Running is not easy.
It is not cheap.
And it is a hard habit to break.
Word of disclaimer first, I am a relative newbie to the world of running, I consider myself a plodder. In fact my first pair of trainers(3rd pair of the same trainer that is) are referred to as my plodders because when I first donned them, plodding is what it felt like I was doing in comparison to those around me.
I have been running for approximately 20 months, with a couple of work related breaks in there of a month or so. I started as part of a healthy life style. I was unfit and overweight(18st 8lbs at this point and lighter then than I had been for a while with an estimated 20st at my heaviest) and needed to do something about it. I joined, along with my wife, a slimming group based on the ability to make healthy choices about carbs. protein etc. But mainly as a way of being accountable for what I ate.
It was at this time a lady in the group asked if I would like to “do” the Parkrun with her, she promised not to leave me behind and so I thought “Why not”.
That first Parkrun was not quick, it certainly wasn’t pretty but it was brilliant, the community, the volunteers and the sense of achievement was fantastic, I had run/jogged/walked 5km for the first time, possibly ever, I can’t remember ever doing this before. 50:05 was my time a record that didn’t stand for long.
I went back the next week and was chatting to a volunteer who asked how I got on the previous week. I told him my time and he was very supportive and pleased offering encouragement and praise. “I’m going to halve that” I said and he smiled and raised an eyebrow. I was hooked. There was no one to beat(let’s face it with sub 17 minute finishers in the pack I wasn’t in line to come first) only myself and I was determined to do that.
Today would have been Parkrun number 40 for me but as I am injured, it was a day of volunteering. In that time I did indeed halve the time I set at my first Parkrun, with 23 weeks of knocking substantial seconds off my time I got my record down to 24:23. Though I hope to get that below 24:00 soon, you know what these PBs are like, so tempting.
Anyway where was I? Starting to waffle a bit.
Running isn’t easy,
It takes effort, requires you to head out and get moving, to push yourself and improve form, fitness and finesse, well maybe not finesse maybe finking about what you are doing. All good things for mental and physical well being.
Running, isn’t Cheap,
I have spent more in the past year in footwear than in 10 years previously, but the trainers are oh so comfortable and the right pair does make a real difference.
I have to pay to go see a physio, to ensure all is ok and healing happens effectively, so that I can get back to the road and run down those pb’s.
Races, which I never thought I would ever be able to take part in, never mind actually finish cost money. Though you do get medals, food 🙂 and sometimes snazzy t-shirts. There is also the huge sense of achievement, community and sheds loads of inspiration that comes from being around like minded, generous and supportive people.
Running is a habit, that I don’t want to break, I love it. I love the community, the aspirations that it gives me and the sense of achievement that comes from reaching those aspirations.
Running aint cheap bit it is amazing value.
If you are able to, then I highly recommend seeking out your local running group, couch 2 5k group, coach and giving it a go.
For me what’s next is, visiting physio, chatting with a coach and then upping distance safely, getting to half marathon this year and striving for the full marathon next year.
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.