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Today I did something I’ve not done for nigh on a year.

Run.

running shoes

It wasn’t as bad as I thought!  But it’s taken me several weeks to psych myself up to do it.  Here’s why.

D and I were doing brilliantly at running last year.  D was inspired by funny man Charlie Brooker to take up running, after Charlie blogged about having success with the Couch to 5k programme.  We were trying for a baby at the time and I knew losing some weight would improve my fertility, so I decided to run with him even though D is naturally much fitter than I am.  Within a few months D and I were running 5ks several days a week. One of the reasons we were successful was that we were doing it together.   If one of us was reluctant to go, the other one was usually up for it and able to shove the other one out of bed (always unceremoniously, of course).  We were so smug about being runners, we even ran on holiday.

I discovered that I liked running.  A lot.  I loved feeling my body move and seeing it get toned.  I loved the cardio benefits; like going hiking and finding I wasn’t getting puffed climbing hills anymore.  Don’t get me wrong – I hated every second of getting out of bed early and generally about the first half of the run, but the satisfaction I felt afterwards was priceless.

And then I got pregnant.

I wanted to keep up my running, but oddly enough, it turns out that running with sore boobs and nausea just isn’t that much fun.  I did bits of exercise here and there during my pregnancy, but definitely not as much as I should have.  Some days, just going for a walk was an effort.  But the dream of running again was still with me.  Pre-actual-child-reality I had visions of getting back into running a few weeks postpartum.

Once Eloise was here, and the horrendousness of the first few weeks had passed, the thought of getting back into running kept gnawing away at me so I could lose some weight and tone up, but I didn’t know how to make it work.

  1. I suck at exercising at any other time except first thing in the morning.  I’ll feel too tired, or something will come up.  So early morning it has to be.  Except, I have a baby.  Sleep is at a premium for me.  I have lots of trouble sleeping anyway, and find that I can get good, deep sleep between the hours of 6-8am.
  2. I need to get up and have my run over and done with before Eloise wakes at 7am.  Which means getting up around 6am.  Waaah, I need that sleep to function well!
  3. It’s winter.
  4. It’s pitch black outside, and I am a woman running alone.  Obviously Eloise can’t be left on her lonesome, so D has to stay with her and slumber on.  Wellington is a pretty safe city, but you can’t be too careful when you are out on your own.
  5. My usual grass running ground is currently very, very soggy,  meaning I’d need to hit the streets.  And I confess: as an overweight person, I feel quite self-conscious exercising in public.  Especially running!  Everything jiggles…

Here’s how I got out the door today:

no more excuses

  • I bought a new sports bra.  Very important.
  • I announced my plans to D so he could keep me accountable.  And not be pissed off when my alarm sounded at 6:10am.
  • I made sure I had lots and lots of cheesy 80’s songs loaded onto my phone to listen to while running.  Nothing gets me moving like 80’s cheese.  ‘Jessie’s Girl’ ‘Flashdance’, ‘Footloose’.  Yes please, Mr DJ.
  • I had all my running gear laid out the night before. Running pants…check.  Shoes and socks…check.  Derek Zoolander School For Kids Who Can’t Read Good t-shirt…check.
  • I checked the weather forecast!  We’ve had some dreadful weather lately and didn’t want my motivation to get rained on.
  • I decided to run in a car park.  Yes, that’s right, a car park.  We live close to some sports buildings that have a huge, well-lit car park.  Sure it’s boring going round and round, but I’ll run there for a few weeks until I feel confident enough to run on the streets.  Once Winter has left us, I’ll head back to the park and by then it will be getting light earlier in the morning.
  • I spent some time visualising myself running, and remembering how good it feels to run.  I even created a motivational quote board on Pinterest (okay, so I’m an addict).

Of course, getting myself out the door on a regular basis is much more important.  I plan to run every other day.  I’m sure the next run will be a killer as my body goes ‘what the heck are you doing to me Angela!’  I will have to think of more strategies to keep on going.

If you have any long-term strategies that keep you exercising regularly, chime in.

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