Catching up is hard to do

Things I have learnt in 2019 – I can run (well, jog) 10k. I cannot jog 10k without aching for 48 hours afterwards, however.

Why running and not cycling? Mostly an experiment to work out cross-training; running has the merit of impact which, with a history of osteoporosis in the family, seems like a useful thing to do.

To facilitate the experiment, I signed up for a virtual run challenge to be done at the beginning of February. That challenge is to run 10k (again, jog 10k in my case – there is, thankfully, no minimum speed requirement) on a particular date. But … the catch, and the reason for my 10k at the weekend, is that to complete the challenge, I also have to do 10k each week during January. Unlike the virtual run itself, the weekly 10k is an aggregate mileage and I managed it for the first two weeks in January in 1-2k chunks (and one 5k slog on a treadmill). Last week went a bit awry, though – for various reasons, the hamsters in my brain got on their treadmills and I just had a bad week which (amongst other things) translated into no gym, no running and no bike.

The hamsters were seen off, more or less, by Saturday morning so I decided that I’d catch up the 10k. Now, I could have walked the 10k – it’s permitted. And yes, in retrospect, maybe I should have done – but I was curious to see what I could actually manage, so I started alternating 1 min jog/1 min walk. And carried on for 10k – well, 9k. I upped it to 2 min jog/1 min run for the last km because I suddenly realised I could beat my last 10k time (which was set three years ago).

The run itself was nothing wildly interesting – along the nearby mixed-use path, a defunct and now-tarmac’d railway line, so lots of trees and banks on either side. Not many people out (possible because it was Not Warm – the merino hat, gloves and baselayer under a long-sleeve technical jersey and wind-proof jacket helped. My legs were plenty warm enough just in the capri’s – couldn’t find my running longs, I suspect they may have been ditched some time back).

All done, and not too much in the way of complaining at the time. This, it appears, was because my muscles were probably in shock. Once I’d stopped running and cooled down somewhat, it was a bit … well. Let’s put it this way, I’ve run a marathon and had my muscles complain less (I’d trained for the marathon!).

I’d forgotten how much the core muscles are used in running, but have been very definitely reminded now. Probably also a good reason for keeping up the running post-challenge.

The bike has not been abandoned – I did a turbo session yesterday, partly to try to work some of the aching out of the muscles, and partly to catch up.

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