One of the activities I began during isolation when the world was cooped up in their homes was a daily morning walk – a long one at that for a full hour and many times, an hour and a half. Throughout this time, I continued to work three days a week so remote work was not new for me as I had been doing this for some years already. I found that having a morning routine that started with a brisk early morning walk and then coming home to shower, put on normal workwear, put makeup on and start my day in my home office working was what I needed for my sanity. So much so that now I have been doing this routine for many months since coming back from overseas, I feel I cannot function properly without doing this.
A lot has to be said about having routines that help us with managing and controlling our day.
I find that routines create some kind of “break” for me – a distinction or a separation from what I do for work versus what is leisure. I like to keep the two separated. It’s unlikely you’d ever find me working on my laptop in different parts of the house or have my work items scattered in different rooms of the house. In my head, there’s a place for work – and there’s a place for my other life.
Part of my morning routine now for the last couple of months was trying out the Couch to 5K app.
I had been thinking about starting jogging but for years I procrastinated. Jogging always seemed to be a bugbear of mine simply because I hated it. I despised getting stitches and I hated how unfit I was. It didn’t help to have bad experiences of it when I was in the Navy. I just didn’t want to ever jog ever again after those torturous 5km runs we were forced to do back then.
However, hearing people talk about how they started running, I began to think that my problem is purely motivational and I was really just saying excuses to get out of it. I read about how some people started doing the Couch to 5K run that helped them start with the sport; meanwhile, I heard others talk about fun runs or ‘Park Runs’ that motivated them to do more of it. I was intrigued. I started exploring park runs but when COVID hit, I thought that this was now the perfect time to start and not force myself – just run slowly and consistently; not break any world record (impossible of course because I run like an elephant) so I downloaded the Couch to 5K and began jogging.
To date, I have achieved the halfway badge; covered a distance of 88.9 km, burned 5681 calories and ran 41 times.
The reason I’ve done so many more runs is that I repeat the sessions over time. I started on 27 April and been running on average 3 to 4 times a week. Sometimes, I do two runs in the one session because it leaves me on such a high. Now I know what they mean by “runner’s high!”
Currently, I’ve been doing Week 4 Day 3 for the week (it’s 16 min of running) but as of next week, I’m going to have a go on Week 5 which is 2 x 5 minute and a 6 min run with 3 minutes of walking between them. I think Week 5 will be the hardest for me where I’m feeling it slowly because it will build me up to 2 x 8 minutes runs with a 5-minute walk in between. Yeichs.
In the meantime, I recently bought myself a new pair of Asic runners because I was using my old running shoes and I noticed that having my orthotics in them really does help in making sure that I’m not in pain for the rest of the day (I have shocking lower back pain).
Also, I started listening to the Beginner Runner Podcasts by Debbie Voiles and she’s someone who is over 60 and been running for most of her life. She also sounds like a hard task master. She doesn’t strike me as someone who’d accept excuses for not running (I would have said PLENTY if she was helping me in real life) but already I’ve learned SO MUCH listening to the podcast. For one, I was always told to breathe through my nose but I simply wasn’t getting enough air into my lungs. Luckily she tells us the truth that it was a myth, Maybe that’s why I struggled so much when I was running in the Navy. I wanted to take it great gobs of air and I had everyone yelling at me to close my mouth?
I’m really keen to see how all this pans out as to whether I’ll do a 5 km run ever again.
The last time I did one was 29 years ago! Oh, there’s going to be celebrations when I do another one at 51 years of age!