Tuesday, 3 March 2015

My Running Story

I always count the date the 6th of November 2012 as the day I became a runner. I used to run on the treadmill a lot, but my dream was always to run outside and be comfortable with doing so. But like most people I was too self conscious to do so. I was worried about what people would think. I didn't want people laughing at me, I was quite overweight at the time and thought that would also draw more attention.

However, on the 6/11/12, my boyfriend at the time and I decided it was time to venture outside and run. He lasted all of about 5 minutes, however I continued on by myself and went on my first run outside! However, it wasn't a proper 'run' run. I was nowhere near ready to just go out and run. I started with a couch to 5K program by the makers of Zombies, Run! While I could run around 5k on a treadmill I knew that due to many factors that I would not be able to do that on an outdoor terrain. So I started from the beginning.

My first Nike+ run
I never finished the couch to 5k program. I stopped about 4 weeks in and downloaded Nike+ Running, which since then has been my staple running app. I did occasionally use my Zombies Run! app now and then as I loved following the story. My first run on Nike was 1.36 miles at a pace of 11:31 min/mile. From there throughout that winter I kept on running and slowly adding to my distance. I went out most nights after work. I much preferred running in the cover of darkness. My confidence grew and I also started running in the daylight on my days off. Then on Christmas Day of that year (1 month and 19 days since beginning my running journey) I did 5 miles!!! I was so proud of myself. From there I just kept building my distance. Last year I finally ran a half marathon in 2 hours and 3 minutes! I am doing the marathon training again and I am hoping to get under 2 hours this time. I have achieved so much with my running, and I love the fact that there is so much more left to achieve, it's never ending!

My running achievements so far...

Before and After: My heaviest vs. now

When I started running, I was depressed, overweight, a heavy smoker and would just binge on unhealthy food. Once I started running I was smoking less and less, eating more of a healthy diet and building my confidence one step and a time, which in turn made me a happier person. The weight was also falling off me. My sister left for university the September before I started running and when she came back for Christmas she was shocked at how much weight I had lost. I still have the jogging bottoms I first started running in. I can't wear them anymore, even with the string tightened as much as possible they still just slide off. I just like to have them around to remind me how far I have come.

Pre-run selfie ^__^

My advice to anyone who wants to start running, just go for it! People don't really take much notice
of you, and if they do just remember you're more badass than them because you're RUNNING! Also it takes time, you need to realise you can't just get up and run 5K straight away - you need to build it up, the more you work at it the quicker you will improve! I love running, it's time to clear my head and think, it's also nice to run and appreciate the nature around you. I am now one of those people who spends ridiculous amounts of money on running shoes and protein powder.

People always ask me "do you run the whole way? Do you ever walk?" Since I abandoned the couch to 5k I've never walked during a run, I just keep on going and just slow down my pace. "Up til then I'd made it a point of pride that no matter how hard things get, I never walked. A marathon is a running event, after all, not a walking event"- Haruki Murakami, What I talk about when I talk about running. This is how it is for me, I go out to run not walk, and if I feel like I have to stop running I just stop all together or push myself through, there is no middle ground for me. I would highly recommend Murakami's book, it is so motivating! And remember that if you do want to walk that it's completely fine, I am just far too stubborn!

I hope you have enjoyed my running story! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or even if you just want some motivation! Running has become such a huge part of my life now and I don't know what I would do with out it!

Thanks for reading,

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