Week Six, Day One: 27 April
I can’t believe I am starting week six! Although this is a little confusing since I started this challenge in the first week of lockdown, and that is in week 5 but my desire to complete my runs during the “working week” has resulted in my “overtaking” the lockdown. This means I completed the herculean task of running for 20 minutes on Friday, and have had the weekend off. This felt very exciting to begin with, two whole days without the alarm clock, but as the time passed it had a peculiar effect. To get into the working week pattern I have been running every other day for a while. So yesterday, having not run the day before, it felt like I hadn’t run for ages and when I say ages I really do mean ages! I couldn’t identify with the person who had run for 20 minutes, obviously I know it was me, but I still couldn’t believe it, it almost felt like I had watched someone else do it…weird.
I decided not to look at the next run immediately so I could simply bask in the glory of the last one. I checked the app the evening before, which seems like a good pattern to get into. This way I know I am going to look at it in advance and have time to process it, but I can also give myself some time without thinking about it, which seems like a good way to balance my anxieties. So, on Sunday evening with trepidation and a degree of excitement, but mostly trepidation, I open the app to look at the next run. The best I was hoping for was another 20-minute run (and the thought of that was terrifying enough), and the worst case was that it had been increased. But again, the app surprised me by taking a step back. I was over the moon to see that this run was significantly easier than the last. I was very relieved, as I think I would have found another 20-minute run very demoralising. Here is the schedule:- 5-minute warm up walk, 5-minute run, 3-minute walk, 8-minute run, 3-minute walk, 5-minute run, 5-minute cool down walk…Not bad at all.
Dog and I are up and out by 5.50am and we have Rodriguez on the sound track. The weather has taken a turn for the worse. The sky is full of grey clouds, and all I can see of the sunrise is a pink smudge between the clouds. But really, what fantastic weather we have had up until now. I was reading in the garden the day before and it was over 25°! It feels like we have had summer already, and it is not even May. (I have just seen that this April was the sunniest since records began) After the warm up walk I go into the first 5-minute run, which went well, I even found that my mind had started to wander, which hasn’t really happened before as the running has taken all of my attention. Then after a pleasant 3-minute walk, I’m into the 8-minute run which was okay to start with but then got harder. It seemed like ages before I heard the halfway marker and I couldn’t help thinking how on earth did I manage to run for 20 minutes when I am finding 8 so difficult? But I got through and into the next walk. That just left the last 5-minute run which I started not far from the bridge. I almost had a spring in my step as I ran up it, the emphasis being on the almost. And then, before I knew it, it was done and into the cool down walk. I am now well over half way through this program having completed 16 runs with 11 still to go.
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