Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions

Getting Fitter

Hilly Bits

WaterfallWhen I run I go and see this. Also other things. I live in a very green bit of a very green city.

There have been several surprises, as I ease myself back into running. I shan’t list them all, because each individual surprise has taken the form of a hill.

There are no hills in New Delhi. There are a couple of bumps, and when you live there you can temporarily convince yourself that each bump is a hill, but they really aren’t. That’s balanced out by the more extreme weather, of course. Save for a couple of months around Christmas, Delhi punishes you for daring to go out running by sucking the water from your pores through a million tiny straws.

Glasgow has great running weather (which I define as anything between 5 and 20 degrees) for much of the year, especially if a little rain doesn’t put you off. Instead, it punishes you with inclines. Long, shallow inclines. Sharp, steep inclines. Nothing is flat. You’re either going up or you’re going down. It’s enough to make you seasick.

I love it. It’s really hard to be bored when the ground keeps changing. It’s like driving, I suppose. Motorways are well and good, but spend enough time on one and you risk zoning out. It’s a one note affair. When you’re driving in a city you’re constantly shifting gears, watching for what’s coming, and adjusting what you’re doing. It’s more frustrating sometimes, but it keeps you awake.

I’ve been for a few runs since I got back, grinding up things and flying down them, but I haven’t been very organised about it. Today marked a bit of a shift. I suppose I’m now in proper training for the half marathon part of the Great Scottish Run in October. Less than a hundred days until that, and I’ve a lot of work to do. Expect random running updates here and on Twitter.

It’s good to be running again. It makes things feel normal, which after a month of chaos is exactly what I need.


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