Last Sunday promised cold air, rain, and icy pavements, so I gave it a miss again (making two running days in a row that I had skipped). I was not enthusiastic about runnning this morning, but since when have I been enthusiastic about running?

Sub-zero temperatures and slippery patches meant that I had to be more attentive than on a usual morning, but for most of the mile I felt no particular challenge. I wasn’t wheezing more than usual, my legs and torso didn’t feel heavy, shoulders were as loose as I needed them to be. About a third of the way into the mile, my right calf started sending warning signs of tightness, so I made sure not to ask too much of it.

In the end, I pushed my break-stride point to halfway between Aston and Henley streets (and I stopped then as much from caution for my calf as for being winded), and my time for the morning mile was 10:52.

Out of curiosity, I checked to see what route would push me to a mile and a half, and that would entail taking Magdalen Road all the way to the Cowley Road and running round to James Street and southwest on James. That seems a lot longer than only an extra half mile, and I’m not enchanted with the prospect of running on the Cowley Road, even though I usually run before 7 AM when there’s little traffic. If I need to stretch my route, I may rely on pushing further east rather than making a rounder loop with the Cowley Road.

Really Cold

Not much to say about this morning beyond ‘-1°’. I couldn’t warm up and stretch out at all — every time I tried, my muscles all contracted into as close to the fetal position as a running person can attain. Very short steps, freezing breath, and profound relief to have finished the run. 11:15, but I did push my break-stride to Aston Street (I was taking such short strides, I had to decide whether it even mattered, or was too tired even to take another baby stride).


I’m a bit surprised that I didn’t record Sunday’s run, which felt sluggish, broke only at Leopold Street, and came in at 11:04. Busy morning?

Today, everything about my body and breathing was resistant to a strong, limber run. Knees were stiff, body felt leaden, breath was rough and desperate from early on. Every time I tried to pick up the pace, to shake off the lethargy and spring free, instead I flopped back into my slow pace and wheezing. I did manage to hold off my break to Leopold Street again, and the time was 10:50, so it could have been worse.


This morning my body was very emphatically disinclined to do my twice-weekly exercise duty. Still, what makes it ‘duty’ is the obligation to do it anyway, and as it turns out the result was better than it has been since my return to the UK. After my sole stride-break at Leopold Street, I got back home in 10:58. I thought I was going much more slowly; clearly I have no idea whatsoever of my pace.

On the other hand, my calves, shins, and knees are achey since the run. In the name of a greater good, though.


First mile in four weeks. I am really not looking forward to this.

Well, it wasn’t fun, or pretty, but after 11:09 I arrived back at the front door. There was no single factor to point out in this morning’s go; I stopped twice, once at the Rusty Bicycle and once more after about half the remaining distance. I could feel the effect of a month of very little exercise and very fulsome dining. Carrying Thomas around seems not to have counteracted my sloth and gluttony, alas.