Only 994 Miles to go, by Raymy Boyle

I’m what you call an off/on jogger – and for the last 6 months it’s been mostly off. I realised that when I have something to aim for, I can usually sustain a regular running routine. Last year, I trained for and then completed the Edinburgh half Marathon – which was great!  For the 3 months leading up to the run at the end of May I more or less stuck to my training programme and enjoyed as much as I endured the run itself. And then….. I pretty much stopped running.

Having set a goal and achieved it, I had no reason to run, no motivation to get out even though I know how good I feel when I’ve done a few miles. So, this year my goal is a bit different – to run 1000 city miles in 2017. That’s approximate 20 miles a week (allowing a couple of weeks off). To keep my interest up I also want to cover as much of Edinburgh as I can, to run down streets and through parks that I haven’t even been aware of and to notice new things about this fantastic city I live in.
I did my preparation to add to the motivation:

  • I bought myself a street map of Edinburgh, so I can mark off where I run;
  • Made sure my app ‘Map my Run’ was working;
  • Created a new ‘1000 miles’ playlist on my phone – I love listening to music as I run;
  • And I’ve signed up to be a part of a runners coaching programme called ‘Run Your World’ with fitness coach Marie-Claire Donnelly, starting mid-January, 2017.

So, today, January 1st 2017, I knocked off my first 6 miles – a slow run down the Almond River from Cramond Brig, then along the prom before doubling back to Silverknowes. It took just over an hour and it was bloody hard – as I knew it would be. Apart from a couple of short testing runs last week I’ve done virtually hee-haw for the last 7 months so it felt like starting again. But it is a start – I believe in starts! And I know it will get easier and I will get fitter and a bit faster.

The other thing I’m going to do is run mindfully – to be aware of what is going on in my mind and my body as it happens –to be in the moment of the run, to use this time as I pit one foot in front of the other to reflect and learn. Today this awareness was mainly about my self-talk which went something like this;

“You don’t have to do this”.

“Why don’t you just stop, you’ve done enough now.”

“This is too hard”

But I didn’t listen, didn’t allow these recurring thoughts to win (even at that wee uphill bit on mile 5). And now I feel pretty good – not so much physically as my body is still coming down from the shock of what it has just done after months of relative inactivity (and the last couple of weeks of festive over-indulgence). But I feel good that I’ve begun – good that I have a goal that will last the next twelve months.

I’m intending to post on my progress regularly – partly as another encouragement to myself to just keep going and also to share my experience with others who might be doing something similar.

This fitness goal is part of a bigger picture of change. I’ve previously posted about my decision to give up full time work last June, to seek and find the ‘balance’ I’m interested in. My wife Michele and I set and completed our 100 day challenge last year - to build our online coaching and mindfulness business together (which included the physical building of the log cabin – our new workspace).

So, as I slowly jog into and through 2017 I will note the changes that take place and apply the learning to other areas of my life, as the quote below illustrates the metaphor of running and life is one of rich wisdom. If, like me, you'd benefit from being involved in a supportive group like 'Run Your World' to enhance your running, leave a comment below or email me at: [email protected]

In the coming 

"As every runner knows, running is about more than just putting one foot in front of the other; it is about our lifestyle and who we are."
- Joan Benoit Samuelson

Raymy Boyle (01/01/17)

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