Apologies before I start, but this is a bit of a waffle!!
I can't believe how quickly the last year has flown by. For all of you just starting out I thought I'd share my story to let you know that if I can do this running malarkey then so can you!
I'm a 46 year old (just) married mum of two boys. One is 14 and the other is 4! I don't work at the moment. Had to give up when my oldest son started school! This is not my choice but due to the fact that my 14 year old son is autistic, and my recently widowed mum has MS I have to take on the role of carer for both of them as well as looking after a very lively 4 year old. Life can be difficult sometimes but we are mostly happy. As a result I was starting to feel that I was starting to lose my identity, always being referred to as someone's wife, mum or daughter. I needed something just for me and I found it a year ago today!
Heard about NHS Couch to 5K from my sister-in-law who had already started in December 2012. So on a dull and cold February lunchtime I took to the streets to start week 1 run 1. Flippin heck, it was tough. Firstly I had so many layers of clothing on that I was boiling hot after the first couple of runs and secondly I thought my lungs were going to explode! But fortunately I got through that first run and the feeling of achievement was amazing. I'd done it....just me....not my kids....or my husband....but me on my own!!! Yippee!!!
Anyway after that I so looked forward to my running three times a week and the jubilation of ticking off another week of the programme. I may have only been out for 30 minutes or so but this was ME time. I graduated on the 1st May 2013 with a 5k run in 32:59.
What a difference a year makes. Gone are the layers of clothing to be replaced by Asics running tights with matching pink top, Under Armour running jacket, bright green running gloves and my gorgeous Adidas pink trainers from Sweatshop. Not forgetting the pink Garmin Forerunner 10. (OK I love pink!) When do you normally get the chance to wear such bright colours together and not get arrested by the fashion police? Just taken out a years subscription to 'Women's Running' magazine too!!
I have carried on running three times a week if I can. The biggest killer was last summer with the heat and school holidays so had a break of about three weeks. I haven't done anything spectacular like run a half marathon (never say never though) or even a Park Run. I am chuffed to say that I can now run 5K in 28:56 and 10K in 1:00:57 though. A friend and I have entered a midnight run in aid of our local hospice in May. We are aiming for the eight mile distance so very excited about that. Also since January I have inspired six friends to start C25K! Added bonus is that my weight has dropped from 11st 5lb to 9st 11lb and now wearing size 10 jeans!!
The biggest bonus is that I'm fit and healthy for my lovely boys and I'm going to continue with running as it's part of my life now. I'm still a mum, wife, daughter......but I'm also a runner and that feels good!!!
Good luck to everyone on this wonderful forum. Hope you enjoy running as much as I do!