For, probably, the fourth or maybe fifth time in my life, I’ve started running. Restarted. Whatever. My ongoing hate-hate relationship with exercise does seem to bring me back to this point, because running is that thing that’s about the easiest to pick up, and as I’ve usually got a pair of trainers kicking about, it doesn’t cost anything. I just head out the door. This time round I was inspired by friends who have both taken up running by using a 0-5k app (5k Runner), and so I downloaded the app and hoped the running I did on holiday would encourage me to keep going.
Somewhat to my own surprise, it has. Ok, so the weather hasn’t gotten cold yet, but I run in the evening when I’m home from work, and it’s definitely dark which is surely disincentive enough. I get in, I get changed, I go out, so I don’t have time to change my mind. Previous experience tells me it’s not the weather that will stop me anyway. I like being out in the rain, and the first time I ever ran 3 miles was through a snowstorm in Connecticut. No, it’s the daily stuff, the being late getting home because of traffic or having dinner plans in the evening scenarios that are the usual obstacles. This last few weeks I’ve run anyway, and more than that, I’ve looked forward to it. This is new territory for me, and I don’t really understand why this time round running isn’t the soul quenching misery that I was expecting.
There are a few street lights in the village, but other than that, it’s dark country roads with the scent of woodsmoke on the air and the wind rustling the hedgerows. I’m obviously deeply unimaginative, because instead of being spooked, it turns out that my preference is to run on unlit, uneven roads where all I can see is the few feet in front of me that the head torch shows. I’d forgotten how much I like being out at night. I also like not being run over, so I’ve got high vis gear and the aforementioned torch.
Let’s be clear, I’m about 6 weeks into the app, so the maximum amount of time I’m running for is 10 minutes at a time, with a bit of walking in between. I’m not out for longer than 35 minutes in total. There’s no real achievement here, unless you’re me and are usually quick to grab at any excuse not to run. Still, I’m on track to be running 5k in a reasonable time by mid-November, and after a challenge was thrown down on Twitter the other evening, I’ve agreed to do the Oxford Town & Gown in May. That’s a 10k. I don’t know what the hell happened.