Strive for progress not perfection

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Week Seven, Day Two: 6 May

The moon was big and bright last night, heralding a clear night and a beautiful dawn. This has me chasing my fix again, and so when I wake at 4.30am I get up and on. I leave the house at 5.25am, two minutes before the sunrise. It is a beautiful morning; I have The Verve on the soundtrack, and I am feeling good. This is the third time I will have completed a 25-minute run so I am feeling reasonably confident, no butterflies today.

I start the run with the predawn pink glow on the horizon…lovely. It is, however, really cold, and I regret not wearing gloves as my hands feel like blocks of ice. But oh dear, this doesn’t feel right. The feeling of panic has resurfaced again, and I am having difficulty controlling my breathing. What is going on? Was I too confident starting this run? Why has this happened again? I try to focus on my surroundings. The sun is still not over the trees, but the light is beautiful. I scan the field looking for Hera, but I am disappointed as she is nowhere to be seen. A minute or so passes, and my pace and breathing start to settle into a rhythm, and I start to feel better. The first 5-minute marker comes, and I really settle into the run. I find I reach the half way marker without too much difficulty. So much so that I don’t even think about my imaginary hill and my motivation stays high.

I approach the bridge waiting for the 5 minute to go marker, but it doesn’t come until I turn to start the climb up the slope. Again, I feel that this is not easy, but is not the soul-sapping-horror that it has been before. The last stretch does seem to be a long way, but when I get to the 1-minute marker I speed up and finish further down the track than I have before, am I getting faster?

I slow down into my cool down walk and my legs feel strangely under control rather than the sensation I amused to (made of jelly and not quite connected to me).  I enjoy the rest of the walk home taking some photographs, and spotting some young rabbits enjoying their breakfast in the early morning sunshine.

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