My Love/Hate Relationship With Running.

IMG_5788
I’m walking here, don’t worry!

“So, wait a minute,” Mark said, clearly trying to take stock. “You don’t like running outside because it makes your legs hurt, plus it’s too cold, icy, windy, too hot, foggy, dark and there are ‘people’?”

“Right.”

“But you don’t like running at the gym because…it’s boring?”

“Correct.”

He paused. Thinking.

“I’m just wondering if running is really the sport for you?”

Yeah, I wonder that, sometimes. Ok, most times. Often just as I’m about to start and sort of…forget…how to do it. I know, it sounds daft, but it’s like my old bones and muscles go into revolt at the thought of what’s to come. They seem to send a message to my brain, which makes me unable to work out exactly how to begin.

It results in an ungainly gallomp until my body gets used to the movement again – although, even then, you’d never say that I was a natural runner.

To hear me talk about it, you would probably think I absolutely loathe it. So why do I carry on? Why have I just completed the C25K programme for what feels like the 500th time?

IMG_5768

It’s all about a feeling.

Oh, the weight loss and increased fitness are definitely on the pro list but the thing that keeps me going back is that sometimes for a few seconds minutes while I’m running there comes a point when my mind and body are in perfect harmony. I feel incredibly strong, euphoric, almost; like, at that moment, I could take on the world. And win. More than that I feel like an actual runner.

There’s no build up, no clue that it’s about to happen. It could be in the middle or near the end but it’s elusive. One minute I might be thinking about something Freya said earlier or what I’m going to do after I finish and then it hits me. Hold on! I go through a check list in my head.

Pain in legs – none.

Breathing – normal.

Rhythm – steady.

Mind – calm.

Feeling – invincible.

And there it is.

All that effort – and some days believe me, it is a major effort – but so worth it. It never lasts long while I’m running. I’m either distracted by something or my rhythm goes but it sets me up for the day (or at least a couple of hours afterwards until I feel like I might need a nap). I can see why they say exercise is so good for mental wellbeing.

I’m not sure if what I’m feeling is the legendary “runner’s high” they talk about because I don’t think I’m running hard enough or long enough for that but there’s no doubt that it makes me happy, even as a plodder.

I may moan about running and I may stop every now and then but that’s what keeps me coming back. Injury after injury. Illness after illness. Year after year.

Are you a runner? Do you have a love/hate relationship with it too? Why do you run?

 

 

Advertisements

My Sunday Photo – October 8th, 2017.

eaton park 1 2

I’ve been cracking on with decorating the living room this week so chances to get out with my camera have been few and far between. It’s nearly done now, thankfully.

This shot was taken last Sunday on a dull, grey day at Eaton Park in Norwich. Years ago my running buddy spotted a heron at the pond but we have never seen once since and it’s become a long standing joke. I even mentioned it this time but as we jogged by I noticed a head below the wall and emergency stopped mid-run to grab a photo on my phone. I snapped it quickly just in case it flew away but also because I didn’t want to interrupt our run for too long. I like the fact it’s standing next to the “no fishing” sign.

To see what other people have submitted for Darren’s My Sunday Photo please click on the camera below.

Wishing you an enjoyable week ahead.

Photalife

 

A Third Of Women Harassed While Running.

 

runningshoes

A disturbing one in three woman have been harassed when running alone, according to the results of a new survey by England Athletics released this week.

It includes being shouted at, drivers honking their horns and even men running alongside them. Perhaps unsurprisingly, just under half of the 2,000 women surveyed expressed fears for their personal safety while running alone.

I’ve been running (ok, plodding) for a few years, on and off, and I’ve certainly experienced being shouted at and also beeped at. It might sound harmless but it can be really intimidating, especially when its dark, which is usually the only time I’m free to run.

It has made me think twice about going out on my own – and that makes me really angry. Why shouldn’t I be allowed to run where and when I want? How dare they think it’s ok to harass people. Even when it only happens occasionally I’m often still on high alert, which doesn’t make for a very pleasant run.

Alongside the survey a new campaign aimed at getting more people in England running by pairing them with their local clubs “providing a reliable, safe and friendly environment” was launched.

runtogether

The RunTogether initiative works on the basis that “running with others provides motivation, guidance and support, as well as making it more fun”. Having run both on my own and with a buddy, I wholeheartedly agree with each of their points.

The C25K was much easier when we could spur one another on/moan about each week. Even now, when we consistently run 5K-ish, the fact that I don’t want to let her down means I carry on when I know, if I was on my own, I would stop and walk (I’m really not a natural runner).

The new website makes it easy to find clubs in your area for different levels (it also has running routes available).

I’m not really a club person and while I’m happy to run with my friend, group running really isn’t my cup of tea.

When I first heard about RunTogether, without really reading the details, I thought it was like a dating app for runners. I think it would take someone pretty unique to answer my ad but I’ve already met my soulmate (luckily long before she realised what she was in for).

running-2

I’m very lucky to have found someone who is understanding of my commitments (and the occasional need to cancel at the last minute if Freya is ill) but who also tolerates me stopping to take photos every now and then without even a hint of annoyance (the fact that she will star jump on demand is an added bonus).

Of course, not everyone is lucky enough to have a buddy like mine – and even when we run together we have been beeped at – which is why I think this new resource is going to be helpful – especially in the absence of any solution to stamp out such ridiculous, intimidating behaviour.

starjump
Look how high she can jump!
Have you ever been harassed while out exercising? Would you join a club to feel safer? If you were writing an advert for an exercise buddy what requirements would you have?

PS If you like this post please consider voting for me in the Nepaliaustralian Blog Awards by clicking here and entering “Best Personal Blog – 1” in the comments. Thank you.