The first week of December brings with it both my kids birthdays but this year I also celebrated my one year runniversary! A whole year since I started running. It’s been a bit up & down but one year on I can safely say I love it. I never thought I’d say I enjoy running! Who is this person?!
I’m not sure what prompted us to start but last year, on Madeleine’s birthday, myself and two friends braved the cold Argyll winter and started week one of the 5k Runner app. That first run, if you can call it that, wasn’t quite as hideous as I thought it’d be. Having said that, I was certainly glad of the walking breaks after the 1 minute runs! Two weeks into the program one of my friends found out she was pregnant (yay!) so hung up her running shoes leaving just the two of us to traipse around the dark village lanes. Admittedly we may have missed the odd one but as a rule we went out 3 evenings a week in the snow, hail or rain to pound the pavements, rant about the kids and generally have a gossip. Who needs therapy when you have a running buddy?!
In February, 9 weeks on from that first cake-fuelled shuffle around the village, we ‘graduated’ the 5k Runner program and were easily running 5k non-stop in around 30 minutes. When spring came around our runs became less frequent. Family life got in the way and we struggled to find the time to get together. My back & hips were also becoming more painful and my varicose veins were often achy. Excuses excuses!
In August, after suffering with varicose veins for over 15 years, I finally went into hospital to get them stripped. And yes, it is as brutal as it sounds! Obviously this put a spanner in the works when it came to my already dwindling running sessions and I was out of action for quite some time. Longer than I needed to be if I’m honest! It’s so easy to lose your running mojo when you’ve not been for a while.
But at the end of September I downloaded the Couch to 5k app, squeezed into my running tights (a workout in itself!) and headed out to complete week 1 day 1. I’m now on week 6 and completely obsessed with running! The C25k app is the official offering from Public Health England and is slightly different to the 5k Runner app but both do the same job. They both slowly build up your running ability by introducing you to ‘Jeffing’, the run/walk technique. And if you follow either program you will be knocking out a 5k with ease in no time! Please take care, though, especially at this time of year. Plan your route carefully to avoid any unnecessary injuries; you don’t want to be laid up with a sprained ankle before you’ve even graduated the 5k program!
So, what’s next for me in my running journey? Well, I should finish C25k around New Year which is perfectly timed for my first 5k race in January! I’m so excited for the Great Edinburgh Winter Run – is anyone else doing it? I’m also signed up to do R.E.D January in aid of Mind. In case you’re wondering, R.E.D stands for Run Every Day – yep, I’m going to be running every day for a month! I must be mad. It is for an excellent cause though so please do head over to my Just Giving page and donate whatever you can so that Mind can continue to do such amazing work for those of us with mental health issues. You can read my mental health story here and if you fancy giving the challenge a go yourself head over to the R.E.D January Facebook Group. I’m sure the kind folks over there would be happy to answer any questions, as well as give you a gentle kick up the bum if you’re in need of motivation!
My other running goals for 2018 are to take part in more Park Runs (I did my first the other week and it was hard!) and to get a sub-30 5k time; complete a 10k (I was hoping to do the Tiree 10k but it’s full already so maybe the Great Women’s Run in June) and then a half marathon later in the year (possibly at the Great Scottish Run in September).
Most of all I just plan to keep enjoying it and improving and try not to buy too much kit… I might struggle a bit with the last one! I’ve recently discovered the Run Mummy Run Facebook group which is home to a fantasticly supportive & knowedgable bunch of ladies. They are, however, a very bad influence when it comes to my blossoming activewear addiction!
Are you a keen runner? Or maybe you’re just starting on your running journey? I’d love to hear from you!