31 for 31 Changes: Goodbye Cycling, hello Couch to 5K

Categories 31 for 31, Projects
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It’s funny how life changes, isn’t it. When we first bought our bikes we rode them quite a lot around flat, flat Cardiff with it’s pedestrianised roads and lack of inclines. Since we moved house two years ago to the suburbs, however, the poor things have barely seen the light of day. We live on top of a hill and also, conversely, at the bottom of a hill, so either way we cycle we’re either climbing a hill to leave or to get home – no one wants that.

But! I love my bike! It’s cute, it’s fun to ride and it’s quicker than walking. So when I wrote my 31 for 31 list last year I purposefully added “ride my bike 10 times” as a way to motivate me to actually use it. Otherwise what’s the point, right?

Spoiler: It didn’t work. Cycling is hard enough but there were a few things that compounded the issue, for me.

  1. The aforementioned hills. Oh god the hills. I’m still wildly unfit and tackling any kind of incline just wipes me out.
  2. It turns out that when I bought my bike the gears weren’t set up right because I cannot get into any of the first or last seven. Which means, from my choice of 21 I can actually only access seven gears, which doesn’t really help with the hills problem.
  3. Everything is far away. Also, those hills. Everywhere we want to go (Roath Lake, town centre, Cathays) is either up or down a hill and is also a good couple of miles from us. I might be able to get there, I definitely wouldn’t get back.
  4. Traffic. Ah, the biggie. It’s just kind of um, scary, cycling around here. There are no cycle lanes in our part of Cardiff and the roads are big and I’m a wuss.

So! Last time I forced myself out on my bike I realised that I had a slow puncture in my front tire and honestly, I was just so over it. Cycling is great on a flat surface but I just don’t think I want to put the time and effort into learning how to traverse Llanedeyrn. I needed a new plan.

Enter…Couch to 5K.

I know what you’re all thinking – I’m not a runner. I am so much not a runner that I regularly moan about how dopey I think running is and how unlikely I am to want to do something like that. (I am delightful company.) But! as part of my get fit pledge for 2015 I needed an activity that was cheap and quick and running fits that for me (once you discount the £90 trainers, ouch.)

I also needed something to fill the cycle ten times gap so I’ve swapped it to complete Couch to 5K. I’ve already completed 12 of the 27 runs and while it’s been tough it hasn’t been hellish (yet). I think it’s doable? I dunno. We’ll see how I feel in the next couple of weeks when it really starts to ramp up!

I felt weird about changing my 31 for 31 list – I am a rigid beast at times – but I’ve been trying to be more flexible lately. Cycling is a nice idea in theory but in practice, not so much. Instead of beating myself up about it or forcing myself to complete a goal I’m no longer interested in I’ve swapped it out for something that will benefit me. Win win – right?

In the meantime, if you’ve got any running tips or advice I’m all ears – I genuinely have no idea what I’m doing!


2 thoughts on “31 for 31 Changes: Goodbye Cycling, hello Couch to 5K

  1. When the going gets tough, don’t stop, just slow down. If you’re anything like I was, you’ll think ‘I can’t go any slower!’ but you can! Even if it’s slower than your walking pace, it gives you a chance to catch your breath and is much easier than starting again after stopping.

    When you’re ready to invest more, Get a Camelbak – brill for keeping hydrated as you go and storing your keys and stuff in. Also decent running gears. I used to wear any old joggers/pyjamas I could find in the back of my drawers but the right stuff stops you overheating.

    Good for you Hun. Love reading about your life lists x

  2. Yay for getting out there and doing it! I’ve been running for a while, and I’m finishing a 12 week training program now too. I have am annoying amount of things to say about running but I’ll stick with two: (1) Don’t worry about how fast you go at first – just go out there and do it. And (2) once you can run 5k, keep not worrying about how fast you do it and focus on good form – learning and practicing Good Form Running will help you go further and faster, and do it injury-free, better than almost anything else (except (3) shoes; wear shoes that feel good).
    amy recently posted…Some days call for cookiesMy Profile

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