Recovery Run – in more ways than one

To run or not to run, with a head full of cold and painful sinuses. Run, obviously, and try to clear out the mucous. This cold is going on and on, and frankly, I’ve had enough of it now. With a day off from my regular work, I had planned to try and get some agency work today. But after feeling like I was wading through treacle all day yesterday, I decided that I needed to keep my day off. Not that I don’t need the money, but sometimes it’s necessary to listen to what the body and mind need instead. A beautiful, mild, sunny morning with a slight fresh breeze, it was perfect for running.
I headed off for a slow 5K recovery run feeling tired and sluggish. To keep me going I listened to a Headspace podcast from Nike Run Club. The podcasts are designed to be played with music in the background, but I’ve found that this doesn’t work on my phone, and tends to make the podcast crash. So I trotted along focusing on the podcast, and when the podcast was quiet, I enjoyed the sound of birdsong. The podcast helped me focus on why I was running, and what I needed to get out of it. It clearly was not going to be my best or quickest run ever – and I am slow at the best of times. But I was out, building my fitness and stamina, enjoying the sunshine, and also taking the opportunity to leave some of the stresses of everyday life behind. Even though I was slow, the time went quickly, and before I knew it I was approaching my house. I checked my phone, and realised that I still needed to run a few hundred metres. I usually add on a little detour to the route to make a full 5K, but I was so zoned out I’d forgotten. So I ran past my house and kept going to make up the distance. To cool down, I took a stroll to the local castle. Stogursey has a pretty little castle, which I rarely visit. The castle is a ruin, with some 12th century stonework and a much newer, restored gatehouse. It’s is rented out by The Landmark Trust, so it isn’t generally possible to get inside, unless you’re a paying holiday maker (apart from the occasional open day or educational visit). But it’s still wonderfully evocative to walk around the moat and gaze at the castle, trying to imagine the lives of those who were here nine hundred years ago. I walked away from the castle feeling calm and refreshed. My head was still full of cold, and I’d just ran my slowest 5K in weeks. But, on balance, it was a good run.

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