When I was a small boy, around 5 years old, I tended to go to school in long trousers. Don’t ask me why because as was the norm at the time, most of my compatriots wore shorts. One day, in order to be like the other boys, I went to school in short trousers but this didn’t get the reaction I expected. Instead of acceptance, I got ridicule and was the butt of playground chants of “shorty” which seemed to my young mind to be completely bizarre, since my abusers were accusing me of being like them! It also taught me that contrary to the popular misconception that little boys are innocent little angels, in packs they turn into little monsters! However, although I remember this unfortunate incident in my childhood, it hasn’t left me in any way bitter and twisted or averse to showing bare legs.
So I was really pleased today because for the first time this year I could not only go out running, but wear shorts and a t-shirt; it was very nice outside. It was great to run a steady and injury free six miles along the canal towpaths with Helen Mann. Helen managed to finish the route a bit quicker than I but I was being careful; that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.
It’s so much nicer running around the canals and lakes on our doorstep than pounding the streets. Over the winter there was a lot of flooding that affected the area including the Aire and Calder Navigation and St Aidan’s nature reserve, but now things are distinctly dryer. I can’t wait to make even more use of the local footpath network when I’m fitter and stronger.
“I establish my covenant with you: never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.’” Genesis 9:11 NIVUK
This week has been quite important to my journey to London on the 24th of April. I have come from my tentative first steps (2 miles) after illness, to quite a reasonable pace at this morning’s Pontefract parkrun. In the meantime I have run a total of 13.5 miles wihout major problems. This leads me to believe I can regain strength and fitness to make it!
You might not think that a 5K Parkrun is very impressive when it comes to marathon training but in some ways I think that being forced into a “lower key”‘training programme might have its advantages. I usually think about marathon training as a programme of gruelling long runs and I have trained like this before. In fact, the first time I trained for a Marathon I gave up parkruns because I thought they weren’t giving me the necessary mileage! After training for our last marathon in Edinburgh, my wife did so much damage to herself that she needed to give up running for a year and was even told she might not be able to run ever again!
My current situation is a revelation; I now have a simple and measured programme to build up strength and distance over the next 6 weeks. Since I know that any injury will mean “game over” the care I need to take will help me be fit and strong on the big day and you can’t wish for more than that.
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4 (NIV)
I have said before that I love running first thing in the morning and I am especially thankful that I am now well enough to do so. It’s great at this time of year because if you time it right, you can leave when it’s dark and get home in the light – “running through the dawn”. This morning runners like me were especially rewarded with an amazing sunrise.
I am also glad for a safe three miles, still hard work but I can sense strength and fitness returning.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1 (NIV)