Today I was the worst runner in Islington – and that’s ok

In keeping with my new year’s resolution, today I went for a run, and while I was utterly terrible and narrowly avoided vomiting in Sainsburys afterwards, i’m ready to do it all over again tomorrow.

This morning I ran for the first time in at least six months. To be totally honest, I didn’t want to do it. I woke up hangover free (thanks Dry Jan), ready to chill for the day and get on with boring tasks like cleaning the flat and trying to create some sort of vegan dinner out of the very few ingredients left in my fridge. However, getting back into running is a resolution, and as i’m all over my resolutions at the moment, the nagging voice in my head urging me to go for a run just wouldn’t shut up – no matter how long I ignore it. Finally, I donned my trainers (bright pink in the hope it distracted from my inevitably bright red face), pulled on my running leggings and top, grabbed a fleece, and headed into the freezing air to commence what was the first of many runs, I hope.

The first half a kilometer or so was brilliant. Like a gazelle, I flew down the pavement, side-stepping strangers, and dancing through traffic lights. Unfortunately it soon dawned on me that i’d been running downhill, and that things were about to become much more challenging.

I think I ran a kilometer or so before I became too hot in my fleece (rookie error wearing a fleece, duly noted) and a tad uncomfortable. Ignoring that, I carried on. By now i’d reached my local park and was pleased to be away from passers-by who were probably wondering why a potato in luminous trainers was out for a run so early at the weekend. I managed one loop around the park before my throat was burning; the cold January air combined with my warm breath was causing me quite a bit of pain, but I got on with it, because I couldn’t possibly quit so soon.

The biggest wobble I had was on the way home. I had to pop by Sainsburys to get some breakfast (thank God baked beans are vegan…) and for a moment thought I was about to faint or vomit in the middle of the cereal aisle. I really didn’t feel too bad while running so I think the change in temperate from outside to the warm indoors caused my brief nausea. Thankfully, last night’s dinner remained firmly in my stomach, and I jogged home.

In the end, I ran for 20 minutes, and covered just under two miles. It’s not a time or distance i’m proud of, but it’s a start, and sometimes the hardest part of exercise is putting on some trainers and leaving the house.

A friend of mine is a really fantastic runner, like, runs marathons pretty quickly, kinda good. I asked her for the best technique for breaking back into running and getting through the first few difficult weeks, and she told me to concentrate on just keeping going, not to worry about time or pace, rather just put on some shoes and go, then when i’m a little more confident and a little fitter, I can start thinking about speed and distance. I think that’s brilliant advice. Had I put lots of pressure on myself to run a 5k today, i’d have been really, really disappointed. Instead, i’m full of energy and ready to give it another go tomorrow.



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