Julia Armstrong back running for 201208 January, 2012 0 comments
I am running – properly running – 10 and 12 mile runs!
At long last I can write my monthly update about running rather than rowing. I can write about the sound of the wind in the trees and the waves crashing on the shore and the rain coming down, the slip sliding across the muddy parts on the way up to the top of the downs; rather than about the sport I have been watching in the big TV’s in the gym – and the news. I have never been quite so up to the minute with the news - and in such graphic detail as my weeks spent training in front of a big television screen!
Over the past few weeks I had been gently going further, 3 miles, 5 miles and then a couple of 6 mile runs experiencing again the joy of running along the seafront as the sun is rising with my friend and running partner Fi.
I decided that Christmas morning was to be the day of real ‘take off’. After a long and gentle process of re- hab ing my knee, I felt ready to let loose! I drank a lovely pre run cup of coffee and set off for a ‘long run’.
Christmas day seemed a good day to ‘go’, especially as it fell on a Sunday, traditionally ‘long run’ day. The streets were empty as I headed out; I imagined the scenes behind the closed doors, stockings being delved into, tinsel and wrapping paper and bucks fizz abounding as I headed up the hill to the downs on a warmish windy December morn.
I love the downs, what more is there to say? I love being up there; and more than anything I loved being there celebrating Christmas Day, running free of pain and free of restriction. I was grateful of the gym work that has kept me fit and the long term easing up towards running more distance, and so I ran 10 miles. A proper run!
The Christmas week meant running every day as the gym was closed, so apart from boxing day, when I rowed in my sisters home gym, I headed out each day, trusting my knee was ready, and on Friday texted Jim my running friend who has taken to meeting me for coffee instead of going running together as the weeks of being sidelined turned into months
‘Are you running Saturday or Sunday’? I enquired ‘Meet us at the Lamb 7.30am Saturday’ was the reply. I arrived at the said time and Jim was there with Chris Howarth who ran across Kenya last year! I had neglected to ask how far the planned run was for and so we headed up the hill, it takes a long time to reach the top and is a test of fitness in itself and it wasn’t until an hour in that I asked where we were going, happy to be running, feeling fit, keeping up (again a test in itself with those two running together!)
I arrived home 12.5 miles later, feeling happy and free.
Having stripped out of the wet gear and climbed into a hot bath, reflecting on the run brought me a feeling of child-like joy and adventure, and once more I felt that I was born to run and that as long as I am able I will always work to return from injury to the running road again, because the freedom I feel on the run is like no other.