Yesterday evening, without overthinking it, I changed into my running clothes after my toddler had fallen asleep and went for a run. First one in almost 5 months. The summer sun was low in the sky, the warmth of the day tempered with a cooling breeze.
Forty-four today. As is my custom since moving back from the States (and my annual leave therefore increasing), I'm taking the day off. In the before-times pre-COVID, I liked to pop into town, mooch around and find a quiet pub to have an interesting beer or two and contemplate the world. A few years ago I even got a small tattoo on my birthday (a maple leaf just above and behind by my inside right ankle, matching my Canadian wife's one). This year I pulled on my trainers and went for a run for the first time in six months.
Over the last month my weight loss and running have both plateaued... but that's OK! If you had told me at the start of the year I'd loose 14 ± 2 lbs in 3-4 months and be able to run 5k again I'd have been a little doubtful but very happy! I feel more like myself again on the physical side for the first time in years and that has a positive knock-on for the mental/emotional wellbeing side too.
Pulled myself out of bed this morning to get the little one ready for nursery. Normally The Canadian does this (she's much better at mornings) but it was another night of interrupted sleep and feedings. Since I was up, I pulled on my running gear and after dropping off the babe, the wife and I went for our first 5k run together since 2016. Damn, that felt good!
Work, life and the weather got in the way of starting Week 6 of my Couch to 5k adventure. However, my first longer continuous run (20 min) at the end of Week 5 had gone well and I was feeling restless so I went out and ran a 5k on Friday 5th instead in just under 30 mins – wahoo!
(Shout out to Inquiry with the title of this post!) So, Weeks 4 and 5 now complete of the Couch to 5k! Finally got to do what felt like a decent chunk of running for the last workout of Week 5 – 20 mins continuous pounding of the back alleys and quieter roads of the neighbourhood with a few decent inclines thrown in for good measure.
Happy Birthday to Me! Birthday 43! A strange one with this pandemic. No celebratory drinks in the pub or even a work day off since it falls on a Sunday. Still, a few nice cards through the post, a bottle of Islay whisky from some close friends, a good run, a birthday haircut from my wife, a few calls with friends and family, and a takeaway dinner will do nicely!
Another three runs (Mon 4th, Weds 6th, Sat 9th), this time six repeats of 90 secs running with two mins walking between each, 5 mins brisk walk at start and end. I enjoyed stretching my legs a bit further on the runs. The second one in particular felt more energised. The last one a little less so but by then I'd started a diet plan to loose weight as well!
Three runs, all the same (5 mins brisk walk at start and end, 8 repeats of 60 secs running with 90 secs walking between each). The first time out (Monday 28th Dec) sure felt a bit rusty, with various aches and pains but by the third run, I felt ready to progress to Week 2. Bring it on!
I've now done my second run of the official UK “Couch to 5k” programme, using the podcast rather than the app. I used to run but it's been over four years now since I was a regular and since then I've put on 20 lbs due to middle age finally catching up with my once fast burning metabolism. Although my mind remembers many 5ks, 10ks and even two painful half marathons, my body will appreciate the slow pace of the 9 week gradual build up to 5k!