In today’s post – I would like you to think of me as Carrie and I am going back, once again, to the naughty Mr Big. Mr Big, in this analogy, is running. Oh yes. Running has hurt me, lied to me and we’ve both cheated on one another – but conversely we have shared some amazing times, we have loved, laughed and passionately been involved with one another. After the last time that running ‘hurt’ me, I swore I’d never go back. It wasn’t for me. I’m not a runner. But then, that pull. That feeling bubbles up, sometimes months later, begging me to lace up my shoes and get out there.
The first few runs tease me and taunt me, showing me how much I have lost and how weak I am now, but that glimmer of hope and determination inside of me is just too dang strong for it. Little by little, it get’s better. My legs pump without feeling like lead weights, my breathing goes from anaphylactic shock to almost yogi like, my mind goes from racing thoughts of ‘OMG YOU’RE GOING TO DIE. MY LUNGS ARE BURNING’ to fleeting thoughts of planning my day, reflecting on things in my life and taking in the scenery, and my belief in my self goes from serious debt to ‘I can actually do this’. Incredible isn’t it – how an act that’s purely physical and ‘separate’ can all of a sudden provide you with greater blessings throughout your life.
So why am I posting about it? Firstly, because I want full disclosure and accountability. I’m seeing ‘running’ again. We are giving it another shot. And secondly because I would bet my last dollar that this agonising back and forth, this love hate relationship, with running is all too common and has resonated with even just a few of you out there. I’m giving you a heads up. Tidbits from me to you as to how to peel yourself up off the floor, pry the cookie dough out of your hands, wipe your tears and prove to yourself that ‘he is out there’ and that ‘lovely relationship’ is just waiting around the corner.
Tips that got this girl running again …
+ Don’t ‘force’ it. Get out there and have a play. Run for a bit, walk for a bit, skip for a bit, sing for a bit. Stop expecting it to only look like the starting metres of the olympic games – forget grace, forget poise, forget any ‘shoulds’. There’s only one way that you running ‘should’ look and that’s … well just like you running.
+ Play//Blast music. Oh hot damn. I underestimated this one sooo much. My first few runs back were so painful – I could hear my own breathing//panting//lung failure, my feet beat seemed out of time, I would pass fleeting bursts of conversations or laughing and convinced myself they were laughing at me. Cue next few runs in which I adorned my headphones, chose a very loud and very energetic playlist and found the time and distance just kept clocking over without my realising. Music allows you to enter your own little bubble, and in that bubble you can be alone with your thoughts and strumming feet.
+ Put scheduled//training runs in your diary. An oldie but a goodie. When I decided to ‘give it a crack’ – I looked up a training schedule online and immediately recorded every single run and workout into my diary. Best idea ever. Not only does this keep me on track with where I am aiming for and what runs I am up to; but it delivered me the BIGGEST serve of accountability. Every morning when I plan my day and jot out my to do list – there it is. A target distance or workout that will stare me down until I make it my bitch.
+ Do it for YOU. Probably the most poignant point for me personally. And, I think it’s a reflection of how my goal setting ways have changed slightly since reading the Desire Map. Why do I choose to run? I always set these grandiose goals (I have literally planned for about four half marathons) and inevitably am left flailing and feeling like a big ole loser. I don’t do it for the accolades//attention because that ain’t me. I don’t do it for the enjoyment of running in masses of 20, 000 because truth be told my favourite runs are solo or with a running buddy. I don’t do it to lose ridic amounts of weight, although a couple of kgs aside would make my runs a little easier. I do it for me. To prove to myself that I am capable. To feel better about myself. To feel fit. To feel strong. To feel calm. To feel inspired.
+ Choose your own adventure. This time, there is no City2Surf waiting at the end of my plan. There’s no half marathon scheduled over east. The final distance will be just me, my headphones and weeks of training behind me. I’m not someone that feels supported or safe in crowds – I need to do this purely for me so I’m running solo. Where//how would you choose? Pick a location, an event, a group of accomplices … choose the path that would bring you the most joy.
I hope this helps and has given you a few ideas to incoporate into your running endeavours. Remember, we are all different. We all thrive and demise under different circumstances and there is definitely not a ‘one size fits all’ running equation. But, do yourself a favour, get out and give it a go. Make in YOUnique – make it fun, make it challenging, make it make you smile. You deserve to feel amazing and ‘your journey to the goal should bring you as much joy as achieving the goal itself’.
Blessings and blistered feet x