The start of winter took its toll on me as a new runner but I remained motivated with 3 things:
- Scheduling: so important for sticking to running. Use your calendar app!
- Clothing: get the right clothes, it makes such a difference to be warm and dry even when the air is wet and cold
- Data: keep a close eye on your progress. There are plenty of running apps around there, even the standard Health app in your iPhone offers you workout data if take it running with you.
I’m remaining positive that I can break through winter because I’m seeing the same results on my runs as I did in summer. It feels harder and a little less enjoyable, but I’m maintaining the progress that I made in summer. So that feels good.
On December 22nd there was one of those sunny but crisp winter mornings. By the afternoon, it was very pleasant. It was one of those British winter days we like to say ‘It’s just like July!’
I took the opportunity to catch up on some miles that I’d lost from school Nativity performances and Christmas parities. I was going for a 6 mile run but something ticked over by mile 4. The weather was very generous for the first time in months and I was having those British flashbacks to what we call summer. Let’s do this.
I’d set my Apple Watch to run on an open goal anyway (I’d learnt that in these late stages of winter it wasn’t helping me to say I’d run for a set distance to then be met by an unexpected hail storm after 15 minutes).
I managed to run for 1 hour 20 minutes. I new personal best. 8.57 miles.
My average pace was down, but I expected it to be. Mile 7 was tough. I pushed myself past a limit on that mile. I felt some sickness and I was starting to get cold despite what looked like good weather.
It was a huge achievement but it was something of a mistake. The error came in bad planning. I hadn’t planned to run for 8 miles and to push myself like this. Yes it’s good to go with the motivation but I hadn’t taken water and I was running in shorts. Two silly mistakes that I paid for that afternoon. I felt so ill.
It’s January now though and I am looking back on those 8 miles and that’s my motivation for Spring. I am going to increase my distances as the day light increases too. It’s a positive start to a new year and I actually feel like I have a New Years Resolution that is reasonable for the first time ever. I am a runner, so I should keep working on my running.