I’m writing this on Tuesday evening. I’ve got a clicking in my left ear, my face is aglow with perspiration and I’m fairly certain I may have a family of midges stuck to my forehead. You see tonight I jumped back on the fitness bandwagon and went for my first jog in about three months.
You wouldn’t believe how many times I talked myself out of going. Either I wasn’t in the mood, or there was too much that needed doing around the house. My sports bra had hidden itself away at the bottom of my underwear drawer, surely that was fates way of telling me not to…right?!
I fought the demons and went anyway. Just a quick and easy route of just over a mile (1.21 miles to be exact). I blasted Beyoncé out of my headphones as I pounded the streets. I needed something to keep me going and if the music alone wouldn’t do it the thought of Beyonce’s perfect bod would – nothing comes for free and all that jazz.
To begin with it felt easy. I had a spring in my step and a swoosh in my pony tail (and a bit too much jiggle around my rear-end, but lets gloss over that). That’s probably because the first part of my route is largely downhill. As I ran past the bushes and through the subway I was attached by hoards of midges, sticking to my skin and trying to make their way up my nose and in my mouth – eugh! I persevered.
Now the area this particular route takes me through isn’t the nicest. It’s not exactly the Bronx, but people who live there tend to think they’re harder than they actually are. I had no issues past the group of lads playing Kerby. However, the obese mother and daughter didn’t want to shift out of the way for me (I managed to squeeze past them, which probably annoyed them even more) and as for the group of teenage girls in chavvy tracksuit bottoms (I know I was wearing them too, but I was running – there’s a difference) they did not want to budge at all, forcing me into the road. Another group of teenage girls weren’t sure how to react. I think they knew the cool thing to do was block my way, but they also knew that wasn’t nice and before they could sum up the decision-making process I’d nipped past them. Ha, ha! Just a note to non-runners, if you see someone running towards you on the pavement and it’s safe to do so, shift out of the bloody way! And that goes for you too Mr Izzard!
The route I take is an out and back route and I started my return leg strong (again it was downhill!) although I was now more out of breath than I would normally be. It wasn’t until just over the one mile mark where I started to struggle. The mouth bobbed open to let in more air (and midges) and I had to keep reminding myself of how smug I would feel when I got back if I’d managed to run the entire route. But my body had other ideas and as I got through the subway I got a strong cramp in my stomach. I walked briefly, but I wasn’t going to let it defeat me. Two metres of walking and I was jogging again, I could rest when I got home. And before I knew it that’s where I was, back at home, doing my stretches and drinking coconut juice in a bid to recover.
I have to admit I’m not a natural runner and the first run after some time off is always the most difficult. I always get frustrated with myself and I never truly enjoy it, but alas I need to get it out of the way so I can get to the more enjoyable runs that I know will come. Truth be told if I never took a three-month sabbatical I’d never have to have that horrible run – something to bear in mind next time I’m making excuses. Onwards and upwards.
Do you struggle with that first run when you’ve taken time off? Do you have any tips on how to beat that feeling? Let me know in the comments below.