Back on the horse
I had to laugh yesterday when I got out of bed. It wasn’t pain exactly, but the muscles in my legs were definitely shouting “GOOD MORNING! HERE WE ARE AGAIN!” This was after a 4.5-mile run on Sunday. Yes, a mere FOUR-POINT-FIVE miles.
Rubbish! And laughable after the miles and miles of doing Cruce de los Andes.
But, at some point, you have to get back to it, and finally, that was Sunday. My legs had been itching to get moving again for about a week, but having to search the internet for wedding venues (the clock was ticking while I was still in Argentina) and catching up with friends in places like bars and restaurants put paid to that.
So that sunny late morning I donned my Cruce t-shirt and headed out on an old route. It used to be my ‘hills’ route, but after having done Cruce, I’m not going to even bother lumping those London bumps in the same sphere!
There were two things about getting back to ‘normality’ for me the other day. The first was that I spent most of the run thinking back to all those moments of Cruce and imagining being back there. Running along in my t-shirt gave me such a buzz. I am the only person on this island who has this shirt. I am the only person on this island who travelled to Argentina to do Cruce. What a great feeling. I almost forgot about the running.
The second thing was trying to emulate the ‘flying’ of Equipo 1. Team 1 from Cruce have won the race three years on the trot. On day one, 38kms up and down a volcano, we did it in 8 hours 20. They did it in just under 4. They are truly amazing. As one ESPN cameramen said, “It’s like they are flying over the ground, not running.”
So, I thought about that. I tried to keep light and smooth, pump my arms a little more, keep my back straight and lift my legs higher, tread softer, instead of wobbling as I surely do from side to side like Teletubby in trainers. It was a good tactic, as focussing on that also kept me busy. My body was loving me. My lungs were wondering why they weren’t still on holiday.
Because that’s the thing about getting back on the horse that hasn’t actually bucked you. The holiday is over. We’re getting back on a horse which had taken us round the world, delighted and impressed us. We are not putting our running shoes back on with a groan and fear in mind. Instead, there’s a feeling that it will never quite be the same again.
And there’s no going back. It was a comfy saddle.