I realised this was nonsense. What you need to be is realistic and follow a lose structure based on these plans.
These days I just write down roughly what I am going to do 1 week at a time. This all depends on how I’m feeling, what races I have coming up and time with my family. It’s worked for the last few years and that’s fine. I no longer feel like a slave to any program.
As a result of a health screening test at work It was found I have high cholesterol. I had to have a series of blood tests and then went to a hospital for a consultation with a blood specialist. After 45 minutes of drawing diagrams and some intrusive but necessary questioning on my food and drink habits it was concluded that I need to lay off the butter and the booze but keep running.
I asked the question if running will directly reduce my cholesterol levels and I was surprised to find out that the answer is no. It’s all about reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke and putting yourself in the lower risk categories by doing all of the stuff we all know we should do.. Which actually makes a lot of sense.
It certainly focuses the mind and as a result the running has a lot more purpose and the way I fuel myself. I got up this morning and went for a 6 miler down the beach. With a change in attitude.