Wellbeing

Couch to 5K: Week 2

29
Jan

Couch to 5K: Week 2

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

With a successful first week under his belt, Lee Scarfe explains how Week 2 of his Couch to 5k journey has helped him to find some headspace.

Read Week 1

Well, it’s definitely getting easier.

I kicked off Week Two with a random Spotify playlist and was duly greeted by the dulcet tones of Michael Hutchence’s voice.

The first track was Meditate by INXS and it set me off on a train of thought about noise. And when I say noise, I mean the noise of the day - the whirlwind of thoughts in our heads - and how it interferes with decision-making, productivity and general well-being.

I’ve used meditation as a practice for calming my mind in the past, but have lapsed in recent years. I started using it during the early Noughties when I was experiencing a high level of stress and anxiety. It was great for removing negative thoughts and cleansing the mind.

Since then, the world has changed significantly. Today we have a great number of different tools and applications online where we can quickly get information and guidance on meditation. Some types focus on mindfulness and breathing techniques, while others use visualisations and gratitude to sooth the mind.

In fact, I find running pretty meditative. When I run I’m not thinking about much more than putting one foot in front of the other. I end up thinking about how I think, if that makes sense!

Mindfulness not only helps in your downtime but ultimately has an impact on your professional life too. If you’re focused on the here and now - more mindful of how you’re feeling and your thought processes - you can make balanced decisions and enjoy the experience.

At Energise Me, we find that people gravitate towards practices that suit them and it works best if they go at their own pace. If you’re looking to get started, you could try the Headspace or Insight Timer apps. As part of our programme, we can help you find the right fit for your lifestyle and hold you to account to turn it into a lasting habit.

The running part

In all honesty, I think Sam the Dog is getting fitter than I am. But thankfully, I’m still feeling pretty good about it. My wife says I have a bit more of a glow when I run - but that might be because of the weather! It has been bitterly cold this week, so not only have I been freezing, but also a bit wary about at slipping over.

There have also been a few comedy moments to share. For instance, there’s a house on my route back home with a booby-trap. Every time I run past the house in the dark, I get whacked in the face by a branch. Brilliant.

Plus, over the course of my six runs, two lost drivers have stopped to ask me for directions. Twice! CAN’T YOU SEE THAT I’M RUNNING?! Maybe it’s the friendly face of Sam the Dog that makes me seem approachable, but I wish it would stop!

Over the course of the past couple of weeks, Jo Whiley and I have become very familiar. She pops up every now and then with words of encouragement, which keeps me going. I find it reassuring that she’s been through this process and can help get me though. Also have great mems about her and Steve Lurpak (well, that's what we used to call him!) from back in the 90s, during my Britpop heyday.

On that note, I’m planning on listening to a bit of Blur during my next run! Woo hoo!

General reflections

Nothing obvious has happened, but I have developed a slight pain in my left big toe. I’m also not sure about how long I can continue to take Sam on these runs because he’s quite excitable. Plus he keeps on lurching into the bushes for sniffs!

By the summer I’ll be running like Mo Farah!

Roll on week 3!

Keep on keeping on

Lee

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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

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