Having not run at all in nine days due to a combination of being away from home, a cancelled club night, bad weather, busy with work and life in general I knew that I had to do something soon.
I try not to leave it any longer than three days between runs at an absolute maximum. I worry that I’d forget what to do, that my legs would lose the miles in them, that my breathing would mess up and that I’d generally just be rubbish.
So, determined not to let my idle streak tick over into double figures, I forced myself out the door this evening.
It had been a pretty crappy day weather wise. Bitterly cold, wet, sleet and even a very light dusting of snow – all perfect ingredients for me to convince myself that I’d better leave it another day.
But, no, it needed to be done and it needed to be done today.
Setting off I decided I’d go for a minimum of 20 minutes just to see how it felt. And it felt pretty good. My legs responded well to all the rest they have been getting lately so I decided to push on for another ten minutes, that’d bring me up to my shortest running club class time …… surely that’d be enough for one night after such a long gap.
I still felt good – so I just decided to knock out a 5k, a reasonable enough little distance for a return to running. Admittedly, I deliberately kept the pace very easy, tonight wasn’t about speed, it was just about getting going again.
That said, I was relatively happy with my pace. It felt quite comfortable and I had plenty left in reserve.
I also completed the entire run without stopping which is a huge milestone for me and, quite frankly, bloody surprising given my lay-off.
One thing I should mention is that my mindset has totally changed lately. No longer do I run with the thought of when my next walking break would be – now walking breaks aren’t a consideration. That’s not to say I’m not adverse to them, I will take one when my body needs one, but I’m not going to get hung up on them or panic if I go too long without one. They’re a thing of the past.
Not only that, my legs didn’t burn up at all at the start, which normally happens, and I was actually surprised when I checked my watch to see I’d run for a quarter-of-an-hour without any negative reaction from them.
A rather successful outing in the end and a valuable lesson learned that I should place more trust in my own ability and experience, that I won’t lose ‘it’ after a short break. Indeed, it appears the break has done me the world of good!