It’s running, Jim…

… but not as we know it.

My first post-injury run this morning. Hmm…

I’m sure I’m not alone in my paranoia that my fitness will evaporate with every day I don’t run. In the dark and grizzly recesses of my imagination I’m sliding down, down, down until I’m a wheezy amorphous creature; like The Blob with asthma. (see 5 mins into this clip)

Now of course I know this is illogical. I’m doing weight training to strengthen the muscles that let me down last time, but it’s not running and that’s what I exercise for – running. Weight training is empowering but there’s no rush. No fresh air. No nature.

So, now you can see how my headspace lies (bloody bonkers, yes, thank you) as I set off past the church (quick prayer and holy ground can’t hurt, can it).

Immediately I get pulling, yanking pains flicking round my hip and glutes, but I keep at it and the frequency of said pain drops and then goes off. Mindful of not pushing my luck I have my watch on, not my garmin, I do not want to know how slow I am.

But slowly I jog round for 30 minutes without feeling out of breath. I feel strong. My head is up and the pain isn’t ridiculous. I begin to feel a dull ache round my knee and inside my hip, but it’s not making me limp.

And all those things I miss happen; I start running through work issues and making decisions about how to deal with them, I say ‘hello’ to strangers walking dogs, I splash through puddles, I smell the summer air. I get a face full of soggy ivy miss-ducking back over the bridge.

After 30 minutes I jog-walk the last half mile home and I’m super cheery. I’ve run. I can still run. My body is still strong (probably a bit stronger actually, thanks to the weight training).

I am not back at the beginning. I am further along on the running journey.

As NBA basketball player A C Green said: ‘Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.’

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.