Monday, 9 February 2015

Return to Running

I really think I've got the hang of it this time guys. I know you must be bored of hearing it but this time, this time, I think I've cracked running.

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 out running a couple of days later and it was much harder - it was absolutely freezing and I've been battling a mega cough for about three weeks - the cold air hit my lungs and shrivelled them up and induced a couple of such major coughing fits that at one point I thought I was going to throw up in the street. But I finished off coughing, assured the old couple who thought I was about to keel over that I was fine and carried on running. And I came home and said "Good work, you carried on running even though it was rubbish."

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?


  1. Yes it is!!! Well done! This comes from one who is sitting on the sofa not doing it! I really hope you keep this positivity!!x

  2. Yes! I'm terribly at running outside, always have been, so any time I manage to do more than ten minutes I think I'm amazing haha! I could run for ages on the treadmill though, must be all the variants that affect me in outside running :)

  3. Bravo! Half the battle of running is in the mind.

  4. Well done. Running should be fun. I have a mental battle with myself while I am running but the best runs are the ones where like you I just go and see what happens.
    Long may your love for running last :D

  5. Perfect attitude! You'll find yourself going further and faster naturally. Look forward to running with you later in the year :)

  6. Go you :)
    I went back to the gym the week before last after a few months off. I always thought I wouldn't ever join a gym, would always hate exercise, and could definitely never run, and yet now I can jog 1K without stopping. I think it's very much been about doing it on MY terms and being proud of myself for making an effort. There may be a woman next to me running at twice the speed but I'm putting in plenty of work doing what I am doing and that's what matters. No PE teachers telling me to run faster when I can barely actually run and no sporty girls lapping me while chatting.
    I realise I'm a bit late to the party here, hope your legs are behaving themselves :)


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