Thanks for the advice I received from my last post (about stress effects on running). I went for an evening run tonight with a different mindset- to slow down and get back to enjoying running. My boyfriend kindly agreed to accompany me for moral support and to help me set a slower pace. So we set off on our first ever run together and it was a beautiful sunny evening with a lovely breeze. I let him set the pace as I'd told him I want to try and run further and to begin with it was hard running slower than I'm used to but then I remembered how badly the last few runs I'd done had gone and how fast I'd been (unintentionally!) going and concentrated on getting into a slower pace. Once I got used to it I started to really enjoy it! I didn't feel tired and my breathing was easy. I wasn't stressed and I was able to look around and enjoy the dogs running around and people walking with their kids. It allowed my mind to wander and relax. We didn't talk much, just ran in companionable silence. After about 3.5k m boyfriends knee was hurting so he sat on a bench and had a nice chat with a friendly older lady and her dog while did another lap of our route alone. I was surprised how much I enjoyed running without headphones and music, I thought time would slow down but it didn't and I felt less stress with no voice telling me how many minutes is run etc. I could just enjoy my steady breathing and looking around. When I'd run back to my boyfriend we said goodbye to his friend and her dog and continued out gentle run home together. I had thought about running devoid of any equipment but in the end I was interested in my distance and if I could maintain a slower pace so I did use strava- I had run 6.5k in 40 minutes! My longest run to date so very pleased. Felt so much more relaxed than my attempts last week and was back to finding enjoyment in my runs! Lesson learned- slow down the pace and the endurance will come.
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