Return of the Orange Whizz

wicksteed-0605Well, the orange bit is accurate but the whizz bit is debatable. The good news is that I have started to get back into a running routine. The first few runs, as reported in my posts going back to 6th April 2020, have focused mostly on getting my limbs moving again without too many aches and pains. It has been both enjoyable – being in the fresh air, moving freely – and slightly dispiriting because of my marked loss of fitness over the long period of not running.

I have been working on slowly building my stamina and introducing a little bit of speed work. There has been a subtle shift of focus from enjoying the act of running to working more on performance. This is a positive in that it marks a movement forward, but I would hate it to be at the cost of losing the enjoyment. There is a fine balance to be had. The pressure to improve could lead to frustration and disappointment if I am not careful. An important part of the stamina building is to activate the “keep going” internal script – in other words, developing more resilience. This process is enhanced by having some goals to aim for. These have been missing of late, especially since sadly I had to pull out of the Great North Run last autumn. However…

…in the age of covi-19 and social distancing, I have signed up for the Solo 100km challenge – to run this distance over the course of a month.  All profits from this will go to NHS charities to help in the fight against the coronavirus. I am not looking for sponsorship because all I am doing is just increasing my training runs. The sponsorship will hopefully come later in the year or next year when we are allowed to take part in mass running events again. At that time, I would like to start raising funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

I will over-ride my obsessional desire to detail all my runs since my previous post and just note a couple of highlights.  I went for a total of 7 runs in the park between 19th April and 8th May, covering a distance of 20.64 miles (what kind of person runs to two decimal places?!). That is about 33km in 20 days, so you can appreciate the hike in training I will have to make (starting tomorrow ) if I am to achieve 100km in 28 days. The good news is that our Prime Minister has indicated that all restrictions on outdoor exercising will be removed from tomorrow, as long as social distancing is maintained.

My two highlights:

1. On 3rd May, for the first time in a long while, I manged to complete 5km of continuous running. This was very satisfying, a testament to my stamina training starting to work. To put in context, two years ago I was running around 15 miles on a Sunday in preparation for the Edinburgh Marathon (although admittedly not without some interspersed walking).

2. On the same day, I was forced to engage in some goose-distancing. Two Canada geese threatened me as I ran around the toy boating lake. They were protecting their goslings.

Please look out for my upcoming posts about the 100km challenge.

Meanwhile, run happy, safe and free.

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