I like to acknowledge the big and small achievements and I've just got to note this one.
I hadn't done a long run since my 4.5m run two weeks ago. As it seems to go, I get excited about the prospect of a long run, then as the time gets closer, I get a little nervous. It didn't help when I woke up at 5am and started worrying that I hadn't got enough sleep and I wouldn't have enough energy to run.
After initial panic, I did get back to sleep...until 10am. Then I was worrying I wouldn't be able to fit everything AND a run into the day!
I made sure I ate enough in the morning to get me through the run in the afternoon. I didn't want to not complete the 5 miles just because I hadn't fueled up enough!
The time went fairly quickly - I'm learning not to keep checking my watch for time/miles! A new challenge was the wind. It was pretty strong today and at times I really had to push against it. I ran mainly on the paths that were more sheltered from the wind this time.
When I first checked my watch I had completed 2.3miles. Almost half way there! When I checked again it was 3.7miles - only 1.3 miles to go, less than 15 minutes. And when I got to 4.7miles I knew I was going to do this for sure! That's when I started getting really excited - I'm actually going to complete 5 miles.
I did keep an eye on my watch at this point....4.7 miles, 4.8 miles, 4.9 miles......5 MILES! And I promptly burst into tears. I wasn't expecting that to happen! Where did that come from?! I just felt a big surge of pride at my achievement. I wish there was someone there I could have shared that moment with. I was elated! From being pretty much sedentary for the last few years to being able to run 5 miles....that's no small achievement. They say self praise is no praise...I don't always think that's true - you've gotta give yourself a pat on the back from time to time!
Of course as soon as I got home I had to send a tweet out. Twitter, well, my twitter friends to be precise, play a big part in my life and to have friends there to celebrate with really means a lot. Thank you so guys and girls! xx
I had a couple of great questions from my twitter friends which made me think about today's run and running in general.
Fiona asked, Was it more of a mental struggle or physical?
Hmmm.... Physically it was of a battle against the wind. That was a new experience and presented a different type of challenge of pushing through it and not letting it blow me around! There's always the Toxic Ten minutes at the start of any run so I know I just have to run through that and I'll start to feel better. At 3 miles I felt the beginning of a blister, but although I was aware of that, it wasn't enough to slow me down (only a tiny blister upon post run examination).
Mentally, I always have a positive talk with myself as I go around. Lots of "you can do this! you've done 1 mile before, just do that 5 times! You have eaten enough - you have go enough energy for this. It's not a hill, it's a slight incline!" That type of thing. I also let my mind and imagination wander....I tune into my music and think about the week ahead, plans to make, blogging to do, work, friends, and the big dinner I'm going to have when I get home! lol
Libby asked, So what was the turning point that made you get - and keep - the motivation to crack it this time? What is your secret?
I had to think about this for a few minutes. Great question!
What made me get going? I'd made a new years goal of doing more physically. Due to working for myself the last few years I've pretty much been in front of the computer screen. I've been aware that this isn't healthy but always made the excuse that I didn't have enough time - work comes first. Which I know sounds absurd - health comes first of course! I didn't have my priorities right. And if I don't look after my health a bit better, then I will make myself ill and definitely won't be able to do my work and follow my passions and achieve my dreams.
What's keeping me going? A few things. For a start I know I'll feel worse if I start skipping on exercise and making excuses. I'll be on a slippy slope back to square one again.
Then there's the personal challenge and the achievements, and I really believe you have to acknowledge even the smallest of achievements - even if that's just putting your trainers on and seeing what happens when you get past the front door.
As this is my personal challenge. I only have to answer to myself. Though I must admit that making myself accountable in public on this blog does help! But I set my own goals and I'm not doing this for anyone other than me. I haven't entered any races as I simply don't want to, certainly at the moment.
I'm enjoying see what my body and mind can do! It's easy to underestimate what we can achieve. I think this is a mental challenge as much as a physical one. I go through a range of mental 'states' with running. When I think about the runs I have planned for the week, I get excited. As the time comes closer to getting ready to go out, I have to push myself at times. When I am out there, I'm already doing it. And when I get home, I never regret making the effort.
Tracking my progress is a great motivator too. When you can see achievements, however small they may seem, they all add up. Whether someone has never run before and completes 30 seconds of running non stop to someone who can run for miles and miles, every step counts.
I'm not sure I have a 'secret', but a combination of the above keeps me going. And if I ever have any doubts I'll make sure I come back to this page and remind myself!
Thank you for the questions!
Here are the maps and stats for this week. 11 miles in total.