So I’m now on week six of Parkrun and every week sees me appreciate something new about it. This Saturday was the first time in a long time I’ve run in the cold and man I felt it. Drip drip drip went my nose, splutter splutter went my cough, I must’ve been a pretty sight to behold. I wore my coat for the first while, got too warm and had to throw it to my (2 small 1 large) supporters while I plodded on, each intake of breath not quite enough. My fingers stung and nails turned white, I tried to tuck them in different ways at intervals to warm them up as I tapped at my phone to find a song to make me go – not necessarily faster – just go. I bought a pair of gloves in the running section of Decathlon this morning so hopefully those will help. I’m kinda wary of buying proper running kit in case I become one of those people with all the kit and kaboodle who looks the part but their ability doesn’t match the glossy outerwear. I also worry I won’t stick to it, but then again maybe that’s a good reason to invest in some proper gear – to keep me at it.
It’s funny, my goal changes from week to week, but mainly I just want to improve and keep going, beat last week’s time until I feel like I’m getting back into some kind of respectable level of fitness. This week I knew I would be slower – I felt it – and I really wanted to give up plenty of times but what kept going round in my mind was what an odd thing running is. Yes it’s about fitness, endurance, stamina and probably things I still no nothing about like breathing – I should also probably use the verb ‘to run’ loosely – but so much of it is mind over matter. It’s never my legs telling me to stop, it’s all in my head. So far I’ve only learned to distract myself from that voice saying, “You’ve had enough, just give it up now.” I wonder if it ever stops or if you develop some kind of long-term silencing strategy. Maybe I need to work on my mindfulness. I’ll make a list of things to think about. I also need some new, kick-ass, inspiring music to push my legs on up those leaf-strewn hills. Suggestions so welcome!
Oh yes, what I meant to actually say, was this week I appreciated the lovely lady who said I kept her going when she wasn’t sure of the course. Not only did I keep someone else going – seriously that is unexpected – but she took the time to come after me and tell me that at the end and that it was really nice to hear, because it never would’ve occurred to me that as I struggled on, my butt was a shining beacon in lycra. Who knew?