Monday, 21 January 2013

The 30 day challenge - Day 25. Getting going...

Psst... Want to know something I've only just realised? Till this weekend, over the last 2 months whilst I was travelling, I ran just twice. Having been running every winter for the past 6 years, in all conditions, whilst away I didn't do much. Partly it was circumstance. In some places running was less feasible - either through the terrain or unsafe (I'm thinking about the traffic, neighbourhoods and tarmac in the likes of Bogota and Arequipa). In other instances, I just couldn't be bothered. I packed the trainers and kit but I was tired of running. This wasn't to say I gave up exercising completely. In Colombia, Anna and I went on a 2 day mountain biking break. Many miles and tough terrain were completed. In Peru we did 3 quite long and tough treks in a month. And then in Rio we did get some running mojo back - completing the toughest race I've done in a while, the amazing run from Lapa to Corcavado to Christ the Redeemer. My second run on holiday was the recovery run the next day.

After that, I wanted rest before returning to start a PhD at UCLAN, so running got the boot! In all honesty, its been nice to take a break and recharge the batteries, without the nag of the next run looming. In 2012 I probably ran on more days than any other year, so a rest was welcomed. It was really fun to mix up the exercise on our trip by doing more trekking.

So back to the UK and I've just started venturing out, slightly wary about running again after such a long break and negotiating the ice and snow. I'm reminded of Cross country's I used to compete in for Victoria Park Harriers in London. Some mighty muddy and cold races were completed in various (and  obscure) parts of London. However bad the runs were, the camaradarie of the experience with your club colleagues (and often a flask of tea and homemade flapjack at the finish) made the activity more bearable and fun.

Anyway, enough moaning. I'm adjusted back to the brisk British weather, have been out twice in the past three days I'm over my lethargy. Though today's 7 and a half miler was a challenge to grit the teeth through, it was definitely better to go through the experience, chalk it up and acknowledge that the conditions will get better in the next month and after getting the mojo back in action, each run will feel easier. It's easy to lose heart and motivation sometimes, but I do think a change is as good as a rest. A well deserved sabbatical from running is good for both the legs and the soul. Or changing discipline slightly, whether upping your core, looking to do different races or training (Simon Freeman's post on off road running is a good example), or a different discipline for a while. Finishing the run was a reminder of that great feeling that you've succeeded though. On my Garmin account I called the run 'In your face snow and Monday morning' - I think that sums up the feeling!

Now that I'm back, I've also got the last 5 posts of my 30 day challenge to upload. As well as having a sabbatical from running, I also took a sabbatical from blogging. I was on me holidays ok?! ;-)
These will be all going up before too long. Belated happy new year to all. I hope you have enough variety in your training to keep your motivation up and that you hit your goals and PBs in 2013!

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