“Now bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible” – Shakespeare (Julius Caesar)
The image of the running shoes is one I took of these shoes after running 850km in them over the last six months. If you told me two years ago that I’d have a photograph like this I wouldn’t have believed you. I haven’t always been a runner. In fact, there was a gap of thirty years since I last did any serious running. It was in March 2011 that I decided to take up running again. I knew that I wasn’t getting enough exercise and decided I needed to do something about it.
In the beginning I could only run about a kilometre without resting. This just confirmed for me how unfit I really was. The good news though was that I built up to longer distances over a relatively short period of time and ran a 5k road race after a few months. By August I was able to tackle a 10k road race. It felt tough at the time but it gave me a great sense of achievement. I could really feel the benefits. I had more energy, better levels of concentration, slept better and generally just felt a lot better. I also joined up with some local runners for a regular Saturday morning run followed by coffee and a chat; that added a social dimension that I hadn’t counted on. The group is really a great motivator; we meet as a group of individuals who have a shared interest; no other admission cost!
I’ve kept up my runs and now run on average of 7k four to five times a week. I’m aiming to complete a half-marathon in early March. That means increasing my distances further each week but it gives me a new goal and focus.
So, what does running do for me? Well, the obvious one is the lifestyle balance, taking care of my physical wellbeing. But there are also other benefits. When running I find that my mind goes into creative mode. I can let my mind wander and mull over things that I’m working on. I don’t admit to having “eureka” moments but I have generated lots of good ideas while running. I think there is something about the rhythm of running. When you get into a comfortable rhythm then the world fades into the background and it’s easy to get lost in thought. There are no constraints. The body is physically busy but the mind has relatively little to do so it isn’t surprising that its a good time to think.
I’d recommend running to anyone. It’s low cost, it gets you outdoors in all kinds of weather (actually, running in the rain is quite an exhilarating experience….trust me!) and its good for body and mind. Give it a go.