One big change in my life recently is that I’ve picked running back up and this time I’m sticking with it. I got into running a little bit last year (my flatmates were runners) but my enthusiasm dropped off quickly as I became busier and more stressed. When I finished my second year of uni, exercise in general went on hold for the summer until hockey season started back up, and yes I would run a little in matches, but I was fairly unfit and that was my only exercise during the week.
When you’re not motivated it feels like the hardest thing in the world to drag yourself out the flat just to make your legs and lungs ache for an hour. When you’re busy it can feel like a waste of time. When you’re self conscious it can be uncomfortable to be out in public, every inch of my body jiggling, my face red and sweaty.
But, I enjoy it. I love being active. It makes me feel productive and healthy and the endorphin rush I get after running makes a huge difference to my day. So, when I finished my lambing placement I didn’t want to go back to the slug I’ve been the past few months. I’d been working on my feet doing physical labour for 12 hours a day! I wanted to continue being active. So at the start of April I set myself the goal of running every single day. It doesn’t have to be too long or too fast but it needs to be at least 2.5km, no matter the weather, no matter the schedule. If I’m busy then I just need to wake up earlier and get it done before the day begins.
It is the 11th of April today and I’m currently waiting for my hearty, protein-filled lunch to go down before I hit the park. Living next to one of the biggest parks in London does make it a little easier to get out there, as does the brilliant sunshine we’ve been having lately. Running every single day has done me a world of good. It gets me out of bed in the morning when I want to just curl up. It gets me out of the flat and into the sun every day when I want to shut the world out. It improves my mood and my body – I’m getting fitter every day and it’s wonderful to watch my self esteem improve as my muscles are starting to tone up.
Running has also been very important for my diet. I feel a lot less guilty about having a treat if I’ve run because I know I have earned it. I can eat more because I’m burning more, and it helps me stay fuller for longer. Running is also my incentive to eat right. If I eat too little I won’t have the energy to run further and faster. If I binge then I’ll feel too sluggish and sick to exercise. I need my three meals a day and I need more protein in my diet, so I’m working hard to create healthy and hearty meals, as well as frequent green tea’s throughout my day and a post-workout snack. Yesterday I made some protein balls with oats, peanut butter, protein powder and many other healthy ingredients. They taste delicious so it’s a little hard to resist eating them all in one go but my motivation to be healthy is strong.
I have goals too. I’ve signed up to do a race in May (either 5k or 10k depending on my ability level in a months time, but I’m hoping to do the 10k) so I want to get faster and further each week. I’m happy and healthier than I have been in a while, and I feel like running is an important part of that.