I ran to work yesterday. It’s only 3.6 miles each way, but it somehow feels quite hard-core; as though marathon training has really started. My cycle commute usually takes me 15-20 minutes, and running it actually only takes me half an hour, so I don’t even really need to get up all that much earlier if I want to get to work at the same time (especially as I don’t stop to eat breakfast before a run). It does feel harder though, so experience has taught me that it’s better to pack my bag and lay all my kit out the night before. That way, all I have to do in the morning is to get up, get dressed and get out the door. If I can be halfway down the street before I’ve woken up and realised what’s actually happening, then so much the better.
Going home at the other end of the day is generally pretty easy. Once you’ve got past the idea of putting your sweaty kit back on, it’s actually not too bad. Last night, I got caught up in the office and didn’t leave until half-seven. It had been a twelve hour working day and I was pretty tired. On top of that, it was dark and starting to get really cold… but I loaded up Monday’s Shaun Keaveny breakfast show on 6Music on the iPlayer and ran home listening to their wonderful tribute to David Bowie, and life really didn’t seem too bad.
Then it started to rain.
Then I fell over.
I fall over a fair bit. I’ve lost muscle and flexibility on my left-hand side, and I drag that side a bit when I run. If I stop picking my foot up properly, then it doesn’t take much for me to catch my toe and come tumbling down. Yesterday, all it took was a dropped kerb. It wasn’t an especially hard tumble, and I like to think that I rolled like a cat and mostly styled it out. I picked myself up and hobbled on down the road. With three miles still to go in the gathering gloom, what choice did I have? An assessment when I got home revealed a few scuffs, scrapes and bruises, and I was definitely going to have to throw away those ripped running tights that were fit for the bin anyway, but I thought I’d probably survive. I was a bit sore this morning, with a stiff hip where I hit the ground, but I cycled to work as normal and went for a run this evening. I’m hardly going to stop, am I?
Mind you, I’m stubborn but not stupid: what this has taught me is that I need to wear my ankle cuff when I’m tired to try and stop my foot dropping.
Maybe I was tempting fate when I was wondering what impact that loss of muscle was having on my running. I thought running was supposed to be good for you.