1 Year Runniversary

Hello you lovely forum folk, old and new (so many new names here since I last visited, I'm sure)! I am sorry for not being around much recently. I wish I could find more time to visit more often and I do intend to try to make time soon. Also apologies for the long post alert but here are my ramblings and reflections on the eve of a special day for me.

A year ago tomorrow, on the day of the London Marathon 2016, I sat like I do most years and cried at the amazing, incredible people who were running 26.2 miles and all of their amazing stories. That evening, having never even run for a bus since the torture of school PE (and still occasionally getting nightmares about the bleep test) I got out the boyfriend's treadmill and completed W1R1 of the NHS C25k plan. Laura helped me through via the podcast and the amazing people on this forum encouraged me on that beginning of my C25k journey.

I've read back over some of my earlier posts today and would never have believed that in a year's time, not only could I run 5k with relative ease, but that I would actually love running. I began reflecting upon a few things which I've learned over the last year on my running journey.

1. I've achieved more than I ever thought I could. I felt like there was some kind of physical difference in me which meant I was 'not made for running'. This is a complete fallacy and I wish I'd learnt it sooner. Anyone and everyone can run.

2. Sometimes still I struggle to go out and run 3k and other times I run 5k+ and feel fine at the end. I have learnt what affects my running most (time of day, food I've eaten or not eaten, etc) but sometimes there is no rhyme or reason as to why I have a bad run. I don't let it discourage me anymore as I know it doesn't mean I've suddenly lost my ability to run.

3. Even if I have one of those bad 3k runs or if I feel a niggle and stop early, I've still run 3k further than if I had stayed at home sitting on the couch. Even if you go out for a walk, it's still something.

4. In a year, I've never once regretted going out for a run. No matter how hard it is at the time, whether I've got home feeling ill because I'd not left long enough after eating or whether I'd spent the whole run trying not to slip up on icy pavements, I've always come back feeling better than when I've left. Running is magic and the mix of endorphins and the sense of achievement hits me after every single run.

5. The journey is not linear. Just like with the C25k, setbacks can and will occur. Injuries (or sometimes just life) can stop you from running for weeks or months and suddenly you find yourself back where you were a number of weeks or months ago. That's ok. I've learnt that there's not one destination that we're aiming for when running - perhaps little destinations along the way, but not one final destination. Running is about the journey. Each run follows a run and precedes another. No matter what you have just achieved or whether you are sitting on the injury couch, there will always be another run (which is fabulous)!

6. Speed doesn't matter. It's said right through the C25k programme but, although I love my running watch and tracking my stats each run, I don't need to think about it too closely. It's great to note so I can push myself a little bit each run but I've started to notice that gradually I'm losing a couple of seconds off my min/km pace without really trying. The more you run the more your distance and pace will increase.

7. It doesn't matter what people think. I started C25k on the treadmill and was terrified to run outside because of what people would think of me. Once I took the advice of people on the forum and went for my first outdoor run I loved it so much and have never run on the treadmill again. Running has helped my self image so much and helped my perspective. There will always be someone faster and someone slower than you. There will always be someone younger, older, larger, slimmer, fitter. That person I have just run past might be on km 15 while I'm on my first. Runners see other runners and understand and appreciate what they're doing. Non runners barely notice (how often did you notice runners before C25k compared with now?) and if they do and they think or say anything negative their thoughts aren't valid or worth anything.

8. The ability and opportunity to run is a gift. Every stride I try to remember that some people don't have this as an option I am so lucky to have a body which allows me to achieve these things. Before running I definitely took my body for granted but running has helped me feel more at one with it and understand it much better. I hope that I never will take it for granted again.

I'm sure there is so much more I can add but I'm, not only proud of myself for challenging myself to the C25k to begin with and sticking with it but thankful for the opportunity and the support I've had along the way.

Tomorrow I will go out for a run, reflect upon my year long journey, consider the differences from a year ago and feel very, very happy. But today I will watch the marathon and probably have a little cry while hearing all the incredible stories and seeing the people who have overcome such difficulties to be running today.

Happy running, everybody!

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50 Replies

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  • What a lovely post, thank you

  • I hope it will confirm to people early on in their running journey that it's all possible. :)

  • Wise and inspirational words, especially liked about not worrying about what other people think of you 😀

  • What other people think was such a massive issue for me when I first started. My first run outdoors I went at 10pm, dressed all in black and was so scared I was shaking! It took a while for me to be ok with running outside where people can see me but now I care far less than I ever thought I could! Amazing the changes running can make, not only body but mind too. :)

  • Me too but I really couldn't give a monkeys now - and none of us should - we' are all getting off our backsides and getting out there - good on you.

  • Dressed all in black 'cos you is a proper ninja!

  • Happy runniversary!

    And what a wonderful post full of wisdom. You have come a long way. Hope year 2 is going to be equally good :)

  • Thank you Tomas! Suddenly the year has gone and when I reflected I really did realise what has been achieved! Looking forward to looking back in a year's time and seeing where I am then. :)

  • I will be so pleased when I complete the programme as I'm overweight and this is a great way, I hope, to shed some pounds! Your post is really inspirational, thanks again.

  • You can and you will! Stick with it, I promise the rewards are so worth it! :)

  • Thanks Melly ;-)

  • I have been on a similar journey. It was during the London Marathon last year that I heard about C25K. It took me a week to get organised and out the door, so I have one more week to my runniversary. Pleased to say I ran for 30mins this morning which I was not able to do this time last year.

  • Well done you and congrats on your upcoming runniversary! The London Marathon must inspire a lot of people and I think I saw the link to the NHS podcasts and this forum advertised on the BBC coverage. Who knows where we'll be with our running this time next year... :)

  • Lovely post melly4012. Here's to the next year. Enjoy your run tomorrow.

  • Thanks Polly! I surely intend to. :)

  • Well said Melly. Wise words and a great encouragement to all of us on this forum. Thankyou.

  • Thanks Marky! Just passing on what I've learnt like so many others passed on to me. It's great that the circle of inspiration can keep on going. :)

  • AWESOMELY written!!! You put the heart of Running into words!

    Well done on that and Very Happy Runaversary! :)

  • Thanks, John! Nice to hear from you. I reflected and the words wrote themselves really. :)

  • You have a gift for writing, never doubt! :)

  • You're very sweet! Starting my PhD this year so hopefully enough to get me through that. :)

  • I don't think you will have a problem :) I read my favourite Profs thesis once, was astonished at how straightforward it was. Once you come up with the thesis the rest is just plugging away - probably slowly and steadily also ;)

  • Hi Melly..:) Yep I am still here :)

    I wondered where you had got to... we have had a few of the forum friends reappearing again and it is wonderful...:)

    What a superb post.... inspirational for anyone thinking of starting!!! :)

    It has been an amazing journey for you hasn't it... as it is for so, so many of us... when we look back and see what the year has brought, you have achieved so much and gained so much from this wonderful programme... ...:)

    Happy Runniversary to you my friend... I hope to see you around a little more if possible, and many, many, many more Happy Runs! :)

    Love Flossx

  • Thank you, my darling Floss! I certainly haven't forgotten about you and I do think of you all often when I run. Hopefully more time on my hands in a couple of months and I can visit more often. Looking back to this time last year, I'm so grateful to the programme and to all of you for getting me there. :) xxx

  • Hi Melly! Good advice for peeps to stick with it. You won't if you don't! 🙂Glad to hear you're still at it. Good luck with the PhD. Running might be your saviour when the studies get stressful

    I just did a race this morning! Can't keep an old girl down 😀🏅

  • Thanks, Miss Wobble! You couldn't stop me if you tried! I think sticking with it is sometimes half the battle - it's definitely the one I thought would get me but it hasn't!

    I'm looking forward to being able to work my writing around my running and more time at the computer will mean more time for the forum hopefully! :)

    Congrats on your race! You've still got it!!! :)

  • Wise words Melly.😊

    Happy runniversary..may you have many more. xx

  • Thanks Jan! Looking forward to see what the new running year brings! :)

  • Lovely, lovely, timely post, thanks.

  • Thank you GM. :)

  • 'The ability and opportunity to run is a gift.' This is a thought that keeps me going out there, too. Thanks for articulating it, and good luck with your running in the year to come!

  • Thank you! So important to remember, isn't it?! You're completely right - it's those thoughts which spur me on and help me push on for those final couple of minutes each run. :)

  • Thank you for this post! Really inspiring! I started the C25K today 😊 Well done on your year of running 🏃🏼‍♀️😊

  • That's brilliant, well done you for starting!! Making that first step is definitely the hardest part. Did the marathon inspire you too? Go slow and steady, listen to Laura and use the incredible people on this forum for advice and encouragement. Before you know it you'll be celebrating your runniversary this time next year!! :)

  • Thank you!! Yes the marathon definitely did inspire me alongside friends and family who have stated running and love it! Haha hopefully, thanks!! 😊🏃🏼‍♀️

  • Aah what an inspiring post, thank you! Your second paragraph was exactly me yesterday. I'm going for my first ever 'run' today after dropping the girls to school. Fingers crossed I take to it like you do. Thank you again :-)

  • Well done you! Starting the C25k is the best decision you'll ever make!!! Remember to go slow and steady, even if you feel that you're going too slowly you can probably slow down some more! The forum is absolutely amazing and got me through the programme. Good luck, hope it goes well. :)

  • Great post. A really good summary of what it's all about, really eloquently put.

  • Thank you, Rignold. Every word is true and exactly how I've felt for a long time. :)

  • Beautiful Post!

  • Thank you! :)

  • What an amazingly inspirational post! Thank you for sharing your reflections of your year of running x

  • No problem. I wish I could reflect more through replies on the forum like I used to but time has kept me away recently. Hope I can be back around more soon!

  • Very,----very beautifully written.lt has given me,as with all of us who have replied to your post ,the opportunity to reflect what, running can achieve and how it changes our lives.l am fairly new here am now on W9; the paragraph 8,-you wrote has changed my mind- set,l shall reflect on those words as l'm running.Thankyou Melly,I wish you well on your future running,Stevy.

  • Thank you, Stevy. Week 9 is a seasoned pro by C25k standards and you will soon be beginning your post programme running life! Enjoy your graduation week - you will never forget that W9R3. :)

    I remember talking (writing) to OldFloss about a child in another class of a special school I taught at. He was wheelchair bound and in a topic on superheroes he said the superpower he wanted was to walk. I used to think those who could run had a superpower as I just believed there was no way I could ever do it. I remember that boy from school and take him with me on every run, as well as all of those who can't run for whatever reason. It always gives me that extra strength and carries me through when I feel I need to give up. :)

  • A rather late message of thanks,Melly;l had been dashing up to hospital again with my wife,she I the one reason why l am raising my money for her charity,by running.Am trying not to over do things at the moment l have been unable to start W9.Stevy.

  • I hope your wife is ok. You are doing a wonderful thing by running to raise money for charity. Don't worry about needing a few days break, it happens and you'll be fine. That graduation run will be there when you get back to it.

  • Thankyou Melly,l,m glad l joined this forum,Stevy.

  • Wonderful food for thought, thank you and congratulations - what an achievement.

  • Thank you Shorty! That first year really does fly by. :)

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