How Instagram Keeps Me Running

Rusty silhouetted jumping

Ooh, these days have got dark and stormy. And cold! That duvet is too luscious to leave behind in the morning; and the couch beckons the moment I turn the key at the end of the day.

So, any extra boosts to get me outdoors are welcome. There’s lots out there: keep track of numbers on Strava, or get some awesome gear. But after discovering Joelix’s Instagram feed, I realised that the funnest way is to give yourself a hashtag.

Screenshot of #rusty_runs hashtag on Instagram

Judith’s #joelixruns series is a fantastically colourful way to track runs. My streets (and shoes) aren’t quite as colourful, but I love the idea so have got snapping my own feet (and tagged many of Tom’s photos. After all, he is my biggest motivation for running.)

Looking down at muddy running shoes

The Best Idea for a Windy Day

Tom working on his MacBook Pro

November is such a busy time at work, particularly now we’re both working on extra projects at the weekend. So, it’s often the case that Tom and I are stuck in our respective screens. Tom is good at getting outside to run around and clear his head. I am good at making up excuses and nursing a bag of M&Ms with vague cries of ‘I’ll probably do some yoga later…’

So, after weeks of nothing but the odd down dog, it felt so good to run around a gusty clifftop, battling the winds, slipping through the mud, and just generally having a fabulous time filling up on fresh air.

View out to see from Culver Cliff, Isle of Wight

Tom falling down whilst running

The wind was so strong we really were batted about. Tom fell over, but I think he may just have been goofing around to get me up the steep hill. He did have to resort to chasing me through the Brading Marshes, against the headwind heading home.

Tom running at Bembridge Common

10k always tires me out, so we enjoyed the last hill at walking pace, hand in hand, planning dinner and enjoying the view. The best kind of days are the ones spent outside.

Silhouette of Rusty on the hill top

Running Through the Autumn

Looking down at Rusty's running shoes

Forest floor by Carisbrooke Castle

Autumn is such a great time for running around in the countryside. Cooler breezes, muddy puddles, and rich colours. The days are still long enough to catch the last light up a hill after work.

Last Friday we ran this castle route (a favourite of Tom’s). The stubbly brown fields seem a world away from the hot yellow hay of a month ago. It feels closer to the winter runs of hammering rain and shin-deep mud. Half the fun of an outdoor adventure, is returning home and collapsing on the couch with a bag of M&Ms, and it’s even more satisfying when the outside weather is a little bit tougher. This is just the start of it..

Tom opens the gate to a track

Rusty and Tom running photo collage

(This particular run ended at a new burger joint in town. A cold beer and a big eat; now that has to be the ultimate reason to run!)

Tom running

New Shoes

Looking down at Rusty's running shoes

Finally! The ground has dried up a little.  Running in the countryside no longer involves running through deep puddles, or sliding in thick mud.  So, I’m retiring my old very muddy pair of shoes.  I walked in that pair of shoes for years before I gave in and started doing a bit of running.  And this winter they’ve witnessed hail storms, landslides, and a lot of wet dirt.

I bought my new shoes from the local running store, which was so much more fun than buying them online.  I even had a go on a treadmill (how have I got to 31 and never tried one before?!) This is the first pair of shoes I have purposefully bought for running.  I’m looking forward to more days running on dry tracks, through green meadows, with only the odd April shower.  I might still be a newbie, but I think this running habit might be sticking…

Runner’s Remorse

Sunset view across to BBC MediaCityUK

I’ve spent the last couple days attending a course in Salford Quays. The area is criss-crossed with lovely brick paths, humped bridges over the water, with people rowing across in skiffs. The place is pretty quiet, save for people running or feeding the geese, but the lack of cars and shops makes it all the more tempting for a run.

In the interests of travelling light, I didn’t pack any running gear for this trip. I always avoid taking anything extra and pride myself in being a light packer. But, home alone on a sunny day up north, I did doubt the wisdom in this. It strikes me that running must be one of the best ways to quickly explore a city, and an easy way of getting exercise whist away (yoga mats aren’t very portable and I don’t fancy the look of that hotel carpet!)

When we recently stayed in Belfast, with limited baggage allowance, Tom ditched his camera in favour of the running gear. When we arrived, he dashed off round the city in his trainers, while I lounged and drank red wine. Next time I think the running shoes will definitely have to travel with me, even if it does mean a bigger bag.