Back on the chain (smokin’) gang…

Posted: 21/08/2012 in Barefoot, Journal, Running, Transition

The title pretty much tells you all you need to know. I’m back on the tabs, for the time being at least. I’ve been off ’em for  a month, and reckon I was pretty much over any physical need to smoke, but the mind is a funny old thing. When the chips are down and life seems difficult, sometimes you crave the thing you know you don’t really need. If everything was plain sailing, then that would be fine, but when you’ve got another thing or three to occupy your mind, then you don’t really need that extra thought taking up space in your head. Do I feel awful about it? Not really. I feel that it’s doing something for me at the moment, and that I’ll stop again at some point – more than I’m a non-smoked having a time smoking, rather than a smoker who’s stopped giving up.

That said, and having recommenced the nicotine last night, I woke up at 4:30am this morning, at the same time the daughter was heading off to bed after a hard night of banishing electronic demons from cyberspace. I couldn’t get back to the land of nod, so what else was I going to do, I got up and ran.

It’s a while since I’ve done a proper morning run, by which I mean one that takes place before the rest of the world has got up. The Parkruns are ace, but they’re at a very civilised 9am, and come complete with a side order of dog walkers, stollers and other passers-by.

Off up the coast towards Seaton Sluice, then, in my Breatho Trails as part of my prep for September’s half marathon up at Hadrian’s Wall. There’s nothing quite so magical as running through the sunrise, and the deep red clouds and milky sea with it’s early traffic of lobster-pot (or maybe crab-pot, I don’t know) fishermen out in their tiny boats. The world seems like a smaller, cosier place before everyone else appears, though that could also be helped by the calming effect of a good pre-run smoke.

One of the peculiar side-effects of smoking (for me at least), aside from the noticeable improvement in my eyesight, is that it doesn’t half keep you regular. That’s fine, sometimes it’s a godsend, but a couple of miles into a run (which also gently massages the soft tissues of your bowel) it can lead to some surprising effects. I hadn’t headed out with any particular distance or turn-around point in mind, so I was happy to about-face and start to head back. I suspect that last night’s family trip to the pizzeria also had a hand in this, but what the heck.

Back home as the sun continued it’s arc into the morning, and discovered I’d mounted a non too shabby five miles. Not bad, though I reckon a couple of longer runs are required before the half.


  • Distance: 5.16 miles
  • Time: 46’47″08
  • Average pace: 9’13” (That’ll do nicely)

In other news, I consider the Transition to barefoot (apart from the actual barefoot bit) is pretty much there… 🙂


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