Why I run

I run because it’s my time. I get to be free of everyone else’s expectations and needs.

I run because the only competition is me. Each time I can challenge myself to do better. Whether it’s to go further or faster or just to get out there and run when I would rather laze around.

I run because it clears my head, it gets rid of anger and stress and it leaves me calm.

I run because I can’t just give up and stop when I’m out there, I have to get home again so I may as well keep running.

I run because I can’t afford the gym.

I run because I get to listen to my choice of music at my volume a no one complains.

This is why I run

Pair of battered and well used running shoes I have been used for running in lockdown

I recently completed my 50th run of the year. For some people that wont sound like many, for others it will sound like a a lot, but when I run my only competition is myself. 2020 isn’t the first year that I have taken up running, but it is my most successful year. What started as an opportunity to escape the house on my own during lockdown has turned into something I make an effort to do regularly. 

I started running for the first time when I was 21 and have restarted every so often across the years. It must have been in 2010 I bought a Nike plus gadget which went on my shoe and recorded stats. I now use the Nike run app on my phone to do the same thing with bonus GPS tracking. One of the things I love about this is I have data going back to 2010, before I had children, showing my speed and distances. 

Back in 2010 I recorded 50 runs on Nike plus training up for a 5 km run in Hyde Park in the September. According to the records I only managed a couple of runs after that before I probably used the weather as an excuse to stop. Then in December I got pregnant and used that as an excuse. 

me back in 2010 sweaty and with a finishers medal for the adidas women's 5k in London
Happy me after completing my first 5k run in 2010

There are entries showing I decided to start running again in the Spring of 2012 and 2013 and then no records until 2020. I didn’t exercise much in the years leading up to the birth of my second child in 2016 which probably contributed to the painful PGP I had in pregnancy and afterwards it took my body a long time to recover so I chose swimming as a more gentle activity for my body. I went for a run last year after I had my 3rd baby and overdid it resulting in me sitting on a street corner, feeling like I was going to pass out for half an hour. When I started in 2020 I was more gentle on myself and built up slowly.

In July this year I got new personal bests for my fastest 1k (5:11), 5k (31:01) and 10k (1:09:25) and I managed my longest recorded run at 1:21:15 beating my previous times set back in 2010. I’m pretty proud of what I have managed to achieve after all my body has been through in the last 10 years.

I still find the runs hard work. I still have to force myself out some days and I still get exhausted, but I’m not sure of the point if it’s easy? I definitely feel more satisfaction when I push myself.

I have run for 6 months in a row now, although I’ll admit I have been pretty lazy about it in the current heatwave. I’m determined to stick with it and maybe this will be the first year I run through the winter and don’t have to start from scratch again in the Spring?

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