With the gyms closed in England for the past month, I decided to put my running shoes on and challenge myself to do something I haven’t done properly in a while – run.
It most definitely was not me taking a leaf out of Forest Gump’s book. Although, on the first run I did hear a voice in the back of my head, but it wasn’t saying “run Forest run.” It was more something along the lines of what have you done to yourself man?
The trouble with me is that if I was to start running, I would then have to make sure my run was worthwhile. Every run would have to be better than the previous one whether it be in time, distance, or pace. I started with a couple of laps of the park without music (yes, I know), then added a few more the next time round. My final park run was a few stints later with eight laps. Each time I made sure to get quicker with each lap.
Then my brother convinced me to get an app that would track my run and times. So I did. I plugged in my headphones, opened the app, turned my music on (at this point I could only do it with music) and started to run. I found a route that took me around the neighbourhood and got me back to my house in about twenty five minutes.
The last time I was running like this was when I started running on the living room treadmill back when I was fourteen, fifteen where my fitness journey began. Back then it was half an hour every day religiously no matter what. My brother always jokingly reminisces that he would feel the house shaking often at two in the morning when I left the jogging till late. Since then cardio has been a part of my training, but not as consistent or as sustained.
I’m making it sound like I have been running now for months and getting ready to run my second or third marathon in world record time. In reality, it’s only been a few weeks. And it may come to an end hastily when the gym reopens this week. I have been enjoying it though especially in the rain. I always said that if I started to run again consistently it would be outdoors and not on the treadmill at the gym.
I sent my first timed run details to my brother thinking I had done well without much idea of what to go on. It was something like 4.6 kilometres. His response was why wouldn’t you just finish the full 5k? I hadn’t really calculated the route before I started it, so I didn’t know the distance until I finished it and got home. So the next day before I went out for my run, I made sure to look up a longer route that if I added a bit in the beginning and a bit at the end followed by one time up and down my street, I would hit more than five kilometres.
Now I’ve had to take a couple of days off as I have felt a bit of twinge in my left calf and ankle. I felt it go about five minutes into my last run, but felt I had to finish it and actually managed my quickest time yet. As much as I would like to go again, I think it’s important not to overstrain considering I may have overdone it a bit with pushing to speed up my average pace. I find myself questioning, however, if this is the true motivation for taking these days off running or if I’m just being lazy.
I’m going to try giving it a go again tomorrow if my leg feels manageable throughout the day.
I’ve wanted to do something to keep my fitness up while the gyms were closed. It’s definitely been enjoyable even though I haven’t been so fond of running since my younger excessive treadmill years.
Edit: I went for a trial run today to see how my leg would feel. I made sure to not overdo it and kept disciplined by not trying to push myself to get my best time. It was a slow run, but just as enjoyable. It was good being able to keep my breath constant throughout and managed to focus more on the correct muscle usage.