If you've read the wee "about me" box on the front page of this blog, you'll see that I make reference to some foot problems which have severely curtailed my hillwalking. I've had every type of test and scan available, tried foot-beds and gels and yet just can't crack the problem.
Despite this, when my wife was beginning to get into training for her Everest Base Camp trek, I accompanied her a couple of times out running. It would appear that, if I'm careful, I can avoid the heel-strike which causes most of my problems. Now - I haven't run for years. Not since school in fact (other than running for a bus of course). It was therefore somewhat of a surprise to me that if I kept a nice steady pace and didn't run off hell-for-leather, I could actually do a couple of miles without any major trauma.
With a few more attempts, I was able to go out one day and knock off 11km in a time just over an hour. I was very pleased and started to consider doing more. However, the colder weather hit us, the trails and pavements got a bit icy and my wife decided she'd stick to other forms of exercise so I left it at that.
Fast forward to spring and there I am in Go Outdoors looking at some snazzy Salomon Cross Running shoes. I had to have them!
So today, and after a couple of recent bike rides when I've been feeling a bit low on energy, I decided to slip into my trainers and try a couple of laps of Harlaw Reservoir again. It was a bit of a shock of course, but after half a lap or so, and to he sounds of Ibiza Euphoria, I found I was really starting to enjoy it. The two laps I'd decided to limit myself to went in pretty quick and easy and when I stopped I did, indeed, have a sense of "euphoria".
I never thought I'd be getting into running at the age of 53, but I'm definitely finding it stimulating and already pondering which hills I'll be using to break in my new shoes!