Feeling Good

Saturday’s “long” run took me to a new place with a good friend. I found myself with a spare weekend and no plans so I put a shoutout on Facebook. It was good to catch up with Audrey and to run a bit of the Glen Ogle race route. I’ve driven out this way a couple of times but otherwise it’s not an area I know at all.

The route we ran is probably absolutely beautiful, but we couldn’t see very much at all.

We had a slight fail on the equipment front – I’d forgotten to put any Smidge on and Audrey hadn’t brought a waterproof. I had but decided against wearing it as it was so warm, and so we looked like drowned rats when we arrived back at the car.

It was a day where I felt glad to be alive – glad to be running again, glad to have mostly recovered from the latest lurgy, glad to live in such a gorgeous part of the world, glad to have good friends around me.

I joined Audrey halfway into her 24 mile run, which meant she had slowed down a bit, plus there was a lot of walking anyway as there were some fairly steep hills. The pace was just right for me and how I was feeling. My chest was a bit tight in a few places and my glutes and quads felt like concrete, but otherwise, everything felt good. I couldn’t believe I was out running and feeling ready to start getting back to normal mileage for a couple of weeks before dropping down again ahead of the Eiger.

I did a short easy session in the gym midweek. That morning, I felt absolutely shattered and I questioned whether I should be doing anything at all, but my body felt so stuck, so stiff and stodgy and fed up and not my own. I decided a little gentle movement couldn’t hurt, and I would stop if anything felt really wrong. It was the right decision to give it a go, and I felt much much better for it. I managed 3 1/2 steady minutes on the versa climber/torture rack, and I chuckled to myself as I remembered the first time I tried it back in December when I just about survived a minute on it. There will be many more minutes spent on it over the next few weeks as I continue to prepare for some massive climbs and descents in the Alps.

I’ve only been using the gym regularly since about December but I’ve been surprised how much it has become part of my training and part of my week. I was even more surprised when I realised I’d missed it. I feel stronger, yes definitely, but I also feel better about myself and my body.

Now that I’m back to moving again as normal, it’s probably time to get back to normal eating patterns too rather than giving into all the carby junk food cravings as I have been in recent weeks….

Running in the rain

The rain is back. After a brief heatwave, Glasgow feels a bit more normal.

At last this week has felt like a good time to start running again properly. I’ve been out and about a little over the last few weeks, gradually building my fitness up again but not really doing anything regular or structured.

I’ve found some new road shoes that I really love, after struggling for a while to find something suitable. These feel like magic shoes – I am gradually managing to get more weight through my right leg to the extent that my right calf feels like it has done some work after a run, and when I am walking I’m aware that both feet are starting to work equally. They’re not the most attractive of shoes, but at the moment a less than ideal colour is a trade-off where price is concerned and so I’m … erm … running with it.

When things get really stressful, eating and sleeping tend to go awry. It has to get pretty bad before this happens, and I’m better at knowing the signs now.

Running makes me hungry and therefore makes me eat. Running makes me tired and therefore helps me sleep. Running gives my brain a rest from thinking too hard, and my lungs take over instead. And yet, I do most of my best thinking when I’m out there.

I had only been running a few months before I moved to Scotland, and I arrived here in the autumn. Running soon became a way to explore my new home, and despite the change in the weather as the winter drew in, I absolutely loved it. Because my early running experience was in consistently wet conditions, I’m not put off when it’s tipping it down. I find it immensely satisfying and utterly invigorating.

And the thing about getting a lot of rain is that you get a LOT of rainbows.