So I finished c25k and I was about to run my first ever event - the Race for Life 5km race. I managed to run almost all the way - just walked about 2 minutes up a very steep hill, and finished in 37 minutes. You see. SLOW. But that was fine for me because having started as someone who couldn't manage to run for 1 minute non-stop, being able to keep going for that long and complete 5kms was a huge achievement!
And I achieved this all on my own. I felt very proud. My husband and son were proud. My friends were amazed by the transformation. I was on cloud 9!
At that point I kept running a little now and then, but lost my way. I had nothing to aim for. Life got very busy and stressful. We were moving house, or attempting too, and the sale fell through, we lost a house we were in love with, ended up living with the in laws and super super stress abounded.
And then winter came in and I found it hard to keep myself going in the cold and dark and wet, although I did occasionally still venture out and jog a little, slowly. I didn't have anything to push me on. I didn't know if I was any good. I didn't know if I should attempt to run further, or how. And because I wasn't running regularly with any consistency I never found it very easy to keep going. I started to fall out of love with running a little bit. I started to find it really hard to keep going mentally and physically.
But finally, we moved into our new home in November 2013, had a lovely Christmas, and as the Spring (2014) started to peak its little head up, I started to discover new running routes around our new town.
Running is a fantastic way to get to know a new place. Whether you move house, like me, or are on holiday or visiting friends. I know my town now, and all the lovely riverside footpaths, back passages (oooer mrs) and cut throughs. I know the fields and the roads and I know exactly how long each park is and how long it will take me to run from my house to the pre-school and back! I thoroughly recommend running as a great way to fall in love with your town or village too.
I have had lovely runs where I've bumped into people I know and ended up chatting or walking a while with them. I have had runs where I've got completely lost and had to run fast as I freaked myself out that I'd get more lost as night fell! I have had runs where I've experienced nature at her finest, migrating geese over sunsets and stumbled across lone deer and foxes... and I've even had a run where I accidentally surprised the local drunk being sick behind a bush.... nice! Most of all I've high fived, and said hello to lots and lots of other runners. The running community on the whole is amazingly friendly. And there are lots of people out running all over the place these days.
But still I struggled, and I never felt like a real runner, just someone playing with it. I was lost and I lost my running mojo.
And then I found a running group. My running group(s) and running friends are wonderful, I've made friends and acquaintances, I've improved my running, had great fun, learned new things, and pushed myself to achieve things way beyond my imagination. I recommend running clubs to everyone. They seem scary yes, especially to a beginner, but you have to do it if you want to really enjoy and get the most out of running.
So I will write in my next post about my first experiences of joining a group!
Do you run with others or alone? Let me know!