Tomorrow is the anniversary of my first day of running; I remember very well my first interval session of run 1 minute, walk 1 minute x 10. Looking back over my blog from those early days, it's laughable how hard I found those first few sessions, even after three weeks I only reached the dizzy heights of running for 5 minutes at a time. By contrast, yesterday I went for a 21 mile off-road run and was out for 4 hours. However, thinking back at how hard it was, it's easy to see why so many people give up after a few weeks as some of my runs were very frustrating and improvement seemed to be non-existent. Strangely enough since the 1st January I have seen quite a few more joggers out and about, I wonder what percentage will keep it up?
I have now got to the stage where I have to run. As much as it's hard dragging myself out of bed in the rain and dark, I know that by the time the first mile is over I will be enjoying myself. I run five times a week and sessions consist of the following:
Sunday: Easy Run of between 9 and 12 miles
Monday: Day Off
Tuesday: Tempo Run of 6 miles
Wednesday: Easy Run of 6 miles
Thursday: Interval Training
Friday: Day Off
Saturday: Long Run of between 15 and 20 miles
I generally average 35 to 45 miles a week and apart from the Tuesday tempo run Rommel, my Staffy, accompanies me on all my runs. Bless him, he must be one of the fittest dogs in Wiltshire! I still feel very blessed that I can run for 20+ miles on multiple circular routes without once having to do roadwork. This means that it's easy to take Rommel with me and he is a great running companion in that he's more than happy to go at my speed and doesn't criticise if I have to walk the odd hill or two. Terrain wise I'm also fortunate in that there are enough hills to provide a testing training run but I can also avoid the hills by running along the canal!
Taking up running is probably one of the best things I have ever done; I still have the odd difficult run but I now appreciate that the difficult runs just help to make my other runs more enjoyable by comparison. It has also introduced me to some great people who I am now fortunate enough to call friends.
By challenging myself this year with running ultra marathons I am confident that I will continue to find running both inspiring and rewarding.