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.
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.
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!