Tag Archives: 2020

2020: The Year Of Running?

Copy of I Never Want To Run A Marathon... And That’s Okay (1)

Aah running, it’s always been such a balancing act for me; I love it because I can see instant progress but I hate the way it makes me feel sometimes. Thankfully I don’t get too much of the latter anymore. Today’s post however is talking about my first run back a few weeks ago, how I felt and what changes I’ll be making to move forward with my running goals.

In a previous post about how last year (2019) wasn’t my best year of running (which I’ll link here) I talked all about why I thought it wasn’t the best year in terms of my running and what went wrong. I had an incredible 2019 for the most part but it was just that my fitness wasn’t at its best like it should have been.
Getting ready for that first run again was tough, not in the sense that I had no idea what to expect but I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to run at all. I didn’t know whether I could run 100m never mind one mile, and I had been putting it off for a couple of weeks. Scott would suggest that we go for a run, and I would quickly suggest the gym instead, but I always knew in the back of my mind that running was more important to him, and I felt bad. I felt bad that I was more than likely, holding him back from doing what he loved, because I couldn’t get past my worry.

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Starting that first run back was better than expected; I was able to run 5K without stopping and I didn’t think I would be able to do that for at least the first few runs. I was incredibly proud of myself because I had been so worried for weeks that I would never be able to run again. When you say it out loud, it sounds ridiculous, right? I stopped running on a regular basis and now all of a sudden, I feel like I’m never going to be able to run again.
There are so many quotes about not thinking about the past and living in the present, that this one in particular seems perfect for what I’m trying to explain: “If you want to be happy, do not dwell in the past, do not worry about the future, focus on living fully in the present.” Thinking about how you used to be (especially when you were at your best) can be emotional at times and it can actually put you off pursuing something (like I did for quite a few weeks).
In anything, when you have built a skill and you feel like you have to start over again, it can be difficult. You never know if you’re going to get back to that stage again and it can be even harder going back to square one and doing all the leg work. For me, it was all about speed; when I first began running, I was at a 45 minute 5K and then my best was 30:02 (yes, two seconds off 30 minutes!) and now I’m at around 38 minutes. Sure, it’s not forty five but it’s not close to my absolute best. I would say that was the hardest part of getting back into a running routine again; knowing that I wasn’t going to be as fast and having to deal with that, whether I was okay with it or not.. When you haven’t ran consistently in just under a year, what can you really expect? It’s like anything really; if you learn a language for a year and then stop for nine months, it’s going to take a while to get back into again.

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I can tell you about how I felt getting back into running again and how I’m not happy with having to start very close to the beginning again, but what changes do I need to make? Am I going to make running a priority again? Am I going to make a plan?
As I mentioned in one of my previous posts about how to start budgeting (which you can read right here), I talked about having a “why” and while we’re not talking about money in this post today, the subject is still relatable. It’s important to have a “why” and especially for your goals (whatever they may be) because if you don’t, you’ll simply be less motivated to move forward with them and failure will be more likely. In order to make something a priority, you need to assess your time, your why and where you would like to move further with it in the future.
For me, running and overall physical fitness is a priority for me, so it’s important to me to make sure I look at what time I do have and when I can fit my goals into my time. I work a normal 9-5 schedule which I absolutely love, but I get tired very easily. I don’t have a chronic disease and having someone close to me that has one, I can only imagine what someone goes through with that type of illness. I have always had a sense of tiredness since my early teenage years and it’s always something that has stayed with me. Having no solution can be difficult but I know that so many other people have it worse than me, and it’s something I do have to remember.
I know that scheduling two runs during the week and a slightly longer run at the weekend will be the starting point for Scott and I, and we may substitute a run for a gym session but it’s equally as important to improve our overall fitness and not just our cardiovascular health. We’re also planning on signing up to a few races over the year too, because then that will help us aim for slightly larger goals, whether that is distance or speed.

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As always, thank you for taking the time to read today’s post and if you have anything similar that you think would make an interesting read, you can leave it down below in the comments, over on my Twitter or my Instagram. Have a lovely week!

My Continue, Start and Stop Plan: 2020.

My Continue, Start and Stop Plan_ Mid 2019.

If you’ve been reading the blog for a few years now, you will know that I have been experimenting with goals and resolutions while trying to find the best solution for me. After watching Muchelle B’s video last year about the Continue, Start and Stop plan, I gave it a go and it’s been the best tool for me so far. If you fancy having a read of the previous post, (linked right here) and in today’s post, I’ll be talking about my plan for early to mid 2020. (It’s a long one so you may want to get yourself a drink for this one!)

What is the Continue, Start and Stop plan?

If you haven’t read my first post on this, I highly recommend you do because it has the complete backstory on why I wanted to try this method. However, I’ll give you a short version of what the plan is. It’s simply a plan where you lay out what you want to continue doing, what you would like to start doing and what you want to stop doing in your life. When I did my updated six month plan (linked here), I added a back-on-track section, because there were things that I didn’t need to necessarily start but I wasn’t continuing them because I hadn’t practiced them in a while.

I’m a cliche New Year, New Me type of person and I have zero shame in that. I love the fresh start of a new month or a new year, it’s just the way that I like to work. I love having goals to aim for, I’m very much a goal oriented person; however over the last few years, I noticed that my standard practice of setting New Year’s Resolutions wasn’t working as well as I wanted it to. I knew I had to mix it up so I tried three goals every three months, then last year I tried two goals every two months as well as this Continue, Start and Stop plan. I was able to concentrate on the goals for 2019, but it’s possible that I was still taking on too much with the plan and individual goals but I did try and tie them together as much as I could. 

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As mentioned before, I did a six month update of my plan last year and I believe that was one of the best ways not to overwhelm myself. While I’m a cliche New Year goals person, I’m also one of those people who want to change everything overnight, and as much as I know it’s the wrong attitude sometimes, I get sucked into it. Having that split over the six months will be much more beneficial and it gives you a better viewpoint on what has changed and what hasn’t changed. 

With this plan, I’m not going to go through each activity, because you’ll be here all day if I did. Most of them are self-explanatory and I think it’s important to note that these are my goals and what I want to work on for my own reasons. That’s the really good thing about goals and resolutions, we can all find our inspiration from other people and alternatives online, but it’s all about what you feel like you need to do to improve yourself. 

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What do I want to continue?

  • I have been planning mornings or afternoons at one of my local coffee shops for a few years now; you might be the type of person who can work from home but I haven’t trained myself to do that so my best work is done outside of the house. Whether the work is goal setting, blog post writing or planning the next few weeks; the new environment gives me some mental clarity. It’s something I can do on my own for a few hours whereas Scott doesn’t like working in coffee shops, he works so much better at home, so it’s always nice to come home and talk about what work we got done that day. I try and limit my mornings out to possibly twice or three times a month, but that will all depend on how much money I have to spend (those teas and coffees can add up without even noticing, which I’ll discuss in a moment) and the other activities I have planned.

  • Money management is something I have been able to stream line into my life quite easily, I’m able to work out quickly how much money I have left to spend on certain activities and when I know I have to pull back until the next pay day. I still question why this isn’t something we are taught in school; I took a Learning for Life and Work GCSE (I would also say one of the most pointless GCSE’s, I wish I had chosen something else) and we weren’t taught anything like this so it’s been something that I’ve been learning throughout adult life. Once you know what’s going in and more importantly, how much is coming out, then you’re able to establish what you can and can’t do.

  • During the Christmas period, Scott and I both managed to get back into a gym routine. (I know, it’s a VERY strange time to do this!) and we’ve been really enjoying it. What I needed to do and I had noted it on my plan last year that I needed to have a plan for the gym. Some people can decide what they’re going to do when they are there, but I’m definitely not like that. I’ve found that Instagram is a great tool especially for HIIT workouts, so I can use my wireless headphones and watch the video quickly before doing the exercise. We’ve also moved to evening workouts rather than morning workouts; this is because I kept saying “Oh let’s get up early and go to the gym before work” and for two months, that NEVER happened because I was so tired. This meant restructuring our routine and we found having the time off around Christmas gave us that freedom.

What do I want to start?

  • I don’t tend to set weight loss as a goal anymore but it’s something that I have been wanting to work on for the last year. I’ve gained a little more weight than I would like, and I spoke about this in my weightloss post quite recently (which I’ll link here) so having monthly weigh ins will be a strategy that will help me. I know it’s not all about the numbers but I know where ideal weight is meant to be so with more walking, more gym workouts and eating better, it will fall off naturally.

  • For Christmas, Scott bought me a calligraphy set alongside a Brooklyn Art Library sketchbook which has a really cool concept of being featured in the library once you have completed it and sent it off, and it ends up travelling around the United States. I’ll link the website here so you can see what it’s all about for yourself. I want to incorporate calligraphy into this project because then I’ll be able to see my progression throughout my sketches. It also has a deadline too, so it means that I definitely need to have it done before the mid-year point.

  • Intermittent fasting has always fascinated me, Scott is a big fan of it and used this method for the majority of last year so it’s something I want to explore more. I tend to get quite hungry in the mornings though so that’s one barrier that I might struggle with, but for setting it for one monthly, it will give me a taste (excuse the pun!) of what it is like without forcing myself to do it forever.

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What do I want to get back on track?

  • My “back on track” is very much centered on physical health and that wasn’t even intentional. Meal prepping my lunches and drinking the correct amount of water was something I used to be so on top of but over the last few months, it hasn’t been a priority for me and I ended up not eating as nutritious as I should have.

  • While I’m continuing with a regular gym routine, I only started running again after four months off (and I didn’t realise it was that long until I checked my Strava) so building up a running routine again is one of my top priorities this year. I absolutely love running and while I have to be in the right head space for it, I love when I’m constantly getting better whether that’s with distance or with speed, the feeling is like no other.

  • My relationship with Scott is wonderful and I feel quite lucky that we seem to be a very strong couple. We don’t fight all that often and most of the time, we’re able to talk it out. We absolutely love living together but even before we moved in together, we noticed that we were hanging out in the house a lot in the evenings and the weekends. There were a lot of factors in this of course, I’m always tired in the evenings and it’s hard to push yourself to do anything apart from lie in bed or have a nap. There was also stress from work so the last thing I wanted to do when I got home, was to go out anywhere. Scott knows the challenges of this of course and he is very supportive but I want to be committed to having mini dates with him; they don’t have to be expensive and even if it’s quality time together on a walk around the city, at least it’s not another night in the house.

What do I want to stop?

  • Three of these activities are back on the “stop” list; not getting up when my alarm goes off, needing a sweet treat every day and pulling and twisting my hair. These three are incredibly hard to stop doing altogether; I spoke about emotional eating in a previous post but I don’t think the sweet treat is about that anymore, I’ve just become so accustomed to having something sweet before or after dinner that it’s a habit now. A habit that I would definitely love to break. Of course, I am all about balance but I know the difference between balance and eating for no reason, and this is definitely the latter.

  • I also talked about pulling and twisting my hair, and how I thought it may be down the lines of dermatillomania or trichotillomania. Obviously, I haven’t been diagnosed with anything but on that basis alone, it’s not as simple as just stopping. I still haven’t found anything that works on a permanent basis (other than my boyfriend telling me off, ha!)

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A lot of reading I know but I hope it gives a better insight on my plans and goals for the next six months. If you have anything similar that you think I should read, please let me know either down below in the comments or over on my Twitter or my Instagram. Thank you so much for reading and have an amazing week! 🌻