Friday, 22 June 2012

Running in the woods

I have started running.  Yep.  Really.  With running shoes and everything.  I know right.  Isn't that for other people?  Y'a know.  Those people who aren't me.

Turns out it was for me too.  I just needed to find the right way for me.  I bought the shoes a year or so ago at a proper running shop where a serious lean lady had me walk barefoot & bare legged on a treadmill for gait analysis.  A video camera & I have no idea what other technology was aimed in my direction.  I just concentrated in a panicky fashion on staying on the treadmill.  The verdict of this high tech interlude was that I over pronate (or something like that) and needed a certain kind of shoe to correct this pernicious sounding tendency.

The universe was on my side.  The perfect pair was waiting for me with a sale tag on it.

Now although I wasn't committing to running at that point I wanted shoes that made me feel bouncy on the school run (very little actual running involved unless late).  And it worked.  I did find myself more inclined to exercise a bit more when wearing them.

However, despite going out a few times round the village like the other mothers I saw running, some with buggys, some with headphones, it always felt like Work.  Like I was doing something Worthy and  that smug feeling was the motivation & reward.

Then I remembered being 10 years old.  Running cross-country round the footpaths & fields beyond the school.  I even took part in the school competition over 3 or 5 miles & being the first girl back despite being one of the younger ones.

I remembered my awesome PE teacher.  How he taught us to breathe whilst running & changing it to depending on stride & speed.  Mr Johns, a compact ex-military sergeant with a shiny pate & enthusiasm for breaking down tasks into component parts.  He taught us about 6 stages to a forward roll.  I adored him.

Remembering our running lessons, I recalled how much I loved running in nature.  The smell of the mushroom farm, the cut grass of the hay fields, the red poppies at the edges.  Of holding our breaths as we ran (pretty fast at that point!) past the slurry/manure heap on a farm.

With these thoughts in mind, I started running.  First in Cypress with my energetic sister.  Then at home.  But not pounding on the pavements.  Down the tracks in the forestry commission land.  The footpaths with the dog walkers.  Bridleways with the horses.  I didn't get far.  But I did it.

What surprised me most about making this commitment to myself is this.  I LOVE it.  I do.  I bloody love it.  And the secret ingredient.  The headspace and clarity whilst being inspired by the wonderful smell of the morning woods and the sights.

What is your favourite way of exercising outside?

1 comment:

  1. Yay , so glad you have found a love of running again.
    I'm enjoying some footpath runs these days this time of year it's especially wonderful to get out in the countryside.
    Jacquie x