So today I was dreading it – 5 minutes. 5 WHOLE minutes! AND THEN, 4 sets of 3 minutes. FOUR SETS!
Yes shouting a little inside …
All weekend I kept telling my husband, who simply raised his eyebrows at me in support. Sigh…
It’s a big thing actually: I used to be a runner. I used to think I was pretty good at it. At school, I ran, jumped over things; even threw a few things, like a proper athlete. I had badges and medals and got upset if people beat me. My poor mother had to traipse to various stadiums and sit watching me throughout the season, usually in the rain.
I ran fast though…I didn’t like slow at all. I once ran a cross country at school and hurt my ankle, felt sick and didn’t win …so I never did that again.
In fact I haven’t run for about 30 years.
Many of you know that I try to follow the principles of a natural movement regime. In short, I like to evaluate everything with the thoughts “Would people do this naturally?” And, “What impact does it have on the mind and the body?”
Is being able to run a couple of miles a good thing?
Yes, I reckon so. Although I walk, and am walking further and further, my lungs feel the pressure of hills, my legs feel heavy and my energy is still low. I want to be fitter – Fitter for what? Fitter for life and endurance particularly.
I had been putting it off with various excuses like…my knee may not take it, I am too old, my heart may be too weak after my HER2 cancer treatment, I work in the fitness field so how can I let people see me huffing and puffing in public. Jeez! What will I wear?
But then I watched the first ever Stirling Marathon …and I saw the faces as they came in. I watched some of my clients and friends complete a MASSIVE challenge, and felt the tears come down my face with pride and joy for them.
And I was inspired...
I have been following the Race for Life Schedule. It appealed to me, as the first day is a Rest day (some clever psychologists in this tribe methinks). A programme that looked relatively easy compared to others I had seen and I wanted it to be easy so I wouldn’t be put off… or get too sweaty… or feel it’s impact on my life in any significant way!
It’s been hot and dry so far. Apart from today, when the rain came. I knew the forecast was for rain and that was not helping my mental state for my first VERY LONG 5 minutes today. However, it was glorious… what a surprise! How lovely to be cool – I am a complete convert.
I wear what I exercise in – loose trousers and a t-shirt and then a zip top with a pocket for my key. I decided I was going technology free and I count in my head as I go along – so I am only rough time wise. It is very freeing to leave without any paraphernalia, just my key (I can see now why some people have that little zip in their trousers)…to simply go…
When I was younger I ran in bare feet, until my school teacher insisted I wore shoes to avoid being trodden on by other people with running spikes. I eventually got used to shoes but I was never as comfortable. So I am pretty determined to train in barefoot shoes and run on natural ground whenever I can. I have a little route around King’s Park, where I can run on the natural ground and I just need to cross concrete paving to get there and back.
How has my body been so far?
Well, my knee has been fine! I watch the alignment of my feet and I have stronger lateral muscles as I walk (and now run!) with my feet pointing forward.
I feel tension in my neck – on the side of my mastectomy. I assume as I am missing a back stabiliser, my neck is taking the strain: my latissimus muscle was used to reconstruct my breast and now sits at the front of my body instead of the back. When I notice it, however, I can consciously relax my neck - and by drawing my left elbow further back on arm swing I find that the tension goes and I am working into my back once more. Hopefully, the other tissues will start to strengthen and it will become a more natural process.
I come in and head for the shower, my little MELT ball awaits and I finish with a Foot Treatment – the tissue under my bunion is certainly tighter; and a couple of minutes of cold showering to help my metabolism (I’ve been doing that for a while now and it really helps the hot flashes).
How’s my ego?
Well, to be honest I did spend time thinking where I could run – so no-one would see me – no-one would judge me. So I wouldn’t look too stupid. And the first couple of times, I deliberately ran in amongst the trees just in case I collapsed with exhaustion, dribbled, or in some way completely embarrassed myself.
I realised this was ego and meditated upon how limiting this approach is to both my body and my mind. As soon as I let go of this restriction I felt better about the whole thing …and about myself. So now it’s all hanging out… my tongue included as I puff and pant my way through; and I don’t mind if I am seen or found wanting. I am trying and I feel good.
Just don’t talk to me… and if you do …don’t expect me to talk back… huff puff pant…