Aside from today, my last run was on Monday 17th December. As I predicted on Tuesday 11th December running over the Christmas holidays is hard. Traditionally, my Christmas holidays consist of sitting at home, watching lots of films and eating lots of junk food; and this time is no different.
However today, inspired by the growth of my stomach, I fought my lazy side and left the house for a run. Now, getting out the door wasn’t easy (not literally – my stomach hasn’t grown that big – I mean mentally). Despite the weather being good, I had to fight my laziness really hard. Really really really hard. For a good 20 minutes. But I am so glad I did. Today’s run made me realise how, even after just two days of eating junk food and sitting at home, my body turns sluggish. Seriously, I felt so tired during today’s run. A tired I have not felt in ages.
Here are my observations from today’s run:
1. Just because it isn’t raining, doesn’t mean it isn’t wet (is that profound enough to get me a book deal or a day time talk show?)
It has rained in Wales for the last four days. Today was the first day it didn’t rain. It didn’t occur to me that just because the sky is dry the land won’t be.
“Um… Ground, please tell me why you no dry like Pavement? Thank you, City Girl.”
I guess Mother nature doesn’t have drains like the Urban jungle, nor did she feel like percolating the rain to the water basin today (Geography degree applied in real life; score!).
“Fine, have it your way. I didn’t like the white bits on my trainers being white anyway!”
As soon as I started running along the trail I noticed the mud, and as I got further along mini streams started to appear. I had to pay very close attention to where I trod. The constant fear of tripping over a rock or tree root, slipping to my death (the trail is along the side of a mountain), getting hit in the eye by a branch or swallowing a fly (like I did this time) hung over my head.
On the plus side, on my way home I pelted through the mud and it was tonnes of fun! I felt like a warrior. And constant monitoring of my danger levels distracted my mind from thinking about hating running.
2. Wales isn’t cooler than London
Now before I offend a sheep/Tom Jones/a rugby player, let me explain, I mean cooler temperature wise not street cred wise. When I left my house today I didn’t feel cold. Last week in London I was freezing (except on Saturday’s run). Today I could have run in short sleeves and shorts. I guess Global Climate Change is giving us warmer Winters. Thanks green house gases!
3. The country is tougher than the city
Now before sheep/Tom Jones/rugby players all get hubris (I just learnt that word today. 26 years old and I’m still learning. However, I think I have used the word incorrectly). I mean tougher to run in.
My goal today was a 30 minute run. I thought it was achievable as I’d been doing 30 minutes runs last week in London. In the end, I managed to piece together a 20 minute run. It was a lot of hard work. Granted, I’ve been lazy for the last few days but that shouldn’t shave 10 minutes off my totally run time, and to make matters worse, I had three exhaustion breaks during those 20 minutes!
It can only mean one thing. Running in the country is tougher than running in the city, and here’s why:
- it ain’t flat or dry.
On my way out I was being tough on myself, thinking I sucked. But on my way back I realised just how many hills I had run up and down. In London I rarely meet a gradient when running (I meet lots of cyclists but that’s an old post). But here in Wales I got out of breath just walking up the hill to the start of the trail!
Despite it being tougher, running in the countryside is better than running in the city. Here’s a video from the start of the trail. You can see a large river with white rapids. Very cool to look at and to listen too.