A few weeks after the Aviemore half marathon in October 2015 we flew out to Cyprus, spending a week in the beautiful city of Paphos. I ran most mornings, it was wonderful to feel the sun on my legs once more.
Then in early November I had a skype call with my coach (who was based in London) and started planning for 2016. I booked onto their winter training camp in Portugal, and started the slow process of building up the base miles once more.
I’m not quite sure when it happened, but I ended up going out for a bike ride just before Christmas, and before I knew it I had decided to stop running and get back on the bike!
Around the same time I had made the decision to leave my part-time job at the University, and go full-time on my business. Maybe that had something to do with it, I’m not sure. I never did go to Portugal for that camp. I left the University on 11th February and decided it would be best to stay in the UK and focus on the business.
This started a process that I would repeat for most of 2016 – cycle for several months, then stop and start running again. Run for several months, then realise how much I missed the bike, so I’d stop running and get back on the bike again.
I rode the bike all the way through the winter of 2016/17, but training without a purpose. Yes, I was keeping myself fit, but for what?
And so as Winter turned to Spring, I found myself getting disillusioned with the bike. I didn’t have the appetite to push myself as hard in training as I once did – I was never going to race again, so what was the point? Around the same time, I knew that I would be travelling a lot from March through to May, and so I decided to start running again.
Running is a great way to keep fit when travelling, but more than that it’s a great way to explore a City. I knew I’d be going to Newcastle, London, Girona, and Leeds, so I was keen to take my running kit with me on these trips.
Quite quickly I found that I was really enjoying running again. The simplicity of it appealed to me. I was also pretty fit after a good winter on the bike, so it didn’t take me long to get back to where I left off when I stopped running at the end of 2015.
It’s now mid-May, and I’m back on a training plan. I’m enjoying it, the discipline of structured training, and seeing the gradual improvement in my fitness and my physique. I’ve entered a half marathon in October, and plan to do a few shorter races in the lead up. I’m even harbouring thoughts of doing the full 26.2 miles next year.
Will it last? Let’s find out!