It's amazing to think that it's only been two short years since I stepped out of the front door to set off on w1r1. I had spent the last two months going for walks in my lunch break and longer walks on the weekend, so I felt pretty confident that this running malarkey wasn't going to be too much of a problem. Well, as we all know, w1r1 is not easy, and running 60 seconds is a loooooong time when it's the first time you try it for many, many years.
The next two years has seen me follow a path that many before me did, and that I'm sure many who are going through the programme now will follow as well. Graduation, 5k race, 10k race, HM, and eventually a Marathon last autumn.
I've been trying to build speed and stamina at the same time (sounds familiar?). That led to my second small injury and stopped me from running at all for two weeks. While annoying in itself, it was made worse by this self-inflicted break being only four weeks before my first HM.
And I've realised what makes me enjoy a run. We're all different. Some like speed, some like the trails, and some prefer a treadmill. I love long, slow run on a decent surface. Ideally without any traffic, and ideally in a new place where I haven't been before. I can spend hours planning the route and carefully map it out on google maps and then transfer it to my running watch as a ready-to-follow route.
There have been some tremendous highs over the two years. Best city run was criss-crossing Bremen in Germany while on holiday. 19 miles in the summer heat, with a ferry to take me across the river somewhere along the route. It was fun and different and fulfilling. Best rural run was 22 miles on gravel roads across the North Yorkshire Moors. Glorious views, solitude, more sheep than an Aussie could shag in a lifetime, and plenty of time to just let it all sink in.
There have also been some tremendous lows. Once after a particularly hilly route near Scarborough I came back to our caravan, smiled to Her Ladyship and admitted the route might have been just a tad more demanding than expected. I then continued to hide in the shower while wimpering and crying with pain, and promising myself to never, ever, ever lace a pair of running shoes up again. Of course that promise was soon forgotten.
But the thing that really stands out is the kindness of strangers and the friendship offered here on this forum. Although I haven't been as frequent a visitor lately as I could have been, it is from the people here I find motivation when it's cold and dreary or the legs are hurting. I've been fortunate enough to link up with the best peer-group ever on Garmin Connect, and feel that although the words are letters on a computer screen, the friendship and the way we cheer for each other is as genuine as if we were sharing group hugs and strawberry tea. Friendship AND fitness. All because of c25k and HealthUnlocked.
Here's to the next two years and the adventures they may bring!