Back in the swing for 2011

Happy New Year!

Some considerable time has passed since my last blog post, and I’m afraid to say that’s because it has been a considerable time since my last run.  Since the student protest run, I have managed only 2 outings in 4 weeks.  The first was on 10 December, when I headed to the gym for a 4 mile treadmill run intending to take it easy because I had a bit of a cold.  After 3 miles I conceded that I was feverishly hot and shaky and that running was probably making things worse rather than improving them.  The next run was on Sunday 2 January, when I managed almost a mile in the new year air before my body gave up on me.  Between those two runs came a lot of snow, a fancy dress party, a wedding, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.   And a nasty virus which has left me weaker than the Australian cricket team.  Apparently as a result, I’m also anaemic, so that walking from one end of the lounge to the other, let alone running, can be a dizzying and unpleasant experience.

That’s not to say that I’ve been continuously sick for the last month, though its felt like it at times (occasionally I was sleeping an impressive 17 hours a day).  I have managed to get some forms of activity in, but they haven’t quite been the sort of thing that marathon schedules usually prescribe.  For instance, I bought my parents a Wii Fit for Christmas, and spent a few happy days doing its yoga, balance and strength training programs.  We also had the most spectacular white Christmas, waking to 8 inches of powdery snow (which had fallen earlier in the week) glistening under a cloudless wall of winter sun.  My brothers and I may all be the wrong side of 25 but we couldn’t resist – after opening presents it was straight on the phone to our 24 year old next door neighbour/lifelong surrogate sister and we all headed up the hill with our 20 year old sledge for a couple of glorious hours revelling like children in the winter wonderland.  It wasn’t quite the 10-miler I had planned but I did at least always make sure to run back up the hill after tobogganing down it, and if I had to choose between the marathon and that unforgettable Christmas afternoon with my family I’d definitely pick the latter.

But back to 2011.  The training schedule has been severely interrupted, but after struggling through (some of) the first week back at work, I think I’ve turned the corner, and today was pleased to manage a very gentle four miles.  I deliberately didn’t take a watch and took it as easy as I could – at times feeling like I could extend the run but also very much aware of how much strength I’ve lost in my month off.  Still, I ran the whole thing and when I compare it to my abortive run last weekend I’m pleased.  It was so wonderful to be out – after a gloomy morning the sun finally arrived in West London just in time for me to head out into another beautiful sunset.  Hopefully the iron tablets and a lot of steak and spinach will help me get over the anaemia and I’ll be back on track soon.  In the meantime I just need to get used to standing up slowly and walking at a less frenetic pace.

Of course, one other thing that the virus has scuppered for me is Janathon.  It was hopeless from the start as I have been prone, and prone to fainting, for most of the first week.  Good luck to the other participants – I need to focus on getting myself back on track and in my current state overdoing it is not the way to achieve that.  There’s always Juneathon.

For now, I wish you all a belated Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and a successful Janathon.  Here’s to achieving big things in 2011!

Distance: 4 miles (6.41 km)
Time:  no idea, deliberately didn’t keep track
Route:  Hyde Park
Weather:  winter sun
Notable features:  just being out running again was pretty notable!!