I hope the four buzzards circling the sky near Appletreewick didn't have their beady eyes on the scaled down carcas running below them along the riverbank. After weeks of massage, stretching and various recommended exercises to rejuvenate my dodgy knee and strained hamstring Old Runningfox was back in action. And boy, did it feel good.
After the recent shock of discovering how I'd piled on the pounds during three weeks of inactivity I was determined to get back to my running/racing weight. Such things as bread, potatoes, anything with sugar in it, butter and 80% of milk all went by the board until such times as the scales registered 140 lbs and I was back running again. That day was last Saturday.
Rather nervously I laced up my old trail shoes, did one or two warm-up exercises and stepped out the door for a 5 mile circuit by Grassington Bridge and back along the riverbank, past all the old chestnut trees displaying their gorgeous autumn colours. After taking it steady to the half way point I felt fresh enough to turn it into a fartlek session, pushing the short hills and launching into 50-60m acceleration runs along the flatter parts of green turf. I couldn't believe how well I was moving.
Rather predictably, in spite of having finished my run with some warm-down stretches, I was a bit stiff the following morning. Getting down the stairs was not easy! There was no pain, not in my knee or anywhere else, just that general muscular achiness that follows a good work-out, the sort you can laugh about rather than cry over.
|Body-hugging Fastrax top and Bandarf
After breakfast on Sunday I could hardly wait to lace up my shoes and set off again on a slightly longer run, along the river to Appletreewick and back, a very pleasant six miles. This time I took it steady, all the way, revelling in the renewed joy of freedom, movement and rhythm. It felt absolutely effortless so I could only assume the five week lay-off must have done a power of good, enabling me to recharge the batteries and fire up the old engine again.
If all goes well the next five weeks will be spent gradually building up the miles in preparation for the Guy Fawkes 10 mile race at Ripley on November 6th. I'm looking forward to pinning a number on again and getting out there snapping at the heels of my contemporaries. Roll on, let battle (re)commence!
PS. With a cold nip in the air I donned my new Fastrax thermal top for the first time (courtesy of a voucher I won in the Arncliffe 4 mile race) and must say it kept me wonderfully snug and warm. It's tight fitting enough to almost display my six-pack - and probably would if it wasn't hiding under it's layer of fat! The buff I'm wearing in the picture is actually a Bandarf. I refuse to pay the crazy price 'Buff' charge for there minuscule bits of material. Bandarfs are just as versatile, fit more snugly, cost around ¼ the price, but don't, as yet, come in the same range of colours. There are many different ways of wearing them. I never go anywhere without one.