At last, I finally put my money where my mouth is and went out for a much needed run today. It was during my lunch hour at work, so I just went to the park across the river and fannied about for about half an hour. Then I did 30 muddy burpees under a tree and jogged back to the office – BOOM!
I say that as though it was good but it wasn’t. It’s the first time I’ve run more than about 800m (a block run) in a couple of months and it was pretty crap. I decided to go as slowly as I needed to and just make sure that I didn’t stop. That was my main goal – just keep running without stopping for about 30 minutes. Sounds easy huh? Not a bit of it. I managed to run at a pace only slightly faster than my walk for about 20 minutes, then had a break for a minute then did another ten minutes. My walking pace is very fast, so I suppose it’s not too bad.
In fact it’s better than I thought. I had almost given up before I started, thinking of a million excuses not to go out in the first place. It was warm and muggy today, with a drizzle of rain: weather that makes me feel listless and tired. Telling people your plans is my first tip. Not long after getting to work, I announced that I was going for a lunchtime run. If I hadn’t followed through I would have felt lazy and pathetic, especially as one of my colleagues is 50 years old and as fit as a flea.
I have struggled to get up every day this week – my body is still in recovery from the weekend of camping. The pain of getting out of a comfy bed in the morning is almost too great to bear. I have had to drag the wee boy up each morning too, prising him from the duvet, his fingers gripping the pillow for dear life. Roll on Saturday, where there shall be no early rising and even if awake, I intend to remain snuggled up until at least 10am. No energy will be expended, apart from the making of cups of tea.
Yesterday was the worst, as my midge bites kept me awake with frenzied scratching half the night and I had to go the gym and fling maces about on only a few hours’ sleep. After that, I spent the day running about with my son, which is far more energetic than sitting at a desk. Just thinking about it makes me zzzzzzz…
I am getting up to go the gym at 6.30 am tomorrow, which is the only time I can go on a work day and still get to the office on time. Horrors. Yet although I will be tired, I am fairly motivated to go. I’m enjoying the hard work of the classes and the silly chat again. The only thing is, I’m off to a gig at the Jazz festival tomorrow night, so let’s hope it’s not too experimental and I can stay awake through the noodlings.
Are you impressed by my dedication? I am. There are now only 24 days until the race, so fingers must be pulled out of arses now. On top of that, I am doing a 5k for fun on Sunday morning. It’s called Colour Me Rad and thank feck it’s not chipped or timed. You dress completely in white, and as you run (or in my case, plod) round the course, they pelt you with paint bombs of different colours. By the end, you look like a psychedelic hippy who has hung around the weirder fields of Glastonbury for too long. In other words, it’s meant to be fun.
Despite my weary sounding tone, I am sure it will be. There’s no pressure, no obstacles, no burpees and I am looking forward to being splatted and getting some pictures of friends looking as daft as I do. And if my face turns purple from the exertion, no-one will know, as my face is meant to be purple. And pink and green and yellow.
So, the programme until the big race day is as follows: two gym classes a week, three short runs (including hill work) and 30 burpees a day. If that’s not enough to get me round the course then hell mend me. Doing the running bit is the hardest as it’s so unpleasant and so easy to make excuses not to, particularly if I’m just going myself. For some of us, public shaming is a must. Running today reminded me of training for my first 10k about four years ago. I had never run before and I was soooo slow. My first time was about 1:14, which is nothing to write home about, but the main thing was that I ran it all without stopping. At that time, I was heavier than I am now, less strong and a smoker to boot. There are no reasons why I can’t run again, only psychological blocks.
Thinking about that got me round the park today. That leads to my second tip on running for people who hate running. Every time I wanted to stop and walk for a wee minute, which was about every 90 seconds, I just put a marker in my head e.g. you can stop if you really want to, but why not just keep going until you get to the third tree? Then keep going until you get to the next statue. And so on, until before you know it, you have nearly finished a circuit of the park, so you might as well keep going until the end. Only stop if you think your lungs will burst or you’re going to throw up.
Crying is no excuse, you can run along blubbing, as long as you keep breathing. Focus on the legs. I like to think of my legs wheeling along like a bicycle, propelling me forwards. This might sound like bullshit, but there’s nothing like getting lost inside your head, to distract you from the horribleness of running. Creative visualisation and positive self-talk works. Pretend you are Paula Radcliffe if that helps. Anything to take your mind off it.
Ooft. The alarm is set for 5:50am and I need to be asleep now. I hope to dream of running around the park like a gazelle, in a state of technicolour joy, accompanied by the theme from Chariots of Fire. In a jazz stylee.
Until next time,