Thursday, 24 July 2014

Runstreak Day #236 - relaxing into it

In the last 6 months my running has really changed.  And not necessarily just in terms of pace or distance either.  Okay, so I can run faster... and I have increased from a 10k being the furthest I've run to managing a half marathon with no problems and feeling comfortable running 7 to 8 miles regularly.  But what's really changed is how much more relaxed I feel about my running now.

It's not like I'm running along going 'this is sooooo easy'.  Nope.  I still find running hard work in lots of ways.  There's always a point where I'm either sweating so much I think I'm going to dissolve or I'm breathing so heavily I worry someone will dial 999.  But the mechanics of it I understand.  I know what's involved in running a hilly route.  I know how to handle a longer run.  I don't actually care about pace so much any more - and tonight's run where I was with some running friends, taking it steady because of my dodgy knee, and it was coming in at 10 minute miles... that didn't bother me in the slightest.  I don't need to prove anything to anyone.  And I don't need to prove anything to myself any more.  I was just enjoying the breeze coming off the River Trent, chatting to the others and feeling the space and freedom that always comes with running.

The fact that I'm now able to run with others without worrying about it is also a complete revelation.  I was so panicked about it just 6 months ago.  I felt such a fraud.  Like someone would spot that I wasn't a 'proper runner'.  Now I *know* that I can run and that it doesn't matter if that running is faster or slower than anyone else... I get what it is to run, and I know that other runners get it too.  And I've met so many lovely people through my running, it's definitely taken the edge off the fear I felt about it all.

I guess what's changed more than anything is my confidence.  I kept on pushing myself to do things like parkrun even when I was scared rigid by them.  Thanks to a running friend, I've run a couple more races after the one that almost put me off running any more races at all.  I've met up with others.  I've stopped listening to music when I run (I don't feel like I need it any more some how).  I've started to regularly go to the Sweatshop Running Community runs.  And every so often I catch myself and go 'blimey... haven't things changed!'

Well, they really have changed.  Tonight I ran with friends which was lovely.  Plus, I met someone who was starting out with their very first C25K run tonight.  And I realised a) how far I'd come and b) what an amazing gift that new runner was giving themselves by giving it a go.

Day 236.  236 days of running.  Happy days.  :o)

Geeky stats stuff

Distance:4.21 mi
Avg Pace:10:00 min/mi
Elevation Gain:27 ft

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