12 May 2014

How I Started Running




How do you start running?

Well, you just have to run.

I've always watched the London Marathon and thought that I'd love to be able to run. Being inactive and overweight pretty much my whole life meant that this was not a serious consideration. I'd call runners 'freaks' as I drove past them, one hand on the steering wheel, the other in a family bag of Maltesers.

In 2012 I had Cognitive Hypnotherapy and joined Slimming World. By September 2013 I'd lost around three stone, but was in a yo yo/plateau holding pattern. I was more active, choosing to walk short distances instead of taking the car, but hadn't taken that next big step: to exercise.

I mentioned to a school mum friend that I'd like to see if I could run. She suggested that I walk around the football field near the school and when I got to the short end I could try running - very gently - along that end. That was all, then I could walk back to the car.

I was nervous, in fact I was terrified. I had NEVER run anywhere ever.

I walked along the long edge of the football field. I turned the corner at the end of the field and started a gentle ambling jog. By the time I was half way along, I was out of breath This was hard work. I wondered if I'd make it to the end. I kept going. At three quarters of the way along I was struggling. I felt my whole body wobbling as I panted. The arms of my rain jacket rubbed rhythmically against my sides as my elbows pumped. Still I kept going. Somehow I made it to the next corner before I started walking again. Puffing and walking.

I had 'run' 100 metres.

I walked back to the car, triumphant.

What a buzz.

If I could do it once, I could do it again.

A couple of days later I went out for a walk with another school mum friend. She had a running app on her phone. I was going to try to run for 60 seconds, then walk for a few minutes, then run again. She was my personal trainer that day, encouraging me, cheering me on, keeping time. I managed almost 4 minutes of running that day.

I downloaded this Couch to 5k app onto my phone. This changed my life.

I followed the app religiously. After I dropped the boys at school, three mornings per week, I set off walking around the football field. I kept up with all the running segments. The sense of achievement from ticking off another run was huge. I went out rain or shine. I was hooked.

I sneaked a peak at later weeks on Couch to 5k. I thought I'd never EVER manage to run continuously for 3 minutes, or 5 minutes, or 8 minutes. The thought of running for 20 minutes seemed unattainable, but as the weeks went by I managed all of these. I soon left the football field behind and ran alone, or with a friend, around one of the smaller lakes nearby.

This is how I started running.

In December 2013 I ran my first 5k.

In April 2014 I ran my first 10k.

Maybe one day I'll run the London Marathon after all.



Blah blah never start an exercise programme without checking with your GP first blah blah




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20 comments:

  1. Wow! I've just started looking after myself and with a change of diet I've lost half a stone. The next step is to exercise, but I haven't run anywhere since school, and then it was reluctantly! I do a lot of dog walking and I think the couch to 5K app may be perfect as I can take the dog with me! Well done Sandy, you're an inspiration xxx

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    1. @Laura, well done on losing half a stone :) I always hated running at school, but now it's so very different. Yes, the couch to 5k would work brilliantly with a dog walk. Good luck, let me know how you get on xx

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  2. You are such an inspiration Sandy and I am so thrilled for you. You started me on couch to 5k and although I don't do it as religiously as you it is a really great way of learning how to run. I hope that one day I too will be able to say that I have done a 5k. Congratulations on the 10k that is an absolutely brilliant achievement xxx

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    1. @Damson Lane, thank you. You will surprise yourself and as you get closer to the end of the app you'll realise that you can do it. Keep going xx

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  3. Amaze balls. Very well done x

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  4. Love this post, it isn't at all dissimilar to my own story, and I will be running my first 10k this weekend at the Bupa Manchester Run.
    Well done you x

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    1. @Rachel, ooh good luck this weekend. Let me know how you get on x

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  5. Fantastic - I am also a running convert. To say it has changed my life is not an exaggeration. I have recently committed to my first half marathon which is a daunting challenge.

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    1. @QWERTY Mum, oh how exciting. My running buddy suggested we train for a half marathon. Good luck with yours :) x

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  6. You're an inspiration! I don't run but I have recently become a gym enthusiast and would really love to give running a go x

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    1. @Alice, go for it. You can run on the treadmill at the gym if you like, but it's much more fun running outdoors x

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  7. You are an absolute inspiration Sandy, and when I saw you at BlogonMosi i hardly recognised you! Amazing xx

    p.s. I've noticed that if I read your blog on my ipad and leave a message it never seems to work, so I'm trying again.

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    1. @Jean, you heard me shouting your name though :) Thanks for trying again to comment. I don't know why Blogger is so bad with comments xx

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  8. I'm sure you will run a marathon! I started pretty much the same way, got hooked and a couple of years later ran a marathon, losing 4 stone in the process, and the weight loss was coincidental. That was before kids, a tad easier to get the runs in those days and I'm really desperate to get back to running.

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    1. @Cartside, wow, that's impressive. Get those trainers on... :)

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  9. You really are an inspiration Sandy - I know I've said it before but it's the best word for it! xxx

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    1. @Chris, I don't feel like one, but thank you xx

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