Just realised I haven't posted in a week, where did the time go?!
I meant to post on Sunday when we got back from visiting family on the coast, but it's been so crazy here I lost track of time and now it's 4 days later lol.
I didn't post about it at the time, but the one run I did when we were on holiday a couple of weeks back felt so hard that I think it contributed to me going so off plan the rest of the week. Since I've got into running I've read so much conflicting info about whether you should run the full distance you plan non-stop, or take walk breaks. Jeff Galloway endorses walk breaks, but I just felt like I was failing if I took a break. So far I've been determined to run non-stop and although afterwards I've been really proud of myself, I've actually not ended up enjoying my runs much because I've not been able to stop and admire the scenery or whatever, and at times I've found it really hard. That run on holiday lead me to being put off running and pondering over whether it was really for me. I've still carried on doing shorter runs on the treadmill at the gym, but doubted if running outside was something I really wanted to keep up. Then last weekend we went to the coast to visit family and I took my running gear with me. I had decided that, weather permitting, I'd go for a run on Sunday morning, using the same route along the promenade I'd first run back in April when I completed the C25K programme. I remember that first run and how hard it was the whole time, telling myself I'd just run to the next lamppost and so on, but I completed it all and was so proud. Anyway, on Sunday morning the weather was beautiful so I couldn't get out of it. However I decided to experiment and when I set off running I checked Bob and found as usual I was setting out way faster than I can comfortably maintain, so I forced myself to slow down and regulate my breathing and heart rate, and just try to enjoy the amazing view. I ran from one end of the prom to the other and a little bit further, 2.6k in total, at which point I told Bob to hang on for a couple of minutes while I re-did my ponytail and admired the view of the harbour while turning around and starting to walk back a little. I then gave Bob another nudge to get going again, and ran 2.4k back to my start point, again at a steadier pace and enjoying the view. What an amazing epiphany I had! I loved every minute of that run, I enjoyed looking at the scenery, didn't struggle to keep my pace, and at the end I felt as if I could have carried on forever!!! So what did I learn from this run?
1. I do love running outside, I've just been pushing myself too hard to keep getting faster or running farther, and as a result lost the enjoyment.
2. I'm hoping it wasn't just a really good run, but actually that slowing down a little and taking a short walk break made a huge difference and resulted in me feeling like I could have kept going.
3. Why did I not realise before that all the blogs I love to read with people posting photos from their runs must mean that sometimes they do actually stop and admire the view and they're not running machines who I will NEVER be able to hold a candle to lol!
4. If stopping to admire the view or taking a walk break means I can go further in the end, then surely that's a good thing because overall I'll burn more calories and increase my endurance.
5. Whatever it takes, if this is what I need to do to get back my love of running then it's worth it. I'm already looking forward to experimenting with another run soon.
6. I've decided that speed work for now for me is going to stay in the gym. I love speed work in the gym, cranking up the speed on the treadmill for a while and REALLY sweating, then backing off and so on, but outside it just takes away the joy of the run for me. So speed work is staying in the gym, and hopefully increasing distance while incorporating walk breaks and admiring my surroundings is going to be outside!
I'm also really happy that I'm now down 3lbs from before we went on holiday which is 3 weeks ago tomorrow and while we were visiting family I went shopping and bought new jeans in a UK14 and a really pretty summer top in a UK12! My ultimate goal in this journey has always been to be able to wear a size 12 comfortably, so that dream is starting to come true.
This week my gym visits have been sporadic because my daughter is on school holidays and hubby is at work, but come Saturday she is going on holiday for a week with my mum and step-dad, so I'm planning on hitting the gym most days to see if I can get another 1lb or so off before she comes back!
Watch this space...