Race for Life – One Year On

Around this time last year, I wrote about taking part in my first ever 5k race and how I had literally gone from the couch to 5k, with the enormous help & encouragement from Emma Rogers. So, it was only right that I should do the very same race again this year – a one year on check in report, I guess.

Ready to go!

Ready to go!

I absolutely had no desire to ever run again after doing the first 5k race for life. I found running to be long, boring & bloody painful hard work. The 5k was just to prove to myself that I could do it, then I’d hang up my running shoes & move on to something else.

Who’d have thought, that a year later, not only did I come back to replay the race, but that I had also done so many other runs & events in the time between. I’m pretty proud of my medal board, I really, honestly NEVER expected my life to change so much in such a short time.

My growing medal collection.

My growing medal collection – 5ks, 5miles, OCR events, half marathon & full marathon medals.

What started out as a weight loss plan, has become a new life, an obsession, something that I think about all day every day. Not only did I lose over 5stone, but I have kept it off. I’ve met a whole load of great new friends, both through running & through going to the gym. I’ve been retraining and am now qualified as a weight loss specialist, a nutritionist, a sports nutritionist & am *almost* a qualified fitness instructor – just the last assessments to go!

I get asked what the “secret” is, probably every other week. In all honesty, there is no secret. There is no quick fix & there are no short-term answers. The way I have trodden my path, may not suit others, but you need to find what works for you & your lifestyle. It also needs to be your own decision. Nothing will work unless you whole-heartedly want it to. You need to change your mindset, it isn’t a diet, it is a lifestyle.

I totally recommend signing yourself up to something like a 5k fun run, it gives you a tangible goal, something that you will have to work for & something that will become easier with training. In turn, the training will help you to love exercising & will usually help you shift some stubborn lbs too – assuming that you don’t congratulate yourself on your exercise with a chocolate cake! You can’t outrun a bad diet. The key is to find enjoyment in the process, and the results will follow!

So, my sister and I took a stroll down to the park for our run yesterday morning. We could have decided against it as we are both sporting slight injuries from our moonwalk marathon – my knee has given in when I run & Nic has a pain in her foot & shin-splints. But, hell, we were going to take this on.

The run was fairly smooth, we learnt from last year to get near to the front at the start, it’s no fun trying to get past a load of walkers when you want to run, so we had a pretty good & not too busy route. Nic’s shin-splints meant that we had to stop/slow down a few times, but we STILL took time off of last year’s race. My first ever training 5k was 39:42, last year’s race for life was 35:57, this year’s time was 32:49. Considering our injuries, our stopping & our less than speedy pace, we were pretty pleased with that time.

All finished!

All finished!

Next year, I’m aiming to get it under 25mins, because I KNOW I can do that pace, but I need to be injury free.

If you would love to be able to run a 5k race, but don’t know where to start, just get out there and get going. Try running for a minute at a time. You’ll be surprised how you grow to love it. The freedom, the ability for your own body to take you places. The surprises you’ll see that you usually miss when driving about in a car. The rush of good feeling that you’ll get when you come home, sweaty, out of breath & pink in the face.

Why not join your local running club, the guys you’ll be surrounded by know their stuff. You will be supported and encouraged. I run with Hastings Runners & they are an awesome bunch. Or try checking out to see if you have a local parkrun – a no pressure 5k weekly race. If you’re not up to running one yet, go and volunteer – I can bet that by being surrounded by runners, you’ll want to get in on the action too!

Go, get out there, enjoy running & enjoy life – find your happy!

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