I never thought that I would run. When our kids were very small, we used to go to the park early on a Saturday morning and I cursed the park run under my breath – the runners took up all the parking spaces and the coffee stand was crazy busy after the run. If you only knew how much I hated seeing them ‘take over the park’
Oh but times have changed. At the start of 2017, I got tired of just working out in the gym and wanted to give running a whirl. One of the main reasons why I wanted to run, was that I could run first thing after dropping the kids to school and have the rest of the morning to myself – instead of waiting for a 10.30 or 11am class and losing some of my precious free time with a class hanging over my head. I never really relax knowing I ‘have’ to be somewhere at x time.
I didn’t start out by doing a couch to 5 k, I have nothing against the app, but felt half fit from the gym classes, so wanted to see if I could actually just run. I started out doing 1 k (slowly), then a week or two later 1.5k and so on. This was all going swimmingly ’til I got to 3.5k. I could not get passed it. Everytime I ran, I lost the will at around 3-3.5k and just didn’t have it in me to keep going. My breathing was really loud, which kinda freaked me out and I got tired. So I kept running the same distance for yonks and I felt frustrated. I like succeeding at stuff, don’t we all! I could see other people doing park runs and 5k runs and I couldn’t do it.
Here is the key bit. I did not give up. I kept running. I cursed and hated it but when I hit 4k (eventually), I felt fab. It took me months, and I was peeved that I had to work so hard to be able to run 500m further. Of course, then I thought it would be easy to do 4k on the next run. Not so. I cursed and hated it. Some days, I managed 4k, others days I stopped at 3k. I ran 1-2 times a week. I started listening to music and that blocked out the sound of my heavy breathing – that helped a lot.
I also got brave and joined a small running group. The night before the first run, I was so nervous. I felt like I was going for an exam or an interview but I didn’t let myself bail. I met the group. There were a few women running, some fitter than me and some slower. The pace was faster than my pace and my breathing was even louder but I didn’t want to stop and fall behind, so I kept running (and cursing under my breath). I learnt a lot from this running group, even though it only lasted a few months. I made friends with two of the ladies and we decided to keep running together. We had a similar pace and determination to get better and also we all turned up every week. Some people say they’ll meet you and end up cancelling, not these ladies. Our ‘run club’ morning is our time – I don’t cancel unless the kids are off school or sick. Apart from that, I’ll be there – wind, rain or sunshine.
So what have I learnt in 12 months of running:
- Running is not easy. A lot of the time, I actually wonder if I like it.
- The feeling after a good run, is one of the best feelings ever. Way better (to me) than a gym work out. I glide home so proud that I ran x amount.
- I like running with others. Even if we don’t talk much it helps to keep me going. It’s too easy for me to stop when I’m on my own, so having someone beside me really does keep me going
- If I run on my own, I need music. End of. I have a running playlist that I made with pop songs with a good fast beat. It helps a lot. For some reason, I love listening to Ariana Grande when running. Never anywhere else.
- I need to fight the urge to postpone runs or put them off. Just go and run, get it over with and then I don’t waste headspace faffing.
- I can run. I do improve but I know I have zero desire to do a marathon. Ever
- I am a 5-10k runner. I prefer 5k but push myself to go further (sometimes)
- My shape is changing – my legs are more toned than they have ever been but I haven’t lost weight. Downer!
- I do kinda love it, even though at times, I kinda hate it.
I am genuinely not sure if anyone is interested in that story but I do enjoy reading other people’s running journey, so thought I’d share mine. Bottom line – keep plugging away, keep at it, if you want to 😉