I’ve been running regularly for nearly 3 months now, and I’ve improved significantly since my first run. I realised this a little while ago during a short run that I was squeezing into my busy schedule… This run followed my first route here in Hemel Hempstead and it was significantly easier now.
I remember my first run clearly, it was a bank holiday Monday, the sun was out and I had decided it was finally time to get back out there and get fit. I was nervous as I laced up my trainers and layered up a couple of vest tops. I hadn’t actually been running for around 6months, and that was only short term. The last time I’d ran as part of a regular thing was in 2012.
As I left the flat, worried someone I know might see me, my neighbour was just getting back home from walking his dog! Well I knew I’d definitely have to go then. I set off with a 1.5 mile route planned, confident I’d be able to manage it! I was wrong. I’d barely been running for 5minutes before I had to stop, stretch and walk for a bit. It was hard work but after a few minutes I ran again, as far as I could until I needed to stop again… I hadn’t even got half way at this point. The rest of this first run was pretty much the same thing, as were the next few runs.
Slowly I started noticing I could run further, upto 5K in a number of weeks. I tried different routes to give myself a change of scenery (and inclines) and I found that over time I was less concerned about people seeing me, thinking I’m terrible at running and wasting my time. Instead I was more interested in improving my distance and time, getting out and raising my heartbeat.
I’m not going to lie, until I’ve got to the one mile mark of any run, I really struggle with my it and sometimes it doesn’t even feel better after that point. Other times I plan a short run and feel like I could have carried on for aaaages. BUT I always, always feel great after the run, I’m not sure if it’s what people call a Runner’s High but I have so much energy afterwards. I’m sleeping better, eating better and I have a hobby that is completely my own, but one that I am also able share with the millions of other runners in the world. I’ve invested in new clothes, a GPS Running Watch, books and hours and hours of time into this hobby and I don’t intend to stop!
On a Saturday a couple of weeks ago, I went to my first ParkRun – a free, weekly, timed 5K. I’d first heard about ParkRun in Leeds but was too chicken to join and go to it on my own… I decided seeing as it was a new event in my area, I should give it a go so even if I didn’t like it, I’d never wonder what could have been. I’ve always found running solo for regular runs works best for me. If I had a running partner who I had to convince to get into their running gear and get out of the house as well as myself, then I’d probably never get to go running. I’ve found running on my own gives me the freedom to mix it up as and when I please, and I push myself harder. ParkRun gives me a chance to run with others regularly without having to actually run with anybody.
149 people ran on that Saturday… I didn’t realise that it would be so popular, but it was great to feel a part of a group, a collective of runners. The run was hard, the local park chosen for this run is hilly, you run on grass (which I normally avoid), and you run around it twice. It’s a short walk from my flat so I walked there to warm up and stretched as I waited to see what happened. I completed the 5K in 35mins, which shocked me because it was only once I had completed the first lap of the park that I realised I’d need to run around it again and I was struggling at this point! I literally almost tripped up, right at that moment in time! I did finish it though and I plan to go again this week! It’s shown me what things I need to work on for next time, and I hope to improve on my time.
Running for me is a pleasure, I don’t always feel great during the run but, as I’ve said above, I feel great afterwards! I use the Nike+ Running app to log my runs, routes and how I felt during each run so that I can look back to see my progress. I talk about running with my friends, I look forward to my runs in the evening and I read tips and advice on Twitter and various running websites. It’s become a big part of my life, and I can honestly tell you I have never got home from work, changed into my running gear and regretted the workout afterwards.
If you’re looking for tips on how to get started then check out my previous post on running or drop me a comment below! All it takes is getting changed and getting out there!