Last week I returned home, to Gibraltar, for the Easter break. I’d decided that Easter would see the start of seriously getting down to training, as the sunny climate, scenic vistas and food being cooked for me/washing being done for me/general luxuries of not being in a student house would be the perrrrrrfect environment to get me running. But honestly, the weather was definitely the thing I was looking forward to most, after venturing out on a couple of zero degree morning runs in York (NOT fun), the (heat-emitting) sun of home was a motivating factor in my idealised imaginings of brisk and jolly jogging.
Wrong. After two bumpy and blustery attempts at landing in Gib, my plane made a beeline for Malaga airport, and I soon realised my sun-drenched Easter training regime would not be transpiring as planned. Drenched, definitely, but sun-drenched was going to have to be put on the backburner. After finding out that the rain would be staying put for the rest of the week, putting off the morning jog was becoming more and more appealing.
Unfortunately, my alarm snoozing techniques were swiftly shut down, as sharing a room with my sister meant that, if an alarm was going off, we were going running. My first week of training, which I was keen to skive off at the first sight of grey clouds, was resurrected by her dragging me out of bed at 6am almost every morning.
Fancy running Apps are seriously motivating. I downloaded the Nike Running + App and having a look through your stats and getting a (personal, obvs) voice message from Paula Radcliffe congratulating you on your first run made the training slightly less boring, and gave me a little buzz. [DISCLAIMER: When you realise your total distance covered over your first seven runs (over eight days) doesn’t even come close to the 42km mark, you might just want to cry].
The sound of your own heavy breathing (a la Darth Vader) is seriously demotivating. When it starts to sound like you’re going to cough up a lung, the urge to stop is soooooo tempting.
Hills are your enemy. To get to those scenic vistas I was talking about before, at least where I’m from, you usually need to go up the Rock. Going up the Rock is not ideal, and by not ideal I mean I genuinely thought I was going to collapse at the top of the first hill. Note to self: hills are not fun and the views did not feel worth it (especially as it was way too cloudy/misty to see a thing!!!).
The elements are your enemy. I know I keep going on about the weather, but honestly, wind, rain (and puddles) are the worst.
After you know how good the post-jog feeling is, it gets a little easier to get out of bed!
Until next time,