WHY I RUN

I have NEVER been into sport AT ALL.  I hated it at school, (hockey, lacrosse) and have avoided it strenuously since.

I have flirted with the idea of fitness, and actually had a personal trainer for a while, but it didn't last.

I've purchased fitness equipment feeling sure that the very act of doing so would keep me fit.  Hahahahaha!

However,  what made me take up running was the worst thing that had ever happened in my life.

My best friend died.

Sarah and I had known eachother for over 40 years since we first started school, we used to speak, or latterly email nearly every day we knew eachother inside out then in March 2008 she was diagnosed with Lymphoma.

Less than 10 months later it was all over, she died on January 1st 2009.

We'd become even closer , if it were possible, during those months I took my turns in driving her to Addenbrookes for chemo etc. and we spent a lot of the time laughing ourselves silly in the hospital. (Mainly cruel private jokes at the expense of other people, but we found it funny, gallows humor I think).

She wasn't supposed to die, she was in remission for a stem cell transplant, then after the treatment began she caught Norovirus when her immune system was completely vulnerable, and it killed her.

A couple of months later someone suggested that us girlies did the Race for Life in Bedford which was going to happen in July.  It was going to be a walk, but when I found out it was only 3miles (5k) I announced that I couldn't in all conscience ask people to sponsor me to walk 3 miles, I do more than that on a good shopping day.........I'D RUN IT!

I thought I heard a roar of tinkling laughter coming from up on a cloud somewhere, but I ignored it!

Realising that I'd probably have to practice a bit, in March at the age of 48½, I got onto one of the bits of fitness equipment I'd previously purchased  - a treadmill - and started running.

30 seconds later, I was off it again, bent over double and trying not to be sick!  Yes I was THAT  unfit.

So, I bought a book, Running Made Easy (  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Running-Made-Easy-Susie-Whalley/dp/1861057032  )   and began to follow their programme.

After a few problems with ache and pains, I began to actually be able to RUN!  The book is brilliant for a beginner, it doesn't mention anything about times to aim for just how to run, and the run/walk programme that starts you off is perfect.

So, on July 26th 2009 (the day after what would have been Sarah's 50th birthday), we all set off for Bedford, and I, and my friend Bernadette ran the whole thing in 29 minutes.  I've never done 5k that fast since!

I didn't know that you should be aiming for a particular time and before we started someone said to me what time are you aiming for, and I hadn't a clue, I just wanted to get all the way round running the whole thing, so I had no idea that 29 mins was pretty good for a first-timer.

I raised about  £600

So that should have been the end of it, BUT, I'd never been that fit before and I thought that maybe I should try to keep it up for a while, so I did, I kept on with the Running Made Easy programme, and improved bit by bit, but by the winter I was getting bored and demotivated, so I entered another race,  The Flitwick 10k the following April.

Trained up and did it finished in 66.50 and as I approached the finish the only thought that was going through my mind was I WILL NEVER NEVER DO THIS AGAIN!

So then I entered the Whipsnade Zoo Stampede 10k for the beginning of June.

Two weeks before the run I fell over slipping on gravel and pulled something in the back of my thigh. It wasn't major agony or anything, but I could feel it and I knew that if I tried to do 10k I wouldn't finish and might do more harm than good so I pulled out.

Motivation gone, pretty much stopped running.

Had a big birthday looming and was toying with the idea of doing a Marathon the week of the birthday, but frankly I knew I couldn't get that fit and I couldn't be bothered.

New Year 2011, had put weight back on and was lazy, so took a deep breath and decided to aim for a half-marathon this year.  Did some half hearted training early in the year, but it was too early really and I didn't want to peak too soon! Although I entered and paid for the race, I still did not commit myself to be doing it, just kept saying I'll see later in the year.

Then my saviour occurred...... Juneathon!  It's been great, because it's got me doing something however little every day and got my body moving again.  I've started the HM training now and I feel like I will do it.

The race is Run to the beat, which is perfect because it's for Lymphoma research.
Will start to ask for sponsorship soon, and I hope to raise £1000.

Someone on her cloud will be laughing on the other side of her face in September!
But believe me, when we next meet, she has got a LOT to answer for!


Things that have really helped me with running

http://www.audiofuel.co.uk/ - thanks Sean

http://runkeeper.com/home   + my iPhone   Thanks Jason & Co.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Running-Made-Easy-Susie-Whalley/dp/1861057032

http://www.runnersworld.co.uk