My goodness, I have been away from here for too long! It looks like I completely disappeared after my Solo 100km Challenge in June 2020, and perhaps in some ways I did. There are times when our daily lives take over, when running (for example) is relegated in that ever-growing list of priorities demanding our attention. The pandemic, of course, has not helped in this regard. The desire to keep on with my blogging is one of the things that deserted me over the past few months, and I am only now – literally now – emerging from that phase. I talk about priorities, but at heart I think it is about motivation. It was just not there. Thankfully, this is slowly returning. I have done a bit of running in the intervening period, but at a much reduced level of frequency and intensity than previously. The reasons are partly due to injury and low level respiratory/systemic infections, but in reality mostly to do with motivation. And obviously, motivation is influenced by a host of other factors.
I think not having any running targets has been a big factor. I have re-categorised my running as “fitness” rather than “training” on my Garmin app., but I think I will not make the distinction here. All running will improve my fitness – and you will know soon enough if I have any target events to train for! I will not give an obsessive account of all my runs since June 2020, but will just record a few observations. It was a relief to run without the pressure of having to reach a target. I had 48 outings (like a race horse!) between the end of the Solo 100 km challenge and the end of August 2021, which was more than I thought until I just checked my running log. Obviously it was the desire to share these experiences that had deserted me at that time. I had two very short runs in August – including my traditional barefoot mile along the sandy shore of the Black Sea. This is not the Black Sea…
September and October were very lean, until last Wednesday (29th October) when I managed a little pre-breakfast run in Wicksteed Park. The photo shows one of my favourite stretching points by the lake. There is something strangely comforting in having a connection with a stretching point, or is it just me? And yesterday (31st), I acted on my intention to get back to regular and more structured training/fitness by resuming “Stamina Sunday”. However, the weather was so horribly wet here in Northants that I opted for the gym and the treadmill. It can’t match the variation of outdoors running (terrain that gives or takes energy, wind assistance and resistance, the feeling of freedom as you move through space, the scenery, the fresh air), but it does give you more precise control over speed and incline – and a little secret smile watching the rain splatter on the lake outside the gym!
As I reflect on my choice of titile for this post, it is not really a very inspiring one for a runner – to be catching up all the time. Sadly, it is probably an accurate one for me. As I have previously noted, I have had more running come-backs than Frank Sinatra had curtain calls!
Thank you for sticking with me. I hope you continue to run safe and free.