I love running. That is not a sentence I ever though I would write. I started running last year in my late 40s. I was overweight and I have asthma – neither are indicators of a good runner. But both were the reasons to start running. My breathing was getting worse, so some cardio vascular exercise was needed. I was keen to make sure I build some muscle tone as I lost weight. Weight loss is about eating the right things, but exercise helps the muscles to increase as the fat decreases. Running was, frankly, cheap and convenient, but I hated every single run of the couch to 5k programme I followed. Every single one.
Still I persevered and just kept running three times a week for something between 20 and 30 minutes. One day I was in Plymouth on one of my regular visits and I ran along the sea front. And about 5 minutes in I thought “I love this”. That was it – my turning point, I remember it so very distinctly.
Today I am once again in Plymouth. Thanks to a warm night and a neighbouring seagull family who decided to start their morning routine at 4am, I woke up tired and bleary-eyed, but very quickly the thought that I had a run to look forward to popped into my head. And tiredness was put aside.
In fact, I interrupted writing this to go for the run, it felt weird to be writing about running when I really just wanted to be running.
I don’t love every run, but it’s a good life lesson. We can’t love everything we do, sometimes we just have to carry on and do it. But this morning was a great run – one too many hills at the end, but you know what, it just felt all the more satisfying. This is a run that also ends with a treat of coffee staring out to sea. Perfect.
A perfect run? Who would have thought I would ever write that?