Sunday, 17 July 2011

Am I running too much?

Knees and ankles need resting after a long run

With yesterday being Saturday, it was a brilliant day to go for a run before breakfast; nothing unusual in that. At home we tend to have a leisurely start to the day at weekends and as we have reached the end of term B&H tend to stay in bed EVEN longer.  That's no problem.

Besides, I had some things on my mind following my work over the last couple of weeks.  We're embarking on some new ground within the bit of the Ministry of Justice I work for.  Plenty of business reforms to work through and connecting with other elements of the Coalition Government's agenda of driving down costs, better outcomes (rather than tedious targets), Big Society, Localism and so on.  We also have the spectre of the Competition Strategy as the latest version of Carter's term "contestability".  All that is fine, some of it very promising but I'd prefer to get my teeth into some real social reform, although I do enjoy the business side of things but that is simply a means to an end.  It's the "end" bit I'm more interested in - that's where real meaningful reform will lie.  In the meantime I have a humble middle manager job to perform which has it's challenges and I'm finding difficult to keep track of all those day to day tasks.  So, a run is the ideal way of refreshing my mind and burning off some of those surplus calories I have undoubtedly acquired over the last couple of weeks.

When I set off for my run, it was bright with just a few spots of rain in the air.  In the back of my mind I was planning to do either my 6.5 or 7.5 mile run - both start and finish using the same roads but the middle bit is different.  I decided to do neither but instead, I added on a couple more miles which rewarded me with some splendid views over the rolling hills and a common with some exquisite grasses.  You know how it is, sometimes it just comes together and the run (or indeed cycle ride) has all the right ingredients to make it special.  I ran for about 1 hour 20 minutes, maybe 8 or 9 miles.

Today, Sunday.  Again I woke early I decided to creep out quietly for another run.  My running shoes were still wet from yesterday so I grabbed an older pair. I knew I was taking a chance as I normally rest for a day or so after a run of yesterday's length and I knew those old Sauconys were just about worn out.  I could feel my knees were a bit tender and achy and my ankles too.  It seemed to make sense for me to curtail the run, even though I've still got a few things bothering me in the back of my mind.  I ran for about 30 minutes but made sure it wasn't just a plodding run.  I kept a reasonable pace going up hill, enjoyed running as softly as I could along a woodland trail and then back on the tarmac I stepped up the pace taking deliberately longer strides from time to time; a kind of on-the-move-stretching.

Now back home, had a shower, breakfast is ready for my slumbering family.  Thoughts of the liberating wonder in running are swirling around my thoughts: how could I ever manage the stress and strains without running and cycling?  I believe the running and cycling I enjoy is an answer to prayer and every now and again I need a reminder.  There was another reminder of God today.  Unexpectedly I saw a complete rainbow in the sky as I set off and yet the roads were almost dry.  It was so quiet outside, no traffic or even newspaper boys around, I wondered if I was the only person around to spot it.  Perhaps that was a reminder for me to take note of.


  1. Maybe a bit of direction may be appropriate now.
    If you have not already done so,how about entering for a marathon?

  2. I have taken a look on the Runner's World website a couple of times but nothing has caught my eye.
    I'm open to suggestions - Herts, Beds, Bucks or London would be ideal in October.
    Thank you for the nudge.