Week Two, Day Two: 3 April
The butterflies of anxiety didn’t show themselves until I was up, dressed and drinking my tea. There was the usual anxiety about the run but this was joined by some new butterflies that have not been seen before, woken up by new second thoughts. ‘What if I run out of things to say in this blog?’ If, and that is a big if, I get to the end of this challenge, that will be 3 runs a week for 9 weeks, which is 27 blogs…I really don’t think I have got that much to say and reading about me droning on about how hard I find running is going to get boring pretty quickly! Once this started to eat into my brain I started to think ‘oh no, what I am going to say today’. Again, worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet, and if it hasn’t happened then why am I worrying?!
Dog and I set out a little earlier today and although I am trying to ignore my second thoughts there is still a whisper about this blog. So I decide to really take in my surroundings to look for inspiration. It is less cold than recently; I can tell this because I forgot to put my gloves on until five minutes in. What strikes me is the total calm (although in my ears I have Nirvana, The Doors and Pink Floyd – I can’t seem to work out how to get my playlist off shuffle!) But visually, it is incredibly still. There are clouds on the horizon and the sun isn’t up yet and when it is up it won’t get past these clouds, but there is blue sky above and a low mist on the river. The only things moving are the birds, so I decide to see how many varieties I can spot as I go round.
I have completed my first run by this stage without too much difficulty. My thighs ache slightly but a little less than last time I think. I started this run slightly differently as I realised that up until now I had been holding back slightly on the 5-minute brisk warm up walk. I think that I was so nervous that I wasn’t going to be able to get all the way through I was holding something back at the start. Well this morning I didn’t do that, my brisk walk was as brisk as I could go. Having said that, this is still a work in progress. I found today that it was just as I was thinking ‘this is getting really hard’, it was time to walk again and in the last 2 runs that feeling came even earlier. But there was a quantifiable (adjective – to be able to be expressed or measured as a quantity) difference today. I had travelled further before I started my warm down walk which must mean I went faster! There was also one moment that was absolutely glorious, I saw a Barn Owl. I don’t think I have ever seen an owl in the wild before, it was flying low across a field that I was running beside sweeping back and forth obviously hunting before it perched in a tree for a rest. It was a beautiful day and not a bad run.
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