Long run, big joy

‘Man up, wimp,’ I growled at myself as I heard my inner cop-out girl start trying to rationalise why I shouldn’t go running. I’d just got off the bus last night and the chill had blasted me with 1 degrees C damp air.

‘It’s cold. It’s too cold. You’re too tired. You could do it tomorrow,’ bleated my inner wimp. Ah the ‘tomorrow’ word, always riles me. ‘No, now, come on,’ said my inner runner, whipping cop-out girl’s wimpy backside soundly. Metaphorically, I might add. No egos have been harmed in the making of this blog. I don’t have multiple personality disorder, just an imagination.

So – my weekly long run. Freezing, obviously. Well, nearly. I’d ummed and arred about buying a cold-weather running top but had written it off as a false economy and pulled an old micro-fleece over my long-sleeved fluorescent wicking top. Did the trick; I was fine. It’s just that I seemed to be running forever. How I envy those of you who can clock up 7.5 miles in an hour. I was out there 1:33:17. I need to run faster, if only so I don’t get a year older on long runs.

I ran up to West Didsbury, down to Withington, up to Didsbury village and then round West Didsbury again to punch in those last miles.

Here are the splits: 1) 12:01 (2) 12:05 (3) 12:15 (4) 12:54 (5) 12:40 (6) 12:31 (7) 12:29 and last half mile 12:37. Faster than my last long run, by a smidge.

And in spite of this run being seemingly endlessness, I enjoyed it greatly. The cold wasn’t so bad, the rhythm and the time to think was relaxing, the feeling of strength – I felt like I could run forever (didn’t last, but hey) – was wonderfully empowering. And then a fox leapt across my path on the last stretch home, making me jump (is that lucky, certainly felt magical?).

Of course I was overtaken half a dozen times, but by men in their twenties. As a woman in her forties, what do I expect, really.

And then she passed me; gazelle girl. Lean, hard bodied, head down concentrating as she ran past and I thought ‘yes, that’s my inspiration. Not wishing I could run as fast as some bloke I could have given birth to, but admiring Amazon woman.’

And this thought kept me trotting along on the last mile, head up and ignoring my whingeing hip and the niggling left thigh muscle, until I got home and stretched out – like a sensible woman in her forties


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