Thursday, I put on my running shoes. I had worn them only one time before, after the purchase (thy’re from Reebok, picture below). Of course, I fell in love with the confortable soles, after wearing heels and gladiator sandals. But while I was stubbornly promising myself (for weeks) that I’d be going for a run the following day, I just couldn’t keep my word. I woke up so sleepy and exhausted, it felt like a truck had run me over instead.
As I discovered this week, it was only a matter of will to jump right back on the wagon. Thursday, I put a reminder for 7.30 pm, I go dressed, grabbed my phone, keys and some money (in case of anything) and went out:
What went wrong / DON’ts
- I wasn’t expecting the heat. I thought that around 8 pm the city would chill out, spray some cool thermal water and offer some sort of sun escape. I was wrong. I shouldn’t have dressed in full length workout pants, opting instead for shorts. Any pair sold in a sport department store would have done the job.
- I ran in a park. Usually, it’s the best option in the world – fresh air, trees, birds chirping, landscape changing. But it wasn’t Central Park. Even though I was about to get lost in it, there were more people there than in a mall. I kept avoiding strollers and kids on rollerblades, only to bump in other runners or bikers. Horror. As soon as I was getting in a rhytm, I had to stop.
- I didn’t have anywhere to put my phone. Since I wasn’t a veteran runner, I didn’t have any special belt or hidden pocket to squeeze it away. So I just held it all the way through the “finish line”, about 30 minutes or so. Of course, while I was walking back home, my arm felt numb.
- I didn’t warm up. I just walked a bit and started running. The song I was listening too was still playing when I stopped, gasping for air.
- I didn’t keep track of the running distance. I thought the iPhone Health App was smart enough to show me clearly how much I had run. I was wrong, yet again. It shows the steps I’ve taken the entire day, not just from the moment I was running and it’s useless to try out and find details.
- I didn’t know my surroundings. I’ve recently moved near this park, so I had been once or twice here. Since it’s pretty huge, I didn’t have a clear ending point. I just thought I’d run a complete circle. But when you don’t know how big is that circle, you tend to pause often and look for clues. Didn’t help my running progress.
- Last but not least, I didn’t wear prescription glasses. It’s not a mistake per say, but it was very difficult for me to see anything. I felt like I was moving in a bokeh world. That just irritated and disoriented me.
How to do better/ Dos
- If you don’t want men harassing you in the park (as it might happen), choose a pair of capri leggings in a grey hue or a graphic print. If you don’t care about what people say, just make a sane choice in summer – a pair of reversible athletic shorts.
- Don’t bother with parks, if you have the means go to a running track. I have one near me and the first time I ran, I ran much more, in a smaller amount of time.
- Choose a belt for your phone, never keep it in hand. Even itf it’s slim and doesn’t weigh much, it will slow you down.
- Never assume the granola bar you ate before leaving the house will give you Thor-like strength. If you’re muscles are not used to this kind of effort you have to prepare them , so always warm up.
- Download a special app for running. App Store offers dozens and one friend recommended Run Keeper. I’ll tell you next time how it went out.
- Go for a walk one day before starting running in a new place. Get familiar with the place, be honest with yourself and set clear starting/ending points.
- Either wear contact lenses or adjust your eyes without glasses some hours before going for a run. You’ll avoid feeling dizzy.