Our Fundraiser in Wales, Esther, is taking part in the #GNRReimagined Virtual Great North Run on 13 September for Music in Hospitals & Care and is sharing her experience as the big day approaches. This week Esther talks about the importance of rest and listening to your body.
In my last post I wrote about how I was suffering a little last week because of pain in my thighs from overdoing the exercise.
Thanks to the lovely Welsh weather over the last few days, I haven’t felt even remotely inclined to go running. I have waterproof gear for walking, but running in my bulky coat and waterproof trousers didn’t seem very appealing. So I’ve been exercising lots at home, and doing lots of stretches and Yoga to ensure that my muscles were free from tension.
Today, the sun came out, and beckoned me to put my trainers on and go for a run.
With the panic monster starting to wake up and reminding me that the run is in just over a fortnight, this seemed like a VERY good idea!
I am trying out a different app, Running for Beginners, that is allowing me to run for longer between walks. This worked really well for me today. All together I covered 3.3 miles, most of which was running. I did listen to my body and took walking breaks when I needed to. I have had a bit of an allergy attack this week, and I think this has affected my breathing, so I was very mindful of doing exactly what my body needed.
I also changed the music I listened to. Instead of the fast, hard rock of Queens of the Stone Age, I listened to the slower, gentler sounds of Firewoodisland, one of my favourite new musical discoveries. This definitely made a difference. I was running at a far more sustainable pace and even with the slower run pace I still beat my previous average pace by almost 2 minutes!
When I got to the end of the run in the programme I knew I could have easily carried on for longer if I had needed to, repeating the run/walk pattern that this new app had given me, and that felt good. If I hadn’t had to get home to get to work I probably would have, the endorphins had well and truly kicked in by this point and I was feeling good!
When I got home I did the stretch routine that I use to begin and end my runs to ensure that my muscles were able to rest and recover, drank some water, had a shower and gave myself a big mental pat on the back for my efforts today.
I’m not entirely sure that I am going to become a regular runner after the Virtual Great North Run, but I am certainly happy to be able to add running to my exercise options. It is a really good way to start the day and get the brain and body active and ready for the day ahead!
If you are already training for a marathon or half marathon and would like to give the run a go to fundraise for Music in Hospitals & Care, you can sign up here.
Please give today to help improve the health and wellbeing of children and adults through the healing power of live music.