So. My grand plan to get fitter, faster, stronger? It’s not really working. Since I did the Three Peaks, I have hardly run. That is, I ran ten miles the week after, because I had to do a recce of the Calderdale Way Relay, which is this Sunday. FRB, who was kindly guiding me round, said — as he had already run several miles that week, unlike me — that I would be OK for six miles and then my legs would remember they had done the Three Peaks. He was right. It was at about 6.3 miles, and I suddenly deflated. I walked hills I would have run up the week before. I was exhausted. “Why are you so grumpy?” asked FRB during the last two miles, and I pointed out, later, that I was not grumpy but barely sentient from tiredness. I did a few other runs here and there, and even got a Course Record and a PR on one local hill, which was a) surprising and b) provoking FRB to say on Strava that I obviously hadn’t run hard enough at the Three Peaks then. Which I think we can both agree is true.

But what I have not done is woken up and thought, I’d really like to run today.

What I have not done is go to training.

What I have not done, much, is run.

I’m keeping fit though. It’s very strange, as I love the outdoors so much, that I have come to also love doing spin classes. A spin class has everything I should loathe: it’s indoor, it’s got loud music, it’s a bit of a cult what with all the women doing the weird call and response thing (UP 2-3-4 DOWN 2-3-4). And yes it is the women, and no, I will never be one of those women. Yet I do love it. I love the intensity of it, and the fact that I pour sweat. I like hearing AHA and Enya speeded up and wondering who provides spin class music and who invented that machine. And now I have discovered a new class which I also love, which has the horrible name of RIP30, but which is a weight training class. My strength training has gone to hell. When, years ago, I had a personal trainer, I was strong. I could do 20 press-ups, no problem. And now I weakly do 10 press-ups and feel pathetic and find myself kneeling rather than doing the full thing and wonder where my upper arm strength has disappeared to (answer: into not doing strength training). I tried to fit in one strength session a week during my Three Peaks training, but usually didn’t. Again, the class is indoor, it has absurdly loud music (and no AHA or Enya), I can’t hear a thing the instructor is saying and neither can anyone else. But I love it. I really enjoy weight training, and I love to do a dead-lift.

I understand, partly, why my running has faded. I’m working a lot, and I don’t want to break off at 5 to go to run club. And my HRT makes me extremely dopey in the mornings so I haven’t managed to run then either. Also, I don’t want to. Maybe this is just a phase, and the equivalent of marathon blues, and my running will come back. When it does, I’ll have the strongest arms in Leeds.

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