Creatures of habit ….. Good and bad ! 

Bless human nature, it guides us, makes us who we are, keeps on the right track……..but why are we such creatures of habit, good and bad ?
So this week I finally haul my lazy ass out of bed for an early morning trot, irritation number 1 is why I simply can’t make this a habit no matter how much I want it to become one! The main features of this morning trot, well actually it’s my anytime front door and back 5km circle, is that I can get it done quickly, no thought and in the morning, no effort. My brain switches on sufficiently to get my kit on and exit the premises. I need my breakfast for functions beyond that.

So off I went, heading down Melton Road ( I have to be in an epic running mood to go other the other way round and climb Melton Road as a finale ). I made my first usual turn and found the pavement closed due to gasworks. ‘Use other side’ ……said a big sign innocently. It might have well of said ‘travel to Mars and run through a VAT of treacle’ what an insane suggestion, run on the other side of the road. The pavement didn’t feel the same, adverse camber warning, I felt too far away from familiar front gardens, it felt miles out my way, it felt longer. I had the walls and hedges and well kept lawns by my left shoulder, just wrong ! The relief to make the next right turn to normality (well, right hand pavement) was palpable. Somebody please explain those feelings by any sense of rational logic ?

It’s not just me, Ellie will only run on my left…..if we swap round crossing a road or moving back to parallel after having to go single file, she insists without fail on going to my left. I can’t say it bothers me a jot, I can natter in any direction.

But it’s not just habitual running issues, I like a particular spot in the studio on the rare occasion I do a class. Not right at the front, too keen, too much pressure. Not at the back, that’s for the non confident and the unfit and I can’t see what’s going off if it’s all changed.Not to the right, that’s where the people (blokes) in the gym can look in and where the next class queues all having a look to see if you’re doing it right, stretched enough, sweaty enough, assessing if you’re still sucking in and planking at the same time. I like the spot more to the left by the windows, where I can check the weather, seek divine inspiration and not be gawped at. If I end up in another space, well I can no longer perform, no balance, no flexibility no rhythm. I know it’s not just me, should you ever rock up at a new class and hop into a space, you just know if you’ve pinched a regular’s spot. It’s a quick glare, a little smile that says ‘ I hope you trip over and die’ the feeling of eyes burning into your back the entire class. Been there, felt that !

And so it goes on, I like the treadmills upstairs not in the main gym, the third stepper from the left, the same car park spaces….near to the door of course. I’m heading to the gym to get fit, not walk !! I like the same car park row in the supermarket, the same multi storey car parks, the same bank of lockers….the same toilet cubicle at work. I’ll stop, I’m frightening myself with my weirdness.

But with my ‘idiosyncracies’ come habits I’m proud of with running and keeping myself ‘sporty over forty’ just one of them. A creature of habit, I still crave new experiences and opportunities to know more. There’s rarely a challenge I won’t rise to.

So I’ve put in my last 10km pre next week’s half. A usual route of course with Ellie….the one along the Grantham canal to Cotgrave and back. My knee is stable, better than a few weeks ago but not normal by a long shot. I’ve tested my NWR vest, never worn it before so thought it should have a rub test before I go purple at an event. So with a couple of trots to turn the old legs over this week, I’m good to go.

Thank god I can still run on the cracks in the pavement !

Categories: Half Marathon, Ladies of a Certain Age Running (LCA), Runners Problems

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