And so I progress.
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been putting in little jogs here and there, gradually increasing the distance, effort, pace and terrain as increments in occasional runs rather than trying to kill myself all in one outing.
I’ve done a short hill slowly. A longer slope a little quicker. A longer outing on the flat at a pace I was comfortable with (previously it would have been slow; at the time it was a concentrated effort to maintain. Not pushing on as such, just concentrating on not slowing down). A short run (relatively) quickly.
All in an effort to a) recover form in my legs (my calves have been screaming on every run where they’ve tightened through little use) and b) recover my fitness and form.
The good news is it seems to be working. A bit. My fitness has lost it’s peak but generally seems in fine form. My legs are hurting less with each outing and had some fire in them last night.
And last night was my first new, proper outing.
Fitting a set of stairs on Saturday was my test of health. I didn’t struggle at all (I’m always feeling odd pains around the bones, but I think they’ve knitted and aren’t harmed by general useage now). I haven’t yet recommenced weight training but intend to have a go at this on Sunday.
So last night (having avoided the foul weather the night before) I headed off for a new loop from site. And what a splendid outing it was.
Warm, undulating, on-road; I headed out hoping to do 5 miles and that’s what happened. Setting off I paused to let a van pass on the narrow bit of the main lane from Hawkinge towards Paddlesworth and then, just before the Cat and Custard Pot pub paused for a car, then I turned down an even smaller road towards Densole that was never flat, constantly up and down before turning onto a yet narrower road (constant tyre marks up the banks type road, this one) towards Elham before heading back towards Etchinghill to pass two horses before heading back to the car and seeing my final van just before the pub again.
5 miles, two horses, three motor vehicles and legs that, on the final stretch before stopping, felt simply great.
A superb run. Much as I’d love roads to be everywhere (where else can you jog for 38 minutes and see so few road users? It felt like a set from war movie as I eased along). And, despite the road being up and down all the time, never really out of breath and stretching either legs or lungs.
But today my calves are again tight. I’ll ease them as, tomorrow, I decide on a route. Maybe hills, maybe flat (I ran the first bit of the Hythe canal as part of my recuperation from the sea at Seabrook to just past the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway station in Hythe. I’m planning, in stages I think, to run it all the way to Rye before doing the whole length in one go if my fitness allows along with a spell of dry enough weather to make it a pleasant exerience. It’s fewer than 15 miles and flatter than a pan-type cake, so should be a lovely outing. I might do another bit of this tomorrow). Probably a short outing, though, whichever route gets lucky.
But I seem to be running again. Just hope the weather improves. I’ve a race to enter before the end of the year, after all.