Most of you know that my journey with Happy Feet started in 2016 when I completed the Couch to 5k – well the first of 3. I have had an up and down journey since then.
Since Lockdown 1, I have been running far more and gaining confidence, and more importantly belief in myself. During lockdown 3, I am running three times a week and improving my speed and stamina and seem to be doing well. Such a change to this time last year when I was struggling with couch!
This week, I found myself reading Rhi’s blog about mental attitude with running and it hit a nerve. Because I had been there just a few days earlier.
Last Sunday, I set out to run 10k with E. I know I can run 10k but was a bit apprehensive before I started. My mind just wasn’t in the right place and I was stopping all the time. I kept watch checking, thinking “have I only done 2k so far?” I just knew I didn’t have a 10k in me that day. I was beating myself up and pushing myself, but just knew it wasn’t going to happen. I had to admit defeat and went back to the car, leaving E to continue without me. I did manage 6.3k. I should have looked at it as I still managed 6.3k which is great, but I thought I “only” managed 6k! I was so disappointed in myself and was quite low all day. I couldn’t explain why I had failed, as that was how it felt.
As I had struggled with shin pain that day, I decided to give myself a rest. I didn’t run until Wednesday and decided to do intervals (run/walk) rather than run a set distance. I could walk for some then and not push myself too much. I ended up running for 30 minutes before walking for just 1.5 minutes…I was beginning to get my mojo back….
So, Friday I set out for a run after work, not really planning on doing anything awesome, but somehow, I did! I did my fastest 5k, knocking 10 seconds off my time. I was buzzing.
Sunday morning rolls around and it’s 10k day again. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, and I am feeling good. So off we set…and I am flying. Chatting and enjoying the run. Get back to discover, not only was it my fastest 10k but I had knocked a whole 3 minutes off my time. I just can’t believe the change in a week.
The old me would have probably decided a 5k was better this week, or even not run at all. But I made sure all that negativity was used to good effect and turned into a positive and ran two cracking times!
So, thank you Rhi for writing that blog. It gave me the boost I needed to know that I am not the only one who has a bad run. And to know, from experience now, that it is just one run and the next one is much better. I am so looking forward to running with everyone again. I am feeling a lot of hope now and that things are changing – not just that Spring is on its way, but with Parkrun coming back and group runs back again, it feels like normal life is returning too.