A couple of months ago, I signed up for the 5k Ladies Run in Rotterdam. It was a motivator for me to start running again and seriously train from zero to 5km. I started out with the speed of an 80-year-old turtle who had to catch her breath every 200 meters, but I have to say, I'm more of a 10-year-old sloth now, so I guess that's still progress, right? ;)
I never liked running and I'm not completely sure whether I do now. However, I have committed to going running at least twice, but ideally three times a week. It really helps that my BFFF comes along every time - I don't think I could have committed to it without her. Running was very hard for me in the beginning, partly due to a minor lung problem I've had since I was a child, but also partly due to my mentality. I'm not the "Rome wasn't built in a day"-kind-of-girl. If it was up to me, I'd want to build Rome in half a day and add Venice to the schedule as well. However, I needed to learn that your body simply isn't able to do everything you'd like it to rightaway. It takes time and training to achieve your goals, which in my case was running 5km in 30 minutes - and after 2,5 months, I have finally achieved this.
Running can be awful, exhausting and even annoying. But it can also be energizing, mind-clearing and insightful. It all depends on the mindset you're taking with you. You can continue to think that you are tired and out of breath while you are running, or you can focus on the landscape around you and bringing your breathing back to a steady pace. You don't need to run that fast in the beginning - take your time and appreciate the fact that you actually put on your running shoes and are out there trying! Results won't show in a week and it will be hard. There will be days when you are lying in bed and dreading to go out for a run. But then there will also be days that you will be yearning for a run or will complete one and feel absolutely, completely proud of yourself.
Tips to take with you when you go running:
- Appreciate the landscape around you. Try going for a run in beautiful surroundings, or explore your hometown and discover beautiful spots. It will get your mind off the fact that you are running and that you still need to go 4km until you're home. The landscape can be quite beautiful, wherever you are. Look at it. Appreciate it.
- Clear your mind. You can't solve your problems while you're out there running, but you can take a break from them. Taking a step back and thinking about other things can sometimes bring you entirely new perspectives and help you relax. Maybe when you get home, you'll suddenly see the solutions.
- Bring either your BFFF or your music. Running with the feeling of company is much better than doing it all by yourself.
- Accept the fact that you are only human and you cannot start running 5km without stopping at day 1. Training your body takes time and it needs to build up muscle and strength before you can achieve the goals you have set for yourself. If you are out of breath, take a break and walk for a while until you can breath normal again, or try running slower. I hate it when people say this to me, but... Rome wasn't built in a day.
My new goal is to run 8km (and eventually 10km) without stopping since I'm training for the We Own The Night 10km in Amsterdam on the 7th of June. Any other fit girls who are going to be there as well?