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On My Way To Running a 10K... I Hope!

On My Way To Running a 10K... I Hope!

I start this blog giggling to myself because I never thought I could make this happen. Yet here I am, about to share with you how I persuaded myself to start running, and how I am now running 5k - some way off 10k, I know - but we all have to start somewhere!

I’m Lucy, Mum to two little girls and I work in social media for Fitness4Less. I know, can you believe someone working for a gym wouldn’t be a fitness fanatic? In recent years, I had put on a bit of weight and was generally unfit. I would take the stairs and ask myself why, at just past 30, I could hardly breathe when I reached the top.


Size wise, I am small and slim, and I guess that until now have been fortunate to have the figure I do with so little exercise. You see, the most I’ve ever done is to attend the gym a couple of times a week for a period of 3 months, but that was back in 2014. I’ve certainly never run before. I could see my weight creeping up and I really wanted to improve my fitness. But I needed motivation to get going with something. At a meeting with some of the other girls from F4L I make a joke about running a race. For some reason that joke stirred me into action and became a real motivator, and that night I signed up to the Bristol 10k run. I realised that if I did it for charity and then told my mates on Facebook what I was doing, I had no choice but to commit… so there and then I updated my status. Forty-five comments later, there was no way back; I had to make this happen.

But, of course, I found an excuse… the party season was a couple of weeks away, so I decided that I would make a fresh start in the New Year and begin my training in January. I began reading about fitness apps, because I needed to find something that would motivate and help me. I had never run; I had no concept of how long a mile takes to run; I didn’t actually know long a mile was, let alone a kilometre (I thought it was more than a mile, but it turns out that it’s not)!

I trawled Facebook to look for apps that others were using for running and read the reviews. Here is what I found: -

Couch to 5k – Some great reviews, but it wasn’t right for me. I wanted to run 10k.
Get Running – I found the app really complex and couldn’t get to grips with it.
Map My Run – I couldn’t work out how to set a programme to get me up to 10k.
So I opted for the Nike NRC app, which has different programmes to assess how you run and also a voiceover to guide you. With this, it almost felt as though I had a personal trainer alongside me. And the reviews were great too.

The day came to go for the first run. I just needed to get into some fitness clothing and get on the road. I scrambled through a box of old stuff, found some sports leggings and some bright pink trainers (they look like running shoes to me; they were bought about a year ago when I told myself it was time to get fit, although it never happened). I got my headphones, turned on the app - watched it count down from 3 to 1, and that was that - I was running down the road.

Pink trainers

I literally ran for 1 minute and conked out – I couldn’t believe it! DOWN HILL too - useless eh? But, I was out and doing it. Instead of turning round, I just walked for a bit and then ran for a bit. I was out for 15 minutes and had walked/run a mile!

I was aiming to get out every 2-3 days, but it was really hard – with the girls and with my husband having his own business, I struggled to get into a set routine. But, I was doing what I could and running, alternating with walking. But, I really had to focus hard. At one point I didn’t get out for a few days, so I told myself at 6am the next day to just get up and go. Whilst it was hideous and freezing, I ran – not far, but I ran at 6am in the morning!

A few days later, I practically ran a mile with only a one-minute break and I was down to 13 minutes (I’m a slow runner - I think I always will be) but I was getting better and this finally started to motivate me. Lucy was becoming a runner – I can’t really describe how satisfying it is to actually see your fitness gradually improve. I was finding a way to breathe correctly and I could get past the burn. No one was teaching me - I was just pushing myself. People kept telling me ‘the first 10 minutes are the hardest’ and it’s true, it takes this long to get into a nice pace and to get past the flaming burn – even writing this I can feel the burn and the pain that comes 2 days after the longer runs, making me never want to put trainers on again. But still, I do.

6 weeks in I told myself, ‘today you’ll run 2 miles and you will NOT STOP!’ I did it, I even cried, imagining my family seeing me on the day of the 10k. For the first time on this journey I realised I may actually be able to make the distance. And so it continued. On one wet, rainy day I went to a gym instead. I paid for a day pass and took to the treadmill. I ran 3.17 miles. I smiled all the way home, knowing I was pushing myself and achieving results. 5k was done and dusted and I was half way there. Since then I have been running between 2-3 miles most days. Some days I rarely make a mile, but still I am out doing exercise, something I simply was not doing three months ago.

I lay my kit out on the days I plan to run and I don’t let any excuse get in the way. Do not get me wrong, I find it really hard. It’s a real challenge to make myself go and I would much rather be relaxing with a glass of wine. However, I’ve set myself a goal, I am raising money for charity, I now have leg muscles and my bum is so much more toned!! Who knows if I will run the whole 10k – I hope in a few months I will be able to blog again and share my success, but until then any running or other exercise is better than nothing.

If you are thinking of running, just go for it. The benefits I am seeing far outweigh how hard it is to get going, and don’t be down on yourself if you don’t get far. If I could give you one bit of advice, get your mind in the right place. It will only happen if you really want it to. For me it’s proving that I am committed and I want to get fitter. Also, share what you are doing with friends and family – the questions they ask and the support people show is really quite incredible. Oh and finally, invest in a GOOD SPORTS BRA. Lesson learnt on that one!

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