I love exercise. But I don’t love running.
I recognise the benefits it can bring me, and after I’ve run I feel a sneaking satisfaction, but it will never be my exercise of choice.
If I have a choice, I cycle or I go the gym. But as the nights are drawing in I’m not so confident on my bike, so in the last few weeks I’ve switched to evening running. And oh, can my body feel how long it has been…… My longest ever run was a half marathon. The whole way around my legs wondering what the heck was happening to them and when would it every end? There’s no way I could do that right now. So I am back to what I did when I first took up running. Lamppost training.
It’s my very own form of fartlek. I run as far as I can, and then I aim for the next lamppost. And then the next. When I need to stop to walk a little, then it’s just to the next lamppost and no further.
The more I run, the most lampposts I tick off, the strong and faster and better I become. The only way to get better at running, is to run.
There’s no shame in being slow and steady. In walking a little when you need to. You don’t need special equipment or a fancy running watch. You just need to get out there and do it.
One lamppost at a time.
I love to exercise outside. When there’s no time to drive to the gym or a whole hour for a class, outside is easy. No fuss or cost or timetables. No noise nor conversation. Just me.
For weeks and months now, my evening bike rides and runs have been filled with sunshine and warmth. Those extra layers of winter clothing not required. It’s easy to forget what winter brings.
But this last week or so, you can feel the change in the air. Tonight, as I cycled through my local park, the leaves were starting to fall. In a few more weeks the nights will draw in, and the light filled rides along the waterfront will stop…. for a little while.
It is harder to get motivated to exercise when it is dark and cold. But I do believe every season brings something a little special for those that brave it.
Autumn. Crunchy leaves. All the colours. The smell of bonfires and fireworks.
Winter. Crispy, cold, bright mornings. Bundled up in your extra layers. Breath fogging in front of you. On the run up to Christmas, passing the fairy lights and the decorated trees. Feeling like you’re a little bit badass because everyone else is indoors and you are in the streets.
And then to spring. There’s that first evening you get home from work and there’s still plenty of daylight. Flowers and trees waking up, seeing the change day by day. The promise of warmer days just around the corner.
But from here on in, for a little while, its freezing noses all the way.
Bring it on.