Week Four, Day Two: 16 April
There were no butterflies this morning because I was consumed with one thought, I didn’t want to do it. The last run had been incredibly hard, and not in the least bit fun! I just didn’t want to do it again.
I had told my other half this, and they responded ‘You have hit your first wall’. This both inspired, and then deflate me.
This is how it went;
First thoughts said ‘The wall. Yes, you have heard of that – runners hit the wall. If you get past this, then you will be fine. Hitting the wall, eh, does that mean I am a real runner now?’
But then my second thoughts chimed in with ‘They said FIRST wall’
First thoughts ‘Oh crap!’
However, I am not one to give in easily so I am up and ready by 6.15am, and Dog is as eager as ever. We set off listening to Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon – very relaxing. The morning is absolutely gorgeous, and it was impossible not be lifted by the pure beauty of the nature around me. There was a thick quilt of mist on the river and fields. The sun was a beautiful orange globe peaking over the trees, and there wasn’t a breath of wind, so the scene was incredibly tranquil. The only things out, apart from Dog and I, were the birds. Dog spooked a pheasant that flew up out of the bushes and across the river.
I started my first 3-minute run feeling better than when I left the house but there was still the slight flutter of wings. Off I went. ‘Focus on your surroundings’, I told myself. Having previously completed an 8-week Mindfulness course, which I had thoroughly enjoyed, I was reminded of one of the practices; Mindfulness and being present in the moment. We spend so much time worrying about the past, or the future, that we lose the beauty of the present. So, I held this in my mind and kept my head up so I could enjoy my surroundings. I kept an eye on my pace and managed the first run without too much difficulty, and then into the first 5-minute run. Again, this was not as hard as I had been building it up to be. I was struggling with my breathing by the end, and could feel my breath straining to get out of my lungs, but no honking goose. Before I knew it the bell rang for half way. Again for the last 3- and 5-minute runs I focused on my pace, my breathing, and my surroundings and motivated myself using my imaginary hill. And do you know what? It was okay and over far quicker than I had expected.
Our own thoughts and expectations are so powerful. I had been dreading this morning but in the end it wasn’t half as bad as I thought it would be.
If you are thinking of doing something similar take care to stay safe.
To do this I am:
- Keeping social distancing. I aim to get out by 6.30am (I am a lark not an owl), so there are very few people around, and if I do meet them I stay 2 meters away.
- I have my phone with me, and someone knows where I am going and when I am due back.
- And, of course, I have Dog with me.
Top tips to keep you safe and well during this strange time.
- Keep to the self-isolating and social distancing rules.
- Keep in contact with friends, family, and, of course, Restore.
- Find a routine and stick to it (I can’t emphasize enough how important this is)
- Every day do something for your physical and mental well-being. On the days I am not running I go out for a walk. I am also doing a 21-day meditation challenge with 2 friends. This benefits my well-being as well as keeping me connected every day. There are plenty of meditation apps out there, but if that isn’t your thing then find something that nurtures your soul. This can be as simple as listening to the birds sing or gazing up at the stars.
- Set yourself a challenge. This could be big or small, it’s entirely up to you.
These are just a few ideas and there are plenty more out there. The Restore website has a directory of useful and trusted websites with information, tips and ideas, here.
The Reluctant Jogger and Dog