Never in my life did I even consider myself a runner… I guess lockdown changes all sorts!
I don’t want this blog post to be like a “oh my god look at me and what I’m doing” blog post, nor do I want it to be a “this is how you do it” post cause it’s definitely not that. But this is my blog, it’s a place for me to journal my life and running has become a bit of a thing in my life… something I never ever thought it would be.
I’m not the fittest person. I lost a big chunk of weight a few years ago, but that’s not stayed off. I’ve always had a bit of thing with my weight. I’ve always been on the bigger side, but as I’ve grown up I definitely have become less defined by my weight. It’s just part of who I am – I try to look after myself.
I love swimming; I enjoy going to a gym class that’s HARD. Spinning is one of the things that I hate but I love. It’s hard, it makes me sweaty, but it’s brilliant. I’ve always been a bit afraid of the gym. It always felt like a place for FIT and THIN people to go (never two adjectives I’d use to describe me to be honest). About a year/2 years ago, I started going to the gym. I’d just go on the rowing machine, on the treadmill and stay away from the fit people. It intimidated me if I’m honest, but I’d always try and go.
Going to the gym and qualifying as a teacher are two things that don’t necessarily go together, so I stopped going as often. Teaching takes up a lot of time, energy and brain power, so there were weeks where the thought of going to the gym after work was my idea of hell, and you wouldn’t catch me getting up early to go to the gym. I love sleep.
Fast forward to lockdown… and I’m not allowed to go for a swim; I’m not allowed to go to the gym. I get really bad cabin fever, so I knew I couldn’t just stay in the house all day every day. I’d been going out for walks. When lockdown first started, I downloaded Couch to 5K (I’ve downloaded, started and deleted it probably 5 times before, so I didn’t have TOO high hopes for it). And one day, I just got out there and ran.
I say ran. I mean pant and jog.
(Pictured: the many faces of me as a runner. Jubilation, exhaustion, relief, fear)
Is it hard? God yes. Every single run.
As I write this post, I’m about to start week 5. You do 3 runs a week. I run Monday/Wednesday/Friday in the morning. It’s really good for me in so many ways:
- It’s given me routine – I get up, I run (jog lol), I come home, I shower and I turn my computer on. I miss the routine of life a lot, so the fact running has given me some semblance of that back has been a god send.
- It’s given me a bit of purpose – it’s a self-inflicted purpose, but on those days,even if I’m having a shitty day, I HAVE to get out of bed.
- It’s given me a focus for “working out” – I tried doing Youtube videos, but they were TOO easy just to turn off/not try with, but once I’ve gone to the effort of putting on my gym stuff and leaving the house, I’m like ‘well you’ve come this far, you might as well bloody keep going’.
- It’s getting me out of the house – I’m not leaving the house unless I absolutely have to and to run, so to get to leave the house for half an hour is quite liberating.
- It’s “enjoyable” – I’m struggling with that word because I don’t enjoy it: I embrace it, the after feeling is wonderful. If someone could tell the word that I should be using for this, that would be wonderful haha!
I honestly didn’t think I’d be managing the amount of running I am at the start of lockdown. In week 4, you run for 16 minutes – not non stop, but across the course of 30 minutes. Never in my life would I imagine that I could run for that length of time. No, I’m not running fast, or particularly impressive distances, but for me it’s a massive step in some kind of forward direction. I think Couch to 5k is a brilliant way to do it. Week on week the runs get harder, longer and more tiring (ha) but it’s a brilliantly simple, progressive course for beginner runners. I was a total beginner runner. Running terrified me. I always saw it (like the gym thing) as something for people who were fit and thin, but I’m kind of proving myself wrong here.
Have I cracked it? Nope. I’m still not breathing properly; I still don’t think I’ve got a proper pace that I’m comfortable with (sometimes I run too fast, sometimes I don’t think I’m going quickly enough).
But I’ll tell you this, I’m doing it.
And I’m doing it for me.