Officially a Runner

At primary school, I always came last on school sports day. At high school, I used to dread the summer – the hot weather meant outdoor PE, which inevitably meant athletics. That of course meant that eventually, the 800 meters would come around. I’d be at the back again, struggling to breathe but determined not to drop out like many of the others. A year ago, when my best friend suggested a 10K run, I laughed in her face.

12 weeks ago though, I signed up for the Race for Life. Three weeks ago, I still couldn’t run more than 2K, and today was the first time I ever ran a full 10K. Today was race day.

My plan to keep on running went out of the window. Wait, no, that’s not what I mean! I ran it all, and I did it in an amazing 1 hour and 11 minutes, but I didn’t use all the tips I made for myself. I simply read people’s back signs, chatted to a few people along the way, and concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other. A few times, I turned around to see someone just slowing to a walk, and I said ‘Come on, you can do it.’ The smile that they gave me in return spurred me on, and when at one point someone turned around and said the same to me, I smiled too.

At 8K, I began to worry that I hadn’t spotted my best friend yet. She promised that she’d come back for me, and she hadn’t. What if something had happened to her? At 9K, I got angry. She must have finished by now, where on earth was she? I’d never ever say this out loud, but all that had kept me going from the 5K point was the knowledge that she would come back for me, and we’d finish together. I was exhausted but under no circumstance was I going to let her down. With about 500m to go, I was just coming to terms with the fact that I’d have to finish without her, and suddenly, she popped up. I don’t think I’ve ever smiled so hard in all my life. We did it, we crossed the line together, we crossed the line hand in hand, and we crossed the line at a sprint. I was so happy with myself and I couldn’t help but pull her into a hug.

‘See,’ she said later. ‘I came back for you, didn’t I?’ She knows. She knows exactly how much I had resting on that, and how much it meant to me. ‘You could have done if without me though, you ran it all, and you didn’t even need me!’ I just wish that I’d asked the question that was lurking in my head. I didn’t, because even now, I’m still a little afraid of what the answer might be.

‘You will always come back for me, won’t you? Always?’

Now though, I’m a runner. And you know what makes me know for sure? The thing that made me finally decide? I got back into the car, started driving home, and a few minutes later, I said ‘So, are we still running this Saturday?’

Three months ago, I would have never EVER have even dreamed of saying that.

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

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Fitness is 95% mental.

There is three weeks to go until our Race for Life 10K. If you’d have asked me two days ago if I was ready, I would have said no.

But then my best friend decided to make herself my personal trainer and take me on a 7K run. It took us fourty eight minutes and I was only allowed to walk twice for about ten meters each time. I was well and truly knackered… She ran most of it backward. She tells me that we’re going again next weekend… I’m telling her that I didn’t realise it was possible to love some and hate them so much all at the same time!

But hey, I did it, and I feel proud. Maybe that 10K is achievable, after all.

And I’d hate to say it out loud, but maybe I’m starting to look forward to the 1st June. Just a tiny bit.

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

The Clock Keeps Ticking: Four Weeks Until the Big 10K

I thought that it was about time that I took a break from the A Level panicking posts, and told you about my fundraising. For me, the big deal is that it’s only one week until my 10 inch hair cut. For you however, I’m sure you’re much more interested in hearing the update on the girl who doesn’t run but is about to run 10K.

It’s been a really good week. Of course, it’s only day four, but aside from crippling myself by doing too many sit ups, I’m happy. I only ran 2K on Tuesday because I was feeling ill, but swimming this morning has made me realise how much my fitness has improved. Aside from a minor ‘oh dear my chest hurts and I didn’t bring my inhaler I should just have literally thirty seconds or else this could get worse and end badly’, I swam for a whole thirty minutes straight. I’m really happy. The sit ups have made me feel good, too. Although 10K still seems very far fetched at the minute, I really hope that I’ll get some support from the friend who made me sign up to this run. I think maybe if we get the chance to run together, I might be surprised by what I can actually do. Someone to spur me on and tell me that I’m doing well might just be the thing that gets me over that finish line in four weeks time.

I’ve raised £451 so far. Only £49 from my goal! I’m so happy, and I’m sure that the two amazing charities that ill be supporting with my two events will be very very grateful. To all other fellow race for life runners, I wish you all good luck… And happy fundraising!

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

Six Weeks Until the BIG DAY

So I did as I said, and I’ve run every day so far. Since my brother was away, it has meant I’ve not been able to go to the gym, and so I’ve just made the most of the track and trying to build my general fitness instead. Here’s what I’ve been up to…

Friday 11th April – 2K, 11.54
Sunday 13th April – 2.08K, 12.05
Monday 14th April – 2.08K, 11.58
Tuesday 15th April – 2.08K, 12.26
Wednesday 16th April – 2.08K, 12.02
Thursday 17th April – 2.08K, 12.12 – first time running the whole lot on the track! Yey!
Friday 18th April – 2.08K, 11.45
Saturday 19th April – 2.08K, 11.42

I don’t know if I’m going to get to run today. I’m going out for dinner with my nan, and I just can’t see how I’m going to have time between revision ending and needing to leave. But hey, don’t tell me that I haven’t tried!

Saturday was fun. I got myself all ready, looked out of the door, and my neighbour was outside. Oh no, what the heck to do? And she’s with two people I don’t know. Even worse. And she doesn’t look like she’s going in any time soon, she’s pretty into that game. Yes, she’s only seven. No, it doesn’t matter, I’m still a wimp. It took at least ten minutes to working my way up to getting out of the door. And when I got home, I did of course have to stop and chat. She was greatly amused, but her little friend just looked at me like I was some kind of alien as I stood panting on my front lawn.

My recovery time is getting a lot better and although I’m finding the run difficult, my breathing is recovering a lot faster and I can now flick my trainers off and run straight upstairs for my berocca and some fruit or veg that i prepared earlier. Before, I’d have to sit on the steps and recover for at least five minutes before I could even contemplate taking my trainers off.

I now have encountered a new problem however – cramp. And damn does it HURT. I’m fine during the run itself, I get home, sit down to catch my breath and finish my water and BOOM, it hits. It’s not every single time, and sometimes it’s worse than others, but it feels a bit like menstrual cramp but about ten times worse. For about fifteen minutes, I end up doubled over, feeling very nauseous, and have sometimes had diarrhoea as well. It’s just foul. Looking at food makes me feel sick, I usually just about sip half a pint of water or berocca, but that’s all I can manage. I’ve done some google research, but everyone seems a bit undecided on what it is. I never got it until the past week or so, so I just don’t understand! I’ve tried running at different times of day, eating and not eating, drinking water or other fluids, but I can’t work out what it is! Sometimes it happens, sometimes it just doesn’t. If anyone has any bright ideas, please help me! I’m desperate, and if this continues, I’m not sure that I’ll be able to run my Race For Life. And that would just be gutting.

My plan for next week is to do 4K every other day starting on Monday. So that’s four lots of 4K, and three lots of 2K. Lets see how it goes, shall we?!

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

191 days just became 81 days.

Back in December I wrote a post entitled 10K in 191 Days that detailed the running endeavour on which I was about to embark. Well, of course, my friend being my friend, plans changed, she decided she couldn’t make it, and there was no such mention of 10K again. Phew. However, just when I thought I was safe, we began talking about getting fit for DofE, and suddenly, on Monday, the mention of a run came about once more. This time, we’ve decided to stick to something much more local, a Race for Life event. But it also means that it’s time to rename this challenge – 10K in 81 days. Oh, and I still haven’t run anywhere since 2011 (aside from a trip to the gym with my brother on Friday in which I managed 6K in 42 minutes, which is pretty abysmal when I’m being told 10K in an hour should be my aim). This is going to be great fun. And my plan for how to get fit in just under three months? Here it is!

Tuesday am -> run to nearest village and back, increasing pace each week, 2.5K
Thursday am -> 30min-1hr swimming
Friday am -> run to nearest village and back, increasing pace each week, 2.5K
Saturday – running at the gym, slowly increasing time and distance each week
Occasionally on Saturday -> bike rides building up to a goal of 29miles (might not be achieved before the run!)
Sunday -> DofE group training walks, increasing the distance each week

Wish me luck. I’m sure going to need it!

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw