I finally forced myself out of my slump yesterday, and made it to the gym for an hour on the treadmill. Whilst the treadmills are all calibrated differently (and I have yet to find one that matches the reading on my Nike+ sports band), and the one I used was set to KM, I think I managed the 5 miles the training plan called for.
According to the treadmill, I managed 8k (4.97 miles) in 62 minutes. This would mean I was going at over a 12 min/mile pace, but even my 16-miler earlier in the year averaged about an 11 min/mile pace – so I’m convinced I went further than the display told me. Either way, it was enough for that session, regardless.
To take some of the pressure off, with this being my first run in WEEKS, I didn’t put a goal time or distance. Given that I wasn’t sure how far or long I could manage at that point, I didn’t want to push myself. As it turned out, I felt really strong, and was even able to increase the speed every 1k for the whole hour. After the usual 3 miles of my body wondering what on Earth I’m making it do, I settled into a rhythm and ran solidly, with a smile on my face the whole time. Even inside a stuffy gym, it felt wonderful! 🙂
I don’t know what it was, but I hadn’t really felt ‘myself’ for the past few weeks. I’ve been tired, stressed, lethargic and generally just a little ‘blah’ (technical term!)
I finally decided to sit down, and reassess. I began to think about what was missing in my life, and I came up with two things: languages, and running.
Since graduating last year from my languages degree (which included a year abroad – best experience EVER), I haven’t really had any opportunity to use my languages, or any of my linguistic/cultural skills/knowledge.
So I did what any normal person would do – signed up for a Japanese course! (It’s a good thing I enjoy a challenge, I’ll say that much ..)
After one lesson, I’m already in love with the language, and extremely excited about learning more. It feels like I’m finally able to do what I love again, and it’s fantastic 🙂
The second thing was, of course, RUNNING. I never really realised just how much running affects my mood! Since I stopped running, I’ve felt sluggish, lethargic and lazy, despite cycling 14 miles a day. But after one run, I’m already feeling more energised, lighter, and happier. My legs might ache and I might have a slight niggle in my foot, and I might not be as fast as I was before I stopped, but I’m SO glad I pushed myself to take that first, daunting step.
Now that barrier of that first run is gone, I’m excited to get back into my marathon training!