Steph and I had the Osterley Park Run scheduled in our diaries for Dec 13th for months. We’d both wanted to enjoy a little run around the National Trust grounds, (especially after I ran around them after dark a few weeks ago) and I’d heard they had a lovely cafe for cake and coffee. However, in the lead up to the 13th, I started getting anxious about the run. (Anxious is my middle name at the moment). I worried that I wouldn’t be able to complete the 5K, that I would hold Steph back, that I wouldn’t be able to run and talk like I used to. Most of all, I was anxious that I wouldn’t enjoy it.
This might seem silly, I mean I ran my marathon PB at the end of September, but since then I’ve not done a huge amount of running or fitness. I read Sophie’s post last week and was glad to see I’m not alone with my running fear. Running isn’t easy, and for me it requires a certain amount of confidence in myself- a confidence that I’ve lost over the past two months.
About two weeks ago I went for a three miler with Tom, and cried whilst running over my lack of fitness. Tom’s about to start training for the marathon, so has been upping his gymming and is far fitter and faster than I am and this was the first time it was painfully obvious. And whilst I appreciate the idea and sentiment behind Advent Running that is taking over my twitter, instagram and Facebook feeds, the truth is, it’s making me feel bad about myself.
However, it turns out a 5K on a gloriously sunny morning with a friend was the perfect antidote to all of this.
About 50 runners braved the cold to take on the three lap course around Osterley Park. The route took us along a gravel path before turning onto a very puddly path, then through a wood across a field and back to the start. The volunteers were incredibly friendly, as were the other runners (a few of whom we met and chatted with while we were hiding in the loo trying to keep warm!)
Our pace wasn’t fast- clocking in for our 5K around 28mins, but I enjoyed chatting with Steph and feeling like a runner again. Steph’s training for an ultra at the moment, so had already run 6 miles before meeting me, and added another lap onto the run at the end while I stretched and scoped out the cafe. I loved having those brilliant post-run endorphins that are unlike anything else, particularly after a frosty run! I can’t wait to go back to Osterley in the New Year for another ParkRun, or walk around the grounds. I highly recommend a visit, especially to Londoners who haven’t ventured out that far West before. It is truly beautiful!
I wore a jacket sent to me by Under Armour from their Storm range, and I have to admit, although I’m not a huge fan of the colour, it kept me toasty warm in the freezing cold. I can’t find the jacket yet online, but will share it when it does become available.
I think fear is natural, regardless the activity. I have fear every week when I set foot in the pool because swimming is still far newer for me than any other sport. This week, I had a similar fear about skiing. But, I find, each time, that once I start, I forget my fears and enjoy the activity!
‘Do something scary everyday’ and you guys are! Maybe you need to spend more time with your Number One Fan so she can tell you how amazing you are and how much better at coping you are than she was at 26. You are doing great.
That looks like such a great setting for a parkrun! Beautiful! I felt sort of similar after Berlin, as I hadn’t been running much in the lead up to the race and really for the first few runs after it I had the same fear, as I just felt like I’d lost so much running fitness, and it was going to be a struggle. I don’t know what I was scared off, as I was just heading out to do something I enjoy doing- why be afraid?! I made myself get out there and face it and I’m feeling in a much better place with running a few months down the line.
Thanks – great advice lovely xx