How hard can running one mile be?

posted in: Running | 0

Just. One. Mile.

That is all I am asking my lameass body to do for me each day until the Royal Parks Half Marathon is over. Given the fact that I plan to run 13.1 miles on Sunday, it is a little concerning how much convincing it is taking to get me out the door to do this. There is no way I am failing this Run Every Day October challenge, so I get there eventually. But not without plenty of “maybe I could do it at lunchtime”, or even more laughably “maybe I’ll do it when I get home tonight” (on a day where I was having dinner with a friend after work).

I have two observations here. First, this reluctance to run even one mile demonstrates just how much my limitations are in my head. Whatever I have to do, it’s about 50% too much – whether it’s running one mile or 13 miles. This isn’t a good thing mind you. The body can be trained; I am at the absolute mercy of my mind. Maybe if I were mentally tougher I would see that isn’t true. It’s your classic “chicken and egg” scenario. I have often wondered what would happen if I swapped bodies with some of the very fit, very determined people I know. My guess is that they would immediately run a 3hr30 marathon with mine, whilst I would still struggle to run one solitary mile. I am perpetually waiting for my body to get fitter, so running just “becomes” easier – rather than digging deep mentally, pushing my body, and then reaping the rewards.

This isn’t going to change; it’s just an observation.

Secondly, as I am only running a mile at a time, I am approaching this as a “doesn’t really count” run. Last night, I ran in my cycling clothes (including shoes – what a moron); this morning I ran wearing my glasses. Both of these are things I did when I first started out, and it’s interesting to see that I feel exactly like I did when I started out. Hectic, wobbly, and a bit out of control. Like a total fraud. Since I got my first pair of proper running shoes in 2013, I have never ever run in anything but proper shoes…until last night. That was actually an accident; I was 0.25 miles in when I thought “this feels awful….why aren’t my feet working like normal?” and realised the issue. Likewise, I used to run wearing my glasses which would slip off and generally emphasise the bumpy nature of the ride. Normally I wear contact lenses which naturally solves the problem.

Ultimately, it’s just a mile. I am not going to put my contact lenses in for one mile only to have to take them out again as soon as I get home and shower. I am not changing from my cycling clothes to put on dedicated running gear to run a mile. (I will however always change into my running shoes. Not doing that was a very dumb move). I could do it in my suit if necessary. Just. One. Mile. 

On the plus side, when I then run with all my bells and whistles it feels GREAT. I feel like a runner again. It’s also a great lesson in learning that I can do whatever it is I don’t want to do; I just need to get out there. 

Run Every Day – Day 8

1.2 miles round the block. I had originally intended to run to work, as I was seeing a friend for dinner in the evening. I decided my best bet would be to stick to the single mile run and to cycle to/from dinner. This meant forfeiting the glass of wine, but sometimes (only very rarely) that’s okay.


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