Finding my stride

December 31, 2016

After a long time out, it was always going to be hard to get in gear. I decided yesterday that I was going to run the Father Collins Park Run in Clongriffin.

Being out of shape and not at all prepared for the run, I really struggled to get out of bed. After a bit of soul searching, I managed to roll out and get ready. I was pushing it for time once I got out the front door and found myself running to the start. This brief run in itself was uncomfortable. My legs ached, my breathing was out of sorts. The former love of running was proving hard to rekindle.

At the start line, I stood beside people I hadn’t seen in a while, ParkRun regulars. We set off More about the author. I wanted to be in the leading group. My mind told me that’s where I should be but after the first 500 meters I knew my race would be over pretty quick if I maintained that pace.

The first lap (around 2K) was tough. I struggled to get my breathing right, I felt uncomfortable, flatfooted and generally out of sorts. I had to think about where I was, what my condition was before the run. I hadn’t trained or run properly in months. I should be struggling. I should be finding this hard, alien almost. I stopped resisting the discomfort and instead started to embraced it.

Once I realised this would be a challenge, the run became much easier. I never found my rhythm, my breathing was never right, I felt lethargic but I enjoyed the run. I crossed the line in 25:39. The pace was a less than impressive 5:07 min/km but I was happy.

Sometimes we forget that getting back to our old pace takes time and effort. The journey will be long and tough, but there are times you must take pleasure in the simple things. If you go for a run, and it doesn’t go your way, embrace the challenge and take pride in the time you get, regardless of how good or bad it is. This will be your benchmark going forward. More often than not, these will also be the runs you will remember best. 

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