In 2019 I ran three Half Marathons. Last year, I barely ran over 200 miles in total.
In contrast to many people who started running during the pandemic or upped their miles, I had no energy to keep up with my usual training. A combination of various illnesses and injuries, two house moves and a lot of personal stuff to sort out on top of a very hectic work schedule conspired to keep me from getting miles under my belt. Then the arrival of a lovable and bonkers puppy in March and she has taken up all my outside hours.
I used to run a lot to get outside, and one of the things I enjoyed the most was to see the sun rise, to feel the seasons change and to move on my feet through the landscape. I do more of that now than ever before, and two doggies to walk means that I get many, many walking miles in. But until the puppy is old enough to join me on my morning jog, I need to find some extra time to fit in running around other things.
A new motivation
I started running in 2016 after a few very hard years of my mum fighting cancer. Starting with the first 5k and 10k fundraising races, I got the running bug big time. It never mattered to me that I was quite slow even when I trained hard and then when I got diagnosed with asthma running in the winter months turned into looking like a snowman under many, many layers with an inhaler in my pocket.
I still kept running because I enjoyed it, to improve my mental health, to cope with stress.
My life is less stressful these days and my mental health has improved a lot, and I no longer need to prove to myself that I can be a runner. I have medals and t-shirts that show that I can.
And yet. I really miss my morning runs. I miss the peace it brings to be out early in the day by myself, to have the head space to think about things, plan my day and connect with the world outside of my work laptop.
The beach at Oxwich Bay (picture) was the deciding factor. It would make an excellent run (at low tide) and I felt inspired. I may not have that bay close by, but I do have a river, forests and canals to jog along.
Following my feet
This morning I headed out, and it was glorious. Two miles of joy and contemplation. I left my phone at home. Training for the next Half Marathon is going to get underway without an app or tracking just now. I just want to get out there again and enjoy my morning run.