Last year I couldn’t run. And that is no exaggeration. I remember one of my first ever running trips outside with my boyfriend. He has always been quite into running and fitness in general so I was convinced into joining him one day.
We started with a gentle walk to a bench that isn’t far from our place and the bench was going to be our starting point. I was not excited, in fact, I was really annoyed to be joining in actually.
I’m not entirely sure why I have never liked running. I was never good at it and I have always had asthma which I have found limits me during intense exercise – and I definitely class running as intense exercise. It’s not the same feeling as you get when on a cross trainer or a bike – it’s much more physical (I feel) as with every step you feel the impact of your run and your entire body has to work for it. So, I wasn’t happy as we approached the bench. But I was assured that if I found it too much I should stop and walk to catch my breath. So we took off from the bench and I made it to…another bench, which was about 100 metres away. Suffice to say I wasn’t that impressed with myself and spent the rest of the brisk walk puffing and panting and wishing for it to end.
That was my first ever experience of running so imagine my dread when I started to do it again! But I was aware of the health benefits of running and it is the only cardio in the gym that actually makes me feel like I am working hard (whenever I use the cross trainer I go very slow and concentrate on the TV). So when I joined the gym last year I started running on a treadmill before weights – spending at least ten minutes at a jogging pace. This gradually started to build up to 15 minutes…then 20 minutes… then half an hour. Before I knew it I was running 3k before every work out. The main reason I was able to run this distance without feeling ill (like the bench experience) is because I started using the ‘couch to 5k’ routine. I finally realised that running wasn’t about trying to run at a constant speed for as long as possible – it was about enjoying it, even if that meant stopping every few minutes to catch your breath. I realised that it didn’t matter how long it took you to cross a finish line – just as long as you got there!
From then on I started to build it up and it was in November when I decided to set myself a target to aim for. I wanted a goal that was going to push me but one that wasn’t too unrealistic and so I decided on a half marathon! It’s at the end of this year and I am running it for Crohn’s and Colitis UK. I am using this blog to keep a track of my progress so fingers crossed I make it to the finish line!