04 December 2011

A Little Bit More

This time last year we were up to our knees in snow. This year trees are putting out buds and daffodils are reportedly blooming. There are flowers still out in the garden. They are likely to get a shock soon: but despite the unseasonal mildness, when I ventured out of the door this morning - rather later than intended, too - it was surprisingly cold. So I ventured back indoors to find a fleece - and bright green hat and gloves.

I rarely run with more than a single layer of clothing, but I didn't expect to be burning up the trails today. In fact, I wasn't even expecting to be doing more than perhaps three miles: I was expecting that the loop I used to do when I first started running, well over 20 years ago, would be quite enough. But at the southern end of South Row, where I might have headed back towards the village, I was trotting comfortably, and by the time I passed the field I was quite ready to decline the offered lift home and press on to complete what used to be my regular10K (very approximate), 1 hour Sunday morning (and subsequently other mornings too) run.

There was nothing really exceptional about it. A modest pace, grey weather, only a few people out exercising their dogs on the Ridgeway. My left knee felt slightly uncomfortable at one stage, and I gave careful attention to how that foot was striking and that problem went away: my right Achilles was also a little stiff at some points of the run, but the discomfort passed. My feet are much stronger than they were, I am sure, from the new posture I have been training myself to adopt - and I ran the entire distance today without once landing on my heel. Thanks to my compression tights, there are no ill-effects in my calves, unlike the last run recorded here!

Over the last mile or so I kept up a much faster pace, really running and not just jogging as I must admit I had been earlier on. But, before I get too carried away, I didn't even hit what six years ago was target half-Marathon pace. An unexceptional Sunday morning run, then, but even so - how good it felt to be out there doing it.


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