Between My Reads is a new feature that will appear on here sporadically. As I’m sure you might have guessed by now, I’m passionate about books. However, they are not the be all and end all of my life so I thought it might be fun to share some other stuff now again here too. If this doesn’t interest you, don’t worry books will be back on the agenda tomorrow.
My History with Running :
I love/hate running. I don’t always love it while I’m doing it. I often dread it beforehand but afterwards I feel like I’m on top of the world so it’s always worth the effort for me. However I’ve had a very up/down relationship with it and have often neglected it for years at a time. But like a magnet something just always compels me back to it.
I ran as a child up to about the age of 14 in an athletic club. I was never fast but was a consistent trainer and I often feel it is because I ran regularly during my foundation years that I keep getting drawn back to it. I ran on and off in my twenties and thirties and took part in lots of 5ks and 10ks. Again I was never fast but running just satisfies a need within me to set and achieve goals. Oh and it played a major part in helping me to control my weight.
In 2011, I once again set off on the running trail and it was like being welcomed back by an old friend. And up to the end of 2012, I was training pretty consistently and even took part in a weekly meet and train group which I loved as suddenly my solitary hobby became a social one. But then in 2013, I quit! I was going through a pretty traumatic year and even though I needed my best stress releaser more than ever in my life; I just turned by back on it. This combined with a bad diet led to inevitable weight gain and made me feel pretty bad about myself.
Until April of 2014, when I made the commitment to make running a part of my life again.
My Present with running:
A photo of me around 2012, enjoying a beach run (pre weight gain)
I’m working my way through the couch to 5K program using the app on my phone. If you have ever wanted to start running, I can’t recommend this program enough. It slowly and surely builds you up week by week to running 30 minutes at a time.
Sure for me right now, it could feel frustrating to only be running for 5 minutes at a time. But it doesn’t as I don’t allow myself to think that way. I know the program works and I know once I stick to it that I’ll be back running 10k’s before I know it. So for now I just take pride in every session I do, my past runs don’t count, my future ones don’t count, all that matters is the ones I’m doing right now. I am where I am and I’m going in the right direction.
But best of all is that I’ve got the glowing, sweaty feel good feel going on that only running can give me. I think it’s because running is hard for me personally. I’m not a natural runner. I’m not fast. I’m awkward. But running rewards hard work and every week I meet new goals which makes me feel even better about myself.
Plus running makes me feel gritty and tough. I could be lying on the couch but instead I’m out there pushing myself into the uncomfortable zone and it feels great! And even better that weight gain from 2013 is disappearing week by week. So 3 or 4 times a week, you’ll find me pounding the roads or sweating away in the gym and running my way back to happiness.
My Running Tips:
Ok, I’m no expert. But I have found these work for me so hopefully they will inspire or help someone else too :
- Use the couch to 5k plan. It works. If you are really unfit, start with walking for a few weeks and then jump into the C25K program.
- Repeat weeks if you have to. It’s no big deal, you’ll still get there.
- Run slower than you think you need to in the beginning. Your pace will increase and running slower means you can keep going for longer.
- Don’t worry about how you look. No one is looking at you. I used to be so self conscious at the beginning and used to walk whenever I heard a car so no one would laugh at me. Now I don’t give a damn.
- Make lots of running playlists as there is nothing like some favourite music to give you a much needed boast just when you feel like flagging. There are lots of running playlists on spotify but I prefer to put my own favourites together as that way I know I’ll like every single song.
- Stretch afterwards. I have a playlist just for stretching to and it has become my favourite part of my running ritual. It’s my me-time and I love relaxing into my stretches knowing the hard part is over.
- Log the distance and time of your runs. I use the Nike running app but any tracking app or even a journal would do. That way when you feel you are making no progress, have a look back at previous runs and you will see just how far you’ve come.
- Count your running time in minutes not in miles. That way you see progress instantly!
- I also like to mix up my running routes so it never gets boring. I have a route that I can do from my front door, another one 10 minutes drive away that is in a lovely scenic spot, another from my parents house and the treadmill in the gym for other days. Variety is good and I look forward to my different routes. Plus different environments have different challenges.
- Remember every run counts. Some suck with every step you take but they all add up in your running log and even the sucky ones are making you fitter and healthier.
- Running gets easier after 10 minutes. I don’t know why but when you get your second wind, you get an extra spring in your step.
- Running is just as much mental as physical. Just convince yourself you can do it and more often than not, you’ll surprise yourself with just how true that is.
- And my favourite tip is just do it. Don’t think about it, just do it. I have never regretted a single run I’ve ever done but I sure have regretted all the ones I didn’t do.
Now if only I would follow my own tips all the time! But I’m trying!
Chit-Chat: As you can tell, I love what running does for my head and my body when I commit to doing it regularly. Do you run? If so, what’s your favourite thing about it? If not, have you ever thought of trying it? Or do you have tips to share, I’d love to hear them.