The Challenges Begin

I had the blog title set. I knew what I wanted to write, knew what I wanted to say. It’s good when that happens. It makes it easier.

This isn’t that blog.

You see, as soon as you set a plan in motion, the wheels tend to come off. It has been well over a month of running for me and, up until now, it had not gone too badly. I have slowly extended my distance, discovered that I can still breathe whilst running (it was looking a bit iffy when I first started if I’m honest) and I got over the strange aching in my calf muscles. Despite the odd run-in with a steep hill or a startled sheep, the going had generally been good.

The nice people at the Killerton Parkrun had got in touch with me via twitter to let me know about their weekly 5k parkrun event. Having registered for my parkrun barcode I set my sights on entering my first official running event. With this in mind, I managed my first run of over 5 kilometres, following the railway line from Okehampton station to Meldon station and back again. This was Saturday.

Sunday is normally one of my days off from running (and it was the first weekend of the London 2012 Olympic Games, so I was also otherwise occupied in front of my television). I began to feel a stiffness in my left knee, which is one of the creaky parts of my body that first triggered my need to improve my fitness levels. Having collided with someone at 5-a-side the previous week, it was aching somewhat and the longer run the day before hadn’t made it any easier.

Monday should have been a run day but the aforementioned aching knee convinced me that I should give it a miss. Tuesday was 5-a-side; no injuries this time. Wednesday was another scheduled day off from running.

Thursday was run day again. Back in business.

Except I wasn’t. Getting home from work, my car decided to throw a tantrum and I spent the next hour or so under the bonnet, scratching my head and poking things. The insides of a car are like a foreign country to me (and not one of those countries where the locals are friendly, the food is tasty and the weather is good). Having finally beaten my car into submission, I retreated inside in, what is colloquially known as, a right grump.

Needless to say, I didn’t end up going for a run that night, making it a pretty poor week exercise-wise. Also, the broken car meant that I had no way of getting to the parkrun on the Saturday. Nor did I have a car to get to work on Friday, requiring an hour and a half bus journey each way, after which I most certainly didn’t feel like popping on some trainers and heading out for a run.

After which you may be asking “so what?”

And you would be right to ask. It’s not exactly the worst week ever. At the very least there were some outstanding Olympic moments to enjoy all week long. It’s just that I was shocked by how easily one missed run turned into two and how I had suddenly gone an entire week without heading out for a run. Is this how it starts? After the enthusiasm of the first month and its rapid progress from an aching shuffle to something approaching enjoyment, would one or two inconvenient evenings suddenly curtail my new adventure? Would a missed run turn into a week with no running? A fortnight?

This isn’t going to be as easy as I thought…

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