January can be a tricky time. Christmas out of the way, but the worst of the winter still to come. Short gloomy days, dark mornings and evenings, miserable weather, and money tight after Christmas. And then there are New Year’s resolutions, which only serve to make us feel bad about ourselves when we don’t keep them.
So this year I’m trying something different. I’m doing RED (run every day) January. Although I won’t necessarily be running every day – I will be doing something active each day. I might swim, walk, join an exercise class, work out at home to a YouTube video or, yes, I might even run. The idea is to do something physical to help keep the January blues at bay, while promoting the benefits of exercise for mental health, and raising money for the mental health charity Mind.
Each day throughout January I will also be sharing what I have been doing towards RED January.
The morning after New Year’s Eve. It would be easy to have a lazy day. But on the first day of RED January, I needed to do something active. I toyed with the idea of doing something physical that wasn’t actually running, as I’d had (for me) a late night, and was feeling tired. Besides, I had a good run yesterday, and should have taken a recovery day. But – it’s called Run Every Day January, for goodness sake – so I felt the need to start the year off with a run.
Before I got out of bed, I’d decided to run on the treadmill to try out some interval work. That could mean a shorter session. But then I got up, pulled back the curtains, and saw the beautiful, bright, fresh new morning. So out I went.
I realised pretty quickly that I had needed that recovery day. Even though I’d done a good yoga warm up with Yoga with Adriene, I found that my hamstrings were stiff and my legs didn’t seem to want to cooperate. But I kept going, getting into my rhythm. Until I needed to stop a couple of times to let tractors pass.And then I was struck by a sudden need to take photos. Having stopped, it was harder to get back into my rhythm. So I stopped again, and again, and again – each time snapping the glorious morning on my phone. I decided to just enjoy the moment, the sunshine and the beautiful scenery. In this way, I got round my usual 2.8 mile circuit. It wasn’t my best time, but when I checked Strava I found it wasn’t as slow as I expected either.
Back home, another yoga session to cool down. Day 1 done. Now what shall I do for day 2?