In case you weren’t already aware, I’ve been ill. Oh. You mean, I haven’t shut up about it? Well, now I’m running unfit.
You know what it’s like. We all make a fuss about long runs, or having to go out for a run when it’s raining and we make excuses and we huff and flounce and eventually go out. Of course, it’s always enjoyable once we go out and we feel amazing afterwards, but the fact remains that going out is the hard bit.
Of course, I’m Little Miss Contrary. I make a fuss about going for a run, but then when I can’t run, I make a fuss about that. I get twitchy, I feel lazy and I want to go exercise. After a few weeks of not doing anything, I was really restless so I decided to meet Lynette at Bexley parkrun on Saturday. She was volunteering as tailrunner and I simply just wanted to finish.
Bexley parkrun is really lovely. It’s also undulating, so it can be a tough course. When we started, it was congested so the pace was quite slow, but I was surprised by just how badly my legs were struggling to move. I shouldn’t have been, a few weeks of not doing anything and being poorly was always going to result in a tough run back, but my legs didn’t feel like mine. They felt tired and heavy and lethargic. It was a real struggle to the finish and despite a stronger final kilometre, I couldn’t even manage to nudge myself under 35 minutes, finishing just outside.
And I HURT after.
But that’s ok. It just serves as a reminder that we need to be kind to ourselves and not place unrealistic expectations on myself. And if I’m being 100% honest with myself, I’ll confess that secretly, a little part of me was hoping for a course PB because it was the perfect day for running.
The important thing was to go out and do it and enjoy it, not to beat myself up about it being really hard. Because sometimes running is hard and sometimes, our bodies need us to take it easy.
This point was reinforced today. 3ness kindly invited me to attend their Fitness Party & Pamper weekend (more on that in a later post) and I’ve had a lot of fun trying out things that I would never normally dream of. I also attended a session by Focus CIC on the five steps to wellness. I’ll talk about this more in a later post, but the ladies behind Focus CIC use health and fitness to empower women and girls and enable them to handle stress. Andrea, the founder of the organisation, is one of the best bodybuilders in the world, and she reinforced the importance of listening to your body and how if you’re tired, or hurting, then listen to it. It’s ok to skip a workout if you need to. And we don’t need to beat ourselves up, sometimes we need to take it easy.
I’m getting back into activity now and I’m going to make an effort not to worry if the first few runs are difficult, or if I need to scale back. I might be “running unfit” right now, but I’ll be back. How are you at listening to your body?