I initially thought that I would write a new blog when I was up to 5k, and I could talk about how it was hard, but I’d succeed and basically show off a bit that I’d done it.
However, as the saying goes, pride comes before a fall.
Over the past few weeks I have been continuing my search for a healthy lifestyle by doing the couch to 5k running programme. It has been going relatively well and I have steadily increased my stamina and fitness. Even a week’s holiday didn’t set me back too much and I found that I could pick up where I’d left off. At this point I was getting a bit cocky to be honest…. “ha, it’s not even that bad!” I’d think as I was notching up more minutes each run. But little did I know that Monday was around the corner.
After a busy weekend of parties, dinner and having guests I knew that I had to get back to running Monday night. Even though it’s only 30 minutes (ish) in reality it can be hard to fit in around long shifts, social life and sleep and it’s always the first thing to go out the window when I have too much on. This had happened over the weekend so I promised myself, no matter how tired I was, I had to go Monday. Even when I couldn’t find my trainers, was in a bad mood and was already yawning by 5pm I STILL decided I was going to force myself go.
And that was the mistake.
The run was not good. I twisted my ankle, was exhausted immediately and couldn’t get anywhere near the running time I needed to for that session. In the end, I turned the app off and half walked/ half jogged home, with only 9 or 10 minutes of the 20 minute run actually done and my head full of critical, judgemental thoughts about what a let-down I was.
My message in this blog post isn’t “don’t run” (not quite) but rather about the importance of listening to our bodies. Earlier in the weekend I felt like I wanted to run, I felt energetic and had the right mind-set but chose not to make the time for it over having an extra half an hour in bed, and instead made myself go when I obviously wasn’t in the right frame of mind, ultimately knocking my confidence and really putting me off going again (an area in which I need no encouragement!).
I’m pleased that I did still manage to get out for a bit, but I feel annoyed that I didn’t prioritise it when I could have done, and ultimately feel like I’ve paid for not doing! In the future, I’m going to try and work hard to get in to a better routine and listen to my body on the days I feel motivated, and the times it’s just not working for me. I know forcing myself and having a bad run isn’t helpful to keep me motivated and so I’m going to try and not leave myself in a place where I feel like I have to choice!
I guess the final thing that I’ve taken from this is that actually it’s OK. It’s OK that I didn’t do as well as I wanted, it’s OK that I felt unmotivated and it’s OK that I didn’t prioritise the run last week. It doesn’t make me a bad person, and I’m still trying – that’s what counts!
(p.s. have you read Charlie’s previous blog? Find out more here!)
(p.p.s. fancy being an ambassador and empowering others to take ownership over their own health and wellness? Sign up now)