Jogger's Log

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May 2012

11:21 17/05/2012 Thursday...

I've just been for a run. The first time in a long, long time. It's been less than a year but it could be nine months I suppose. It was OK. I only ran for 100 metres but I put my kit on and went and that's the main thing right now.

Step one is to train the mind anyway rather than the body, but it's undeniable and inevitable that if I go out and run every day - no matter how short a distance - I will lose weight. Even after that 100 metres, where I didn't even get out of breath, I can feel a physiological effect from it. Something about jogging up and down does something - tells the body it is going to be active, so it automatically adjusts its weight distribution. I also enjoyed just having an excuse to be outside. I wore that fleecy vest so I could carry a door key and a mobile phone. (God, it has been a long time since I ran: I can't remember where I used to stash my door key!)

I think it's possible I stopped running on my own when I started running with Kidlington Running Club a year or so ago. Well, why I stopped running...? That was due to a bad bout of sciatica, which was then made much worse every time I started running again. So I stopped. Sessions with an osteopath helped enormously, and I did find that training for speed with the running club didn't cause the sciatica to flair up, whereas my normal distance-running habit did. But then I got out of the habit of going to club training sessions as well because I felt bad about not training on my own at all, and the guys there were all much faster than me. I've been clear of the sciatica for many months now, which is good, but I've also been putting on a lot of weight, which is bad. I'm about 15% overweight I reckon. (I'm 5' 11"/180cm tall and 14stone/196lb/89kg. I have an average-to-broad build and my 'normal' weight is around 12stone/168lb/76kg. Oh, and I'm male!) I want to get back into running but I'm not sure about long distances. I want to start again and learn to run in a way which doesn't cause injury.

It's been a strange old journey with the sciatica. It's not simple. The very worst it ever got was at the beginning of a hiking trip in the mountains late last summer. I was cursing in pain with every step and lost so much strength in that left leg that my companion had to carry my rucksack. I was wondering how I was going to cope, but then on the second day, as I walked, it got gradually better until after three days of hard walking and scrambling in those Norwegian mountains, and sleeping in a tent on hard ground every night, it was completely fine. That was the very opposite of what I would have expected and has made me re-evaluate what I thought was causing it.

It might be good to start an online blog for running, and also a blog for meditating.

18:16 20/05/2012 Sunday...

My second run this year. I went around the block. 10 minutes maybe. I got into a rhythm of breath, which was nice. Bits of my flabby anatomy were bouncing up and down in an unfamiliar way. Almost immediately though I began to smile. The air outside; the trees and plants and birds. It's such a benign and soft climate here, especially in late Spring. I noticed how human beings here like to erect fences to mark out their territory. One such fence had been boarded behind to stop people seeing into the garden. We are all crammed so closely together here that we need fences to physically divide ourselves. It's a bit sad really.

I'm thinking of creating a runner's blog online. Now how difficult does that have to be? It could simply be a linear one-page site. Just write for a few minutes after each run - while the bath fills.

16:29 21/05/2012 Monday...

Funny thing, and I noticed this yesterday too. I've decided to go for a run every day and today I found myself in a time slot where I had nothing important stopping me from going out for a brief run, but I find what is stopping me is not laziness or fear of failure. What is stopping me is embarassment. What will my neighbours think? I am embarrassed at being overweight and bouncing along the pavement. In fact, I'm not that heavy, and certainly not fat enough to draw attention. People seeing me will think, "There's an ordinary guy going for a jog. Good for him."

Funny, eh? I always find this. When I commit myself to a positive course of action outside my habitual 'comfort zone', that's when I start to get insights into what has been stopping me. Merely thinking about things and analysing them from within my 'comfort zone' rarely results in any such insight.

So, it takes a little courage, but out I go...

17:21... OK, well, I went out and jogged a little bit, felt kind of energy-less and walked for a bit, then ended up going for a walk down by the church. I could feel a slight ache in my legs from yesterday's run. Noticed a fair amount of anxiety to do with money and not having enough work at the moment. That's all. Back tomorrow.

01:09 23/05/2012 Tuesday night...

Uh huh... A token run but a run nonetheless. Just up to the end of the road, and then I walked back. My legs are actually still quite tired from Sunday's 1km run. Ah well, that's totally fine. Well done.

Oh, one thing I remember thinking while out running this evening. I remember thinking that it's good to make an effort to relax. That being lazy is not actually relaxing in the end, and if I want to relax I will need to put some effort into it.

05:25 24/05/2012 Wednesday night/Thursday morning...

Well, that was a proper run. Half an hour at least of continuous jogging in the fields down by the river. Not fast. Kind of fat-boy-waddle running, but running nonetheless. Worked up a sweat and everything. Admittedly it was a bit caffeine-fueled, but I am pleasantly surprised. I think that first proper run on Sunday really did shake things up inside and it took until now to recover from the shock of that. I'm pleased. It was a good time to run as well. I saw deer grazing in the fields, which I wouldn't have seen later in the morning when people have started walking their dogs. I think running at dawn would be a good way to start the day over the summer. I feel free at that time - no pressure to be somewhere else. And that's the case whether I've stayed up late, like today, or got up early. 4:30am would be the time to get up. Yup, I can live with that for while.

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