Nothing like a hill session to blast away the bank-holiday blues

It’s August bank holiday, which means it’s raining. In fact, it’s been raining all day.

We’d planned to go cycling but didn’t really fancy it in the wet weather. Instead we curled up on the sofa watching Columbo, and munching our way through a family sized bag of minstrels.

At about five o’clock I knew I’d have to run. I didn’t feel like it. The rain had dampened my mood. But it had to be done.

‘I’m going to attack some hills,’ I told Chris.

He laughed. ‘I’m going to attack the sofa.’

So while Chris watched Law and Order and The Big Bang Theory, I charged up the aptly named Grimpit Hill. And I didn’t just run up it once. It took eight attempts to shake off the sluggishness of the wet bank holiday. By the time I’d finished I’d run nine miles and I felt better, much better. Running always helps my mood. Maybe it’s the serotonin and the endorphins or perhaps it’s just being outside in the country, breathing in the fresh air and appreciating the space. Whatever the reason, I know that running is so much more than just a physical workout. Something about the rhythm of running helps me to relax, and it’s when I’m relaxed and in the zone that my mind is cleared of the daily detritus and I can think.

That’s why I love running. Yes, I love the physical challenge of pushing your body to its limit, but I also value the positive impact it has on mood and mental health. It’s where I find strength and focus. It’s where I’m most creative. Whether I’m charging up a hill or enjoying a steady off-road route, running always makes me feel better and more positive about myself and about the world. Yesterday was no exception. I returned home feeling exhausted but energised. And after a quick shower I was soon back on the sofa nibbling the minstrels.