About a month ago, I was doing some deep thinking about how I was running. Like you do.
I had just completed a 10k with my friend, and although I was happy, elated and proud at the finish line, there was something bothering me, and I was feeling frustrated. So, I decided it was time to do something about it.
For the last 6 and a half years, I have never been able to run consistently. It has always been an annoying pattern of, run a bit, walk a bit. Then it became a habit that I couldn’t get out of. Then it became the norm.
So, you can imagine I was starting to get really cheesed off with myself; it was time for a one to one chat with the running troll inside my head.
It was during my recent 10k that I started questioning “Why do I have to walk? Am I tired? Is it because my legs ache? Is it because I get out of breath easily?”
I broke all these questions down into little segments, and came to the same answer.
“So, what’s your excuse then?” I asked myself.
“Erm, don’t really have one” I replied.
I remember running behind a couple who were most probably in their 60’s. Their style was relaxed; more of a jog really. But one thing I did notice was that they kept their knees low, and most importantly, they kept on running…..no walking at all.
“If they can do it, why can’t I?” I said to myself.
I had a few days off after the 10k and then embarked on a recovery run the following week with my Bestie, Lesley. This time, I was so determined to stop the annoying cycle of run/walk that I managed 5k with her around the town without walking any of it.
I think it proved to me what I knew already. Running is 95% mental stamina and determination.
I am really proud to say that I can happily run 5k without walking on a regular basis now. My fastest time was 35 minutes. If my legs ache or I get a little out of breath, I slow my pace right down until I recover, then quicken it up again when I’m feeling more on top of my game. It is slightly embarrassing to think though, that it’s taken me six and a half bloody years to get to this happy place.
That, I think is because I have until recently, always ran alone. There is much to be gained from running with friends or a club.
But hey, you know how the saying goes “Better late than never”.