The most slack I've been with my running so far

I was building up really well, got up to 8k in November, but have only done three runs since then: two 4ks and a 3k. What's happening to me! I'm round at my boyfriend's this weekend without my running shoes so can't even say I'll go for a run tomorrow morning. The dark mornings and evenings are really getting to me, although I managed to run with a new running buddy last Thursday evening - we took our safety in numbers up the dark scary canal path and around the Olympic Park and back. My running group is off the cards as it starts at 6:30 on Tuesdays which I can't make anymore because of my new job which finishes at 6pm (approx an hour's commute away). I'm hoping my new running buddy will help to motivate me to run in the dark at least once a week. I also really want to get my sleeping pattern sorted so that I can get out for a run at 7am at least once a week too. That plus a weekend run would get me back to 3 x per week and hopefully back to the heady heights of those 8k runs again. Any advice, sympathy or tough love welcome - or just check up on me that I've gone for my runs - I'm thinking maybe Monday morning? - I need to commit to something and get this back on track! I hope everyone else is running okay despite the rain, wind and general grimness out there...

25 Replies

  • Massive sympathies Ruth, it's so easy to let stuff get in the way of running. I was really busy at work before Christmas and that, combined with a pulled muscle I picked up in December and a cold, meant that I've only run twice since the new year and maybe half a dozen times during December. Shall we both agree to get out there and start clawing back some of out hard won fitness. It's blowing a gale here this morning but I'm determined to get out there. I know I will because I've said it now. Don't know how far I'll get but I'll do my best. Come on, we can do this, can't we? 😱

  • This is exactly how I feel - just need to get out there. I don't feel I've lost too much fitness as my one and only run in December and my one and only run this year were both fine, if much shorter than the 8k I was running in November. I was also busy in December. Been in a full-time job since October plus doing other freelance work and sporadic studying alongside - it all got a bit out of control in December, built up and I was hardly coming up for air. But I don't want running to be far down my list of priorities, so I need to shuffle things round and make sure it fits in somewhere. Hope its not too blowy out there today, let me know how it goes. I'll be setting my alarm for 6:45 tomorrow morning and trying to get to bed by 10/11 tonight - if I can do that, then a run will happen :)

  • Well I did it. I managed to procrastinate for so long that the wind had dropped by the time I got out of the house :) I fought the gremlins all the way around and eventually managed a slow 5k. It wasn't at all comfortable, especially mentally, despite me choosing an easy route, but it's done and I'm hoping it won't be such hard next time. Good luck for tomorrow, Ruth, I'm sure you'll nail it :)

  • That's amazing - a slow 5k is better than I've managed since late November so don't knock it! I think I might try 3 or 4k tomorrow and then 5k later in the week if that goes well. Hope the gremlins were well and truly defeated by at least getting out there. My gremlins are stopping me from even putting my running gear on at the moment. I'll report back tomorrow whether I run or not :)

  • Ah, cheers m'dear. I'll be looking out for your post. Very best of luck :)

  • Getting out for a run at 7am might in itself sort out your sleeping pattern. Worth a try as it starts to get a wee bit lighter? You may need to have a bit of compassion for yourself if you are a hibernatory soul (and there's no doubt that a new job, full time hours, long commute will take it out of anyone and make it tricky to schedule and motivate yourself to run) but be ready to 'wake up' as soon as possible for the Spring.

    and really just focus on getting out there at all. Doing one short run a week is better than a plan for 3 that don't happen.

    Threaten yourself with a treadmill at the gym if you don't get outside?

    Treat yourself to a second pair of running shoes and keep them at your boyfriend's?

    Get on RealFoodieClubs C25K forum Quests (never too late to join in)

    I have been known to just run sometimes and sod the footwear or clothing. I don't especially recommend it but we wouldn't not run for a bus just because we weren't wearing running shoes would we?

  • Thank you Googleme, appreciate the common sense as always. As you remember I started c25k in pretty basic gear and didn't upgrade to proper running kit for ages - it worked well enough in the beginning... I did consider just going out today in my pyjamas and my normal lace up shoes - it could kind of pass for running gear! But I was up late last night helping my bf bring his gear in after a gig and now have woken up late with a pile-up of homework to do - so even that wistful idea has gone out the window! Need to go and do that homework now... But 2nd pair of running shoes and maybe a running top/bra at bf's is a good idea... My current shoes are nearly a year old now so could be due an upgrade soon :)

  • Ah well, that's a win-win. You can buy new shoes because you need new shoes but don't have to throw away the old ones.

    Just back from a light 'shamble' - more important to go for a walk in the sunshine with my family but there were lots of runners not going all that fast and I thought "what the heck?" - I was in 'barefoot' walking boots anyway, so why not break into a running motion? (assisted on occasion by the dog getting wind of grouse)

    It is always amazing how little energy it really takes to get out there compared with dealing with not getting out there!

    Good luck - and don't be too hard on yourself, it sounds as though you'll do it.

  • Must be something in the air, I'm struggling to go out too. The old "I've had a virus" excuse is wearing a bit thin now...I don't even have the excuse of working! I don't mind the cold or rain, I love running, so what's going on? I'll join you Carrie and Ruth and we can bully/encourage each other

  • I hate even presenting my excuses. Who do I think I'm answering to? Running is just something I do for myself at the end of the day. If I want to do it, I need to go and do it, simple as that! When do you plan to go for your next run Curly? Today? Tomorrow? Let us know how it goes :)

  • I ran today Ruth I did Stamina and it was OK, not my best but better than recently! I'm hoping to run again on tuesday, but Baldy has some worrying medical tests first thing in the morning, so I'll see what comes of that.

  • It's only grim when you look out the window. When you get out there it's fine honestly. OK there are floods in places but most of them are way up north. I ran in my tee shirt yesterday and I'm right nesh! I ran up hills to keep me warm. Kept my jacket on til I was well boiling. Put it on again near home for the cool down walk.

    I got a running torch for Christmas so I couldn't wait to try it. My jog group got cancelled so I ran anyway. Maybe you should get a head torch to give you the impetus to run round your local streets in the evenings if you can't get out in the mornings.

    Where there's a will ........ Come on, you know you want to x

  • Well after getting up early and everything it's a no go this morning - absolutely torrential out there. And dark :( Will try again after work, it'll still be dark but hopefully not raining too!

  • Update - I did run in the end this morning. The rain seemed to stop for a perfect window between 7:30-8:00 so I did a short but fast 2k run. My feet got wet from all the puddles but it felt brilliant :) hoping this is the beginning of a renewed routine, of just running however, whenever :)

  • Hi , I know how you feel about running, I was 34 when I first started and I ran 5 days a week for many years until I was well into my 50's, I used to feel I just had to go whether it rained was dark with or without my friend however eventually I had various injuries and had to stop for foot ops and now knee probs, but I still fast walk my route. I only ever got up to 4 miles each time but it was enough to speed up metabolism and motivate me. I really thought it was the answer to losing weight but I didn't lose, just maintained really I was too heavy, wrong shape for running, I was also swimming a mile a week and playing badminton and squash and going on long cycling holidays. but in the end because I was too heavy and in those days I weighed11 st at 5ft 9 in, The real problem was change in hormones mid forties and less food needed. With hindsight I should have not pounded the pavements for so long even though I bought expensive proper running shoes because I am sure it took its toll on my knee. I would still love to run though!! Good luck buy the extra pair of shoes.

  • It doesn't sound like you were too heavy, 11st at 5'9"? So far my running hasn't caused me any problems, touch wood of course! I'm quite careful to have rest days between each run and not over-push myself, even if at the moment I'm having a few too many rest days! I hope you may be able to run again SL, even if just for short distances, it's amazing :)

  • Hi Ruth, I think the key to this (and your sleeping pattern) is establishing and sticking to a routine. Also it's really about fitness so finding time to run 3 times a week might not be necessary if you are still cycling regularly. Can you incorporate running or cycling into your commute?

    7am shouldn't be a problem if you have a routine. I realise we are all different but many people manage much earlier starts and longer commutes - I have had periods where I had to get up at 5am and travel 2.5 hours each way to work for months at a time - so it's a case of working out how to best manage with the working hours and travel you have. I don't enjoy exercising in the evening and would always choose to get up earlier rather than hope I will get round to it later, I find it sets me up for the day. I also feel a lot safer if I am alone in the dark at 6am than if I am alone in the dark at 8pm. Shorter sprint based runs are a useful part of the mixture and take up less time if time is short on a weekday.

    Perhaps write out your intended exercise routine and post it on here?

  • Thanks Coddfish. I followed the advice you gave me last time I posted and did a very quick run on Monday, to at least manage some sort of run in the time I had. You're right I'm lucky to at least not have the mad sort of commute some people have and fairly regular hours. The problem I have is that outside my main job I have my studies and other freelance work, and as a result of now working full time on top I've ended up struggling with time management and prioritising things. Also as my boyfriend and I live apart I struggle to get a set routine of knowing where I'll be at the weekends, as sometimes we're at mine, sometimes at his.

    I am cycling regularly at least, to and from work about 2-3 times/ week which is about 9km each way, so 2 to 3 runs would definitely complement this well. Maybe I need to settle for 2 but I know 3 works well in terms of maintaining my fitness. Maybe I'll declare a routine, that's a good idea. I've got a 2016 year planner on my wall where I'm trying to mark out everything. Maybe committing to a routine on here could turn some of the faint marked out runs on there into concrete fixtures.

    Thank you for your measured and sensible advice, I'll probably declare a routine in some form... Hope your running's going okay Coddfish?

  • Yes I am doing ok thank you. Not really adding to the distance but just enjoying what I do.

    I do think there's a lot to be said on going public with what you plan to do, provided you have support around you.

    Good luck anyway.

  • I think it's winter. All we want to do is curl up in a cozy ball, stay warm and pile on another layer of fat at this time of year. I'm always more hungry in winter and crave the starchy foods. Plus it's dark outside, cold, wet, windy and I'm just tired. But when I do get out there and the place is all my own, and the wind whips my face and the exhilaration kicks in then it doesn't matter that I had to get up 1/2 an hour early. Then I've earned my breakfast and it tastes good. Then the shower is pure warming bliss. And all day I know that I've done my exercise for the day. I feel more lively (sometimes I even feel smug). I even look forward to the next run (until the alarm goes off).

  • I managed to run 3k this morning and it did feel great. While I'm running all I want to do is think about the next run. But it's so hard to get out there when it's cold and dark and I'm tired. I was repeating seven-twenty-four over and over this morning - that's the time that I left the flat - so that I could bear in mind how long I had before I needed to get back home - by 8:00 - so I've got time to run a bath and get my breakfast/pack my lunch and leave by 9 to go to work. If I could leave earlier than 7:24 I think I could maybe run a bit further - perhaps I'll aim to be reciting seven-oh-eight next time :)

  • I find myself just counting (1 - 8). That must just be the rhythm I'm in. I just don't give myself the option any more, if I don't run, then I do a brisk walk. Every working day. No excuses. Up at 5:45 (looks horribly early when written down), gear on and out. I do the same distance, whether I run or walk (to be honest my jogging is not much faster than a brisk walk), about 4.2 km. The only reasons for not going out are illness, business trips and storms (we had thunder and lightning here one morning). If I don't give myself the option, I don't have to argue with myself in the morning.

    But I know it's also just a phase - a good one. I've been here before and lost the plot. I mustn't let that happen again!

  • I just can't get up that early - however hard I try. I've managed to go to bed early two Sundays in a row hence managing early morning runs on Mondays now. But I often have homework to procrastinate over after work and I have one evening a week at college, so my evenings tend to drag on til late. But when I began running this time last year I was like you - up and out 3 mornings a week no excuses - and on the intervening days I tried to do something else - a walk, a bike ride, some strength exercises. Maybe I've got complacent. Although I was freelance with much more flexible hours then... which definitely helped!

  • As you get older you need less sleep 😈 I catch up at the weekends though. Long lie ins. It's not really the healthiest lifestyle - sigh, something else to fix!

  • I crash and burn at the weekends at the moment - and then do more homework! Not enjoying working full time at the moment, but hopefully I'll be reducing my hours again soon - from March - which should help to free up my evenings. I think getting your lifestyle sorted is a big part of it all. Liking your cute purple devil :)

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