Running and I got serious in early 2015. We have been through a lot together. My feet have covered so many miles and I have had so many great thoughts whilst out pounding the pavements. I have heard loads of great tunes and met a myriad of inspirational people (out and about and online). I remember all those that have given me a high five or shouted out to me ‘keep going’ when I started to walk.
It can be easy to fall in and out of love with running and I do confess to giving more time than normal lately to other forms of physical activity. The marathon tired me out a bit and my body (and toenails) took a pounding. Which is exactly why I signed up for the Scottish half marathon. Without a challenge ahead it can be all too easy to stop running. If you read my recent article in Women’s running magazine you will understand why I never want this to happen.
A few weeks ago I got my shoes laced up and attempted my longest run since those grueling 26.2 miles. I left buzzing for it. I looked forward to getting into my stride. I love that feeling when I am flying through the pavements and I feel so fit. The feeling when I know all my training is paying off. It never came. I wanted to stop every 5 minutes. I was tired. I felt way more out of breath than normal. I wasn’t enjoying the route. I was bored. I wanted to go back home. Then the negative thoughts started coming in –
How am I going to manage a half next month?
Maybe my running days are over
I have lost the buzz
The following week, running and I ‘were on a break’. I felt a bit guilty each time I went to an rpm or yoga class. Why was I enjoying swimming when I should be focusing on getting my mileage back up? Ok the outdoor pool at David Lloyd is far too tempting. I close my eyes and I could be anywhere – Spain, Mauritius, Hawaii. Plus a sunset swim after a hardcore rpm session or some weights is so satisfying.
It was cool though, a few days out from running would do me good. I booked myself in for an amazing sports massage and I focused on looking after my body.
The day soon came for me to lace my shoes back up and I felt nervous. I was armed with a clear head (avoided any vino or Edinburgh gin the night before) and had a good 8 hours sleep in me. I had my faithful running gear on – including my super comfy, lucky socks.
What if it was just like that run last week which totally sucked? No think positive. I will start off slowly and then pick it up a bit. Wow what a difference. I am in my stride again. My breathing is steady and I am enjoying the route. All that other cross training is definitely helping me. My body clearly needed a proper massage too.
There are so many reasons why we have a bad run – sleep, tension, stress, diet. Sometimes it’s just not our day. That is ok. It doesn’t mean that we quit. There is nothing wrong with taking a break and then getting back into it. Sometimes we have to just go for it. Push the negative thoughts aside and lace up the trainers.
The half marathon is a month today and even if I have the odd off day and my mind says ‘you aint made for this’ I will go anyway. I will just go for it because, even when we are not in our stride: there is no such thing as a bad workout. Bring on that medal and a few well earned drinks to celebrate!