I’ve recently started running. I know, I never thought I’d say that either. In fact just 8 weeks ago I would’ve said that my body just wasn’t MADE for running…
I downloaded the Couch to 5K app (which is FREE and I cannot recommend enough!) and have been following the programme and building up my stamina by doing three runs each week.
And I absolutely love it.
It’s been a long time since I’ve done something just for me and I’ve never managed to stick at any exercise for very long. I’ve tried swimming, Pilates, Zumba, a Legs Bums and Tums class and joining a gym but I lost interest quickly.
So what’s changed? I have completely flipped my mindset. I used to exercise to ‘work off’ that cake I had and to not feel guilty for ‘treats’. Turns out it’s pretty difficult to stick at something when it feels like a punishment. I was exercising out of pure vanity and fear of putting on any weight.
There are a few things that triggered this ‘epiphany’. Firstly, I’ve always been a bit of an anxious person, you know the sort, worries about worrying, but it was starting to get a bit out of hand. I had initially put it down to driving anxiety as I only passed my test last year and the whole thing had been a bit traumatic so it just made sense. But as time went on I became more confident with driving and can now happily just jump in the car without much thought yet the anxiety wasn’t really easing up. It was creeping up into worrying and feeling overwhelmed by silly, trivial things and sometimes just a general knotted feeling that I couldn’t actually pinpoint to anything. I realised that it was getting out of hand and it was time to try and take back control. I thought that running could be a good start to see if those lovely endorphins actually make any difference.
Spoiler: yes they do.*
*(TO ME. I am in no way undermining serious mental health issues by saying you could fix your brain by going on a jog. I know I have no idea how hard it is for some people just to function everyday. This is just my experience.)
I LOVE the feeling of getting out for a run and pushing my body. I’ve gone from running at one minute intervals to 20 solid minutes in 6 weeks and I’m so happy with my progress. As a stay at home mum there aren’t many opportunities to feel like I’m achieving something. Turns out they don’t dish out medals for getting to the bottom of the laundry basket. I love being here with my children and it completely works for our family but it’s nice to have something now that is just mine.
The other thing that’s triggered this change is I’ve started listening to the ‘You, Me & The Big C’ podcast, which I highly recommend. It’s three people, two who have cancer and one who lost his wife to cancer, who discuss different topics. It’s often very funny but, of course, also really hard hitting at times and I know this might sound a bit OTT but it really hits home just how lucky I am to be healthy. I CAN get out and run, so I will. And it isn’t a punishment, it is a huge blessing and a privilege. I’m completely hooked now and will run for as long as my legs will carry me.
I’ve had quite a few people ask me how I stay so motivated so there you go. In a nutshell; I run for my mind and so that I’m as strong and healthy as I can be for my family. Any physical benefits are just a bonus really. And for once, I genuinely believe that.
My husband did a 10K in September and the atmosphere was just electric, I just cried all morning listening to everyone cheering each other on, so that’s what I’m working towards. HOPEFULLY it’s something I can achieve by Spring next year. I also just really want a medal to be honest.
I hope you find this helpful or maybe interesting. I’ve had SO MANY really lovely messages since I starting talking about running, thank you so much for all of them, with a few people downloading the app to try it for themselves which is amazing! I’m happy to answer any questions if you want to know more.
Thanks for reading. X
[Images from Pinterest.]