I published my review of my running in 2019 early last month.

Here’s some points I cut out. They were either written chunks or in the original pile of Post Its of topics. I felt adding them in added a bit too much, well, muchness to the original piece. I published my review of my running in 2019 early last month.

Running with others

I like doing things on my own. Don’t take that as I’m a loner, but I don’t mind doing things solitarily.

Running on a treadmill is a weird experience: You’re alone, just you versus the treadmill, but you’re also with others around you, in their own little worlds too.

Once I got comfortable running on the nearby trails I thought I’d take the dog too. We go for walks along them too, usually on weekend mornings, so get the dog and out and do some running seems the best of two wonderful worlds. But this was upping the pace. How would she find it? Learning to run to her limits, her pace, her stamina (she needs regular breaks which means me stopping), even checking she’s still there, really pushed my idea of running. But then usually we’d go on a Saturday and something that was a bit more plodding along probably was for the mind’s best.

Running with other people?

Along the canal, sometimes there’s two people side by side and you’ve got to go off the path onto the verge, but that’s not too much a stress. Just doing not at the last minute.

In races, another story. Early on being boxed in and then staying boxed in is a bind, especially when you want to speed up a bit and get on getting through the kilometres. As 2019 came to the end I decided to put my running time for 10km races down as 50 minutes. Stop starting from the back, start off from where there’s a bit more space. If I fall behind the pace a little so what.

Jousting with someone as you run a race is something I’d didn’t expect to enjoy. They take you. You take them. They take you again. You go at them, right in their heels with a kilometre to go, and then with half a KM to you grit your teeth and push on and on and on. You push past.

The rub

I have large thighs. In the early days of 2019 my inner thighs would rub together. They’d hurt after a while from the rubbing, red. I bought some longer running pants to help with the skin-on-skin and read Vaseline might help. They both did.

I tried without the longer pants again later in the year. (I had read about running pantless, OK? It sounded tempting as such as it sounded untempting.) My thighs were more toned but still there was the inner thigh rub.

Cotton? Notton

Every time I wore a cotton T-shirt my nipples got chaffed big time. I had to wear plasters on them for several days afterwards. I had to reverse an adult life avoiding “synthetics”. I thought I was doing the Good Thing wearing cotton but shredded nips isn’t a Good Thing. I’ve made sure I wore a non-cotton top every time since. No sore nipples since either.

The brown inhaler is OK really

A couple of years back I was having my annual asthma check. I’m 44 — must have been 42 at the time of this appointment — and had asthma pretty much most of my life. Anyway the nurse asked me if I used the brown inhaler still. I said no, haven’t for years. She asked why. Because I didn’t think I needed it still_. I believed I had grown out of asthma. I was using my blue inhaler once in a while but not massively. I thought this was normal.

The nurse suggested I go back on the brown inhaler. At the time I really took this badly. I thought I had beaten asthma. I didn’t wasn’t to… succumb back to another drug. The nurse must have known what I was feeling and thinking. She told me I’ll always have asthma, it’s just how much it is there in my life. She said to try it for a few months and just see how my breathing is. If it isn’t any better or worse don’t keep using it.

It’s two years on and I still take my brown inhaler in the morning and at night. It’s a preventer as the nurse reminded me. She was right. Last year when I was running I hardly needed to reach for the blue ‘un to ease the wheeze.

Look down at your immediate area, look ahead at wear you are going, look down at your immediate area, look ahead at wear you are going…

When running along I don’t just stare at the horizon. I am regularly shifting my gaze from the immediate area — right at my feet, what am I just about to put my foot onto in the coming few seconds — to further out — what will I be coming up to, how will I need to prepare myself? — and back to looking at my immediate area. It’s a cycle. Not a frenetic cycle, but one that has undulations to its rhythm. Doing a proper trail race towards the end of last year showed me how this practise was useful, when the trail weren’t just harder paths, but had rocks sticking out of them, when sloppy muddy sections needed some quick ca I hop through this off anything solid and stable? how can I hop through this? thinking.

Just because there’s a road on Google Maps doesn’t mean you can go down it

More times than I’d like to admit I found myself on private property. Not because I like the naughtiness of being on someone else’s land. Most of the time I’d not read the map right when I’d worked out a route. A couple of times I blame Google Maps.

Having said that I did get an amazing view of the Hudson River by unknowingly venturing down a private road in up state New York last summer, so :shrug:

The first real race

Admission: Some people plan their first race. I didn’t. I was just swapping messages with Richard Young at work and said I was thinking about maybe running a half marathon distance in the next month. I’d been back running for about a month and half, I was making steady progress, but a half marathon seemed a way off.

A couple of weeks later I had a Sunday on the treadmill and managed to notch up 21km. Later that day I’d put in for a half marathon in Leeds.

12 May 2019, I did my first half marathon. There wasn’t any planning really. I just went with it all.

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