This is what I look like when I run. IN MY HEAD.

Back down from the mountain

Coming home from Eryri was poignant; I wanted to stay up there a while, on the slopes, ridges and peaks. I love the feeling of rocks beneath my hands and feet, love the way rock clings to its temperature, solidly cold or resolutely warm. Love to pick my way over the hills, each step carefully taken. Hiking and adventuring is a part of me that I’ve had to give up over the last few years, but now I want my children to know the joy, and to know that part of me. Before I can take them on any more demanding hikes, though, I need to get fitter.

If I want to take my family adventuring, I need to be able to carry a child down a hill, or tow a tired swimmer across a bay. I need to be able to exercise for 5 or 6 hours and still be a cheerleader. 

Before I had children, I could run five miles, or swim one mile, in about 30 mins, and had a BMI of 20. Since then, I’ve had three pregnancies and a series of injuries/ops that have left me slower, weaker and heavier. Since my job pays me to sit and write all day, slurping coffee and dunking biscuits, this means I have to make a special effort to get moving. (Moving and possibly not eating the Oreos.) So today I did my first proper, non-stop run since my last op:

2 miles in 17 minutes (240 foot elevation).

If I’d come back feeling great, I’d be OK with that time — it’s not brilliant but it’s not desperate either. However, I came back with sweaty eyeballs, feeling like I’d been stabbed (my surgeon said that I might feel like I’d been kicked by a horse. He wasn’t kidding).

Swimming — last month I swam a 42:50 mile (admittedly my weakest moment health-wise), which is lousy. I’ve healed a lot since, though, so I’ll have another go. Maybe aim for a 41-minute mile… (Really, 30 min.)

When I started this post I was going to write about how I’m burning with energy, how I can’t wait to get started and am really looking forward to this strong and exciting-blah-blah stage in my forty-something life. (Forty-five is the new twenty-five?) How revoltingly smug — how very social media — would that have been. But I’ve just done the run now and need to concentrate on breathing, so I’m going to abandon my blog and go and faceplant with a large wedge of Brie, until the sweat stops sticking my face to the floor, or school phones to ask why I haven’t picked up my children.

I might never blog about this again.

Image attribution.

(I’m not giving up. I’m hoping that eventually I’ll get everything done and it will all look a bit inevitable, or effortless, and people will say, “Oh, you’re so lucky!” at my successes, and not realise how many times I fell on my face, or got it all wrong, or made a sweaty fool of myself.) 

6 comments

    • TU says:

      I have several friends doing 0-5k and others who run marathons, who invite me to do 5-6 miles with them. It feels like everyone is running now, which is a good thing. Oof, though.

    • TU says:

      Thanks, I think my kids need me to do this, so it’s just a matter of ignoring my body and forcing it to go faster and eat less till we’re there. I remember what it feels like to be properly fit so I know it’s worth the effort. Ugh, though. It’s Day 2 as I’m writing this and I have very little enthusiasm… (although thankfully no ill effects from the first run so can keep going). It’ll be nice when it’s done!

  1. susanlanigan says:

    Sounds great, Tracy. My goals are more modest than yours, I just try to get in five sun salutes every morning. Been doing it about a fortnight now and I do notice a subtle difference! Good luck and enjoy the adventures with the smallies.

    • TU says:

      Ooh, sun salutes on a mountain, at dawn… that would be a combination. I’ve yet to test out my ability to do abdominal stretches (had 3 abdominal ops) so haven’t tried yoga or surfing for a while. I’d love to go somewhere remote and do it though, camping and hiking, get up in the morning and do yoga outdoors. Maybe next summer!

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