After my Eureka moment a week ago I have had a lot to think about and mentally process. I am trying to be more aware of how I perceive myself and am consciously making my internal monologue more positive. It’s not always easy but I feel as if I am making progress; just being more aware of my negative mindset is a step in the right direction.
I spent last weekend in Portugal with some friends from work and despite having to wear a swimsuit, something that would normally result in very negative thoughts, I felt alright about it. I kept reminding myself of what I have achieved and how it is this body that has got me here. I even caught myself in the process of saying something negative about my body, stopped and turned the direction of the sentence around into something else. A big change!
My training seemed to take a bit of a downturn, but I think perhaps it needed to. When I started my training plan this year my motivation was largely based around improving my happiness through yoga and running. These have always helped me and my mental health, but there is no denying that my motivation to exercise more this year was also linked to my drive to lose weight. I need to spend some time reflecting on this and my relationship with food and exercise; to make sure that my intentions come from a place of health and wellbeing rather than weight loss. There is quite a lot of work I need to do and it is difficult to know where to start. My mum sent me a book about self-acceptance which I am going to read as a starting point so I can begin this process of learning and self discovery.
Yesterday, as planned, I ran a half marathon. I hadn’t run for 8 days and had had a lot of rest days over the last week – torn between not wanting to do any exercise and yet wanting to still do the race.
The half marathon was hotter and hillier than I expected, and I really wanted to try and get around it in 2 hours 15 minutes. I had even worked out a negative split pace to run on the day, but the lack of training meant my legs hurt for a lot of the run and I just couldn’t speed up when I needed to in order to achieve the planned time. I completed the race in 2 hours 30 minutes and 55 seconds which was actually a half marathon PB for 2017 – so that’s great!
It made me realise that it would be a good shift in my mentality if instead of focussing on changing the shape of my body and losing weight I concentrated on improving my running speed. This year I have earned 13 medals and although my running has not exactly been consistent, I have made very little progress with my running speed. So I am trying to find a good training plan that can help me improve my speed and stamina. I want to feel fit, and despite having the capability to run a half marathon I don’t really feel very fit. I could really improve from where I am now with the right training!
The aim for this year was to earn a medal each month and I have already exceeded that. For the remainder of the year I already have booked in the following races:
- A Harry Potter themed 9 and 3/4 virtual race for which Steve and I have agreed to run 9 & 3/4 miles each Saturday in October.
- A virtual race 75Km minimum total distance over Autumn (Sept – Nov)
- 10Km on Christmas Day virtual run
This would take me up to 16 medals this year and after a chat with Steve we thought we could probably manage to do 20 races this year and this could really help get the training on track too.
The yoga is coming on well. I believe I only approach yoga from a good place; to improve my wellbeing and mental health, my flexibility and attitude to life, so I don’t feel like I need to address my relationship with this so much. If anything it’s my tendency to avoid yoga when I know it is such good therapy for me that I wanted to work on this year and committing to a minimum number of classes a month has really helped with this. I’ve done 9 classes so far this month and a grand total of 129 classes in 267 days, so I’m only a little off track for the one class every other day average for the year. I think I could still realistically achieve this and I am keen to do so!
I slept badly last night as my legs were aching so much from the race. I woke up this morning and did a 50 minute LISS bike session which really helped my legs to calm but I didn’t feel I could do yoga tonight too. So I didn’t and I didn’t let myself feel bad about it either.
Currently I haven’t planned out my week of exercise with the intention of being less prescriptive. I’m going to focus on some other aspects of improving myself and my happiness and will start reading that book.
I have recognised that in order to feel better about myself that I can’t realistically have a wardrobe full of clothes that no longer fit me. It’s depressing. It’s also stupid holding onto them all in the hope they might fit again IF I lose weight. This behaviour of fixating onto an idea of how I should look to feel good about myself is not healthy for me and hasn’t ever worked. So I am going to make change; starting with a clear out. As they say… clear house, clear mind. I realise that my clutter is toxic, and to change me I have to also change my environment. So it begins.