I know that periodically posts appear on here where I say something along the lines of "I know I stopped running but now I've started again and I'm really loving it again."
Well guess what?
I'm not going to buck the trend.
Last year was a bad year for me running-wise. A really bad year. Messed up knees, a messed up calf, sciatica - good lord it was dreadful. Nearly every time I went out running I felt bad after it - if not physically, then mentally. If I didn't run as fast or as far as I did the time before I berated myself for 'losing it', if I did run faster or further then I berated myself for not running even faster or further.
I came home from runs and cried. I came home from runs and sulked. I came home and swore I wouldn't go out running again. I didn't enjoy it, I made it as little fun as I possibly could.
Not this time. I have said that this year I would like to beat my 10k time as part of my Not Really Resolutions and to that end I've signed up for a couple of 10ks this year as some motivation. But the memories of last year were running deep and I was finding every excuse under the sun to not go out and run - it would be too hard, it was too cold, it was too dark etc etc.
Eventually I snapped. I came home from work one evening and decided enough was enough. I put on my stuff and just went out before I had time to think about it. I figured that of course it was going to be rubbish - the last time I'd run was the beginning of September and I was now at the end of January. But the important thing was to just get out, make the first move, go go go go.
And I went.
I went out and ran 3km. Without stopping. I couldn't really believe it. And I couldn't work out why it had happened.
It happened because I wasn't mean to myself. I just went out just to see what would happen. I didn't place any expectations on myself and the whole way round I didn't have a loop running in my head saying "Oh my god you can't do this, you're definitely going to be too tired". Instead I channelled my inner This Girl Can and said to myself "Hey, at least you're not sat on the sofa like you would have been. You're already winning."
I went again and it was all fine. My knee hurt a bit afterwards so I didn't go out running again until it was properly better. I didn't try and force the issue and run through it. And when I went out running tonight it was the best out of the four runs.
I haven't once said to myself "You're only running 3km, you should be running further by now." When I feel like it, I'll run further and see how it goes. No more saying I have to run the whole thing. Eventually I'll be able to run the whole way. It might take absolutely ages, I might not beat my 10k time this year. But I'd rather not beat it and enjoy running than drive myself into a pit of despair and injury again by being constantly mean to myself the whole time.
So there are no training plans. There is no pressure. There is no more apologising that I haven't run that far or that fast.
Going out and doing any kind of running is better than sitting in on your arse.
Remind me of this post when I'm having a freak out that I'm not "improving", yeah?