Learning to Pace Myself

What a very slow run and a badly picked playlist taught me about managing my business.

After a beautiful Bank Holiday weekend, this morning greeted me with grey – and a definite chill in the air.

I wasn’t to be daunted though, having determined that today I would restart my attempt at running nothing would put me off. (Well, no-one actually offered me chocolate not to run, that might have worked).

I’ve been encouraged to start the Couch to 5k and (confession time) I felt a little demotivated. When I’d stopped running previously (well over a year ago) I’d been able to run 10k, my memories of following the plan on the app were slow and disappointing.

Beware your soundtrack

Having completed the brisk warm up walk, I broke (gently) into my first “run” – but I wasn’t expecting to hear the slow chords and gentle sighing that is the intro to True, by Spandau Ballet. As I considered what impact this was having on my momentum, I thought about finding a new track and increasing the tempo. Instead, however, I considered there may have been collusion between Spotify, my Fitbit and the Couch to 5k app – perhaps they knew more than I did.

7 runs later (“light jog” she says… heavy jog more like!) and I’m on my way home. The final run is announced and Spotify chooses to soundtrack the moment with Tadeusz by The Mission. This is a track I love, but it’s a piece of music which has a distinct lean towards the funereal. Again, it seemed my playlist had an opinion on my ability.

In 30 minutes I’d completed the session. The music may not have roused me to a heart thumping rate but it probably played a part in getting me to finish the course. My pace isn’t what it used to be, and I know I don’t need to be worried about that.

The cool down walk gave me an opportunity to think about the situation.

It needs to be your pace – you’re in charge

When I started my own business I told myself that, because I was in charge I’d keep up my exercise by managing my time properly. Instead, I’d given myself a huge number of other things to prioritise before myself – and running.

I need to be realistic

  • about the pace I can manage having not run for a – very – long time
  • about what I can fit into my day

I’ve talked about this before in a previous blog (Just Say No), I think I’m going to keep needing reminders.

I need to prioritise

And sometimes I need to prioritise myself.

I’ll only be able to keep going – whether it’s the business or my legs – if I give time to my own development. That time isn’t a bonus, it’s essential.

Putting one foot in front of the other is the only way to keep going – it may be slow but it’s all progress.