Headed off up into the forest today for a run.

Seemed like a good idea when I thought about it last night, but about 500 yards from the car I’d changed my mind!

It was bitterly cold, but at least it was dry - something had to be in my favour.  The downside to being out in the country though was that the lasting effect of the snow from earlier in the week were the huge puddles which covered the whole path in places.

Stopping to try and find a way round these areas provided me with a convenient excuse to catch my breath though.

I prefer being out in the sticks when running rather than pounding around the streets - mainly because it gives me something half decent to look at rather than concrete and buildings, but also because the softer paths seem to be kinder to my legs and joints.  The negative side is that path-builders out there don’t really care much for levelling out humps and hollows so the ups and downs can really take it out of you - especially bad is that the first half mile or so away from the carpark is all uphill!

As with when I started running a year or so ago, it wasn’t my legs which protested at being made to work much harder than normal, it was my internal organs.  My chest ached and burned presumably from a lack of oxygen, so much so that I was forced to walk for a little while around the mile and a half route.  I should really have jogged on through the pain as I know from earlier runs that it does go away after a while if you persevere with it, but as it was my first run I didn’t really intend pushing myself too hard.

A mile and a half - sounds pretty pathetic to have struggled with such a short distance when I was capable of completing the five mile circuit not so long ago.

But it’s what happens when you don’t keep something up.  Circumstances have meant that I did hardly any running at all last year - the last time would have been around last May I think - so a deterioration in form was to be expected.

I know from past experience that the pain will ease up, fitness levels will improve and that my running distance will increase fairly rapidly.

So today hasn’t put me off - I can’t let it if I’m to stay on target and complete a 10k run before the year is out!

What have I let myself in for!?!