Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Running Commentary

I've never been 'sporty'. Never played football. Never done athletics or gymnastics. Hated 'gym' at school. Got out of it as soon as it became optional at age 13. Didn't learn to swim until I was 21 See my Blog "Fear of Swimming". Sometimes played squash. Enjoyed badminton. Never really took any of them seriously. Recognised early that I was not competitive. If someone else really wanted to win that badly, let them get on with it. Exercise, as a thing, was never a conscious part of my life.

Fortunately, I have always been healthy and never had any weight issues, else I might have had some problems. Always had a 'fast metabolism', or so I was told/told people myself. Walked a lot. Still do, particularly after my coronary bypass last year, as part of my recovery therapy. That taught me not to be complacent about my health and fitness.

So now I've started running. Decided I needed to do more exercise that played to my personal exercise style, i.e. only competing against myself. I'm following the 0-5k Runner programme, via an app on my phone. I checked with my GP first. He listened to my heart, took my blood pressure etc. Was encouraging. Turns out there's a weekly Worthing 5K parkrun at 9am on Saturday mornings. My GP runs it. He hopes to see me there one day. Seems I've got a target then.

I've never followed any kind of health/fitness plan. Didn't really know what to expect, other than that I might not enjoy it, find it too difficult, drop out.

But I'm still working my through the programme. Just earned the "Half Way to 5K" badge. That's taken me 6 weeks, when the programme suggests 4. But I'm going at my pace. If I haven't been able to run all the timed parts of each section as per the plan, I've done it again the next time, and again, until I've completed it. Week 4 Day 2 was a b*gger. Took 4 attempts (not 6 as I had previously thought) before I could move on to W4D3, which I breezed!

Do I feel better? Fitter? Dunno. But I'm developing calf muscles. My stamina is obviously increasing. I ran a full 16 minutes out of 34 on W4D3.

I'm surprised at how satisfying this feels. And even more surprised at how I'm prepared to do this every two days and how determined I have become to follow through. I expect it to get more challenging. I expect to get disheartened. But I'm finding some inner resilience and determination to achieve this. It's my intent to turn up to, and run, the Worthing 5k parkrun next year. I'll push through the programme, at my pace, until I can do that.

In the meantime, I'm not telling anyone that my goal is to have achieved this by the second anniversary of my first angina symptoms in April and heart bypass surgery in May. My little secret.

Oh, wait...

1 comment:

  1. Amazing Niall. You are an inspiration! I am not a runner, but I run. I run slowly and doggedly and it gives me huge satisfaction. You'll smash that 5k before you know it.