I am 42 years old. I took up running at the age of 40 having watched my husband and some friends compete in a 10k obstacle race. I was totally inspired by the teamwork and camaraderie as well as the fact that they were all fit enough to do it – I couldn’t even run 200 yds to the school gate without getting out of breath! I made a promise to myself that day in October 2012 that I would take part in that same event (Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest) the following October.
So I started jogging and took things slowly. I did my first ever event in March 2013 – an X-runner obstacle race in Derbyshire. It snowed that day. To say it was cold would be an understatement. Swimming through a freezing cold lake, climbing over, under and through obstacles, sliding in mud . . . but somehow I loved it and got the running bug. That year I entered another x-runner event and was so proud because I was able to do two laps and my first ever 10k – that was in the September.
October was just around the corner when disaster struck. Walking the dog, I twisted my ankle so I had to rest it completely, but I was determined to reach my goal and a few weeks later, with a strapped-up ankle I completed the Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest 10k (which turned out to be 12k!) in October 2013 with a team of about 20 runners – the people who had run it the first year, plus many more who had been inspired to join in along the way. It felt fabulous.
I then continued to run 10k obstacle races and then the Lincoln 10k road race. I find road racing much, much harder than obstacle racing – no rests! I was hoping to beat the hour mark for the 10k road race but missed it by a few minutes. I guess that got me thinking about road races and competing with myself to get a bit quicker and run a bit further. Well I say a bit further . . .I applied for a charity place with the British Heart Foundation to run the London Marathon (in for a penny in for a pound and all that!).
I didn’t know if I would be accepted or not, but decided to enter the Robin Hood half Marathon in Nottingham – either as a good training run, or if I wasn’t accepted for the full marathon, the half would be a good achievement in itself.
Literally days before I was due to run the half marathon I found out I had been accepted for the charity place. I was delighted. And petrified.
So I set up my charity webpage and I ran my first (and so far only) half marathon in September this year. I was disappointed with my time, I’d looked like I would do 2 hours 20 mins based on my training, but it took me 2 hours 29mins and I was in a bit of a state (understatement of the year alert!) at the end. Delighted to have done it, but disappointed with my performance.
Up until now I have been an early morning runner – getting my training in before the children and husband wake up. But the dark mornings and living in a rural village mean that this is not really feasible. So I joined a local running club so that I could run at night, accompanied and with a group who would push me. I have discovered that whilst I can jog at a slow pace for up to 13 miles, my speed has hardly improved since I started running, which is a bit of a disappointment to me to say the least.
I ran the Men’s Health 10k for the second time this October and was very sad to discover that I was so much slower than many of my group. I desperately want to speed up. I hope the running club will help. I’ve been twice now and the second time (just last week) I was again feeling sad that although I was the only one in our little group of 6 who had run a half marathon, I was slower than them by what felt like A LOT, when we were doing the ‘efforts’. The emotion and frustration of it all made me actually cry in front of these people I hardly know. I have now got to pick myself up and get better. I need to go faster, but most important of all, I need to go further.
This just got serious.
Please sponsor me if you can. Every little helps. I am offering corporate sponsors the opportunity to have their logo printed on my training vest, plus on this blog which will be shared to over 1,000 Twitter followers. Think of the tax benefit. In order to be a corporate sponsor I am asking for donations please of a minimum of £150. But please sponsor whatever you can afford. Help me to help the British Heart Foundation fight for every heart beat. Details of why I am putting myself through this for such a worthwhile cause can be found on my Just Giving Page – please visit the page and help if you can. Thank you. Follow this blog for regular updates – I am just about to book my next training event . . .