So, this is my blog about fitness and the outdoors. I hope you like it. This is my first post so I will explain myself shall I? I am a father of four looking to keep fit through cycling, running, hiking and swimming (and whatever else turns up) and I want to do as many outdoor activities as possible with my children.
Tonight I logged my first run over ten miles in distance since I badly broke my ankle a few years ago. I have cycled miles and miles since then but I find running the most challenging of all the sports I do. I am not up a fast runner, but I want to write about it nonetheless, The route is below. The injury to my ankle was the third serious injury I sustained in a four year timeframe which scuppered the ambitions I had at that time to complete an Iron Man triathlon. This upset me greatly, not only because of the lost fitness (I had trained hard to that point) but also because I was at university at the time and so I had a window of free time when I left that I had allocated to complete an Iron Man, and with this injury and others it passed and I lost a great deal of momentum. I would still like to do it but now my priorities are different. I have young children that I would like to be fit, healthy and outdoorsy so I am starting to break them in to the world I enjoy so much this year.
I sue Runtastic for iPhone to track runs. I originally used Endomondo but it one day decided to stop pushing my workouts to My Fitness Pal and when I contacted them they really did not care at all, so I switched. As a paid user I found that immensely disappointing but there we are. I do not have an Apple Watch yet but I would like to get one since I am not overly keen on wearing my iPhone in an armband.
This particular run is a really hard slog on the outward portion of the journey (around seven miles or so) as it is an extensive climb with a total elevation gain of 1079 feet. This involves two very steep climbs, the toughest part being a section running over a local area known as Crown Point. This location has the dubious association with the practice of dogging – at least that seems to be the prevailing local urban legend anyhow. I have never seen any funny business taking place but there are always a few parked cars dotted about here and there which leads me to suspect that it is more of a lovers lane and that the rest is more to do with mischievous gossip than any real life shenanigans.
This was also my first run with my new Nike Air running shoes and I cannot stress too much the importance of good quality shoes. I have learnt this first hand, having suffered from intermittent metatarsalgia for as long as I have been running. I changed from my cheap shoes to these and the difference is remarkable. I no longer get injured, and whilst many might think this is a coincidence I know better. I run using on-ear headphones and with my old shoes I was plagued by the moving parts of the headphones clicking and clacking all the time. This no longer happens since I got cushioned shows, thus proving that vibrations and impacts are indeed being absorbed by my shoes. This not only stops injuries but also the clicking, something that was driving me insane. Whilst I am obviously running in the dark right now the advantage of running in the Lancashire countryside is that it is beautiful. This is pleasurable and very good for one’s mental health.
My running ability is, by any measure, rated at best as fair to middling. I am a much better cyclist and swimmer but I do enjoy running because it gives me time to catch upon podcasts and audiobooks whilst in a pleasant setting with a good measure of personal privacy, This sort of thing is imperative as a parent because the demands of young children are extremely pressing and relentless. Personal time is very important and running and cycling grant me that in beautiful spaces. I do not listen to headphones whilst cycling for safety reasons, and also because it is important to hear nature. I confess that running is a hard slog whereas cycling is joyous for me. If I could only do one sport for the rest of my life it would be cycling. There is no contest. That is why, when running I listen to media. It is such a hard slog that motivation is challenging for me. Audiobooks and podcasts give me the distraction I need to do it.
That is just about all I have to say for my first post. See you all next time.