When I started my weight loss & lifestyle change at the beginning of the year, I hated running. I'd never done more than the occasional sprint as a teenager and was convinced it just wasn't for me.
Then I signed up for the Race For Life in aid of Cancer Research UK for the third time. It's an event where you walk, jog or run 5k and people sponsor you to do so. I'd said at the end of the previous 2 times we'd walk it that I would run the next one, but hadn't yet. Well why not have a go this time, I thought.
I had heard about the Couch to 5k plan and local fun runs that are organised at my local park and thought these would be great to get me there. I honestly didn't know if I had it me to actually run 5k but I figured there was no harm in trying.
The couch to 5k is a 9 week plan but I managed to it in 12 due to having to repeat a few weeks. It was tough but I was very proud for having completed it.
I then started the fun runs at my local park. You sign up on their website, they send you a wrist band which is scanned when you cross the finish line, then you get a text to your phone with your time.
I did 2 of them before I ran the Race for Life which really spurred me on. On the day itself the conditions were completely different to what I'd been used to - hills instead of flat, forest instead of tracks, heat instead of cool overcast. I managed a not too shabby time of 38 mins, which I was proud of despite having done better times. I was just proud I'd managed to do it at all!
I've been really enjoying these fun runs up to now. I find I push myself so much harder in a more competitive environment. At the end of the day, I'm only really competing against myself but watching the other runners and keeping pace with them is great motivation. The pic I've included is some of my times so far. It's a bit up and down but I think there is a gradual improvement.
Some of the recent benchmarks for me have been a personal best time of 32mins 41secs and 3 weeks ago (the run before last due to a break from these particular runs) I managed to run the whole way without walking - both of which I've not been able to recreate again yet!
My current goals are to again run the whole way without stopping and to get my time closer to 30mins. I could try to progress to 10k but I'm not planning to yet for 2 reasons - 1. I need to improve my 5k and 2. I think I would get bored running for that long.
As I never thought I'd get to this point, I'll never say never as you don't know what's round the corner!