I’m not a natural runner. I would probably be better described as a slow jogger…or wobbler. However there are two times in the year where my motivation peaks. One of them is on the 1st January (every year) and the second is when the London Marathon is on. So whilst I am sitting in my pyjamas figuring out what to do with my Saturday (I slept in late today; oh the joy) I am also pondering if that should include a short run (jog).
Getting off the sofa
To be fair this is the easy bit. Just shoving on a good sports bra and trainers (along with other clothes, clearly) does the job. Then my runs follow a similar pattern. I stick on the endomodo for tracking and head out. Motivation to do this however can be affected by many factors. Firstly – I am a complete fair-weather jogger. The exception to this is my run in January just to prove my intention for a fitness filled year. So if the sun is shining, if it is not too hot, if it isn’t too cold, if it is definitely not in the middle of the day when there are lots of people about and if it is not in the evening when dark then I am probably good to go. I realise this puts in place a lot of obstacles.
What can help is seeing other people running. I drove home yesterday after work and when I hit Stockbridge there were lots of joggers and runners about. Some probably training for the Edinburgh half or full marathon (or even the 10k / 5k) and some just out having fun. It also helps that the London Marathon is something I like watching. Its on tomorrow. Maybe it helps just for the fact that I can never imagine myself doing it but am usually pretty inspired by all those that do.
A goal, a plan
I wasn’t joking about not being a natural runner so I do need a goal. Both types of runner in my head are equal: those natural regular runners and those who don’t really like it, but like the acheivement. I am never going to regularly run but I do know it is part of my yearly fitness routine and so I am happy not to be someone who runs to order. I don’t envy those folk who do it to relax but I am impressed by them. So my goal this year is a 10k (the most I have ever done in an event and only twice). The Edinburgh EMF 10k was the aim but my training buddy had an injury so we are going to look at one a bit later in the summer. This wasn’t a disappointment for me. The run, if we did it (and we did two years ago) is basically running up to the top of a volcano (albeit one that has never been active for about 350million years) and then running down and round a lake. The hills in that race never stop although there are a couple of good downhill sections. It still makes me laugh when I think back to a runner (who looked almost as bedraggled as me) stating rather loudly ‘not another bloody hill!’. Arthur’s Seat is a beautiful part of Edinburgh but if you fancy visiting I wouldn’t recommend running up it.
So my plan. Build slowly on distance and don’t worry about time. I have two runs in at 3k over the last few weeks (I do yoga so that is my excuse for the infrequency of this all) and will try for 5k in the next few weeks. I don’t use the apps with the walk jog walk type advice, but this can often happen naturally. I also don’t worry about time as I know I will never be fast and hopefully I can always make it in a race without the sweeper bus having to pick me up. Whilst this is always a real fear for a jogger type person like me, race day does something to make you faster and I also think they are pretty relaxed about the bus timings. I did do a park run last year though and was pretty afraid of being last. I reconciled this in my head that day by considering that for some reason only the really fit folk of Cramond (a lovely wee part of Edinburgh with a beach, ice cream van in the summer and cafes) had decided to run along the beachfront; other sensible folk just walked and meandered with their dogs.
Ok Im on this. I’ve located my running pair of trainers and the boulder holder bra and I’m going to stop writing. Just do it….as someone once said :-). Cue the sweat, red face and the waddle.