Fitness Big Year: Jogging can be fun, you know

Undertaking a “big year” isn’t meant to be fun, fun, fun. It’s an obsession, right? Jogging twice weekly since January 1 has tested me: I couldn’t make the 10-km distance, I strained physically, I was mentally troubled. I tried varying my routes to no avail. Exhortations failed. At present I’m experimenting with some sly psychology – if I can’t run 10 kms, why not run 12 kms? So I’ve selected the flattest route around home, permissioned myself to walk/run towards the end of each outing, and plodded, plodded, plodded.

The outcome is good, though not yet conclusive. I can now run continuously for 10-11 kms before needing to stop the final 1-2 kms. Hopefully over the next month I can end up with a “real” (nonstop) jog of 12 kms, further than I’ve done for many years.

But the other day, I discovered something even more important. A trip to Darwin meant I shuffled the order of my exercising, and I jogged on a day after my gym routine. Revelation! For the first time in 2017, I grinned around the entire 12 kms. It has never occurred to me that running the day after pedalling meant my rookie cyclist legs are sore, muscle-sore. My quadriceps need a break before they carry me along footpaths and trails.

A weight eases from my heart: a quarter of the year in, I can start to enjoy this Big Year.

Fitness Big Year: Quarterly report – a smile!

See me (waterlogged) smile!

Jogging in Darwin means lungs straining in soup, so this week I’ve gone for three 6-km runs instead of my programmed two 10-12-km slogs. The first such was a failure – I walked part of the second half. But two days ago, the sky swiftly darkened, wind flared from nothing, and in an eyeblink I was inundated by a tropical storm, soon wet through. Amazingly, coolness enfolded and, although I could barely see for the lashing rain, I ran without stopping.

Three months in, I’ve cycled 1,060 kms (the annual goal is 5,000), run 216 kms (aiming for 1,000) and gym’d 22 times (100 times is the target). Clearly I’m behind 25% of the annual numbers, and it’s not easy to catch up, but I reckon I can do it. And now, finally, only now, am I beginning to find joy and smiles in this Big Year.