I hated Running...So I became a Runner

Last Summer, after I had returned from my 2 week getaway to Canada, I decided it was time to kick myself up the butt and start exercising properly. I knew I had put some weight on but I didn't realise to what extent. I looked so unhappy and unhealthy in my holiday photo's and I was upset at myself. How hadn't I noticed that I'd piled on a stone (and maybe a little bit more)? I suppose I hadn't even tried to avoid it - I never watched what I ate, I drank full fat fizzy pop on the regular and was guilty of little-to-no exercise... and it had started to show - not only physically, but mentally too.

My boyfriend is a regular runner (ya'know he does a half marathon just for fun). He would wake up at the crack of dawn and run before work or come home from work and go for a run. I mean, naturally I thought he was crazy, like why would I go outside and run and get all sweaty when I could have half an hour extra in bed in the morning, or get home from work and slump on the sofa binge watching Netflix? (Yes I still do that now... but I don't feel guilty anymore because at least I exercise too). I was so lazy and he was so energetic and fit and healthy and I wanted to feel like that too. I was fed up of feeling constantly sluggish and I just felt so tired and irritable all of the time. As a result of this I also had constant headaches and I had to force myself to do things, as I genuinely never had the energy to do anything. Enough was enough.

I first started (and tried) running a couple of years ago but I would get out of breath after about 5 minutes and give up. I decided it wasn't for me, so I bought myself an exercise bike to try that instead... but that didn't cut the mustard either and I got bored of it. I just didn't feel like it was doing anything, I was just working out my legs, and only marginally at that.

It was only when I got back from my summer holiday last year, after being upset about not having the energy to enjoy myself as much as I could, and feeling uncomfortable with the way I looked and felt, I decided to give running another go.

I joined the gym and I had so much determination. Somehow it just clicked. I started forcing myself up every day before work - and boy it was hard, but I was SO motivated. I knew that I'd rather get up early and get it "out the way with" so I could come home from work and relax. I realised that, as the old saying goes, you get out what you put in and only I would be able to change the way I felt. I also became more wary of what I was eating, I converted to sugar free pop (because I wanted the caffeine kick but hate coffee) and I started to cut down on snacking, and stuck to 'naughty' meals on the weekend and started eating more basic dinners during the week (e.g. chicken & rice with vegetables).

I started by running 2-3 times a week for around 10 minutes at a time. I then gradually increased the time to 15-20 minutes and eventually to 30-40 minutes. I have only recently (in the last couple of months) been able to continuously run for around 50-60 minutes comfortably, however I usually stick to doing a "long run" on the weekend and generally keep to a couple of 30-40 minute runs during the week. I also increased my pace gradually once I was comfortable with running for around 30 minutes straight at the same pace. E.g. from running a pace of 8 mins a km to 7 mins a km etc. I want to build up both my endurance and my speed and I like to set myself personal goals and compete with my past run times - I always aim to beat my last run, even if this is just by a second or two!

I will also be taking part in the Great Manchester Run in May and this will be my biggest challenge yet as I will be running 10km. I signed up to run with work, and I have chosen to raise money for Manchester Royal Infirmary (specifically for the cancer services that they provide). The longest run I have achieved so far is 8km, so I am almost there! Ideally I'd like to have managed a 10km before this time, and my goal is to complete the run in under 70 minutes - wish me luck!

Do you go running or have any tips or tricks to share? I'd love to know!

2 comments

  1. Ah well done! I'm kind of felling how you were, I've put on over a stone and really want to shift it before my holiday. I used to run loads but just kind of stopped and now I'm so unfit!

    So saying that, I don't really have any tips. But you seem to be super motivated already! xx

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  2. Thank you! :) It was pretty hard to begin with but once you get into the zone and get into a routine it just sort of works! Getting started is always tough! xx

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