Musings on 6 months of post graduation running

My enthusiasm hasn't worn off yet, but it is frightening how quickly I can lapse. After the last 2 weeks holiday, where I was just too lazy to run, I could very easily have fallen off the wagon. But reading about all your adventures on here fired me up again and I'm back to running every other day. I made good progress over the first few months, but the really hot weather from mid-July onwards thwarted some of my weekend runs and my mileage started to drop over the last couple of months. August also saw me getting slower, which is a pain, but I'm hoping cooler weather will help me improve again.

Lessons learned: it's hard after Laura because you have to make your own structure. Mixing it up is good (long runs, short and fast runs, non-stop runs, runs with walking breaks etc.).

There is no rhyme or reason as to why some runs are good and some bad. I had a really good 2 weeks in July (fairy dust on my new shoes), running PBs just about every time and then it was suddenly back to my old plodding self. Very strange!

Sometimes it is just good to run with no pressure. No music, no runkeeper, no expectations. Sometimes it is good to push yourself and try and go faster. Always you feel good after a run, even if it didn't go as planned.

I will always have to be vigilant. The couch (or my bed) still calls to me regularly and I don't want to run. I always find it difficult to get back into running after a break and in the past (about 14 years ago) a bout of flu or stress at work have led me to stop completely. Mind you I was never as consistent as I am now, so maybe there's hope.

Running is worth it, it makes you happy, it redistributes your weight (although I haven't lost anything many people say I look thinner). It makes you fitter, it makes you feel younger. I am a morning runner and running gives me energy for the whole day.

So to all you runners on the programme, just starting or close to graduation: graduation is just the beginning. It gives you a real high but the trick is to carry on to reap all the advantages.

Happy running!

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  • I so needed to read this JaySeeSkinny! You sound just like me (or I sound just like you). I am really aware that I am the type of person to put things off just for "a day or so" and that would so easily turn into "a week or so" and then "a month or so". I need to keep a tight rein on my innate laziness. And losing the regimented running after graduation is a bit of a curve ball.

    I think I will have to type out your paragraph listing all the benefits and stick it somewhere prominent! Especially running makes you happy and gives you energy for the whole day.

    Fabulous post. Thank you :)

  • I really wonder whether I will ever get to the stage where running is just something I do. I do hope so, but it seems a long way off - even after 6 months! Posting on here and reading everybody's posts really helps, especially when a few people become regulars (like yourself!).

  • That is my worry now post graduation. Trying to keep the momentum going. I know without the support on here I probably would have tailed off long ago. My son absolutely loves running and I keep hoping I'll wake up one morning feeling like I love it. I think I may actually love the forum more than the running! I have to keep going now though as I have to justify the cost of the shoes๐Ÿ˜‚

  • Plus if you work on wearing out these shoes you can have another new pair next year - new shoes are always good ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€

  • It's definitely more of a challenge because you don't have the programme to structure your runs for you. I'm wondering maybe if it helped me that I didn't ever use the podcasts so I didn't have Laura, and so I'm still just running as I used to. I still don't use music either, although I am considering starting to do that for my longer weekend runs.

    Your worry was exactly why I took my running stuff with me on holiday, because I had a feeling if I didn't run for 2 weeks I would be struggling when I got back. I only ran a couple of times, but I think it kept me going a bit (that's just me, of course, because I know what I'm like!). And actually I've started to find it just therapeutic because I'm so busy at the moment and have no time for fun things for another couple of weeks, but running is an excuse for half an hour of time just for myself to get some exercise and feel a bit better.

    My own fear is how I will get on when winter arrives. I am fine with winter per se, but I've never run when it's dark at 3.30pm. It'll be a whole new challenge and I'm not sure how I will still enjoy it or if I will keep going out as often. And when it's cold... it'll just be much more of an effort to go out, I imagine...

  • I've had phases where I went out most mornings in the winter, mostly walking, but my running phases were also always in winter. I think I'm definitely a winter runner because I don't do well in the heat. So this summer was new for me!

    You get used to the dark - as long as it's safe. I stick to roads that are well lit (except for one bit where I have to run across the common - only about 300m though) and I actually enjoy the quietness. You can also be incredibly smug all day if you run first thing! Weather is not a problem - the only time I don't go out is when there's a thunderstorm. I don't fancy being struck by lightning! And you don't get cold - well I don't. I heat up in no time! It is quite exhilarating!

  • I'm worrying about how I will cope with winter. I live in a small village and would have to do multiple circuits of the roads which will, I suspect, be pretty boring. I also have problems with my eyes in the dark - lights pretty much blind me. I'm planning to try shorter runs on work days and a longer run at the weekends when I can get out in daylight.

    Holidays no problem - I look forward to running somewhere new. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • What do you wear for running in the colder months? When I started in March I did wear a hoodie a lot of the time as I was quite chilly, even after running a bit. Not sure if I need different trainers or maybe a waterproof...

  • I'm quite lucky, I live in Munich and it really doesn't rain that much, so I don't need waterproofs much. I have a light wind proof jacket which I wear when the temperature drops under 10C, no hats, gloves or hoodies - I don't seem to get cold. For temperatures under 0C and snow I have a thicker, fleecy jacket and might think about gloves. I heat up very quickly though and prefer to be cool.

  • I think I'd feel a bit safer running in the early morning dark than the evening dark. I did the programme on lit streets in the evening but running in a park after dark alone creeps me out. My thinking is the real weirdos are not hanging around in the park at 6 am. At least I hope not.

  • I tend to run in the early morning dark, though I have been known to run in the evening. I stay out of the park though although I'm sure it would be OK.

  • Early morning dark rather than evening dark... My thoughts exactly but why? I have a definite thought process that comes from who-knows-where that says weirdos don't get up early! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

  • Haha I know what you mean! Weirdos are probably lazy ;)

  • You have sort of voiced my worries miss_august. I am on holiday in Toronto arrived yesterday and don't know my surroundings so decided to walk to find a route with my host who also runs every other morning. We walked 6k fast so I feel I didn't not do any exercise and tomorrow morning will attempt my first solo run in a strange cit!.

    I am though more worried about when I will be running on my return to the UK when the days get shorter and colder and wetter. I have not attempted the gym or treadmill during my training so don't know how to but I think I will maybe have to bite the bullet some day. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    I will no doubt be able to write and read what you are all doing in the coming months to get inspired๐Ÿ˜ƒ

  • How did your run go? I found it quite fun to be somewhere new!

  • With all the graduates and running experience on here I'm sure you could all get your heads together and make your own post grad podcast either to build up speed or distance. Just a thought ๐Ÿ˜„

  • Sounds like me too Jaysee. ๐Ÿ˜Šx

  • Thank you. Very helpful. I am nearly on week 8 so end in sight and after all this hard work don't want to lapse.

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