Over these last couple of months I've done very little running and what I've done has been fairly gentle: hill runs withs with Hubby and dogs; interval training with a "beginners" track group whilst coaching them. (They are actually rather experienced runners - just new to track.) What's stopped me doing more? Have I lost my mojo?
Early autumn saw me a tad jaded. I'd done a couple too many 'fast and flat' city road races, hurt my back and caught a cold that didn't want to shift. I vowed to stick with what I enjoy - mud, hills & trails surrounded with green earthy smells. I also vowed to stop pushing myself so hard, to instead take time to enjoy the journey of each run or the good company of running mates. My late October/ early November training timeline thus shows lots of "Easy" and "Steady" hill runs. Then Murphy, my usual running mate, had a little op (guys he was castrated) in late November and was restricted to gentle walks on a lead. Therein lies the most significant reason for recent low mileage. As I reach for running gear his wee face lights up only to fall despondently, in utter dejection, if I head off without him. Wouldn't a true runner (a) climb the walls in frustration and (b) find a way of escaping for regular runs? Instead I bought a turbo trainer.
This feels like having an affair. Not, I hasten to add, that I'd know! Running & I have had a life-long rewarding relationship. I might row, do Pilates, occasional circuit training (not enough) and a few weights, but these things are mainly to keep my body in running shape. They strengthen and flex areas that running either over-uses or under-uses. They help me maintain that relationship with running. Cycling, and its static siblings of turbo training or spinning, rely even more purely upon leg power than running. Cycling, in my strange mind's eye, is a competitor to running. Of course, this isn't really logical. Sustained vigorous cycling builds aerobic capacity, strengthens the thighs and might even improve cadence. The turbo trainer was bought primarily as a cheap alternative to a treadmill, but my legs already seem more powerful so I might, just might, run faster when I once again focus upon running. If running will have me back again.