On the 26th of April, I sat with my family and watched on TV as thousands of people faced possibly the biggest physical challenges of their lives – The London Marathon. More than 38,00 runners of all shapes, sizes and ages ran 26 miles through London, past huge crowds of ecstatic people cheering them on. Family members and friends all cried with joy as they watched their loved ones power across that finish line and achieve what must have been a huge goal. I was in awe of these people – not only an amazing personal achievement, but such a wonderful thing to do for charity. “I want to do that” I said to my Sister. Of course she laughed, and I joined her, the thought of me running to the shops was silly enough, let alone a marathon. But then I thought about it and I said “Seriously, I really want to do it”.
It was about five days after the London Marathon and the run was still playing on my mind. I then saw on Facebook that my friend Emma from acrazycontradiction.com had signed up to ANOTHER half marathon. This girl seriously loves to run, and she is my Fitness Inspiration. Emma described the feeling of finishing her first Half Marathon as the kind of high you get from your first kiss (yup, sign me up). Emma had posted on Facebook that she would be doing another Half Marathon in London in October – The Royal Parks Half Marathon – and before I could talk myself out of it, I joined her in signing up for it! I may not be fit for a Marathon, but I can try a half. felt a rush of excitement just from clicking the Register button. Of course the rush was short-lived and quickly followed by panic, but I hushed the panic away It’s not a big deal, I thought to myself After all a half marathon is only 10k, right?….
WRONG! So, me being me, which is a) bad at Maths and metrics and all that
crap important stuff, and b) bad at researching things before I get myself involved in them, I foolishly thought that 10k was a half marathon. Which is incorrect. 10k = six miles. Half Marahon = 13 miles. Uh-Oh. But there was nothing I could do now. I had signed, sealed, now it was up to me to deliver. I decided that in order to push myself to train I should sign up to an actual 10k before my half marathon to get myself used to running, and so I signed up to run the Race For Life 10k this July in Hyde Park.
I knew it would take some serious training and that I HAD to get my butt into gear, but unfortunately that is easier said than done. In theory, putting on some trainers and moving your legs in a running motion sounds easy, and it even got me excited. I was ready to become one of those focused runners you see jogging on the main roads, looking all fit and healthy and like they know what they’re doing. I even got myself all suited and booted in a pair of brand new trainers, a new sports bra, brand new leggings, I even bought special running socks. I was ready! Yet when I began my first run, I got a mere 30 seconds into it before I felt like I was going to drop to the floor … or vomit. One of the two.
It took every ounce of strength I had to complete that first run, which was only 1.8 miles and yet it took me a painful 20 minutes. I started with so much energy, running Pheobe style, but ended looking like Peter Kay doing the Dad Run. Fortunately I didn’t drop to the floor, or vomit, but it did cause my legs to completely lock up the next day. Ouch. How do people do this?? I kept thinking. How do they enjoy this? Whilst I got a bit of a post run high from the joy of actually completing my first run, the pain and difficulty was at the forefront of mind. It took me a whole five days to pluck up the courage to do it again. And on my second run I was slower than my first. I gave it a third go a few days later and just found I wasn’t enjoying it. I then had a few weeks were I was really busy after work and so I kept telling myself I don’t have time to train, which I knew was an excuse to avoid it – I needed to make the time.
Then I got an email a few weeks ago from Race for Life saying ‘Only six weeks to go’. Well, this gave me a jolt back into reality, one I needed. I had just six weeks left till my 10k run. I’d wasted so much time. I realised that I needed to not only sort out my running regime out but sort out my attitude too. It was time to make some changes!
A few weeks ago I wrote THIS post talking about how I have been waking up earlier in the mornings in order to be more organised and have a more positive day. Well, I decided that if I’m already getting up early, I may as well run early too. I don’t always have time to do it in the evenings, and with the lovely summer weather, it’s just too tempting to go and sit in a beer garden. So I began setting my alarm at 6.30am in order to be up and out the door running by 6.45am. I downloaded an app that can track my distance and speed so that I know exactly how I’m progressing. I also set up a play list that I know will keep me motivated. Basically, being an organised nut case paid off and I realised I just have to be as organised with my runs as I am with my routines and lists, so that hopefully I can go from looking like this when I run…
… to looking like this …
(minus the blood red vampire eyes)
Sure it can be a struggle to get up – especially after a few drinks – but it’s worth it. Once I’ve done my morning run, I don’t have to think about it again that day. I will still run in the evenings sometimes, but morning runs most certainly suit me better. I guess its about finding what works best for you. At the moment I’m still only running around just under three miles, with the hope of changing my route to work it upto four, but I couldn’t even do 2 miles when I started, so I feel it’s an achievement! I still have just over four weeks till my 10k so lets hope I haven’t left it too late and I can knock it up to six miles before then.