Fitness: The Joy of Running

Race For LifeHeard the one about how goals can be stifling and limiting? About how when you perceive that you’ve achieved them you stop trying? Well it might just be true.

One of the daily ‘tasks’ which I’ve added to my routine is to either do some exercise or meditation every day. This fits in well with the fact that I’m now driving to work, and so if I wish to keep inhaling chocolate at my usual rate I need to do something to balance out those Cadbury calories. It’s also rather helpful when you consider that, after a few too many glasses of wine on New Years Eve, I agreed to do Race For Life with my in-laws this year.

Now I’ve done Race For Life before so I know what to expect. But I as I hadn’t run for aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaages I was a little apprehensive. I dusted off my trusty trainers and decided to take things slowly. There’s nothing more disheartening than trying to go full pelt, failing and feeling crap. I decided I needed a training plan, so logged onto the Race For Life website and downloaded the running plan. That’ll break me in nicely I thought. And it did. On Tuesday evening I trotted out and completed 15 minutes of interval training, alternating one minute of running with two of walking. I got home and had barely broken a sweat, but still felt like ‘taking it easy’ was the right thing to do – small goals and all that jazz.

Fast forward to tonight. I get home. It’s raining. I don’t really feel like going out, but I appreciate that it may be raining on race day so better to just brave it. I get changed into my running gear and then realise that my stopwatch isn’t working. I don’t fancy taking my fancy new iPhone out in the rain, so I have nothing to time my intervals with. Pah! I think I don’t want to be out for long anyway, why don‘t I just try to run the same route as Tuesday and see how far I get.

I head out of the door, my feet pounding on the tarmac. A slight incline leaves me out of breath but I’m determined to get home (and out of the rain) as quickly as possible, so I carry on. Rounding the corner I can see the alleyway which leads back to our apartment. I could just stop my run there? After all, I don’t want to push myself too hard do I? I decide not to and push on to cover the same route as I had on Tuesday – past the newsagents, doubling back on myself at the end of the cul-de-sac, before running back towards the same alleyway which had tempted me earlier and making for home. I felt slightly soggy and a little out of breath, but overall really, really good and even as though I could go further.

I checked out Map My Run on the laptop when I got home and I’d completed a mile. Now this is still only a third of what I need to complete for Race For Life but just think it if hadn’t have been raining and my stopwatch was working and I’d have worked to my Race For Life training plan I would have only run a fifth of that! Time to chuck the training plan out of the window and get on with enjoying the experience of running methinks!

Do you think goals are a help or a hindrance?

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