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.

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