mundane adventures in running
I’ve run every day in October so far. There’s not a day I’ve dropped below 5k, and mostly I’ve been running a bit over that. Today I got up to 179.9 km, which means i’m averaging at 11.25km a day. A lot of it is pretty slow, at 5.30 minute per km or so, but I’ve also enjoyed some fairly effortless 5 and 10 ks at sub 5 minutes per km (I surprised myself with that…)
It’s not nearly as hard as I thought it would be. I’ve had it drummed into me that rest days are important, and that you need to rest to feel the benefit. On the basis of a fortnight of daily running I suspect this is nonsense. It’s hard work, and it is a strain on my body, but I don’t feel like I’m over doing it. In fact, it’s giving me a mental and physical fluidity I wasn’t expecting. It’s almost as though by running constantly, or running consistently, and by always moving I’m spiritually and physically prepared to run any time. My legs feel springier, softer and more supple than they have for ages. I don’t feel like my achilles is trying to rip my lower legs apart. My knee caps are in the right place. my feet aren’t cramping. Mentally, I’m finding it hard to stop myself from running more; I’m enjoying pretty much every step and feel light, and free.
I’m usually quite injury prone, so I approached this streak with caution. I really am listening to my body. I’ve kept my gentle runs gentle. I’ve avoided any intervals or hill repetitions. I’ve been aiming at sub 145 heart rate for all running. The only really hard sessions I’ve done have been 20-25k long runs. Similarly, I’ve been really careful about recovery. Esther Ekhart’s amazing runners for yoga video (which I love love love) has been a regular evening wind down. Antranik’s basic foam roller work out has been another panacea, especially to keep my calves supple and my achilles behaving.
Still, I don’t think it’s just me being sensible that’s helped, there’s something else going on. It’s almost like I’ve found an untapped reserve in myself, that by constantly fanning the flame of whatever it is that makes be run, I’m making it burn hotter, more efficiently. Right now, I’m enjoying running more than I ever have and seem to be physically more able to do it more than ever.
When I started I thought it would be harder than this, more gruelling, less fun. I imagined I’d get half way through the month and would start to feel that the daily run was a tedious obligation and that I’d crank out a 5k just so I could tick the #runeveryday box. I’ve had one experience like that (Sunday evening, head full of cold, felt miserable), but that was the exception.
I’ve asked my body to do something difficult, something I wasn’t convinced it would be able to do, and it’s replied with a resounding, shrieking, punching the air HELL YEAH!
Now, a terrifying collection of post run selfies