(A little aside before I launch into this post) I have been most confused. My latest blog post on my summer hit parade of sewing makes has not been showing but I’d been getting comments on it. And when I looked on more than just my PC & encountered the same conundrum I really was puzzled. However, for those of you on WordPress I think this is what has happened. I started to draft it at the end of August, & WordPress has therefore published it in the midst of other posts I was writing at that time. People who commented have been seeing it as a new subscription. There you go. That’s one to remember! Anyway where was I?
Ok peeps! Hold tight! I’m going running in this post! Every now again I splash a dash of the stern stuff into the fabric swaddled cocktail that is this blog. It usually comes after a period of self doubt, lack of morale & a fair amount of self loathing for being in a running rut. “My running” is my companion. Sometimes we are friends & it lives beside me as my gazelle-like vision, frequently it is like a pack on my back filled with rocks. Every now & then I have epiphanies that invariably lead to a period of motivation & the gazelle is unleashed.
During these moments of madness I’m interested in sharing the running love, if I can tempt anyone else out there to kick start their motivation, then writing a bit about my latest formula for combatting my psychology is worth it. And what never fails to surprise me is when I write the odd running post, there a number of comments by sewers who run, or who are like me & want to run…but….so here goes.
Be your own running coach
For me it helps to understand why I want to run, why is it important to me? What kind of goal do I need to motivate me? During my day job we come across coaching models & I always apply them to “me & my running”. This has really helped me to get to the bottom of why I keep persevering at something I never did as a child, am not particularly good at & somehow perversely want to succeed at. By asking myself “why is running important to me” & writing my first gut responses onto pieces of paper I started to uncover the inner secret. You need to persist & get at least 10 things down. No particular order at first. But once you have them you then look at the list & do some serious prioritisation until you end up with a ranked list of 10 reasons running is important to you with at the top, the holy grail, the truth. Now this is as it is now, & could change as circumstances change. But looking at my list are you interested to know that at the top is “Being outside” with “Fit & healthy” second? Near the bottom is “races are fun” (well we all know that’s a lie, don’t we….but the idea of them is fun!) From this I can see that I don’t enter races to motivate me, but now at the forefront of my mind is that getting out running is my way to get outside when I have a sedentary office job & sewing as an obsession. I now know how important it is to me when actually it was ticking away in my subconscious in a place that I hadn’t accessed. You could try this for yourself & see what you come up with, but I tell you, once you know, it makes you enjoy your run more when you do get out there.
But how do you get out there?
Top tip for “just getting out there”
Know the minimum you would need to run to be satisfied that you have “been for a run”, whether it’s time or distance. Find a route that starts from your front door (or from your place of work if that’s when you plan to run) that satisfies this criteria. For me it is a 3 mile loop with hills, but in the past it has been a lap of the playing field. This is your non negotiable default run. No thinking required, just put on your gear, get out there & do it. You can expand it, do it twice or three times if you want to, but be clear that once is enough. This is what I run in my lunch time when working at home. I don’t dither, it gets done, I get outside. I always feel good at the end of it!
Things can happen for a reason
To fuel this feel good week of running, serendipity struck (that feels like an oxymoron). That same day, when I dug deep & looked at “my running” a work newsletter announced a work’s team being formed to train together for next March’s Half marathon (for which I already entered). The joy & excitement that brought me (despite “running with others” being in the bottom half of my 10) was pretty cool! Not only could I start to train for the Half way in advance of my usual post Christmas grin-&-bear it, I mean this will be nearly 6 month’s worth of training….might I actually enjoy it more? Might I actually be stronger, fitter & find that “races are fun”?! Also might it mean that I am less anonymous & could I even set myself a time target? Hmmmm. Interesting that one. How competitive will I be? And with the snowball effect, in that spirit of knowing how much I want to be outdoors I also did something incredibly fool hardy. I signed up for a series of 10k trail runs. Insanity really has taken me over, never having done any trail running these are run over the winter, one a month & you can only begin to imagine the mud, the slips, the slopes, the rain, the wind, the tree roots & ups & downs, the mud. Hey, I think I’m revisiting some misspent youth when getting dirty wasn’t allowed! I promise to get REALLY dirty & take pictures.
So since this I have looked at “my running” with new eyes. I’ve a rough plan for when I go running: Tuesdays (evenings with a ladies group), Thursdays lunch run (or which ever day I work from home) and Sundays at the moment. Once the work training launches next month I will reappraise my plan.
So, how’s your running going? Do you know why it’s important to you? If you try this approach I’d love to know whether it helps you get out of a running rut. I’m starting another page here [Run Badger Run] to collect my running thoughts on, races I’m committing to and also including my running music. No idea why anyone should be interested, but if you’re anything like me, much thought goes into discovering music to run to. Getting the order right so that your faves get most air time with some pick me ups placed for moments of flagging might spread some new ideas. We could share!
(Why all the pics of beaches? My favorite places to run ….)