Spooky running

Maybe it was the dark stillness at 5.30am. Maybe it was the distorted, amplified sounds that echoed through the streets after a rainy night. Maybe it was the gusting wind and the eerily warm air, but I was as jumpy as a cat this morning when I set out interval training.

Actually, I was jumpier than a cat, the ginger tom who charged down his road, bell on collar a-tinkling, made my heart leap and I had a ‘what’s that?’ flap about what turned out to be a leaf.

But I struggled womanfully on, against the wind, up the hill and tried not to think of anything spooky.

Of course, I made the mistake of turning off the main road, on to what turned out to be a street with an even steeper incline but useless street lamps. Puddles galore which I didn’t see till I’d charged into them, soggy socks – lovely.  But by the time I was on the home stretch I found the spray of water gathered up by the 43 bus oddly refreshing.

Did all this fear and flapping make me run any faster?

Well the good news is I’ve started measuring my runs using an app, so I emit a strange sonic beep periodically as I puff along, but the bad news is I can’t understand what it says yet. it seems to think I reached a top speed of 25 miles per hour, which I think I might have noticed! Studying the website  tonight.

Oh joy, my running mojo’s back

I am a bundle of smiles and bouncing cheeriness.

The sky is grey and rain is pending, the cat has picked a fight with a neighbour’s cat, though thankfully her fury was only vented through the closed kitchen window where she hung from its frame, growling and puffing like a feline boxer.

Mr M snored half the night and wheezed most of the rest while I had a most unpleasant nightmare featuring a cast of people I’ve no desire to see in reality or dreams.

But all this is nothing; my first post-holiday run was a one-off, my running mojo’s back.

I set off at 7.30am this morning and decided to take the river route, along the Mersey and up into the park in Didsbury, round the woods and through the marshlands before jogging home.

Not fast, but not wheezing, not pushing hard but not feeling like my legs are like jelly.

So I ran for an hour, though I stopped to take some snaps of a glorious morning – before the grey clouds loomed to cast their shadow over Manchester. Harry the personal trainer may not approve of this as a training technique, but sometimes the joy of running and sharing the joy is greater than the science of training. Which I may use as my defence next week.

The method in the madness

I’ve been running for years. Well, I say running but what I mean is jogging slowly.

Ten years I’ve been dawdling/jogging, off and on and have I ever got any better, really?

I’ve learned endurance. I do Race for Life and I ran a 10k a couple of years ago with a friend. That was a blessing, she was even slower than me and so we puffed, jogged and walked our way round in 1 hour 15 minutes. Not fast.

So now I’m putting my foot down (and picking it up a bit faster) and enlisting some professional help from the professionals in Manchester. Because I need it, let’s face it.

Now I now what you’re thinking – personal trainer, bit over the top.

  • Yes, it’s costing me a bit of money
  • Yes, having an hour one-to-one feels indulgent
  • Yes, it’s what WAGS and people on tele do but
do you know, what? It’s not ridiculously expensive, you get 100% attention on what you need to improve and frankly, pouring with sweat while someone shouts ‘come on, one more lunge, you can do it’ is about as far away from glamour as you can get.
So I’m going to be sharing what I do with my running coach, Harry, who works at our local gym. I get homework too so there’ll be updates during the week and if I find anything useful on running faster tips I’ll happily share.