These pictures were taken last weekend in the local park where I go running. I don’t think I’ve mentioned me running adventures yet here, have I? Probably because they’re not hugely adventurous! Anyway, when I was diagnosed with RSI in my wrist I was also told not to do yoga until it was fully healed. And its still not, though much better. I went back to the Iyengar yoga (I used to do both the more technical Iyengar, and the more exercisey Ashtanga) pretty soon, as I can handle downward dogs, but chaturangas and upward dogs still hurt, and without those two, it’s pretty much impossible to do Ashtanga yoga, so I haven’t been back there. I had to fight with the Ashtanga people to get my classes deferred (you would not believe, you’d think yoga was about spreading good karma, but apparently its a cut throat businness!) and they eventually gave me til the middle of March, but since that has been and gone and I’m still not better I think I will just not go back. Their loss. Now that Dave is unemployed, its a good idea to save money where we can anyway. Though I do miss it!
So anyway, since the Ashtanga was my main form of cardio, I needed to find something else, and on the example of Sandra at madamowl, I decided to give running another go. I started doing the Couch to 5K, which is a running programme designed to take you from nothing to doing 30 minutes of continuous running in 9 weeks, running three times a week. You start of with just 60 seconds of running at a time and build to continuous runs. That’s obviously a fairly leisurely pace of development, but it turns out that was exactly what I needed. I probably could have run 5k cold without any building up, but then my legs would have killed for several days and I would not have done it again for weeks. The NHS does a series of podcasts to accompagny the C25K, with a lovely lady telling you when to run and walk and encouraging you. I would definitely recommend it!
I’m now at the end of the programme and my next challenge is to run on hilly terrain. My C25K training was all done on pretty much flat surfaces, but for my final run I went for a run in Holyrood Park by Arthur’s Seat. I had made the mistake of having some yoghurt about half an hour before going out and it was not good. The road around the hill is about 5km long, they use it for Race for Life’s a lot and all organised runs in Edinburgh go along that route for a bit. And it’s not an easy one. One way round there’s a massive, very steep incline. The other direction it’s not quite as steep but it is continuously upwards for 2kms. It’s hard! So what I’m building up to now is to get all the way round. Once I can do that and not have jelly legs the next day I might even consider entering some organised runs.
I do really enjoy running and love how after a while I just get into this rhythm where I’m not even thinking. Though I can’t really see myself becoming one of those serious runners. And while I do feel fitter in my legs than when I started, I also feel less flexible and I miss doing upper body stuff. And I haven’t lost any weight (the runs make me ravenous, so I’ve mainly just made up for any burnt calories by eating more) and I don’t see any difference in my body shape either. Whereas when I started doing yoga three times a week, the difference was visible within three weeks. But I would definitely like to keep running in my exercise mix!
Are you a runner? If not, what exercise do you prefer?