Running

Stupid January, Fabulous February?

I feel like a proper update is required, my last post was so heat of the moment and angry that I didn’t really get a chance to update you (anyone) on where I am now and what’s happening in my life.

I’m still running. Towards the end of 2015 I stopped completely, I allowed myself the winter off, which in hindsight was a very bad idea. I slipped back into my old ways, and soon any weight that I had lost while training for the Great North Run was well and truly back on- and then some! I started training again in May 2016. I went along to a beginners couch to 5 k course, run by a local running group (Notts Women Runners), and something in me just clicked, it all felt right again. I’ve pretty much been running every week since then (bar a couple of dodgy weeks) and I couldn’t be prouder of myself and my running buddies, and everything we have achieved together.

I’ve got to admit, it’s been a bit of a stinker of a month, I don’t really like January (I may have mentioned it before). It’s the month where you have the best of intentions but are most likely to fail. People filling their minds with commitments for the year ahead and things they must to do improve their lives, whether it’s getting a new job, losing a bit more weight, being sociable, whatever.

Mine, as it is most years, was to start on the whole weight loss thing again, (getting tired of this now), and to sort my running out. In December, after a streak of good running the previous month, I kind of plummeted and gave in to an early Christmas- by that I mean mince pies on the 1st December.

Food wise, January has been pretty good, I’ve lost half a stone and discovered some amazing recipes which I can cook for my family without too much trouble. Bless Mike, he has to be my chief taste tester, poor guy, some of the things I cook are frankly, quite appalling. But there’s been yummy stuff too, and January was very trial and error.
Running took a back seat throughout January, and with us all catching this awful cold at some point I just couldn’t (wouldn’t) fit it in to my schedule.

But now it’s February, my running group have cheered me up and I’ve been back out for 4 runs since the start of the month, covering over 20k, with a 5k and a 10k PB. I also have a 7K night run tonight! Needless to say I’ve cheered right up. I’m now back in running mode and totally ready for spring. Despite it only being the start of February, in my mind it’s March. I always think way ahead like that. So I’m thinking about when it’s light (and safe) enough for me to do some early morning weekday runs before work, like I used to. The winter nights really don’t appeal to me, but there is something about seeing the sun come up during a run that I just love, preferably with an appropriate song blasting through my headphones.

I went out on a quick run last saturday, just on the local roads near my house, for 25 minutes, but it was lovely. 8:30a.m, the sun was in the sky (just about), and there was a misty haze around. It was freezing outside, but the sun made me feel warmer, and I was the only one around. I felt amazing. I got to the end of my run and felt as though I could have kept on going, I’d been running at my own comfortable pace and can for one of the very few times actually say I really enjoyed it. That’s rare. Most runs I do, I’m generally at the back of a group, which I’m used to now, and totally ok with, but I always have a niggling voice in my head telling me to go faster or try harder, or worse still that I can’t keep up or can’t do it at all. For a brief moment yesterday morning, I didn’t have that. Sure it was just as difficult as all the other runs, it was a similar route to the one I do with my group, but I wasn’t at the back, because I was on my own. My mind wandered as I ran and I was planning blog posts and status updates in my head (yep that’s how my mind works). I wasn’t thinking about how much my legs hurt, I wasn’t thinking ‘oh god, I’ve got to stop’, I was just happy.

Saying all that, I’d still say that I very much have a love/hate relationship with running. It makes you feel amazing, and whether you’ve just run a 10K (or further) or you’ve just managed to run 20 minutes non-stop for the first time, the feeling is still incredible. For a good couple of hours after a run, you feel undefeatable (is that a word?), ready to take on anything and everything. Suddenly your mind is filled with all these goals and things you want to achieve in your life. I come home from a run and normally I’m ready to take on a longer run, lose 5 stone and start up my own business! It gives you this amazing feeling of self belief. Of self worth.

Then comes the downer…

For me, that’s food; I’ve been out for this amazing run so I must have burnt like 600 calories right? So what do I do? I find something worth 600 calories as a ‘treat’, and we all know what happens when you eat ‘treats’. Well, if you are me, you instantly beat yourself up about it, you feel bad, you never want to run again because you don’t want anyone to see your fat arse in that tight lycra – especially after eating all that crap. So a ‘treat’ isn’t really a treat, and running helps you lie to yourself. I still love it though. And hate it.

Last week I went out on a long run with my amazing running buddies, and yes, I was at the back throughout the whole thing, but these girls are seriously amazing. They kept me company, supported me and looked out for me. Any one of them could easily have just run off into the distance, but they stuck with me, not out of pity, but out of friendship and out of an understanding of how shitty it can feel. We have this overwhelming solidarity towards each other which is ultimately what makes us such a strong group. We’ve got each other’s backs. The run was supposed to be 13.5k, I stopped at 10.6k because I was shattered and the wonderful Mother Nature had paid me a visit that morning (sorry TMI) and there was no way I was running all that way. So I said farewell to my girls at 10.6k and watched them run further away from me as I admitted defeat and started the walk back to my car. I called Mike to come and pick me up, and because he’s awesome, he agreed. He found me trying to almost run the last bit home, I was so happy when I saw his car. I don’t care that I stopped, in fact I’m happy I did. I now know that I need to work harder, stop feeling sorry for myself at the back and just get the hell on with it.

As well as having a half marathon in May to train for, I have also just found out that I’ve got a place at the Great North Run again- which I’m so pleased about.
I did the Great North Run in 2015, and aside from having my son its probably my proudest moment. I ran 13.1 miles. That still hasn’t sunk in. I made it my new years resolution when my son was 6 months old to do the GNR but I never believed I would get a ballot space on the first attempt! Once I knew I was in I trained, really hard. I’ve blogged about all this before HERE..

Now I’m doing it all over again and I am so excited, but really nervous. I hope that by 10th September 2017 I am in better shape and that I can hopefully get a better time than last time. I would have done my May half marathon by then so I should be in fairly good nick.

Although, to be honest – the time really doesn’t matter for me, its about finishing. When I do the May half with my running group, it will be our first half as a group and although we’ll all probably get split up, we’ll still all have each other’s backs. To simply finish that race, so close to the anniversary of our first run together, will be a moment to never forget.

S

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