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Fit for travel

Spending the better part of 3 months sitting on trains isn’t the best way to keep up one’s fitness. Particularly when one of the things you’re looking forward to is sampling all the local snacks you possibly can. And when you do get off the train, at least for the first month and a half, you will be in very, VERY cold places not very conducive to full days of walking around free of any cares of becoming an ice cube.

This is actually something I’ve thought a lot about. I’m not an unhealthy slob (she says as she sits in bed with her laptop having just scoffed half a giant chocolate Easter egg and a whole bowl of popcorn whilst watching a film of questionable quality on Netflix) but I don’t exactly have any kind of regimented approach to exercise. I walk everywhere, including to and from work every day, and I’ve been doing a ton of dancing which is definitely a workout, but I still get pretty worn out from that. I’ve been trying to figure out what else I can do to feel less like a wreck after a hardcore week.

Because surely being in the best shape possible will also help make life less painful when I’m riding around on horseback in the middle of the ass-freezing cold Mongolian winter. Right?

I’ve never been a very big runner, but two years ago I read that Born to Run book and decided I COULD TOTALLY DO IT. So I trained myself to get to 5k and that’s pretty much the ceiling of my distance ability. It’s enough for me. But I stopped running with any regularity once I’d reached my finish-a-proper-5k-race-in-under-30-minutes goal. Not for any particular reason – I think I was just bored of it.

PROOF I DID IT. Also I really love my running shoes.

PROOF I DID IT. Also I really love my running shoes.

Yesterday morning though, with the weather finally warming up and the last few bits of a week of rubbish to clear from my head, I went for my first run in about a year. And it went WAY BETTER than I imagined it would, so clearly all the dancing has had an effect. (Also I have a BANGIN’ running playlist which I credit for nearly every bit of my motivation.) I did about 3.5k, but I did it more or less without stopping and without feeling like complete and utter death. This after being sure I’d only make it to about 1k before my brain went ‘noooooooooo’. It felt pretty awesome.

So I’m going to add regular runs to the plan from here on out. I’m sore as all hell today from being out of practice, but hopefully that will fade. I’m also apparently going to be bagging my first few munros next weekend, weather permitting, on a wee Sunday hillwalking adventure.

Unfortunately I don’t think train attendants would look too kindly on me running back and forth down the length of the train rocking out to AC/DC. (That seems like something that would happen in a Wes Anderson film. Except maybe not with AC/DC.) So I don’t really know how I’m going to keep my activity level up in the confines of a train, but if I can at least go into it in the best condition, maybe I won’t feel like a complete sloth when I’m lounging about reading War and Peace, eating whatever the Russians would replace popcorn with and watching Siberia roll by.