Exactly two years ago, in 2014, I took up another hobby beside blogging/ranting about books and movies – I started running regularly. It wasn’t easy. I was neither especially fit (ok, a bit of understatement, I wasn’t fit at all ;p ) nor young and running for many years used to be my least favourite sport discipline. Still I didn’t realize that firstly and foremostly I hated competition: that constant time measuring and the enormous pressure to produce results, break records while taking part in races. It looked – and was – stressful like hell.
Everything changed after I’d worked on my attitude toward running a bit. Nowadays if I do something during my leisure time I do it on my own terms – where I want, as much as I want and only when I want. It seemed to do the trick when it came to sport as well. I chose the area carefully and I started small, with just 30-40 steps (yes, you read that right, STEPS not meters) of running. After that usually I lost my breath so I had to revert to walking (or I just leaned by a tree like a dead cat waiting for a buzzard to pick my brains). That torture lasted four months and after that period to my utter surprise I was finally able to trot about half a kilometer without those humiliating breaks for regaining my breath. I’ve never looked back – the more I run the better I like it! Now, in order not to bore you to death with long paragraphs where I’ wax poetic’ about my second-favourite pastime let me present Ana the runner in a concise, Q&A fashion.
- How often do I run?
3-4 times a week, depending on weather conditions and the state of my health.
2. Where do I run?
Generally among greenery. It might be a wood, a park or a forest. I don’t run along the streets in town or along roads – I don’t like it. Too much traffic.
3. Who do I run with?
Alone. If motivating yourself is hard, finding a running buddy who would be available at the same time as you is even harder. I am a bit unpredictable. I can go for a run early in the morning or late in the afternoon and also any time in-between. There’s no firm schedule I follow.
4. What’s my distance?
5-10 kilometers, depending on terrain, weather conditions and state of my health. Usually I hover somewhere around the middle but I never push myself to cover a certain distance. If I have enough, I have enough.
5. What’s my favourite running weather?
In summer: between 18-21 degrees Centigrade, cloudy but not raining. Ok, light drizzle can’t hurt much if you have proper clothing but heavy rain is to be avoided for more than one reason (more below).
In winter: light frost (from -2 to -5 degrees Centigrade) and sunny. A bit of snow is very welcome, especially with the sunshine!
6. What’s my least favourite running weather?
Strong winds and torrential rain meaning high windchill factor and mud-covered, slippery tracts. I went running in such a weather once and I was scared to death because a big tree branch landed about 5-6 meters from me. I decided not to repeat that experience – I might not be so lucky next time.
7. What I like the most about running?
Spotting wild animals, plants and interesting places; listening to birds singing in spring; taking photos, relaxing and not thinking about everyday problems. The endorphin rush that comes afterwards is lovely. I also appreciate being more confident in everyday situations when all of a sudden I have to move quicker e.g. while crossing the street. Being more resilient to common cold is an important bonus too.
8. What I like the least about running?
Other people. Not all of course – I admit most of them actually behave properly, just letting me be or ignoring me (thank you!) – but from time to time I meet those with an a****le inside their character. They think that shouting, jeering and joking at poor, elderly lady who just tries hard to keep fit is actually funny. Another group of ‘undesirables’ consists of young men with an ego blown out of proportions who consider it a matter of honour to overtake me (or anybody else in their proximity, even grannies with sticks). Dudes, give yourself a break and try to compete with worthier opponents- like somebody your age. When I see such ‘overachievers’ I usually slow down to a snail’s pace and let them have his ‘moment of glory’; then I snicker like a witch behind their back making them think that maybe they have a hole in their pants. ;p
Ok, enough about me. Do you do any sport? Do you run? Tell me about it in the comments!