So this is my first health and fitness-y type post. Keeping fit – blah – that’s a horrid term that conjures up images of 50 year old women in a church hall – keeping in shape? Not much better. Okay, trying to keep active and healthy is a big part of my life. Most decisions I make on a daily basis are with this in mind. And not just my physical health, but mental too. Healthy body, healthy mind and all that. It’s a really wanky thing to say but it’s definitely a way of life for me.
That said, I’m really not in a position to be offering anyone advice about it (especially when it comes to running, because quite frankly, I’m shit at it) so these posts are just me writing about what I do, what works for me, what I’m struggling with (running basically – can you tell I hate it yet?) and if anyone else benefits from it, then awesome times.
So yeah, running. I’ve always harboured dreams of being a runner and every April for the past however many years, I’ve always made a post-London marathon pledge to get out there and start doing it. Last year I actually did it; I signed up for the CRUK Race for Life 5k and ran every Saturday and Sunday for two months to prepare for it. I naively thought I’d be alright at it; my body is in reasonable shape and I’ve got a runners build and all that jazz. But no. Turns out my body really doesn’t like it very much.
I pretty much hated every run, and wanted to quit with every step I took. I didn’t have a training plan -although apparently the couch to 5k is supposed to be good (Google it) – I just ran as far as I could each time I went out, and tried to go a bit further each time.The race was great motivation though, and by the time it got to race* day I could run 5k without stopping in around 30 mins.
*I use the word ‘race’ loosely. Turns out I’m a bit too competitive for a charity fun run…
But that was it, and after that I stopped running. It was quite a relief if I’m honest, and the lazy side of me really appreciated not having to pound the canal paths every weekend. Although I was pretty gutted that I could no longer justify spending ninety quid on the awesome Asics trainers I had been coveting. Not gutted enough to keep up running though, clearly.
Come January 2015 I did what every other bugger did and added running to my list of New Years resolutions. I must have been feeling particularly stubborn/determined because despite it being bloody freezing outside, I got back out there. And it turns out that winter running really suits me. I found it much more enjoyable and got my 5k time down to 28 minutes. I was running every Saturday and Sunday without fail and my times were getting quicker with every run. I was loving it, and felt like a ‘proper’ runner. But then the inevitable injury happened (I was working out four days a week on top of this, and totally overdoing it) and I ended up taking about a month – six weeks off running.
I’m now back into it and really struggling. Like, really struggling. I can’t even run 5k anymore. I get to about 3 and either my legs or lungs pack in. I’m SO frustrated with myself and my body, but most of all I’m confused. I’m in reasonable shape, I workout 3/4 days midweek and two months ago I could run 5k with relative ease, so why can’t I do it anymore?
Sometimes the only thing that gets me out of the front door is the promise of the post-run selfie I get to take afterwards. I’m not even kidding. Running is the best thing on earth for making your skin glow (‘cept maybe sex), and I Instagram the shit out of my post-run self. I am the ultimate smug twat, even though I feel like a massive fraud for doing so, given that my running form is currently so crap.
But anyway, that’s where I am with my running right now. I’m not giving up and I’m going to keep going until I’ve run a marathon one day. Which WILL happen. Probably. So if anyone has any advice please hit me up, and I would really love to hear everyone else’s running story (especially if you’re a bit crap too).