Our minds are unbelievably powerful. How we interpret things, how we react to things, how we perceive things …it’s all dependent on our mindset.
I had a shitty week last week, and the funk lasted through most of this week, despite drinking Green Smoothies and eating Tasty Sludge. Yes, it’s true that there are some external circumstances that are causing me some grief right now, but those circumstances haven’t substantially changed in the last week or so.
So why was last week so tough? I think, for me, it’s because sometimes wallowing feels good. Not good in the way happiness feels good; rather, it just feels good to not have to pretend to be “on”, to just feel shitty, and sad, and scared — and allow those feelings to exist. To respect that they exist.
Now, had I checked my calendar, I would have noticed that my hormones were also raging last week, culminating in the joyous visit from my favourite friend on Wednesday. I hate that bitch. And she shows up every.fucking.month. Like clockwork. PISS OFF ALREADY.
It’s awesome that Dr. Google was wrong, and that I’m not clinically depressed. It’s ridiculous, however, that at soon-to-be 47 years old I still haven’t figured out how to read my mind and body, and figure out that when I start making mountains out of mole hills, I should probably stop and just check the calendar.
Against better judgment I decided to go for a run yesterday, during the 2nd day of Her Bitchiness’ visit. And even though it felt like my uterus was falling out.
I decided that I would listen to my body, despite the C25K‘s suggestion that on Week 7, Day 1, I should walk for 5 minutes, run for 25 minutes and then walk for 5 minutes.
So I did. Listen to my body, that is.
I walked for as long as I felt necessary (which turned out to be a little over 3 minutes). I stopped to take a picture.
Then I ran for a minute or two until I got to the bridge, overlooking the lake, and providing the ramp down to the beach. I stopped to take another picture. (And, yes, the app was still running, so this did technically make my pace slower than actual. :-))
I set off on my run, determined not to watch the clock or the mileage. I ran for as long as it felt good, then walked until I caught my breath. Then I ran again.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
I pulled out the phone only to check if I’d reached the midway point so I’d know when to turn around. But I couldn’t help but make note of how far I’d gone and my average pace. Those looked pretty good, so I kept on doing what I was doing.
And then during a walk break, I decided to do a side shuffle step that I remembered from Bootcamp. It’s basically like skipping, but sideways. It’s silly and fun, and – it turns out – actually improves your pace because you get more mileage than you would walking. I also dare you not to smile when you’re flying into the air sideways with these quick shuffle steps.
The older couple I passed while doing this certainly thought it was smile-worthy. 🙂
I looked down at my phone just in time to stop the timer (35:03). When I got home and looked at my run history, it turns out I ran farther (4.6 kms) and faster (average speed of 7:38 min/km) doing this run/walk thing than I did during my previous run where I obediently walked for 5, then ran for 22, then walked for 5.
For my body, it seems, running in shorter sprints, then walking fast for a quick recovery, achieves better results than just heads down running, which gets slower and slower in pace the farther/longer I go.
I was doing it the other way because the app prescribed it to me as the right way to train. And because I’m a good, little soldier, I followed instruction.
I think it’s also because there is a sense of glory in straight-through running. But that’s actually bullshit, because I’ve already proven that I can run for 30 minutes straight [albeit slow as molasses].
So, if the end result is to finish a 5k in as quick a time as possible, then clearly I need to start doing it my way. In a way that feels good to my body, and leaves me feeling happier and more successful. Side shuffle optional.
The added bonus is that everything I’ve learned about cardio conditioning tells me that getting your heart rate up, then bringing it back down, then bringing it up high again is a better overall way to burn calories and gain better cardio health. (Think HIIT style workouts.).
So thanks C25K, but no thanks. I’ll do my 5k my way. And I’ll be wearing my rose-coloured glasses, because the views are much better with them on.