A few years ago Z, my unofficial coach, told me to stop training with music. She showed me side by side parkruns on my Strava. On the one with music my pace is all over the place and on the music free version I had a nice even pace. Soon after it was announced that it was now illegal to run registered races with earphones or headphones and so it was important to me, however far away races are for me , to train to run without them too.
Since then, every time I head out for a walk or run I have this internal battle (yes I have them a lot) about whether or not I will be bored. It forms part of my struggle with myself on whether or not to actually do the run.
Like clockwork, on 1 May, as I was heading down to the road the thought came up again “I am going to be bored” This training was not a run. On running days I remind myself that I am too busy counting poles to even consider boredom. This time I was going for an LSD. The plan was to be slower than usual as my back is still not 100% and I wanted to get the work in without hurting myself further.
Was I bored? Nope. The first part of my walk was mostly dominated by planning my day, planning my week and planning this post. The second part, well that was full of magic. Slowing down, and not having to count poles or focus on breathing deeply or not running like a scrunchy, meant i could really take in the beauty around me.
I caught a glimpse of a Malachite Kingfisher and then watched a Pied Kingfisher diving for fish. Watched a flamboyant of flamingos land and took in the incredible view. Got to witness some people get baptised in the ocean, and tiny fish jumping out of the lagoon.
We are so used to electronics keeping us busy, be it sitting on the couch at home or running on the pavement that we sometimes forget to take in all the other stuff around us.
So for your next run, walk or cycle, I challenge you to leave the headphones at home. Take in the world around you and don’t be afraid of the thoughts in your head. Some of my best ideas come when my physical self is busy trying not to die 🙂
P.S. My friend Bianca is doing the Ultra Cape Town and really wants to use her opportunity to create opportunities for others. Even if it’s R20 you can pledge, please help out here and if you can’t help financially, please share the link 🙂