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First one back

I don’t want to fool you. The title of this post has nothing to do with crossing the finishing line and winning the race/a gold medal/place in history. What this is about is the first run back after a two-week break.

Everyone needs holidays and mine had nothing to do with running. There was biking along one of the world’s oldest roads, swimming in Tuscany and lots of miles walked in flip-flops, but this was accompanied by tucking into Italian antipasti and Roman pizzas and supping bottles of Chianti and Venetian spritz. Then there was the festivities of our wedding, so by the time the in-laws were back on the plane to Argentina and the washing machine running on full blast, the first workout in a while was cleaning the house from top to bottom.

But, then it began. In my last post (The Signing Up Buzz) I explained that we have signed up for the Ealing Half Marathon at the end of September. And the ten week training plan started this week, with our first run on Wednesday. It was just 3 miles and Martín mapped a route round a park nearby. It was hot out. By the end of our road as we turned to go up the hill, I was already thinking It’s been too long. And not in a good way.

Although my calves had hardened walking medieval Tuscan towns, my legs were unprepared for those measly three miles. My lungs were wondering why the party had suddenly stopped. I came back in a rubbish 26.30 and it felt like the longest, hardest, sweatiest run in a long time. Even as I was trying to ‘burn’ it down the home straight (Let this finish!) I was thinking back to my training for Cruce de los Andes and wondering how the back to back half marathons went by so easily.

But then there was Thursday and another 3 miles. And there were 4 miles yesterday. By then I had got down to a 8.24 pace which made me feel a bit better. While the first one back was not fun, it has quickly become back to running business, and a joy.

So, while I plough through my holiday photos organising them, I realise that it’s not the training that kills you and makes you work. It’s the holidays!