“When you are content to simply be yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you” Lao Tzu
Fields of gold, makes a change from the concrete of London!
This is probably the most personal post that I’ve done, but I don’t want to pretend that life is peachy all the time. I’ve had a hard week this week. Motivation has dropped at points, I’ve had injury scares and felt pretty insecure with myself- not how I expected to feel this early on into my training.
After some soul searching, I realised that my problems (the mental ones at least) have stemmed from my (ab)use of social media. I’d start every day by scrolling my Instagram, I’d literally be on it the minute I switched my alarm off, seeing what everyone else was eating for breakfast, how far everyone else was running, what gym sessions everyone else was doing and how generally incredible everyone else’s life seemed, all while I was ‘lounging’ around in bed. From the moment I woke up, I’d compare my day with everyone else’s and pick faults in what I was eating, how I was training and what I was posting, not particularly a healthy way to live. After watching the eye-opening documentary on the lack of scientific and dietary evidence supporting most Insta famous diets, “Clean Eatings Dirty Secrets” from BBC Three’s Grace Victory I realised that everything should be taken with a pinch of salt. I am not everyone else on Instagram, I don’t have the same body and I shouldn’t have to crush myself into a mould of what people think (or at least what I think people think!) I should be like, especially people who don’t actually have the qualifications to tell me what to do, something that deep down I’m pretty sure I knew already.
To move myself away from what can only be described as a compulsion to endlessly scroll Instagram and the downward spiral of comparison and misery that I wasn’t everyone else, I decided to start a self-imposed social-media detox. No phones until after breakfast, and never scrolling while eating, only posting a maximum of two photos a day and trying to move away from posting every meal I eat (it’s never how I intended to use my account!) and no phones for an hour before bed. The final rule I set was to take everything I saw with a pinch of salt; if I am guilty myself of only posting postivity when it’s the complete opposite of how I feel, why wouldn’t everyone else? It’s safe to say that the happy, healthy, speedy people I see on my Instagram are just like me in real life.
Safe to say that I am already happier and mentally healthier after only a week and my takeaway from this is that what works for one person may not work for another. Some people can eat low carb diets and function, I can’t. Some people can run 70 miles a week and not get injured, at the moment, I can’t. Some people, me included, simply post the good times, the PB’s they get and not the 12:00/mile recovery runs, the days they eat super healthily and not when they ‘indulge’ in cake, and smiles, when all they really want to do is crash. I love my Instagram, yet making myself aware of the reality behind it and distancing myself has been the best decision I’ve ever made.
CARDIFF HALF-MARATHON TRAINING WEEK 4
STEADY RUN – Yoga and steady run – Morning yoga class, did the splits for the first time! Followed by a weights circuit in the gym. Steady 5 mile evening run without my watch, and again, I loved the feeling of running without any sort of extrinsic pressure.
LONG RUN – 10.02 miles, 1hr 23 minutes, 8:21/mile – Having skipped my long Sunday run to go hiking at the weekend, I decided to move it to this week. I struggled with the pacing of the 9 miler last week, but this felt comfortable! Started very steady and gradually increased my pace.
X-TRAINING – Stationary bike and gym session – My right knee and ankle were playing up after my 10 miler (I think due to tightness in my quad/calf, enter foam roller!) so I decided to take an extra day off my feet. I did an easy 30 minute bike and my standard gym circuit.
TEMPO-INTERVAL RUN – 54 minutes, 6.7 miles, 8:04/mile – 10 minutes easy, 6x 2 minutes hard (roughly 6:20-6:25/mile) with 4 mins jog recovery and 10 minutes easy. The shorter reps with longer recovery meant that I was able to hit these really hard, I wasn’t expecting to run as strong having been up all day and packing up my house, so I was so happy.
HARD RUN – 6.01 miles, 47 minutes, 7:57/mile – First run back home! Having been living in London I forgot how hilly it was at home, oops. Despite nearly dying on a never-ending hill, I realised why I love running, the freedom of the trails was amazing and it gave me a strength to run hard that I didn’t think I had today. Definitely ready for a cutback week now though!
WEEK TOTAL: 27.73 MILES
Here’s to being happy for being myself and being proud of everything that I am capable of.