Haha, I’m only joking – my first run since the end of September and I didn’t fall over! However, autumn is a very special time of the year. Come October, I can feel the Earth slip on its axis and there is a perceptible shift in the light-dark balance. Next weekend sees the end of British summer time as the clocks go back one hour to GMT.
Autumn is a time for reflection, time to think about transitions. For us elite runners, there are a few weeks when we can run in temperatures that are generally not too cold or too hot, remembering the heat of summer (especially and atypically in the UK this year) and thinking about the runs to come in the cold winter months.
My run today was a modest 3 miles on the flat, revisiting Brampton Valley Way and going north from Draughton to the entrance of the Kelmarsh tunnel, where I turned and headed back. The ground was soft after the recent rain without being unpleasantly muddy, and was decorated with the fallen leaves of autumn. The sun threw a lovely light through the trees, it really was a time for mindful running. I kept the pace gentle, with a PE of 4 to 5, peaking at moments of exuberance to 6. I was pleased to find that my gentle recovery pace over this course was faster than it used to be, illustrating the progress I have made since I started this little running adventure.
I wrote previously about my wide interpretation of what constitutes training, perhaps with an air of facetiousness. This run was important primarily because it was a run – I managed to out-think the part of me that was saying I should perhaps rest a bit more because it feels as though I still have a sub-acute respiratory infection. It was a battle against inertia. It felt good to be running again and as ever the best feeling is after the run when you feel you have achieved something. So even though the pace and distance were not of epic or heroic proportions, the experience has been positive on both physiological and psychological planes. I think it is important to send these messages of expectation to our bodies lest they become too complacent in the soft folds of a more sedentary life.
Postscript to Vicarious Sofia Sunday
I don’t think I will sign up for next year’s Sofia marathon. The course is 4 laps of a 10km course – I think after two attempts at the long uphill drags, I could well lose the will to live. It is equivalent to running round Pitsford Water, which is probably more picturesque, but after 2 laps I’ve seen enough! Sorry Sofia. So, I’m still on the look-out for that next challenge…