I went jogging this weekend, for the first time in well over a year. I’d largely stopped doing so for a number of reasons. Back at the old house I had to be ready to cycle up to 100 miles a week, which meant jogging seemed a bit of a liability. I have some threads of broken veins in my heels, mostly from a youth of wearing shitty trainers, which I don’t want to make much worse. And Eynsham, for all its delights, is too small to jog round without quite quickly boring yourself rigid.
But Christmas car-sharing and the move back to Witney have both meant I’ve felt like getting some sort of exercise that isn’t shivering. And so, avoiding the more spectacular patches of ice, I trotted off to a nearby park and did a few routes round it. This also involved going up- and downhill each time, which was good for cardiovascular health but did involve gingerly picking round frozen leaves on tarmac on the way down. From there I looped, or maybe loped, through the unwelcoming newbuild estate on the hill and back home. It didn’t take much more than half an hour, during which at a leisurely pace I can’t have gone more than four miles.
Today and yesterday my legs have had knives in them. I did stretch afterwards, honest. I even had a bath. But however much like death my legs might feel, at least it’s stopped my long, slow slide into hibernation. It’s the solstice today and boy! is my metabolism aware of it. It’s all I can do to stop myself making a nest out of duvets, under the stairs, and staying there till spring like a bear under leaves. There’s only so far that self-medcation with caffeine will get you—December 19th, it seems—and there’s still a long way to go till the equinox; sore legs are ultimately preferable to a permanent sore head.