For some reason this January I have been feeling down. I’m not sure why. It could be the cold weather, the darkness, the comedown after Christmas, the comedown after our wedding, or possibly a combination of everything, but I’ve just not felt my usual energetic self. I’ve been keeping myself busy with work and writing projects, but even that has done little to alleviate my low mood.
This year, I’ve noticed the cold weather more than ever before and I’m so fed up of the darkness. I go to work in the dark. I come home in the dark. Most of my training is done in the dark. It’s so depressing. I’ve struggled, and I mean really struggled, to get myself out of the door. I’ve lost count of all the runs I’ve aborted because it was so dark and cold and thoroughly miserable that I just didn’t want to run.
Yesterday afternoon at work I bumped into a colleague in the corridor who asked how my running is going. I just rolled my eyes, because if you’re struggling to get out the door, running well is not really possible. I’ve lacked the energy, the motivation, the drive.
My colleague is a 2 hour 42 marathon runner but he said he felt the same. This instantly made me feel better.
‘Are you doing RED January?’ heasked.
‘No.’ I’d heard about it of course, and thought it sounded great, but the reality is that I just did not want to run in the darkness every day of January. I’d decided not to bother, probably because I’ve been in this depressive state.
‘Twenty minutes, just something every day,’ he said. ‘It makes you feel better.’
Despite the darkness. I was convinced I could force myself out for a two-mile jog. I could. Once I was out, the serotonin would kick in and I would feel better. So, after a 12-hour day at work, I got home, got changed and headed out. I told myself I would do two miles, but I ended up doing three. And I felt so much better!
I’m late to Run Every Day January, but I can understand why so many people are doing it. Not only is it a great way to raise money for charity, but getting active does make such a difference to mental health.
After one run, I had more energy and felt happier than I had when I got up at 5.20am and left for work in the cold (minus four) darkness. I’m not sure I’ll be able to run every day in January but I’m certainly going to try. I’ll take it a day at a time and see how I get on.