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I wonít kid myself, you, or anybody else that running is always healthy. It can be, and it beats not exercising at all. Moderation is the key, the tendency to overdo things is the frequent result of yielding to the adrenaline that only a few K (where K = kilometres) can give, and it is this fine line I try not to cross every time I put my runners on. Iíve probably never succeeded in twenty-five years.
I owe a passion for pounding the roads to my grandma who retired to a life of running after one of work which never had never done her justice. A string of veteranís world records over a range of distances was a source of pride for the whole family and, not wanting to feel left out, I tagged along a few times before the embarrassment of being slower than my gran took its toll.
I rediscovered it again at university and in-keeping with the obsessive personality that I was nurturing managed to get out about six days a week. Behind Lancaster University there are some impressive hill roads with little traffic, it sure beat being on campus and with my encyclopaedic knowledge of exactly how far it was from one checkpoint to another, I clocked up miles and miles.
Flirtations with racing left me bitter and disappointed, not to mention ashamed to have to tell people how Ďslowí I really was, despite not being slow as such. Itís like the fisherman whose fish got away, only nobody can doubt the fresh air between the extended hands (it can be difficult to argue with empty space). The time on the clock left me feeling very exposed and in need of more serious hill work.
But the hills were never a punishment for me and I donít remember making the first effort to improve my times. It was always just a marriage between me and the solitude, or loneliness, that the fresh air and adrenaline felt so comfortable with. What good running has ever done my health is open to debate. But if what you fancy does you good, then somehow, somewhere and in some small way it has always been worth it.
 

Best runner ever, age for kilometre


This is my grandma, aged about 70 running the London Marathon in a very respectable time. Note however she finished marathons in under 3:40, which is really rather fast :)