5 years ago today I put on some trainers I happened to have, wriggled into the ForthBridgeBra, slung on some old trakkie bottoms and a scruffy t-shirt, stuck my MP3 player and my house key down my bra, and pressed 'play' on Week 1, Day 1 of the NHS Couch to 5k programme. I didn't quite complete all the runs, but I managed enough to think that I could perhaps do this if I tried again.
Yesterday I completed the Brighton 10k. I quite enjoyed it. It wasn't a particularly special run, although the bling was nice, but what was best about it was that I was there with I don't know how many other friends, all of whom I have met through this programme.
I think I probably posted last year about the health benefits, the difference in strength of character, determination and blah blah blah. You'll know all about that for yourselves. I never expected the friendships that have resulted from this running, or the distances I've traveled to meet up with people (or, let's be honest, for a bit of metal on a ribbon). But the friendship was exemplified at Brighton where people supported each other round the course, perhaps running at a slightly slower pace than they could have achieved on their own, but it was more important for them to stay with their C25K buddy. The supporters were fantastic too, cheering everyone on, making sure that everyone was accounted for, and for those broken by Brighton, making sure that everyone was looked after.
All this from running. I went out for a very quick run today - only 1.5k, because I had been sitting in the car for 6 hours, and my daughter had kindly put tea in the oven, and my legs knew that I'd run yesterday, but I was determined to run on my runniversary. So whatever stage you're at, whether you've been running for a long time or whether you're sitting there looking at this programme and wondering if you're too unfit/overweight/busy/brave enough, get some trainers on and give it a go. You never know where it will take you. You can do this. Happy running