My first use of the title was back in 2016, so a bit of recycling as we come into 2020 does not seem unreasonable. The themes are also recycled – recovery runs following large gaps in training and updates following long gaps between posts. It seems that I am in a repetitive cycle of being in training and being out of training. I am the running equivalent of a Belisha beacon, but with a much lower flash rate.
My last reported run was on 1st September 2019 as we entered autumn. Since then…
Sunday 8th September 2019
This was a two-slice run along the shore of the Solent between Saltern and Brownsands. It was the day I should have been taking part in the Great North Run but, as previously reported, I sadly had to withdraw from that event. I ran the 2 miles outward stretch at a continuous and comfortable pace, stopping at the gates to Brownlands (an MOD site). The gates were locked. The second slice was a mixed walk-run back to the start. I ended the session with some stretching by a breakwater.
7th October 2019
Autumn had taken hold but so had a cough and cold, a general sense of malaise, and poor motivation. I did not have a running target, an event to prepare for, a meaning. And as the weeks rolled on from here, there were times when nothing seemed to have a meaning. I do not seem to cope well when the days begin to shorten. In view of my health, on this occasion I returned to the gym and did some gentle work on the treadmill, getting used to the feeling of running again, moving my limbs freely. Treadmill running is a good way to establish a baseline and measure progress because you can control variables such as pace and inclination. But it is boring and not spiritually uplifting. Loud techno music and lots of other people punishing themselves on various bits of equipment (and probably doing a better job of it than me – or at least looking better while doing it!) are not things that touch my soul.
14th October 2019
It was back to the water – a little bit of swimming because my heel was too painful to run. This pain continued for a few weeks and only of late has it started to ease. It was frustrating not being able to run. I missed how it made me feel, the spiritual upliftingness of it, and the stress-relieving benefits. Strangely, I even dreamt about running – in positive ways, not dreams about trying to run away from danger while wearing lead boots.
Friday 10th January 2020
Oh, what a beautiful sunny morning to venture out for yet another recovery run! It was a great opportunity to try out my new neck tube, with its lovely design of a witch and dragon. I had planned to run around Aldwincle Lake but the very heavy rain of the day before made this impractical and inadvisable. Parts of the route were flooded and I did not fancy a literal return to the water. I opted for the gentle run from Titchmarsh Nature Reserve to the village of Thorpe Waterville. This was another two-slice venture, running continuously on the outward 1.5 mile stretch and returning with alternating walking and running. It just felt so good to be moving freely through the winter air, past lakes on which the morning sun glistened, past fields from where I could hear the cries of crows. Amazingly, I did not suffer any aches or pains while running, my heel coped with the pressure, and my performance was nowhere near as bad as I imagined it would be after such an absence from running. Not my best by any means, there is still a long way to go to regain my previous form, but I know it will be in reach if I can develop a good running habit again. Not so much a Belisha beacon, more a beacon of hope.
So, thank you for your patience, for sticking with me, for coming back to my blog – or visiting it for the first time. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the best for 2020 – remain well, injury-free and on target with your running goals. As ever, run happy and free.