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  • Writer's pictureMike Douglas

Morning Runs

This morning I had another weekend run. I really enjoy going out in the morning before there's too much traffic, while the air is crisp and fresh. The air seems so how more...cleaner.

I didn't like the idea of running through traffic. I didn't really care about the dangers, it's the starting and stopping at crossing and breathing in all that polluted air. Plus when you run your breathing more deeply. So that's definitely a time when I don't want to be breathing that stuff in.

The last two or three weeks I've started changing my route. It's gotten a little boring. Particularly as I run an A to B route, meaning I run to a point then turn around and run back. So I'm running a route twice every time.

The usual route I run takes me through a number of residential areas including my childhood home, then through a park, over a couple of bridges and then around to a harbour. Once in the harbour I usually stretch out and have recently been recording a short podcast episode while I stretch and take a pretty photo or two.

The route today was a very different one. I'd struggled to sleep through the night and was very awake at a little after 2pm. By 4pm I was done laying in bed it was so annoying. So I got up and started my run.

I'd cut out part of the residential area and run towards the park. However instead of going through I ran towards and up Portsdown Hill. It was great to run somewhere different and because of the dark to run somewhere I could see lights. I stopped to record a short podcast / catch my breath (it was very uphill and hill is hard!).

I didn't hang around to think too much, I took a few photos and started back. I really appreciated the down hill start.

Running a different route was good, it kept me going and made me go further, I finished on 7.25 miles opposed to the 5 miles I had as going for, plus I'd done the massive hill climb!

Running is important to me, it gives me time to think a little, while I will almost always have a podcast on, I do kind of think over the top of it sometimes. Being outside is great too breathing in that air. It's not air con, it's not a fan, it's 'real' air. It makes so much difference to me. So many people I've spoken to don't get it, they think temperatures and air con. It's not about that.

Plus it's my main source of exercise now. Gone are the days of 5-a-side football and volleyball. Team sports are hard to keep up when you have depression!

Right now, I'll walk for about 40 minutes each weekday and run between 5 - 8 miles on the weekend. So I need to keep it up, I enjoy it, but it's also needed.

It's cold out there now, which is good. I know what I'm wearing, that cross over in autumn is so confusing. I end up wanting to take my jumper off after about 1 or 2 miles. But it's so cold at the start I need it.

I have to say my New Balance trainers are ace. They are my second pair of NB and I'd say I'm pretty brand loyal at this stage. The pair I have now I actually brought while in Australia, so they've been on my feet during some awesome runs!

I always wear shorts (which do need replacing, there's a 'slight' rip in the place you don't want a rip hahaha), and my Nike long sleeved under armour.

I also track all my runs on my phone with the Nike running app, it's been great as a motivational tool, to target a certain point or distance and to measure progress.

Running has been great for my mental health too, it's given me time to reflect and an opportunity for a physical outlet. Which is much needed. I could probably do with some kickboxing or something too. But running a good for now haha.

I do also like, and this is maybe a bit deep. I like that I don't need anything or anyone to run. I just go. It's just me. I don't need kit or equipment. Yes I have my stuff and I'd have less motivation without it. But I can go without. The minimalist disconnected non committal part of me loves that.

This year I haven't taken part in any fun runs that I can think of. Actually I take that back I did a snowflake run around February I think. I remember it wasn't near Christmas haha. It's just been about fun, keeping fit and healthy (mentally as well as physically). Plus it means I can keep eating the less healthy stuff that I do.

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