“It doesn’t matter how slow you go as long as you don’t give up”

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Week Three, Day One: 7 April

The butterflies were a little livelier this morning for 2 reasons. I really hadn’t enjoyed my last run, (that’s an interesting thing to say, does that mean, looking back, I had enjoyed previous runs?), and I was starting a new week which meant upping the ante again. I start my warm up walk to Alabama 3 (I also ended my warm down walk with Alabama 3, ‘Aha’, you think, ‘she has cracked the music shuffle’, but no, this was just a coincidence, I had looked through the manual on my phone, which didn’t tell me anything about the music. However, I did find some cool features that I wasn’t aware of, so that’s something.)

Week three is broken down as follows, 5-minute warm up walk then 90-second run, 90-second walk, 3-minute run, 3-minute walk, and repeat, then 5-minute cool down walk. The first run was fine but the second not so. This was partly due to my lazy thinking, from week one to week two the runs had increased by 30 seconds so I thought this trend would likely continue and that 90 seconds plus 30 seconds equalled 3 minutes. I know, I know, I did say it was lazy thinking. Of course, I know how many seconds there are in a minute, and if I had thought about it properly I would have realised that 90 seconds plus 30 seconds is 2 minutes not 3. There is a lesson for me here, but I can’t be bothered to work out what it is! So just as I think that there must only be a few more seconds left in this last run Sara Millican tells me I am halfway through. “WHAT?” I think to myself, “NO WAY, that can’t be right” and then my brain kicks in and I work out the maths. That 3 minutes felt like forever and at the end, for the first time, I really thought I am not going to make it to 5k. What made me think this and worried, me was my breathing.

I have asthma, which doesn’t affect my normal day to day living as I manage it with medication, but it can make exercise difficult. What surprised me when I first started having problems and found out that I was asthmatic was that I didn’t have trouble breathing in, but breathing out. And at the end of the three minutes I was breathing hard and could not get the air out of my lungs. It feels like the air is having to squeeze out through a small passage, and it that is also how it sounds!

So, there I am attracting the interest of some geese because I sound just like one, and thinking this is really bad. The 3-minute walk got me back on track, and the next 90-second run and walk were fine. But then came the last 3-minute run; the good thing was, it was the last run so I just had to get through this and I was done. I decided to slow the pace down (not that I was exactly fast before) I then jogged at a very sedate pace for three minutes. I think that someone doing a fast walk could have overtaken me but, although it was slow, it was jogging. I made it through, and did not sound like a honking goose at the end. Proving to myself that I can at least finish week 3.

The morning was beautiful and Dog and I enjoyed our cool down walk. Well, I was walking while Dog ran around and chased a duck into the water, not being a big fan of water she left it there. It’s all about the joy of the chase with that dog. If anything turned and faced her down she would turn tail and run in the opposite direction. I also noticed something new today, there were signs at the lock reminding people about social distancing – The sign of our times.

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