I had great expectations – visualising crossing the finish line of the London Marathon (now I know I should’ve fantasised about Boston, but you live and learn), probably slightly out of breath but otherwise graceful and composed.
I don’t know about you, but 10 minutes into any aerobic exercise, I turn an unflattering shade of glowing tomato red, and all users sharing the immediate environment also get to enjoy hearing the puffing noises my efforts produce.
Am I painting a picture here?
No need to go on.
I also spent time imagining the beauty and romance of running around the Cornish coast path, carefree and fleet of foot, looking out across the Atlantic and dreaming of records to come.
Maybe that needed thinking through too 😂
Take the coast path, for instance, a fabulous path around the coast 😉, gorgeous views, cafes and toilets (I’m learning). It’s lovely. It’s got beaches, cliffs, and everything in between.
It’s those bits in between I’d not really factored in. The bits between the beach and the cliff inevitably involve an awful lot of up, or a great deal of down. That was a surprise.
It’s also gets pretty busy heading into summer, and anyone who negotiates narrow(ish) cliff edge paths while trying to go faster then every single other person (or in my case, most other people) using that path, will appreciate how mentally tiring that gets. So the coast path will have to be saved for winter days, where I shall endeavour not to get blown or washed off!
So having debunked the fantasy, but benefitted from its effects in setting me up with a goal of sorts, I’m finding that lacing up and getting out there involves getting over a few things – the first one was getting outside in the first place and starting to run.
The whole puffing tomato thing is not new, and neither is a general desire not to be looked at while in that state.
Past 3000m the treadmill is intolerable – I get bored; it takes ages (because I am slow) and, since my gym has no climate control, there’s a sense of being slowly parboiled.
Not a motivating combination. It was either stop running or take it outside.
I worried about being seen and judged by people I did and didn’t know, not knowing how far and how hard I was pushing myself, wanting to stay safe and crucially, how to fit it in.
I’m guessing I am not alone in this?