My 4th runniversary :)

Four years ago I posted this (not on this forum):

"I really have started now!

The good things:

I did it.

The Forth Bridge bra and the trainers were fit for purpose.

It was sunny and cool, and there were violets.

Lessons learned:

1) Plan my route. I thought running along the (flat) main road would be enough, but I would have to do that two and a half times, which is a bit dull.

2) Work out a better way of carrying my phone, my housekey and my MP3 player. They were all in my top (only) pocket, and just before the last-but-one run, Laura suddenly turned into MCR's Welcome to the Black Parade and I couldn't get her back again. I had to guess that it was the 60 + 90 formula and then a walk to cool down.

3) I think I might have to repeat that one. To be honest, I only just made it, and I don't think I'll be ready to progress - the implication is that you do a bit more each time. I might do 1/1 again on Thursday and then aim for 1/2 on Saturday. After all, it doesn't matter if I progress slowly, just so long as I stick at it."

Well, I did stick at it.  I did work out a better way of carrying everything.  The trainers weren't fit for purpose at all - they nearly crippled me, but once I'd had gait analysis everything was fine.  And I did progress, although it took me 50 runs, not 27, before I was officially a graduate.

I have learned loads about myself - that I can do this, that every so often I have crap runs, that it's okay to stop if you're injured, and that, over and above everything else, I am a runner, however slow.

I am so grateful for the support of everyone on this forum and on the various Facebook pages - I have made virtual friends and I have met some in person :)  I have learned that you are all kind, generous and endlessly supportive.

Since starting I reckon I've probably had about a year out for injury - two major issues:  dislocated shoulder (my first epileptic fit) and a seriously upset pelvis (cartwheels!), plus a couple of minor problems (acute pancreatitis, pneumonia, bronchitis etc.)  And I still count myself as a runner, even when I'm on the IC.

Running has helped me work through horrendous problems with my sudden diagnosis of epilepsy, my ex-husband, my daughter's mental health and my job.  It gives me space to clear my head.  It's a form of meditation at times, when the only thing that matters is keeping the cadence.

I still struggle with being out of breath, with sweating like a sponge, and with looking like a tomato.  I do not care what others think because I do this for me, not them.  There will always be someone faster than I am, and loads of people who run further.  That's great and I am pleased for them.

So whether you're starting out and wondering if you can do this, or whether you've been running for years, may you always run long and happily, and if you are on the IC or troubled in other ways, I send you best wishes.  Happy running always :)


Featured Content

Join the NHS Couch to 5K community

Couch to 5K has been designed to get you off the couch and running 5km in just 9 weeks

Start today!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

26 Replies

  • Firstly, huge congratulations. 4 years is brilliant :)

    Secondly, thank you for taking the time to return and post your inspirational story :)

    Took my first run as a post-grad tonight and whilst I am out there, doing it and reasonably enjoying it, there is still that little niggle of 'can I keep it all going'.

    Your post has shown that yes, I can. As long as I don't view setbacks as stopping points. Your determination through huge life events has been amazing, well done xx

  • Congrats on your first post-grad run!  I agree that the key is to look at any setbacks in the context of a long, long journey and not see them as stopping points, as you say.  You will indeed keep it all going!  Thank you for your kind comments xx

  • What an inspiring post. I'm two and a half years in and it's lovely to hear from someone who has made running part of the pattern of their life. A refuge and solace when times are hard, something to enjoy and celebrate when we are in good health and something to fight our way back to when we are on the IC.

    Thank you for sharing.

  • Aw, thank you!  I'll be honest, I've never really stuck to anything else sporty in my life, but running just seems to fit.  After two and a half years, it looks like running is a well-established part of the pattern of your life too - how lovely :)

  • Annie what a fab post!! It says everything you need to know about running, this forum and your own tenacity. 

    You're so right, a run can be awful, horrendous even, but it can also be a joy, a refuge from stress and a meditation. The fact that you've carried on despite all that life has thrown at you, shows your spirit and determination, but also your love for it.

    Many congratulations on you 4 year runniversary. I'll raise a mug of Yorkshire's finest to you and to the next 4 years ☕️😀

  • Cheers, m'dear!  As you know all too well, there are times when we have to grit our teeth, but I love that the support on this forum is always here.  Re-reading my post, I think perhaps I should edit it because I was whingeing on a bit and didn't say how much fun running has given me as well - perhaps I'll go back and do that now!  But thank you for your lovely words xx

  • Please do not edit a word.

    I feel it is really helpful for newcomers to understand the rich variety of people who take up the challenge of NHS C25K and, well, run with it. That it isn't just people who maybe only needed a bit of a kick up the bum, or who had been superfit in their youf.

  • Thanks, J.  It just occurs that there have been many funny moments that I have missed out, such as when my skeleton leggings threatened to descend leaving me rather exposed :D , and many hugely uplifting moments such as punching the air after my first non-stop 5k, and many wonderful running tourism moments such as running on Miami's South Beach with only pelicans in sight, or running over the Sydney Harbour Bridge towards the Opera House.  As well as running round Carsington, of course :D

  • I wasn't running at the time but it was thanks to running that my knickers fell down on the High Peak Trail. I was rather proud.

    What magical memories you have made... (well, dunno about Carsington, I'm not running all round *that* thing again unless there's an osprey or some other such ornithological  incentive (as I didn't know about the ice cream I cannot count that as an incentive))

  • Hmmm... well, I'm considering running all the way round it this summer, if I survive my Chatsworth run :D

    Ha for knickers falling down - it's a runner's thing, I'm sure :)

  • Well, if you do I'll join you for the run-in and supply the ice cream!

  • Okay, it's a date :) I'll let you know!

  • Congratulations! Lovely post. Very moving and inspiring☺. Here's to many more years of running!🏃

  • Thanks, Sandra :)  It does feel like a bit of a milestone, when you realise you've clocked over another year :D

  • Completely inspirational.

    In your post, there are things I can empathise with, things I am so humbled by, things that made me laugh out loud.

    To post this, after some of the issues you have had to contend with, is slightly awe inspiring, to say the very least. 

    I love this phrase,

     " I do not care what others think because I do this for me, not them. There will always be someone faster than I am, and loads of people who run further. That's great and I am pleased for them."

    Those are my sentiments, exactly. Congratulations and long may you continue to run and to inspire. Thank you :)

  • Thank you!  The funny thing is, none of those things seem massive - running has helped me deal with them :)  I honestly think that the NHS should be able to prescribe C25K :D

    May we all continue to run long into the future, however we choose to :)

  • Well done. I only started last August and graduated in november. Nice to see that you stuck to it despite injury and illness. An inspiring story.

  • Thanks - I shall look forward to your first runniversary post in August :)

  • Happy anniversary  Annie! ☺

    I am raising my cup of Yorkshire tea to you now and wish you good health and many more years of happy running.  I will take your spirit with me round Winger this morning.

    Cheers! 😊

  • Yorkshire tea is the best!  Thank you, Miss W - have a great run round Winger :)

  • Annie , my Gorgeous Girl xxx

    What a brilliant post , very inspirational.  You have overcome some truly testing obstacles and I am so pleased that you have found some peace of mind through running.

    You are a constant source of support on this forum and have given us lots of laughs along the way too.

     I wish you a very Happy Runniversary and many many more. Shine like the star that you truly are Annie xxx

  • Awww, thanks, Pops :) xxx  It was a happy runniversary, and lots of people cheered me on when I was out there, so that was nice too :)

    Running is just brilliant, isn't it?  I don't go far and I don't go fast, but I go :)

  • Annie, you are always here with words of wisdom for everyone, your "minor problems" would be enough to floor most people but not you, you just keep going like a Duracell bunny.  Keep running and finding your inner strength, but maybe lay off the cartwheels!

  • Ha - don't know about words of wisdom, but thank you for your kind words!  And yes, my chiropractor has banned me from cartwheels for evermore, sadly :( but I think it's for the best :D 

  • Ooh Happy Runniversary Annie! I've been away and missed this. Four years! Good on you for keeping going all that time and doing so well too. Great pearls of wisdom there especially about the cartwheels as I have been known to do those too! No more.

    You've always been very supportive to me and I thank you for that. Here's to the future. Forever. Running. xxx

  • Thank you, IP!  Yeah, I'm sad about no more cartwheels, but if it means I can keep on running then fair enough!

    You are very welcome for any support I may have given you, and thank you for all your friendship and support also :) I know we've had a lot of laughs too :D

    May there be loads of running in our future always xxx

You may also like...