Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions

Getting Fitter

Baby Steps and Marathons

I have grown bored with carefully nursing my foot back to strength, after breaking it in March, and started running again.

Actually, that drastically overstates the case. Yesterday I went for a very gentle jog, only a mile, to see whether it was going to cause me any problems. I could feel, going round, that there was a real difference between the right and left foot, but it survived in good shape, and there have been no follow-up problems today. I’ll do the same tomorrow and Friday, and if all stays well, start building up distance again.

There’s no problem with my fitness in general, I was pleased to find, and I could have run further if I wanted to. I suspect the comical attempts at learning how not to drown have helped there. Baby steps though. While I’m pretty confident that the metatarsal has done all the healing it’s going to, my right foot and ankle still feel weak, and on the Delhi streets (where even the newest, flattest surfaces become haphazard crazy-paving after a few months) it would be easy to put a foot down wrong and tear something. Hopefully I’ll avoid that, and some gentle running will be the last stage of bringing the foot up to full strength.

It was really good to be out and moving though. The weather even obliged me by being overcast, with a chill rain falling – my favourite running weather. Okay, so I had to work to ignore the warm wind that was blowing, but other than that I could have been back in Glasgow. Sort of.

It’s particularly good to be out, because as long as my foot doesn’t snap again this week, and inspired by friends like Ben Wallace and Tim Lebbon, I’m hoping to sign up for the Delhi half marathon this year. At the moment, the dates for this haven’t been announced, so I can’t be sure I’ll be able to. I’ve seen both September and November suggested as dates. November could scupper things, as I’ll be away during the first bit of the month, attending Anthocon in the States.

September would be doable, on paper anyway. It would mean training up during the monsoon season (due in the next couple of weeks, and will probably last at least into August), which could be unpredictable and entertaining. I know I said I enjoy running in the rain, but the monsoon? It’s also a gamble with my foot, and I’ll have to be wary of pushing it too hard initially – with three months to go, it wouldn’t take a big injury to make a half marathon unrealistic. Add to all that, I’ll be away for the first half of July, and will so have to try to find running motivation while on holiday…

Sounds fun! I just hope they hurry up and announce the dates so I can register, before I come to my senses.

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