Running: Going Freestyle

This week I have a great guest post from Rachel who blogs over at She is talking about getting back into running. Before falling pregnant with boy bump I had started to run to lose the baby weight from Fizz. I find that running can be a great stress relief as well as keeping you fit. Here is more from Rachel.

I decided to get back into running at the end of last year. Before having my son Chiplet, I had been a semi-regular participant in 5k runs and managed to clock a fairly respectable time of 28 minutes one year! I generally didn’t like giving up too much free time to run and I really had to push myself to stick with it when I was out there, because lets face it…. It hurts!

I am now a mother an 18 month old, what did I know about free time? Or more to the fact pain (erm…labour, breastfeeding, toddler face slaps). Organising a run with a toddler, job, demanding cat and busy husband in the frame is a little more tricky. I am lucky if I can find a slot where I am not required to complete some task or other for someone, and if I can by some miracle find a slot to squeeze it in before dinner, I am flipping ravenous and I CANNOT run when I am hungry and grumpy. Then of course post pasta and garlic bread with a glass of merlot, I don’t really feel like it anymore. Don’t even get me started on finding something clean that fits me to put on to run in! So I decided I needed some motivation to get kick started again and I picked up on the NHS couch to 5k programme. This sets you up for 9 weeks of
training to get you up to running for 30 minutes, by building you up slowly.

I have found it to be an amazing way to get back into running as it really assumes that you are starting from no running experience at all. I managed to get to week 5 twice but each time I got ill or injured or lazy and had to stop. When we moved at the start of the year to a new village with safe roads and streets and lots of motivation for me to explore, I decided to start again from
week 1.

The difference between running pre-Chiplet and post-Chiplet is that it’s ‘my time’ and I don’t begrudge the effort I have to put in. When I stride out, ready to pound the pavement, I know that for 30-40 minutes, I don’t have to think about anything but running and breathing and trying not to be sick! (Ahem… some weeks of the programme were a little more challenging than others!) I just love the feeling of being out in the fresh air with nothing to worry about and actually it does make me feel better and more energetic in general.

That’s not to say that my journey has been smooth. As soon as I hit 8 weeks, I could no longer listen to the lovely ‘Laura’ who guides you through the runs with the most bizarre mix of music which kind of sounds like something you know, but is just a bit shit. So I loaded up my own tunes and headed off to find some new routes… which resulted in the following freestyling:

Freestyle run 1 – The ‘tra-la-la’ Run

I merrily set off down a track (tra-la- la) that I was sure was going to lead me back to where I started. I so busy leaping over fallen trees and generally being amazed with how fit I felt that I failed to notice that I was on the wrong side of the river and heading in totally the wrong direction. Retracing my steps took about an hour – cue beetroot face and a slightly concerned hubbie.

Freestyle run 2 – The ‘This path is a little overgrown’ Run

A path I had previously walked down and thought would be a lovely route to take, had all of a sudden turned into a wild jungle, but it was too late to turn back, so I emerged 10 minutes later with multiple nettle stings and a mouthful of bugs
and hair covered in leaves and seeds.

Freestyle run 3 – The ‘Oh f*ck that’s a lot of cows’ Run

Cresting the hill of the big field I had just run across, my sense of achievement was somewhat dampened by the vista of 50 orange cows with calves, all of whom turned to look at me in eerie synchronisation. The resulting, “should I shouldn’t I” run through the field deliberation, resulted in me retracing my steps (see run 1). I have since found out that I made the right decision – apparently they can be ‘reet nasty’ them there cows when they have young with them.

Freestyle run 4 – The ‘4 days of rain makes mud’ Run 

The field looked dry, it looked safe… it wasn’t. I plunged shin deep into a very muddy puddle (as Peppa would say) and it did NOT smell good.

I wonder if I might be better off in a running club? Safety in numbers I say!

Follow Rachel and her running (as well as plenty of other chat) over on Twitter as @dinkythinks

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