In 2015 I took up occasional running. No fuss – just me and the road. It was in preparation for the Three Peaks Challenge that I had signed up to do.
I wanted to get fitter, strengthen my legs and generally lose a bit of podge. Running – I was told – was a good way to achieve all of these goals. I’d ran on a gym treadmill more times than I’d ever cared to think about, and I’d never enjoyed it. There’s something about running in a static position that just didn’t sit well with me. I hated every second of it. So much so that I’d never really get past the 1mi mark without getting off and vowing never to get back on again.
I told myself I’d go running outdoors to see what it was like. My first experience of this wasn’t a great one – I didn’t enjoy it. It was cold, wet and windy. My legs hurt and I was in two minds as to give it all up and just focus on walking long distances.
But I persevered. I googled running tips (Tips! Really! Surely it’s just a case of moving your legs in a fast-paced rhythm?) and found some suggestions about footwear.
I bought myself some Nike trainers and tried again – this time I felt so much better about the whole situation. The run was hard, but I didn’t hate it. I’d read time and time again that you needed to practice your breathing as much as you did train your muscles to move that bit faster.
I got out there 2 – 3 sometimes 4 – times a week. I was loving it so much that I entered my first ever 10km run. The first race since my cross-country days. It was a scorcher of a day and I swear I felt like I was going to die at parts. I’d entered a 6.4mi race through the Mersey tunnel. Now, it’s long enough when you’re driving through. when you’re running through it feels like it’s never ending. When you drive, you don’t appreciate its ascents and descents. When you run, you take in them all.
Moral throughout the tunnel 10k was high; lots of chanting and lots of well wishing from spectators. I finished in a happy 56mins. Not bad for my first run, I thought.
So I carried on with the running – trying to get out as much as I could.
Since, I’ve done two other runs; the Santa Dash, which was as novelty as it sounds, and the Cancer Research 10km Winter Run. Which was gruelling as I’d had about 3 hours sleep after a night shift. But I persevered – I managed to not stop once, which was a new achievement for me. And I finished 22 seconds shy of my tunnel 10km result, so all-in-all I was happy.
2016 brings with it lots of opportunities to carry on running – to enter more races and to get more medals. I’ll do anything for a medal, me.