Blue Runnings

Race Reviews, GPX files and more from North-East England

Spirals

on 23 April 2018

I’ve found myself thinking often of how things always seem to go in cycles when it comes to my exercise routine, and I wish I were talking about bikes. I start getting into good habits, my calendar is filling with star stickers on a regular basis and I’m feeling like I’m on an upward spiral. The consistent and varied exercise sessions start to work together, I see improvement in my performance, and because I’m in a good headspace I eat better so also lose weight as I tone up and feel fitter.

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Then, normally about three weeks later, something will happen to upset that routine I’ve been building up around myself. I’ll end up making a choice between doing what I feel I should do rather than what I want to, and end up begrudging that choice even though I would – and do – make it again.

The biggest thing which ‘gets in the way’ is, as with many people, my job which sometimes has somewhat unpredictable end times and can occasionally be quite physically exertive. I feel a large amount of frustration and animosity towards this like it’s some sort of inconsiderate fluffy monster thing always standing just in the way of the door when I’m trying to leave.

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It (not me), is making me tired, or eating into “my” time – which allows me to be very passive about the responsibility I take for looking after myself. My exercise sessions drop off – I either can’t get to the time-booked ones, or feel forced (still not my fault!) to choose rest over making myself ill or worse in the medium-term. Obviously it’s something I didn’t want to do that’s got me into this pickle in the first place.

I was thinking at the start of the year about what I want to get out of this year – regardless what happens with work and other life commitments. I didn’t want to push myself further with my running, though I had hopes of getting faster. I lost the fun of running in 2016, and it took me over 12 months to find it again – so my focus is to have fun being active for 2018 – try stuff that’s a bit different, and if I’m not going to just enjoy being out, then do something different. So far, I’ve completed my first duathlon, and am hoping to get a team together for a team marathon – 10k each and lots of picnic food. I’ve also tried skiing , been to a spa for the first time EVER, and I’m finding new running routes and running buddies while revisiting some of my favourite races from the last few years. I’ve even bought padded bum nappy shorts for cycling – and a new bike – at the back end of last year!

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My run challenge for the start of the year was to run 500 miles in 2018 if I could – this is about 5k 3x a week not something that requires crazy amounts of time dedicated to running. For whatever reason (getting married this year – another first! – definitely played a part!) I didn’t hit the mileage I needed for a flat monthly target in January, February or March – but April is going really well and I’m on track for new milage target I need to hit each month to compensate for the first quarter being under. I’m trying to use the positive fitness spiral that’s growing for April to get me in shape for a positive eating spiral in May, and between the two I’ll get to spend the summer being fit and healthy rather than hiding in the fridge from the sun 🙂

My current battle is habit-eating. I am fine at work not snacking, but even when I can acknowledge to myself at home that I’m not actually hungry I’ve gotten into the habit of snacking on an evening – especially agitata-eating (this is a thing) when I’m trying to work through things like booking all the holiday things and other more menial necessities. A stern talking to and a padlock on the fridge might be needed 😉 Spending all my evenings at work seems like too drastic an action!

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I’m still a touch apprehensive about the summer – it’ll be easier with a few lbs off (no more cake!!!) as it is for most people – but I’m determined to keep pottering about doing things to keep myself active, and if I can keep my running miles up so much the better; though it may be at about 5am!!! We’re starting windsurfing again hopefully next month so watch this space for some interesting tan lines developing, and I’ll be working my way back up to half-marathon distance for the Northumberland Coastal Run I hope. Maybe somewhere in the middle of the horrendous rain they had last year and the blazing sunshine of the London Marathon would be lovely with some sea breezes! Parkruns are becoming a more regular part of my calendar – I’m ahead of my target to reach 15 events for this year, being already on five, and have beaten my target of 10 different locations ever attended – a stretch target definitely needed for that one. The biggest thing though is just enjoying what I’m doing – social runs and classes, some head-clearing time out on my favourite routes on my tod (it’s been a while since I hit the moors at the Waskerley!) and trying all the new things 🙂

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I’ve no doubt there’ll be another dip in the future; whether I fall off the food wagon (which I must admit to not being on yet though I do brush it with my fingertips occasionally!), or for whatever reason my exercise routine takes a stumble, I’m determined to see out 2018 with a collage of happy memories and the reinforcement that I can do it – whatever ‘it’ is, because I’ve done it before.

See you out there 😉

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