Ten days ago I decided to drag my sorry backside off the sofa and start pounding the pavements again in an attempt to kick start my fitness regime that had ground to a halt. Each winter I swap the bike for my trainers and go running to keep the weight off and the fitness high. Although I hadn’t followed a specific Couch to 5K app or regime, today I managed to reach that target within ten days.
This morning the plan was to do my usual route which is exactly 2 miles, only to possibly gradually increase that distance by another half mile. Baby steps and all that. However, on the last minute I had a change of plan and route which would still have measured under 3 miles. The first half of the run is either flat or slightly downhill which gives you a false sense of feeling good. Then I adopted the Forest Gump mentality and just kept on running.
In the back of my mind I was wondering what the hell I was doing as there were no shortcuts back home. Whatever would happen either my legs would blow up or my lungs, I had a long walk back but unperturbed I carried on and on.
The last third of the run has a slight uphill gradient, every so subtle but you feel it in the legs. I managed to negotiate that and told myself I had a few hundred metres left before the final downhill. If I could just get through this part I was home and dry. The main issues wasn’t how the legs felt, they were good but my breathing. I had to regulate my breathing so not to tire out too quickly something that I have found difficult in my previous runs.
Eventually I was hurtling down a steep street and rounded off the four mile mark with a quick sprint around one of the mills near me that have been refurbished into apartments. Once the magic 4 mile mark was attained I power walked uphill to home more than satisfied with how the run went.
After my last two runs I have experienced a huge rush of endorphins and a feeling of euphoria that comes with exercising. The natural high you get from exercising and not just from hitting a specific target is immense. If you could bottle that feeling up you would be on to a winner.
My eventual target is to run 10k which I’ve achieved every winter for the last few years. Slowly building up the miles so that it becomes a natural progression to hit 10k. Although my runs have become faster, time is not my target its all about the distance. That to me is a true sign of improving fitness if I can run for further each time.
For the rest of the day I plan to bask in my glory and devour my Sunday roast dinner, I think I’ve earned it.