Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions

Getting Fitter

Out Of Shape

ShoesThis morning I went for my first run since my back woes of April/May. Just a short jog, to make sure everything held up and nothing untoward dislodged. I was up at six, the morning was as clear as Delhi at this time of year gets, and the day had yet to start delivering on the promised crushing heat. I was looking forward to it.

Then I got a nasty shock. Fitness vanishes. I knew that, of course. If you don’t use it you lose it, as somebody pithy once said. I hadn’t realised just how fast you lose it. It’s fair to say that I do not feel like a man who was lining up for a marathon just six months ago.

Back to square one, then.

For all that it was harder than I wanted it to be, it’s great to be back out again. Nothing snapped or broke. Everything seems to be working, albeit not as well as I want.

Time for some new goals.

I’ll be spending the next couple of months just trying to get my base fitness back, and then in September it’s back into marathon training. To start with (injuries permitting) I’ll be repeating last year, running the Delhi half marathon and then the full Mumbai marathon. My goal for both is pretty simple – run faster than last time. The half should take care of itself. Instead of being scheduled in September like 2012, the Delhi event is back to its more usual November slot. The temperature will be much lower, and that alone should guarantee that I finish faster. Mumbai will be much the same conditions as last time.

After Mumbai, the Rishikesh half marathon next summer. That’s the one I couldn’t race this year because my back rebelled. It’s a brutal run in near forty degree heat, up and down steep trails next to the Ganges, and my goal… well, I’d like to survive it. That’s about it.

Looking even further forward, I’ll be in Scotland in September 2014, and I’m already casting an eye over the Loch Ness Marathon that month, and the Great Scottish Run (a half marathon) in Glasgow in October. After running in all this heat, I’d like to find out how I hold up under conditions I’m better built for!

So, the training I’m starting now could well continue through five races over more than a year. We’ll see. It’s a very provisional sort of plan, especially as things move further down the line, and I may move things about as I go along.

It’s just nice to be running and thinking about running again. Nice?

It feels like a hole has filled up.

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  1. SaraJune 24, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    As someone who just recently started a serious attempt at running for the first time in my life, I sympathise. I’ve always thought of myself as “reasonably fit”, but actually running down the street for exercise highlights every extra pound and twinge in new ways.

    • Richard WrightJune 24, 2013 at 6:37 pmAuthor

      It’s a reality check, isn’t it? I think that’s what I like most about it though. It’s totally honest. You can’t bluff it, or lie to yourself about your capabilities. It makes the gains, which actually come a lot faster than you think, all the more valuable.

      You enjoying it? I’ll join you for a US marathon if you join me for a UK one 😉

  2. SaraJune 24, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Ha…my goal at this point, however deluded I may be, is a 5K this autumn…I can’t even fathom a marathon! But, seeing the progress you made so quickly gives me hope. I remember you mentioned once about book(s) on running you found helpful – any recommendations for a complete newbie?

    • Richard WrightJune 24, 2013 at 6:56 pmAuthor

      Oh, no fear. You’ll be in great shape for a 5k if you’re starting now. For sheer inspiration, check out Born To Run. Brilliant and mostly true story, and makes you just want to get out and do it!

  3. SaraJune 24, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    I will, thanks!

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