Run #8 Reflection: First long run of 2017 DONE!

nYou know the bit where Charlie, in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, shows Grandpa Joe his golden ticket and, after years of being bed-bound, Grandpa Joe yelps “Yippee” in a burst of glee and springs from his bed, rejoicing with a little jig? Well, how Grandpa Joe felt about Charlie finding the golden ticket resembles how I felt doing Sunday’s run.

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WAS BUZZING!

I went with my old running partner, Rachel. We did the Cardiff 10k together in 2016 and attempted the Bristol Half a couple of years before that (let’s not go there…!). The aim for this run? 50mins, non-stop. Running around the Downs in Bristol on a Sunday morning was very different to running around the small streets of a little north Wiltshire town. Not only were there other runners out and about, of all shapes, ages and levels, but there were loads of people out for other reasons, too; walking, cycling, boot camp, football. I felt energised for running with someone else (Rach is great at setting a pace for me – her stride is longer than mine and so I run behind her trying to keep up), energised for being surrounded by other runners and people, and simply energised by the run itself. The sun was shining but there was a lovely cool breeze to keep us at a comfortable temperature. Oh, and I gave my new bit of kit a go, too: my running belt!

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I decided to get one of these as I get so, so thirsty on runs. I try to hydrate enough throughout the day and ahead of runs so I don’t need to bring water with me but any run over 45 minutes and I’m gasping for a drop of H2O. So I thought I’d give this a go as when I run with bottles in my hands, my shoulders get tight and I my focus moves on to them instead of my run which isn’t all too helpful. And I was really surprised, the belt worked really well and didn’t annoy the hell out of me like I thought it would. Winning.

With people, the run and water fuelling my body and mind, motivating me to put one foot in front of the other, we not only achieved the run’s aim but we surpassed it (ok, only by 5 minutes, but still!). I still can’t quite fathom how I’m supposed to do this just over 5 times more but let’s just keep on taking one run at a time and hope that across that time it just happens!

Run #8 Rating & Reflection

Achievement = 5

I don’t feel like this run could have gone any better!

Enjoyment = 5

I felt like I’d won the golden ticket.

Oh, and as a reward, Rach and I went for brunch after – well done to us!!

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Run #1 Reflection

I’m back and didn’t need a search party (see last blog post for reference!). Although I do need some thicker running tops for the winter – it was a bit chilly. And I may need something that’s not so bright – wearing essentially a builder’s florescent bib may be a bit too distracting to others! But I went out there, ran (and walked twice for about 30 seconds each time to catch my breath) and, most importantly, I got going. As you can see from the photo above, my training has had a ‘delayed’ start for a couple of reasons (one legitimate but the other, not so much). So getting up, going and completing it feels great even it the run really didn’t.

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Before pic (and in my florescent bib!), half way at Ashton Court, end of run photo in Clifton, and me having a rest at home

One of the things I’m going to do each time I reflect on my runs is ‘monitor’ them in the way that I reflect and monitor on my mental health each day. Over the past 2 years I’ve taken part in group CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) sessions, one-to-one counselling and one-to-one CBT, which is what I’m currently doing on a weekly basis. From those experiences, as well as some of my own research and reading about coping and managing with depression, I’ve created my own ‘toolbox’ if you like. As with running, I find it difficult to regularly do the things that I know are good for me but I am really trying hard to get in to a rhythm with recording my thoughts, emotions and (in)actions to help build a picture up of what may trigger what I call my ‘down days’ and what helps to lift my mood, as well as the things that help to stabilise me and keep me balanced.

This is my toolbox with some of the tools I use regularly:

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My mental health toolbox

And then the other thing I’m doing at the moment is rating my actions in relation to achievement and enjoyment. So I’m going to use that now for today’s running reflection along with using some of the words to describe me because I went out for a run. Go me and here’s to resting until Tuesday’s run…

FYI rating goes from 1 – 5 – 5 being the highest, 3 being average, and 1 being the lowest

Run #1 Rating & Reflection

Achievement = 4

I’m still annoyed with myself that I didn’t start running when I originally planned and so I don’t feel like I achieve what I set out to. However, when I break it down and place it all in context, I did get going today when on other days I haven’t and that’s an achievement. I also pushed myself when the run was getting tough to try to keep on going as much as I could. And I’ve written 2 blogs today on my running which really is an achievement.

Enjoyment = 2

I really didn’t like the run today at all. It was cold which made my chest feel tight and the first 10 minutes felt like FOREVER. Probably not helped by the fact that my running app didn’t start when I set it to and 5 minutes in I was wondering why I hadn’t heard a little voice in my ear buds telling me how far I’d ran so far. In some ways I should feel prouder because I ran further than I needed to but really I was out on the cold for longer than I bloody well needed to be. Oh well, at least I wasn’t raining or blowing a hoolie!

Today’s run shows that I am:

AMBITIOUS – while today was 3 miles, come April I’ll be running nearly 9x the distance

ACTIVE – got my heart rate up and my muscles working

DETERMINED – kept going to reach today’s goal

DEDICATED – I stuck to my training plan despite having not in the past 2 weeks

GRATEFUL – I’m grateful for being able to run, and live, in a beautiful and safe place

HARD-WORKING – blogging and running’s taken up time but I’ve worked to do my best

HOPEFUL – I’m trying to have some self-belief in my ability to do the marathon

KIND – I have been kind to myself – I’ve exercised and now I’m going to watch Strictly Come Dancing as a reward, followed by Plant Earth 2

MOTIVATED – thinking about why I’m doing this spurred me on

PROACTIVE – I’ve organised and planned my training and got going

REALISTIC – it was my first run in a while and so I didn’t over-do it

 

 

Motivation

Well, it is time. I’ve done the talking, now time to do the walking. Ok running. Or maybe something in between. Anyway, whatever it is I’m about to do it’s essentially my first run of my training for the London Marathon 2017 – F***! I’ve just tidied up my small flat and came across a large envelope containing my running shirt for the day. It’s given me a massive boost, reminding me that I’m running for myself to help improve my mental health as well as to contribute to a charity I very much care about given the work it does and the people that benefit from such work. So time to put your money where my mouth is and get running to raise money and awareness.

Oh, and there’s another thing motivational for me about the picture: it says Size S on the label. Currently I don’t fit in that size but hopefully I will come April!

I’ll post again once I’m back from my run (3 miles today) – if I’m not back by 5pm UK time, someone send a search party for me in the Clifton area of Bristol 😉

💪🏼👟🏅🏆❤️