Today I ran for my longest interval run so far, which included a stretch of 12 minute running. Now I know to some, 12 minutes may seem like nothing but to me, it’s a huge leap forward from just 4 weeks ago when I was just doing 1-minute intervals and getting super tired out.
Through this training, there have been some runs where I’ve really struggled and often the thought slips into my mind that I want to stop. It starts off small and slowly but surely, after every single step it gets louder and louder until your internal voice is begging you to stop and just sit down and give up all this running lark.
The odd thing for me, though, is that so far, it’s not won. Not once. In the past when I’ve thought I should get fit I’d go out for 10 minutes, tire myself out and then never do it again. My body rebels and made me feel stupid for even trying and might as well say “oh just get back on the sofa and order that garlic bread you like”. In the past 5 weeks, though, something has changed and I’m ready to keep fighting back.
The thing is, I think this time has been different as it feels as though I’m running to get my life back. I know that sounds very dramatic but in a way it’s true.
Since late last year, I’ve been actively looking for full-time work as the freelancing work is not really turning out as expected. The people I work with are great but finding work is inconsistent and when you have grand ideas of buying a house and starting a family, you really need something solid and a healthy regular paycheck. My job hunting had been lazy at best, maybe one or two applications a week with the dullest cut and paste CV and Letter you’ve ever seen. I threw my hands up wondering why I was getting no responses but deep down I knew that my heart wasn’t in it and I was applying for roles that were of no interest to me. When money is the only driver, making any actual connection to what your doing is very difficult.
Mid-January and I decide to kick off my fitness program and site. The first week was tough, slow and made me feel extremely unfit. However, week 2 starts and I start to feel better mentally. I can feel those endorphins after the runs. Maybe I’ll have another look at those job sites. Maybe I should tailor my letters to these employers directly.
I started to realise that after every run, I have more energy. I feel like I have more time to focus on me. Of course, I’m enthused about my own progress running, but I’m also enthused when I sit at my desk and do work, look and apply for jobs and generally day to day I’m ready to handle what comes my way.
When it comes to running, and I want to stop, I know that if I stop, I won’t feel good for the rest of the day. I won’t be able to finish projects I’m working on. if I stop I won’t get those Jobs I applied for. So I push on through. It works. Every time.
I’ve managed to train my brain to fight back and prove to myself that if I get healthy and achieve what I’ve set out to do, then all the other things I want will follow suit. Now I’m not saying it’s all mystical and that it will work, but it’s a damn sight better than sitting on the sofa, sipping cups of coffee and thinking I’ve got everything in the bag.
As I started this post, today I ran in the wind and rain thanks to Storm Doris and didn’t stop. I stuck to the plan. And even though I got home soaked wet through, frozen and red raw, I felt good. I warmed up, hammered that jobs site and got these thoughts out of my system.
So next time you feel like you want to give up, push on through. Keep going and be persistent and consistent. It’ll pay off, and maybe that attitude will trickle into other parts of your life. One change here may open many other doors down the line and I guess you’ll never know till you give it a shot. Halfway into my 5K plan feels like the best thing I’ve ever achieved and I can’t wait to see where I am in another 5!
Thanks for reading and feel free to get in touch with any thoughts and questions you might have! Happy to hear from you 🙂