Run like a tourist – Edinburgh edition

My Edinburgh run route in red, half marathon route in green
My Edinburgh run route in red, half marathon route in green

Running while on a vacation has been high on my plans ever since I finished the couch-to-5K program in early 2013. I’ve carried along my running shoes to 2 Lake District vacations, one vacation in Scotland, and on 2 trips to India. Yet, for various reasons – primarily because I became overwhelmingly lazy once on vacation – I never got running, and the shoes came back unsoiled.

Edinburgh, my favourite city in the UK outside London, was just the perfect place to finally get started.

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Run like a tourist – Edinburgh edition

Addiction is a bad thing, right?

Yet another back spasm, and hamstring niggles at end of last year meant I was off cycling, spinning and long runs for a while. Not wanting to start the new year with a lazy daze, I decided on something different – to run a shorter distance, 5K, every day of January.

It would help me keep in shape without putting too much stress on the back and the hamstring, while also challenging me – mentally instead of physically – to get out and run every single day irrespective of weather, mood, and work.

It worked out brilliantly

I ran more in January, 180Km, than I’d ever run in a month before. And I carried the momentum into February, running a 5K both the day before and after my target Half Marathon at Wokingham. And still improved my Half Marathon PB by almost 15 minutes. The daily runs didn’t just make me better at running, but also made me a happier, generally more upbeat about everything, improved productivity at work, and made me a regular at spinning, swimming and gym too. I loved it!

The plateau

After the consistency of January, and early February, there came a few breaks – fainting episodes that could’ve lead to potential head injuries making me take a few days off. Twice. It disturbed me a bit, but then the outdoor cycling season kicked in with two consecutive 100K+ sportive Sundays, including the very enjoyable Hell of the Ashdowns, and that helped stabilise the mood a little.

Still, there was a bad feeling in the back of the heart that things were plateauing. At 140Km for February, I hadn’t run even close to January’s total despite running a half marathon and a couple of 10K+ runs.

The descent

March began slow. We took a planned mid-week vacation in Cornwall1. Add in a weekend off cycling, and misc chores resulting in a whole week without any running. Things weren’t good, but the 3 days in Cornwall helped keep the spirits up.

Running restarted with the last of trail series runs, the Mudman, and then continued between spinning classes and Sunday cycling. But it never got close to the January levels. Or even February levels. More than missing the occasional daily 5K, what has been disturbing me more is the lack of Saturday long runs. The trail 10K at MudMan is the longest run I’ve done this month

  1. It was amazing! Thanks to everyone at the Scarlett. 
Addiction is a bad thing, right?

New Forest.

In under a week, my plans for New Forest have changed half a dozen times. Here they are:

Mid last week :)
Going for the sportive in beautiful New Forest, on Sunday morning.
Late last week :(
Earliest train reaches only 4 mins before start, so no point going.
Saturday evening :)
Sportive cancelled due to flooding. Glad for money saved, and now I can plan for next time.
Saturday night :(
Sportive now scheduled the day before only other sportive I’m riding this year. Which one to skip?
Monday morning :)
Having passed the driving test, making plans to hire a car and take partner and dog down to New Forest for whole sportive weekend.
Monday night :(
Read report on sabotage of sportive, and heckling of cyclists in New Forest. Plans cancelled. Not going there ever again.
Tuesday morning :)
Screw New Forest vigilantes. I’ll just save money and head back up to Lake District or Scotland!