Apparently it takes 66 days on average to form a habit. A little over 2 months of doing the same thing. So I have given myself 66 days to fall in love with running.
Yes. Running and love in the same sentence, who would have thought it?! Definitely not me, despite having a marathon completing and running lover of a husband. I mean the man gets up at 5am to go out for a run on the weekend. 5am. To run for miles and miles and miles. To run half marathons. Full marathons. 10km sprints. Despite living with him for the past 6 years his love of running is yet to rub off on me.
Though we did once do a 5km together in Clapham, and we both ran the Dubai 10km back in 2014. Many moons ago.
Then he broke his foot before Christmas and so focussed his attention on me and running. If he couldn’t run then someone in the house was going to and despite me pushing the four year old into his line of sight apparently that someone was me.
It’s not that I’ve not run before.
I regularly take up running. I regularly set myself back on a path to fitness. Last year I even set myself a challenge to run 310 miles through the year (and failed.) The thing is that I never stick to it.
The Blame Game
In 2014 I blamed the fact I stopped running on falling pregnant and “the doctor told me too”
In 2015 I blamed the fact that I had just had a baby and an emergency c-section for the fact that I didn’t run. Sleep deprivation didn’t help either….
In 2016 I blamed my lack of fitness and running on the fact that we were a little bit nomadic. We left Dubai spent 3 months living out of suitcases at my mums and then moved to Qatar. Just before we left Dubai I managed to start running again. Getting my body back and it felt good. Then we moved so I stopped, which is the story of my running journey. I stick at something for about 3 weeks then I stop.
Summer 2016 I was determined that this was it. I got over the fact that I was a “beginner” runner and shouldn’t have the running watch and got the wonderful TomTom sports watch to keep me on track. It did, I went out once or twice a week and I went to the parkrun most Saturdays AND after doing 5 runs managed to get a personal best over 5km at 28min57sec.
THEN I STOPPED AGAIN.
And I haven’t really started back up.
Until the husband started nagging. All over Christmas he kept picking away at me, reminding me how well I did in the summer, asking when the last time I went running was. Pick, pick, pick. Nag, nag, nag. I blame his broken foot and the fact that he wasn’t able to run himself.
I ignored him as best as I could, then a plan started to form in my mind. A plan to force myself to make a habit of running, and in doing so to fall in love with it.
66 days to fall in love with running
2017 has dawned afresh, and although I don’t believe in the sentiment “New Year, New Me” I did decide that this was the perfect chance to start a running habit. One that would see me run three times a week and work towards a goal of running 10km.
So I started, I strapped on my TomTom Spark (and have just got my snazzy new strap) and have been out plodding. Every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. With a mix up of trying to run a shorter, faster run once a week.
Even when my birthday fell on a Tuesday I still went out and ran.
Because if I hadn’t of gone I would have broken the habit rule within 2 weeks of deciding that I was going to start making it a habit.
So I went.
And I continue to go. Plodding away. Round and round the park.
I’m not going to lie I’m now approximately 35 days in and it still doesn’t feel like a habit, it feels like a chore. Some days I would love nothing more than to think, nah not for me today and to roll over in bed. But that’s not how habits are made and I need to remember why I go out. Why I run.
To improve my health, to set a good example to the boys, to remain fit and active so I can keep up with them.
So I go. And when I’ve finished I feel fantastic. I come home with a sense of achievement and mark it in my bullet journal. Three times a week. Over and over.
You know what, slowly but surely I’m getting faster. Each day I seem to be able to run a little more than I could before. I’m not back to where I was yet but I will be. And then I hope to go further.
After all, the tortoise wins the race.
My January Runs