Thursday, 6 February 2014

Run Like a Zombie is Chasing You

I get a lot of questions from my friends about running. I also get a lot of questions about the mum's running club that I have started going to on Thursday nights. Here is a brief overview of my experience with running.

My Running History
First of all, I am in no way a running expert. I have always done a bit of running and running and I have certainly had an on again-off again relationship. When I was little I played soccer (football) and then later field hockey. Obviously, there is a lot of running in those sports and I liked it. It got rid of a lot of my energy and made me feel good. It also didn't really feel like running per se as I was part of a large team, playing a game.

Unfortunately, in high school I began to dislike running. I was still playing field hockey and had a very difficult and demanding coach. She was extremely competitive and put me off running and if I'm honest playing hockey. She was always timing our runs and it made me feel horrible as I wasn't the fastest runner by a long shot.

In hindsight, this coach may have also played a part in spurring me on to take running seriously. I found out she was running a local race and to annoy her I thought I would sign up too and get a good time ;-) So it was then, and without any training besides my gruelling field hockey schedule, that I ran my first ever race. A 10K!! I know, crazy. I managed to not only complete the race but do so in under an hour. I think my time was something like 57 min! A year after the 10k I went off to university and didn't run much again except at the gym and never more than 20 min runs.

After university I realized that I needed some stress relief (new job, new living arrangements, new friends, etc...) and I started running again and for a little bit longer. Eventually I gathered up the courage and signed up for a couple of 5k races running them in under 30 min!

Since moving back to the UK and having had my two boys, running has been a challenge. I began getting back into shape again by doing a simple Couch to 5k. It was super tough!! Running felt completely foreign to me and it took a lot for me to not give up. At the end of 8 weeks I could run a 5k, slowly! I also sometimes had to stop and walk, but the important thing was that I could run again.

Then last spring my husband found a poster at the gym that was for an Aquathlon, which is like a Triathlon but without the biking. I was up for the challenge and started training straight away. At that point however, I wasn't so worried about the running (it was a 5k) but more about the swimming in open water for 1k!! Long story short I managed it. Slower than I would have liked but I did it! I am back in the fitness game ;-)

Please forgive the swim cap hair!

Since the Aquathlon, I have carried on running and have stepped up my fitness plan. I love it! I found out about a mum's running club nearby on Facebook recently and couldn't wait to join. I have been going for about 5 weeks now and love it. The ladies are nice, eager to run and all mums! The beginners start by running a Couch to 5k program and in a couple weeks time we are going to be running a complete 5k without stopping.

Which brings me to my race. Because I now run in an encouraging and supportive atmosphere I have decided to sign up for some races and the first is the Sports Relief 3 mile run on 23 March. I am so excited to run it and as a bonus I get to run with my American friend (also one of my running club friends)!

This year I also have my eye set on a 10k (my first since high school) and the summer Aquathlon. So fingers crossed I will be setting some PBs this year!

Did any of you have a hard time getting back into running or fitness in general after having a baby (or babies)? 

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