Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Born to Run?

Something interesting has been happening to me over the last twelve months or so. Actually let's make that 24 months. Ever since setting out to lose the weight I'd gained from becoming more sedentary, I found myself wanting to run. I'd go out for a walk as part of my exercise plan or my 10k steps challenge, and I'd find myself wanting to break into a jog. Occasionally I would, but only for a short distance. Each time I'd begin to think about running more. It was like a little voice in the back of my head saying, "Run, you know you want to!"

Now I'm not about to tell you that 2 years on I'm running every day and going further and faster because that isn't true. But a couple of weeks ago I found myself running half my usual 4Km walk and then a few days later I ran much further than I had for a long time out of necessity. We'd gone out for a short walk that turned out to be 9 miles and we were late so I ran the last 2 miles home to get the car and go back to pick Anne up. It wasn't speedy, but it wasn't walking.

Now I'm intrigued. If I could jog gently then why can't I run, is it just because I think I can't run or because I don't want it to hurt?

I heard about this best selling book about running called "Born to Run" that everyone seems to rave about a few years ago and elided with holiday coming up that I'd get it on my Kindle and read a bit while we were away. I devoured it. If you haven't read it then read it! It's a fascinating mixture of story and reflection and fun and questions. I couldn't put the thing down. And what's more, it's left me with this question, "Am I born to run?" Is it possible that this little voice in my head isn't just a throwback to being a child who ran everywhere and had to be told to slow down or the narcissistic call of some would-be self-improvenment image conscious self. Could it be that running is a lost joy that deep down is waiting to be rediscovered. Or maybe that's too philosophical and I just want to run again!

Who knows.

What is clear to me at the very least is that I need to learn to run properly. If the book is right, then I need to get on the treadmill and sort out my posture, foot strike, balance and cadence before I can really begin to explore the place of running in my fitness life.

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