Well, I have done it! I have completed my first 10k race; something I thought I would never be able to do.
I have always liked to keep fit, but running was never part of my programme. People would always tell me how good it was for me, and every time I tried it I would lose weight, which was great. However, I found it really hard and would often give up and tell myself that I couldn’t do it.
The problem with me is that as soon as I tell myself I can’t do something I then become more determined than ever to be able to achieve it.
I also know that I get bored quite quickly, and am easily distracted so I had to have a goal and something to work towards.
In June of this year, the poster went up for a 10k Run in November, so I signed my name up thinking that I had loads of time to train and prepare. Being an official race it added a little more pressure.
The first thing I did was download an app to my phone; a ’Couch to 5k’ app that would take me on a nine week programme from nothing, to running a solid half-an-hour and 5k.
And when I say nothing, I mean it. The first week of the programme was eight runs lasting one minute each, with each run separated by a period of walking. Well, one minute of running left me out of breath and seriously doubting if this would work.
I persevered and trusted the woman in the app and slowly I got fitter and stronger. By the end of the sixth week I had steadily build up my stamina with longer running intervals and shorter periods of walking. But then, to my horror, I discovered that the next training event was a full 20 minutes of running with no period of walking. But I did it! It wasn’t easy, but it certainly wasn’t as bad as I had thought it was going to be, and there was a huge sense of achievement and relief when the voice in my phone told me I was done. One thing I did realise was that the doubt was all in my head. I had done the training and my body was ready and perfectly able to complete the run, but my head had to catch up.
So, several months of training later, I arrived for the 10k run. I collected my official running number and took in the atmosphere around me.
I have to say I had barely managed to sleep the night before and was incredibly nervous, but I kept telling myself I could do it and that in a couple of hours it would all be over. I had done the preparation and all I needed to do was get in the right head space.
I also wanted to try and enjoy it. I had worked hard and I wanted to allow myself to feel proud of what I was tackling.
1hr and 17 minutes later I crossed the finish line! I was exhausted but the huge sense of accomplishment I felt - once I had caught my breath - was immense. I wasn’t the quickest, but I did this for me. I had achieved something I really thought I couldn’t and in the process, I realised that I really could do anything I put my mind to.
So what was the biggest lesson my run taught me? It was that fear is just a feeling, and if you face it head on it’s really not as scary as you might think.
Not sure I’ll be signing up to do a marathon just yet though!