12 Months Ago: I Changed My Life Completely.
Prior to the 22nd January 2016, I had lost over 6 stone through walking.
Then on this day, my loving partner Cathy had said she had been for a run and I thought 'hey, I will give that a go'.
From that day forward, I began running between 1.5 and 1.7 miles per day after 3 days of running I took part in my first ever Parkrun which I completed in 40 minutes with a mixture of walking and running. The next week I upped my running to 2.5 to 3 miles per day and by the time the weekend arrived I had got my Parkrun down to 33 minutes and had run ¾ of the course!
The daily runs continued, 3 miles per day, time getting better and after 3 weeks I decided to enter my local 10k race, after entering I thought I'd run my first ever 10k in training and continued with the Parkruns and my usual daily 3 miles.
The day of St Helens 10k arrived and I had been running for exactly 5 weeks, I was so nervous and I had raised around £330 for a local disability group which my family were part of. The gun started us on our way and I began far to quick, being caught up in the moment, but after a couple of miles I settled into my normal running and just wanted to finish and prove that I could do this to myself. I went through the finish line in 58 mins and 38 secs and was over the moon!
The very next day I was back in the usual daily routine of plodding the local pavements and continuing the weekend Parkruns which were coming down in time every week. After many weeks of training, a friend suggested I should do the Rhyl 10k and also the week after, my partner and I did the Southport 10k (two runs in a week!) the training continued and after many weeks the day of the Rhyl 10k arrived.
I drove down to Rhyl early so I wouldn't be rushing, I awaited the start with nerves, however I ran the race and finished with a PB of 57mins and 46 seconds, so I was very happy. One week later my running took me and my partner Cathy, who by the way is my major inspiration and couldn't have made this change in my life without her, to Southport for the 10k race. At the start it was very cramped due to the large numbers running the 10k and also the half marathon, this was a race I completed in 1hr and 7 seconds.
After several more weeks of training I decided I wanted to compete in my first ever half marathon, a major step for me, but I was enjoying challenging myself so why not. I entered the English Half Marathon in September. The training needed to be cranked up a notch and so on a Sunday morning I set off to run my first ever half marathon training run which I completed in 2hrs and 3 mins, and this became my Sunday morning training ritual. A few weeks before the half marathon I was offered a free place in the Wigan 10k due to a friends injury.
September arrived and I ran the Wigan 10k as a training run and finished in 58 mins and 8 seconds.
One week later the half marathon arrived I was so nervous on the day my legs were shaking. Even when I started running this was by far the most challenging event I had entered. The first couple of KM's out of the town were fine but then there was about 6km of hill climbing which I found very tough and I finally completed the race in 2hrs and 21 mins I was tired but over the moon that I had finished.
A couple of days off then back to training again and both me and Cathy decided to enter the Tatton running festival, me doing the half marathon and Cathy the 10k. The day arrived and it was wet and freezing cold with lots of hanging round due to delays in people getting into the event on time. We eventually started at 9:45 and it was a great race, beautiful scenery and surroundings and although I had been suffering from a chest infection I completed the half marathon in 2hrs and 16 mins, 5 minutes knocked off my PB.
Training continued over Christmas and Cathy won us a competition prize of 2 places in the Wigan half marathon.
In January I joined an amazing local running team the Isabella Rose foundation which is a charity group set up by family and friends of a lady whose baby daughter died. They are an amazing, supportive team, and I ran my first race in their team colours on 12th Feb, the Manchester Winter 10k which I completed in 58mins and 41 seconds.
Now I have upcoming events that I am training for, the St helens 10k, Wigan half marathon and the big one my first ever marathon - the Manchester marathon which I have been training hard for and just hope I have not decided to run the marathon too early in my running.
I have to say running has certainly changed mine and Cathy's life, however I wished I had got fit and started running many years ago.
I hope to continue running and push myself physically for many years to come.
This has been the story of my first 12 months in running, and I would advise anybody who was thinking of starting running don't just think about it, run.
Thanks to Paul for his blog and we've been inspired by his continued effort to run further and faster
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