So, as we all know, tomorrow is in fact Valentine’s Day. And whether you love it, or completely loathe it, it’s everywhere. But when did this day just apply to loved up couples, giving each other hearty flowery stuff that they’ll never keep?
I’m using this weekend as an opportunity to do a series of things I love about running, who I love to run with and what it’s like to run a Parkrun 5k on Valentine’s Day.
Today’s ode to running gives you a lovely top 10 of what makes my declaration of affection slight obsession:
1. Goodbye my lover, goodbye my old friend anxiety
Yep, according to so many sciencey-type people, exercise and indeed running is a great way to de-stress and get rid of the day’s anxieties. Doesn’t say whether it works for a life’s worth of them… This is why I pursue my hobby. The past year or so has had its ups and downs, rounds and abouts and really, hasn’t been too awful. Which is great. Running and doing lots of Zumba-type activities has helped a lot in keeping my blood pressure down and realising most things aren’t the end of the world!
This was my ‘Oh my life, I’m going to beat my PB and might just die after I do it’ face last year running a 10k… I had bigger half marathon fish to fry after this!
2. Run for the hills… It’s good for you
Despite the whinging about getting out of bed, the feeling of not being bothered and general effort it takes to go running, it is in fact pretty bloody good for you. And I’ve made some pretty great friends out of it. Can’t complain too much can I? I’ve been able to do so many great races because of the slight bit of willpower I have, conjoined with my lazy bottom (which has had a severe talking to so hopefully it should start getting involved in the runs I go on). I just need to whip the behind into shape if I’m ever thinking of marathon running. Have you seen a slinky marathon runner with a Nicki Minaj behind? I think not friends.
3. Let’s me take a #selfie
Now, being honest, how many of you hate having your photo taken? And how many of you couldn’t think of anything worse than having a selfie after a pretty epic run? Well, that’s not me. My mother’s told me I wasn’t particularly photogenic in early life and quite frankly, I’m not in the middle of it. Therefore, taking a photo of my tomato-esque, sweaty face doesn’t bother me… though it may bother others! What’s even better is when you get to take a great selfie of you and the girls or you and the other half. Makes it really nice to look back on 🙂
4. Smug Operator
That’s me… And pretty much anyone else who’s completed a 5k run before 9.30am on a Saturday morning when most people are casually enjoying their lie ins. And yes, every now and again when the run is completely and totally awesome, I will post my little updates to social media or Map My Run for the world to see.
5. Dress me up in running love
How obsessed are you runners out there with buying new kit? There’s nothing more satisfying than getting a brand new pair of running shoes, a new windproof/waterproof/hailproof/bombproof jacket or even some comfortable underwear with zero chafing to make a runner’s day… Or Valentine’s Day (Just saying)
It’s the little things that make the whole running experience and enjoyable one. There’s nothing worse than blisters, chafing, unimaginable wedgies or socks that don’t stay where they should be while you’re trying to complete the run of the century. And these lovelies are pretty lush to wear…
6. Eye of the Tiger
Me and the guys at my running club used to quote ‘Eye of the Tiger’ to each other as a motivation to keep us battling up the hills. But that’s what you need. The goal, the motivation and the end result. Joining my running club (a year ago this week!), working towards running 13miles and then doing it in October with my other half (who wasn’t a long distance runner either until the middle of 2014), was a massive achievement and one that I severely put my mind to, despite illness, personal battles and niggles. I’ve got the bug and definitely have my Eye on a few events this year.
7. Work it, make it, do it, makes us harder, better, faster, stronger!
From running 5k to running a half marathon to maybe, possibly, more than likely, but not confirming, running a marathon, you improve so much. I love that feeling of accomplishment. It doesn’t just apply to running. It mentally makes you stronger and makes you have more confidence in what you’re doing in life generally which is great. I need to improve mentally because I still find that my mind wanders into boredom pretty quickly if I don’t have company or a donkey to talk the hind legs off of.
8. Keep Talking
These guys are constantly keeping me talking! After not seeing each other for a week or few, there’s lots of running and non-running gossip to catch up on. When I don’t go out with these guys, I do miss them. Also, now that they’ve told me I need to run at a conversational pace, I feel they’ve given me permission to talk until their ears are sore. I love catching up with my fellow runners, being sociable is what it’s about!
9. Music, makes the people come together…and my thoughts
After running the Gosport Half Marathon with no music whatsoever, I realise how important music is to my motivation and how much I love drifting off in my own world, keeping pace and generally having a little jig while I’m running. I really missed it when I wasn’t allowed it and mentally, I find it really helps. I love a bit of a rock-out and find that rock, metal and ska music is awesome when you need to keep up the pace. Can’t deny that I love the 80s cheese, some oldies and anything I can tap my running feet to. It doesn’t take much for me to be a happy chappy. Give me Spotify, headphones and my iPhone and I’ll get my jog on!
10. Blogging about it!
It’s so great to have picked up a hobby, stuck to it and regularly share it with the world! It’s also amazing to read what other blog runners write about. Running blogs are so inspiring, especially following people’s journeys from start to finish. I love to see what people are doing (because I’m nosey) and openly let them know they’re awesome… Because let’s face it, that helps.
I wish you all a happy Valentine’s Eve, full of non-floral gifts and small tasteful glasses of Pinot. I shall be declaring my love to my PJs, a rather large bag of peanut butter M&Ms and being awful sleepy company for my very lovely and tolerant other half.
So, I know this is very self indulgent but it would be great to find out what YOU love about running. What makes it such an addiction?