I’ve had a full week of doing very little but physically repairing, and sleeping poorly. Even though I went swimming twice, all the unhealthy eating patterns came flooding back. It was actually frightening how deeply ingrained the patterns of shopping for unhealthy food and staying up too late were. Eating doughnuts that really didn’t taste as nice as I thought they would - and ‘treating’ myself to chocolate that tasted bland and ‘samey’ A matter of days! I felt sluggish, anxious and just awful. And negative. I’d somehow lost 2lb in weight and eaten like a pig.
This weekend I was up near Preston for a CPD on Saturday and a Sunday meeting event at Myerscough College. Hmmm, just what I want to do on a Sunday- sit in a dark room and discuss ISO9001. I took my kit with me, rather half-hearted. I was going to start again on Tuesday, but I had also said I would only take a week off after last Saturday’s graduation Park Run. I thought I might take advantage of the cooler weather, rather than tuck into the continental breakfast this morning.
So I didn’t drink on Saturday evening or eat a heavy meal but I had a residue of unhealthy food in my gut from earlier on Saturday, I hadn’t hydrated properly on Saturday and woken up later this morning than I hoped. I couldn’t remember where my usual earphones were and I’d forgotten my roller. I almost didn’t bother.
But I necked a small glass of bathroom water, got dressed, and headed out the hotel towards the College. I fired up MJ on the app and got my iTunes playlist going. Suddenly everything felt better! Black eyed peas ‘I got a feeling’... (woo - hoo!) to stride out on the walk. Break into the run after the canal and hit my comfortable pace - noting where I started running to see if the trip back would be faster or slower.
I finally remember to put my watch on for logging my run! Cut up a footpath to the campus and notice some sports pitches. Trot around the outside while monitoring where all the niggles had been. They are still there-ish but start to feel better as I run for longer.
Back on tarmac and gravel - I have no idea what the elevation changes are - it doesn’t matter - I’ve already done more than I thought I would. My earphones keep falling out, which is annoying. I fiddle about as I jog on.
I notice my reflection as I run past a building clad with glass panels and it’s not pretty. I can see where all the remaining blubber needs to be shifted. The bell goes for half-way, so I can see the full effect of my wobble as turn around. I jog on.
Then the earphones suddenly stop working so I bring out my phone and detach the earphones and go onto speaker - there is no-one about anyway. Music gets going again. I jog on.
Then I start to wonder where MJ went, and notice the app has also paused when I detached the earphones. Fortunately my watch is recording my actual time! I restart MJ, skip ahead, and jog on.
I’m almost back the where I started running, having lapped the sports fields again on my reverse path. The last bit is up to the top of the bridge over the canal. I could walk up the slope, because my watch says ‘times up’. But my T-shirt says, ‘The only one who can beat me, is me’ and I jog on.
I only stop when I reach the brow of the bridge. And I feel like I finally beat me today. I beat the unhealthy food, the less than perfect hydration, the anxiety of a new place, the accidental over-sleep, the worry about not having my roller, the doubt I would get very far, the tech problems, the physical niggles, the bridge. I’ve beaten the old me, who would have taken the continental breakfast and thought running was mad!
So while all those unhealthy patterns are still uncomfortably close to the surface, my new patterns are in there now too. My shoes are starting look like they belong to a runner...